Multi-functional fruit, coconut coir

Roy and Robin Siemens, owners of RS Growers Supply, wanted to think ‘outside of the box’ when it came to adding soil to their product line in their company. Their research resulted in an amazing product called Coconut Coir made from the multi-functional fruit, coconuts.

After living in Laguna Niguel, the Siemens wanted to move closer to where their nursery clients were, so 13 years ago they decided to move to Fallbrook. After meeting in a country western bar in Lake Forrest, California, Roy was smitten by Robin’s passion to dance and her love of life. After dating for four years, they married in 1999 and created a loving joint family with Roy’s daughter, Alicia.

Together, the Siemens created RS Growers Supply. Roy had been in the horticultural business for more than 30 years and Robin joined right in to create the new company. The Siemens were already selling specific items that growers needed, such as pots and fertilizer so soil was the next logical product line.

Roy wanted to find a soil that was unique and environmentally stimulating. In his search, he found the coconut. Coconut Coir, or ‘Coco Coir’ sparked his interest and he wanted to learn more about this remarkable product.

“Coco Coir is a fruit that is renewable every 3-4 months and it grows great root structure for the plants because it naturally offers 20-25 percent air – which roots love,” said Roy. “It has amazing capacity to hold water and rehydrate easily when plants dry out in nursery pots.”

This was the perfect soil Roy was searching for.

Two years ago, Roy founded a new partnership called Tri Prime Solutions LLC (TPS) with a Dutch company Van Der Knaap and a Vietnemese company Plant Best. The main purpose of the new partnership was to supply the best coir in the world to western United States professional growers and soil companies.

“We feel blessed to have great partners in Plant Best and Van Der Knapp,” noted Roy. “Our partners not only offer the best manufacturing of coir in the world, but they offer integrity in how we deal with each other and our customers and that is priceless to Robin and me.”

Thijs Millinnar built Plant Best into a world leader in horticulture retail packaging of coir products, including coir pots and coir garden starter kits that are sold to big box stores.

The other Tri Prime Solutions’ partner Van Der Knaap is headquartered in the Netherlands and is the largest coir processor in the world. They own or manage 14 different coir and peat processing plants around the world with over 500 employees worldwide.

They manufacture high quality potting mixes for growers across Western

Europe and the rest of the key horticultural world including USA, Canada, Mexico, China, Korea, Japan, Columbia, Turkey, Kenya and South Africa. Their International Marketing Director Ludo van Boxem is the key technical adviser to the large growers TPS is marketing coir to.

Many companies are selling the coir over the internet and even some garden centers are starting to carry the mixes. Coir can be purchased by the block and it typically weighs 9-11 pounds each. To use these coir blocks, one simply puts the blocks in a wheel barrel and adds water.

Once the mixture is stirred, it is ready to be used. One then should mix it with their garden soil; this lightens up the soil and brings the ability for the roots in the garden plants to receive more air and hold water longer below the ground surface. As more professional growers embrace this product, coir will be available to everyday garden enthusiasts.

Living in Fallbrook, Roy and Robin are able to enjoy all the plant materials they have planted over the past 10 years on their half-acre.

“We love plants, hydrangeas and succulents especially,” said Robin. “Roses, ornamental grasses, fruit trees, various palms are also enjoyed by us. We’ve never

regretted our move to Fallbrook. If you love plants, Fallbrook is a great place to live – it has an amazing climate!”

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