Cocopeat, also known as coconut fibre, coir fibre, or coir, is a naturally growing media made from the husk of a coconut. As a co-product of coconut fibre extraction, it was previously considered a waste product. This plant material is made from coconut husk and is non-fibrous, spongy, lightweight, and corky. It is made from coconut husks and used for planting. As part of processing coconut husk, it is prewashed, machine dried, sieved, and removed from the sand and other contaminants.
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Is Cocopeat formed naturally or manufactured?
Cocopeat soil is made from the pith of coconut husks. In addition to being an excellent seed starter, it is also used in rugs, ropes, brushes, and stuffing. Additionally, coco peat can be used as a soil enhancer, a gardening mix, and a hydroponic system.
It is environmentally friendly to use coco coir as it is reusable. After rinsing and straining, it will work perfectly again. Compared to the soil, coco peat retains much more water and releases it slowly to plant roots. A fine powder is made from the husks of coconuts ground into cocopeat. Afterwards, the powder is mixed with water and formed into pellets. The pellets are then dried in the sun or a kiln. This material is environmentally conscious, unlike peat moss, which is a non-renewable resource. Cocopeat is a 100% natural product. It is becoming popular for soilless cultivation, which is known as hydroponics. Hydroponics is gaining popularity in the form of in-house gardens and rooftop gardens. Hydroponic Farming fits right in every time agriculture is designed with a space of technology.
What is Coco Peat?
Coco peat refers to a product derived from coconut husks, which is widely used as a growing medium or substrate for growing plants. The substance is known to be versatile as it has multiple applications. Most popularly, coco peat is used as a potting mix for plants. However, coco peat is also added to soil enhance its drainage properties. Also, it is used on its own as hydroponic growing medium. It is considered to be eco-friendly and a sustainable material.
What is coco coir?
Cocopeat or coco coir are terms used interchangeably. Both these substances are considered suitable to be used as substrates for plants. Coco peat is made from coconut husks and coco coir comes from natural fibres of coconuts. Coco coir is also referred to as coconut coir, has similar uses as coco peat – utilised as a potting mix, added to soil, or used on its own as a hydroponic growing medium. Further, coco coir is less likely to compact compared to other substrates such as peat moss, allowing improved drainage and aeration for plants.
Difference between coco peat and coco coir
|Coco peat||Coco coir|
|The raw material is derived from coconut husks||The raw material comes from coconut fibres|
|More absorbent than coco coir. It holds water that is beneficial for plants.||Has better drainage and aeration properties|
|Coco peat can hold water and lacks nutrients of its own||Resistant to mould and has higher cation exchange capacity, providing more nutrients for plants|
|It is light and fluffy||It is coarse and fibrous|
|The colour is white or light brown||The colo|
|pH level is neutral||pH level is slightly acidic|
What is Coconut Fiber or Cocofiber?
Coconut fibre or coir is the natural fibre particles on the outer part of coconut husks. These are extracted and used in making different products such as doormats, brushes, mattresses, etc. Coconut fibre is also known as coco fibre.
How to use Coco peat / Coco coir for plants?
You can mix coco peat to the soil. When using coco peat and compost, use them in a ratio of 1:1. However, as compose holds excess nutrients, there will be leaching of nutrients. You can rather make a potting mix using soil of 35-40%, compost of 20-25 %, and coco peat of 35%. You can the coconut coir with the help a garden tool like fork and add it up to the first six inches of the soil.
Cocopeat uses in Hydroponics
- The growth rate of hydroponic plants is much faster than that of soil plants. It doesn’t take long for us to see the results of our cultivation, such as fruits, vegetables, etc.
- It is very beneficial for the environment
- Less space leads to more production
- Requires comparatively less water
- This is a very hygienic way to utilise the small spaces in our apartments nowadays and turn them into stunning gardens. It is a benefit for your health.
How to use Cocopeat?
You can use coco peat to allow a healthy growth for the plants in your home. If you are directly applying coco peat in your garden, mix it with soil in a ration of 3:1. That is, use three parts of soil for one part of coco peat. The substance will help retain moisture, allowing aeration and oxygen supply and enhancing organic matter in the soil. Moreover, it eliminates risks of fungal attack and diseases.
Types of Cocopeat for plants
You can use Cocopeat, just like peat moss. It comes in the following forms:
- Cocobrick / Cocofibre – Cocopeat is compressed into a brick shape. These have to be soaked to break them apart. A Brick-shaped cocopeat allows oxygen to penetrate a plant root system, helping the plant grow faster. This is appropriate for gardeners who want space-saving, like balconies, small flats, etc. It is mixed with compost, sand, and fertiliser to make good-quality potting soil.
- Coir dust – Coir Dust can hold 8-9 times more water than its weight and then releases the water to the plant with the help of feeding roots. It is used to grow many exotic plants, such as ferns, orchids, bromeliads, and anthurium.
- Coco chips – These are small chunks of coir. They are mixed with coco peat or added to potting soil to regulate the aeration of growing plants and maintain the ideal air-to-moisture ratio for plant roots.
By using a combination of chips, coir dust, and the cocopeat bricks, you can tailor-make the type of medium that each variety of plant requires.
What are the benefits of Cocopeat over traditional peat?
The fibrous part of the coconut husk is dipped in pits to soften. Then the coir fibre is extracted after beating it to manufacture door mats, ropes, upholstery, car seats, mattresses, carpets, insulation, brushes, and bristle brooms. Cocopeat used for plants is also called coir. It is readily available and used as a traditional liner for wire baskets.
