Best Coco Coir for Mushroom Substrate

CVG, the go-to mushroom bulk substrate for dunglovers. CVG stands for Coir (Coco Coir), Vermiculite, and Gypsum. This tried and true blend has been trusted by cultivators for many years. But not all coco is created equal, and some brands are even treated with green mold for plant development. With that said, when choosing the best coco coir it’s important to know the brands that the pros use. This article will highlight the three best coir brands, as well as provide instructions on how to make bulk substrate.

What is Coco Coir?

Coco coir is a natural fiber extracted from coconut husks. It’s not just an eco-friendly substrate but also packs a punch in terms of its utility in mushroom cultivation. The fibrous material provides excellent moisture retention and drainage properties.

Why Use Coco Coir for Mushrooms?

Water Retention

Coco coir has a remarkable capacity to retain water, ensuring that your mushrooms stay hydrated.


Despite its ability to hold water, coco coir also provides excellent aeration, which is crucial for healthy mycelial growth.

Natural Antifungal Properties

Interestingly, coco coir possesses natural antifungal properties, offering an extra layer of protection against contaminants.

Top Brands of Coco Coir

Several brands of coco coir have stood out in the market, receiving accolades from mushroom cultivators. These are in no particular order and each offer small differences in their moisture retention and consistency. Be aware that some brands of coir have been treated with additives to help with plant growth. Avoid anything that has been amended, as some contain molds that are beneficial for plants, but not so good for indoor mushroom cultivation.

Brand 1: Zoo Med Eco Earth Loose Coconut Fiber Substrate

Zoo Med is a favorite among home growers for its consistent quality and texture. Additionally, this brand can be found locally at pet shops and specialty reptile stores. Zoo Med can be purchased in both brick from and as loose coir, which makes it easier to work with than the others on this list.

Brand 2: Mother Earth Coco Bale, 100% Natural Coco Coir Fiber for Soilless Gardening, 5 kg.

Mother Earth is cherished for its affordability without compromising on quality. This brand is best for bulk substrate as they can be purchased in larger 5 kg bricks.

Brand 3: Urban Worm Coco Coir Soil Amendment 

Lastly, Urban Worm has carved a niche for itself and provides a clean and consistent coir product available in flat bricks. This coir is easy to use and has excellent moisture retention.

How to Prepare Coco Coir Substrate

Crafting your own coco coir substrate is a straightforward process. We will be using a CVG, Coir, Vermiculite, Gypsum recipe. Here’s how to go about it.

Materials Needed

  • Coco coir brick or shredded 650g
  • Vermiculite 2 quarts
  • Gypsum 1 cup
  • 4-4.5 L Water
  • 5 gallon bucket
  • Stir stick


  1. Preparation:
    • Start by measuring all your ingredients and have them ready.
  2. Rehydrating Coco Coir:
    • Boil the water in a pot on the stove.
    • Place the coco coir brick in the 5 gallon bucket. While not required, for best consistency I like to break up the brick using a screwdriver.
    • Pour the boiling water over the coco coir brick and cover the container.
    • Allow the coco coir to fully expand and cool a bit. This may take about 20-30 minutes.
  3. Adding Vermiculite and Gypsum:
    • Once the coco coir has cooled down a bit, add 2 quarts of vermiculite and 1 cup of gypsum to the mixture.
    • Careful not to burn yourself, mix well using a large spoon or hand gloves until the ingredients are evenly distributed.
  4. Pseudo Pasteurization:
    • Place the lid on the top of the bucket and let sit until cool. 4-6 hours.
    • Ready to go!

Best Practices and Tips:

  • Moisture Content: Ensure the substrate is not too wet or too dry. It should have a moisture content of about 60-70%. When you squeeze a handful, it should hold together with only a few drops of water being expelled.
  • Pasteurization: Proper pasteurization is crucial to kill any potential contaminants without destroying the beneficial microorganisms. Proper pasteurization is usually the best practice. However this BucketTek has been used for years by cultivators with very good results.
  • Cooling: Ensure the substrate is completely cool before inoculating with mycelium to prevent killing or damaging them.
  • Storage: If not using immediately, store the prepared substrate in a clean, sealed container in a cool, dark place to prevent contamination.
  • Use Fresh Materials: Always use fresh coco coir, vermiculite, and gypsum to ensure the highest quality substrate and minimize the risk of contamination.

This CVG substrate recipe is straightforward and provides a good balance of nutrients, moisture retention, and aeration for healthy mycelial growth and fruitful mushroom cultivation.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *