Between traditional Rockwool and peat moss, no other alternative comes close to coco peat. It has a high capacity to hold water and has air-filled porosity. These characteristics make it one of the best growing mediums for plant crops.
Cocopeat is 100 per cent organic, eco-friendly, and free from soil-borne weeds and pathogens. It has a pH of 5.7–6.5 and is perfect for plant growth. The coco coir material is made from a coconut shell’s woven, fibrous material.
Most home gardeners prefer this organic soil replacement because of its aeration and moisture retention traits. Moisture retention is crucial as consistently wet conditions are required for plant growth. Thus, you do not end up over-watering or under-watering your garden. The aeration feature in the coco peat allows the development of roots and helps them respire better. Plants expel carbon dioxide and take up oxygen. Both the factors we mentioned contribute to unbelievable yields and enhance plant growth.
For us Indians, the coconut tree is the “kalpavriksha” because every part of the tree is of great use to us, in some way or the other. Here are some coconut products that farmers use in agricultural fields.
Coir pith/coco peat derived from coconut husk
Coco chips are made from the coconut’s outer shell. It is then used as a medium of growth.
The coco fibre is used as mulch.
The coco fibre planter is the compressed fibre of coconut squashed into multiple containers like pots and hanging baskets.
Why do people prefer coco peat for home gardeners starting with hydroponics farming?
Also called the coir path, the cocopeat binds the fibre of coconut in the husk. It is very spongy and one of the finest organic media. Most home gardeners prefer cocopeat because of its remarkable soil conditioning properties.
The high moisture-retention capacity makes it the perfect growth medium in nurseries for the production of anthuriums, orchids, and seedlings. By all means, cocopeat is a versatile product as you can use it as worm bedding, sprout, and nurse seedlings.
Advantages of Cocopeat:
Coco peat increases the potting mix’s porosity. That helps to keep the soil airy and loose, which helps in the better growth of roots.
If you want to increase the water-holding capacity of your potting mix, choose coco peat. This medium also enhances the soil’s porosity. Hence, the plant does not suffer from under or over-watering.
The high capacity of cation exchange, water retention, and porosity mean that the coco peat quantity essential per plant can be significantly less.
Coco peat possesses excellent properties, which make it a forgiving medium for hydroponics farming. The high cation exchange capacity of coco peat allows quicker absorption of nutrients.
You can easily rewet coco peat, unlike peat. Dry coco peat absorbs water quickly and is hydrophilic.
Unlike other organic media like Rockwool, vermiculite, or perlite, you can compress coco peat to less than one-fifth of its volume. This compressed volume of coco peat reduces handling, storage, and transportation costs.
One of the most renewable mediums is coco peat. It is withdrawn from coconut husks. It used to be a waste product some years ago, but India’s Coir board has recognized it as a prime item for export.
Coco peat is rich in natural Trichoderma that acts against damaging pathogens. The beneficial bacteria and fungi get an excellent environment for growth because of coco peat.
How to use coco peat in hydroponic farming?
Break the block of coco peat into a powder by mixing it. Ensure you are adding water in the right amounts. Your mix must not be too dry or wet.
Take a large container or tub, remove the shrink wrap, and place the coco peat brick inside the tub.
Add 25 litres of water and wait for ten minutes. Let the brick expand naturally and let it absorb water.
Mix coco peat with your hands. Blocks must break easily, and add water if required.
Add the coco peat to the soil or use it by mixing other inert media before incorporating it into the soil.
With the help of coco peat, you can grow any kind of plant. Right from root crops to medicinal herbs, veggies, leafy greens, succulents, and flowers, you name it. We have managed to get incredible yields for sugarcane and corn with coco peat. Thus, we recommend using coco peat as it is the most straightforward way to forget soil-related troubles aside. Please take a good try with a single plant type and watch it grow. And, if you have anything else to share with us regarding coco peat, do comment down below! Until then, happy gardening! For More information visit Tropical Coir Industries, India.