Potting soil is very easy and available in ready-to-use form, but it has certain drawbacks as it is taken from the ground. There is often a lack of drainage, and peat is removed from the ground and can cause environmental damage. An excellent alternative is coco peat soil. In addition to recycling a discarded product, planting in coco peat provides many benefits.
Cocopeat increases the porosity of the potting mix. As a result, the soil will become more airy and loose, which will help the roots to grow more effectively. A plant’s development is aided by its roots growing correctly. A plant’s porosity capacity facilitates the maintenance of its water capacity. The packaging can be compressed into one-fifth of its volume or less, significantly reducing transportation, storage, and handling costs. Compression can be quickly done in various shapes and sizes as per the requirement. It contains natural Trichoderma, a bioagent that fights harmful pathogens. Bacteria do not thrive in this environment. Additionally, it is a renewable media for plantation purposes.
Properties of Cocopeat
- Cocopeat blocks and bricks can hold water efficiently
- It is organic and biodegradable with a life span of 3-4 years
- It is free from pathogens, stones, weed seeds, and harmful microorganisms, thus being an apartment-friendly choice.
- Dry coco peat can also be used as a water or oil absorbent on wet floors being a good absorbent.
- It is a 100% naturally growing medium that is slow to decompose and biodegradable.
- It also increases aeration and water retention, improves soil texture and productivity, reduces root disks and is less messy.
Cocopeat for gardening uses
The cocopeat bricks can be purchased online or directly from the market. Adding warm water to a big bucket of bricks will help them dissolve. You can break the bricks by hand or soak the coir for about two hours in water. It can be planted directly or mixed with soil in a proportion that keeps 40% of the medium. It should always be moistened well before planting. Also, it is advised to check the plant’s water on time.
Where is Cocopeat used?
- Most of us want a rooftop garden but fail to have one because we have to maintain the proper weight in rooftop gardening. Cocopeat solves this issue.
- You can also use cocopeat to make a small garden on your balcony or your apartment.
How to make Cocopeat at home?
Steps to make cocopeat
- Remove the Coconut husk – Use pliers or coconut husk removers to do this
- Separate the Coconut fibres – Divide them into smaller parts before putting them into the blender
- Blend it – Use a mixer or blender to turn coconut fibre into powder
- Make it smooth – Blend it until it becomes a fine powder
- Remove the fibrous pieces – Use a sieve for this purpose or remove them by handpicking.
The product is ready to use. You can mix it with soil or store it in the form of brick for later use.
How to make Cocopeat brick?
- Pour some water into the coconut coir powder and make a thick slurry with even consistency
- Mix it well – You can use a trowel to churn the water and coir mixture and mix them well.
- Store it in a container – Pour the mixture into a container of the desired shape and compress it. Let it dry. And the brick is ready.
Applications of Cocopeat
- Cocopeat is used as a soil supplement to keep the soil and the plants healthy and maintain a healthy environment in your house.
- Coir dust is used for seed germination to fasten the growth process of seeds.
- Wetted coir bags help in the growth of tissue-cultured plants.
What makes Cocopeat ideal for Horticulture?
- It is used as a substrate or growing medium in greenhouses
- It improves soil aeration, thereby allowing roots to breathe
- It can be reused for up to 5 years, after which it can be used for composting or can be added directly to the soil
- Because of its spongy nature, cocopeat can store and release nutrients to plants on demand.
- It also improves soil buffering capacity, as cocopeat is mostly tolerant to pH variations
- It has a high moisture retention capacity, capable of retaining up to 800% moisture (by its dry weight)
- Most importantly, cocopeat is sourced from a 100% natural, replenishable and biodegradable source – the coconut husk – which makes it the best choice as an alternative to peat moss.
What can go wrong with Cocopeat?
Cocopeat contains natural salts. This means that the correct proportion of cocopeat is essential. Also, good quality cocopeat should be used for potting and gardening. It is mostly available in compressed form, so it needs to be used in a definite period; otherwise, it will be difficult to break it and use it. Because of its high porosity, it will not help to carry and support the weight of the plant. This is a common problem with all the potting mixes; the plant is supported using extra supports.
Due to its enormous use and benefits, the demand for cocopeat is increasing in the market. This sudden rise in demand has resulted in the high price of the cocopeat. High demand has caused poor quality coco peat to enter the market. Always select a good quality cocopeat at a reasonable price.
Why is peat used for plants?
Peat is used to maintain the pH quality of the soil. We need to choose good quality cocopeats for our soil.
Can cocopeat be reused?
Cocopeat is very environmentally friendly and can be reused multiple times.
What can be used in place of cocopeat?
We can add manure or decomposed leaves in place of cocopeat.
What is the lifespan of cocopeat?
Cocopeat can last for 4-5 years, after which it can be used for composting or can be added directly into the soil.
Can I make a cocopeat at home?
Yes. You can make cocopeat at home by using the process explained above.
Is cocoa peat safe for pets?
Cocoa peat is generally considered safe for pets, but it can be toxic if ingested in large amounts. It is best to keep cocoa peat out of reach of pets.
Is cocoa peat pH-neutral?
Cocoa peat is slightly acidic, with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. This can be beneficial for acid-loving plants such as blueberries, azaleas, and rhododendrons.
What are the benefits of using cocoa peat?
Cocoa peat is a sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional peat moss. It is an excellent soil amendment and can improve soil structure, water retention, and aeration. It also contains beneficial microorganisms that can enhance plant growth and suppress soil-borne diseases.