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What is CocoPeat

What is Coco Peat? Benefits, How to Prepare & Use Coco Peat

If you’ve ever opened a coconut and noticed the fiber-like and stringy interior, you’ve seen what coco peat is. This article will guide you on what is coco peat, how to make coco peat, coco peat’s benefits, disadvantages, types, and many more. 

What is Coco Peat?

The non-fibrous, spongy, lightweight, corky material that holds the coir fiber in coconut husk together is coco peat. Coir is another name for coco peat for plants. Its horticultural utility was found in the early 1990s, and demand for the substance has been rising ever since. 

It is a 100 percent organic, natural, and biodegradable substance that was previously a by-product of the Coconut Fibre Extraction process but is no longer the case. It is presently a by-product of the extraction of coconut fiber.

Because coco coir is so environmentally beneficial, one can reuse it. It will function flawlessly again after a quick rinse and strain. When coco peat is compared to soil, the peat stores far more water and releases it gradually to plant roots.

Now, we will cover some interesting facts about coco peat.

Looking for Coco Peat For Your Garden Plants?

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Also if you are growing plants, you’ll need to fertilise them once every month.

How often should we fertilise the plants in coco peat?

Plants in coco peat should be fertilised once in 15-20 days as they are kept in a small container. You can use the balanced fertiliser like NPK 19:19:19 as there is no much room for the vermicompost in Coco Peat.

Usage of NPK 19:19:19 : Add Half Tea Spoon (3-5gms) in 1 Litre of water and pour the solution in the soil of two 8 inches pots.

Buy NPK 19:19:19 Fertiliser from Abana Homes.

Some Interesting Facts about Coco Peat

coco peat
  • Cocopeat is a nutrient-dense product. It is high in nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and other elements.
  • It has incredible water-absorption abilities. In water, a single kilogram of dried cocopeat expands to 15 liters. It can store many liters of water for months at a time. As a result, plants require less watering.
  • Coco peat has a good moisture retention capability ranging from approximately 600-800 percent. It offers excellent aeration and drainage characteristics. 
  • It is known to keep the soil aerated and loose.
  • Cocopeat may be compressed to a fraction of its original volume, making it easy to transport.
  • Cocopeat is a nutrient-rich, high-quality growth medium.

Properties of Coco Peat

  • Cocopeat is lightweight, easy to work with, and maybe reused for four years.
  • It is resistant to bacterial and fungal growth due to its physical and biochemical features.
  • Cocopeat takes a long time to decompose. 
  • Coir has a neutral to slightly acidic pH of 5.2 to 6.8. It’s excellent for mixing with alkaline garden soil because of this. 
  • Cocopeat can maintain and deliver nutrients to plants over a long period.
  • It has exceptional oxygenation properties, which are essential for root growth.
  • Cocopeat can be mixed with various other substances, such as soil and manure or used as a stand-alone product.
  • Coir is a quality product with an environmentally sustainable future available at an affordable price.
  • It is a perfect soil conditioner that can carry up to eight times its volume in moisture. It’s entirely natural.
  • It has a consistent, uniform texture and is comfortable to work with. It does not create mud, unlike soil.

Many of you question how to make coco peat at home, and we have sorted things out for you. We have listed down the preparation steps.

How to make coco peat at home?

Cocopeat is simple to make at home, and it may be guaranteed to be clean and pure without any additives. Cocopeat is a great growing medium that is both biodegradable and environmentally friendly.

Here are the preparation steps:

  1. The first step involves gathering coconut husks and keeping them in a dry location.
  2. Dry all the fibers after removing them.
  3. Then, chop or cut them into small pieces using scissors or cutters.
  4. In a mixer grinder, grind them to a fine powder. It will remove the fluff from the coco fiber.
  5. Using a sieve, remove the fibers from the coco peat powder.
  6. You can remove the fibers from the top of the sieve by hand. 
  7. To eliminate excess salts, you can rinse the resulting peat with water.
  8. Soak the peat for about an hour in water.
  9. Using your hands, squeezing away any extra water, allow it to dry for one day in direct sunlight.
  10. You can use the coco peat.
  11. You can begin planting by filling a planter with it.

Note on how to make coco peat at home: Alternatively, you can buy coco peat at your local garden store and follow the instructions on the package.

After making coco peat at home, now we will cover how to use coco peat. We have listed down the ways to use it.

How to use Coco Peat

  1. In greenhouses, you can use it as a substrate or growing medium.
  2. It can be used as a soil amendment to increase its texture, aeration, and moisture retention capacity.
  3. You can use it as a sustainable and environmentally beneficial alternative to peat, and coco peat is employed.
  4. The coco peat that is composted can be utilized as organic manure.
  5. It enhances the moisture retention and buffering capability of potting soil.
  6. Seed germination and seedling growth in nurseries can retain moisture and create an ideal seed germination environment.
  7. Because of its lightweight and ability to retain moisture, hobby growers utilize coco peat as a foundation for roof gardening.

How to prepare coco peat soil at home?

  1. Take a coco-brick block.
  2. Pour a large bucket halfway with water and submerge the coco-peat crushed block.
  3. You should immerse the block in water for 3-4 hours. This process will help to allow it to soak as much water as possible and loosen up.
  4. The entire block will absorb water and grow up to 2-3 times its original weight after 3-4 hours.
  5. Drain the extra water, and you’ll have soft, fluffy, and light cocoa soil to work with.

What Is Coco Coir?

Coco coir is produced from the threads of coconuts. It is also popular as coconut coir. It’s another important product that is made from coconut, and like coco peat, it’s universal. Coco coir can be employed as a potting mix, by adding it to soil or can be utilized on its own as a hydroponic growing medium.

Coco coir is also known as environmentally friendly and endurable. more specifically, one of the most important advantages of coco coir is that it’s slightly more likely to compact than other coconut substrates like peat moss. This indicates that your plants will have adequate drainage and airflow.

Pros

  • It has excellent drainage features.
  • It is also a bearable substrate that can be utilized in both outdoor and indoor gardening applications.
  • Coco coir can also be combined with soil to assist in improving drainage and airflow in heavy claylike soils.

Cons

  • It delivers less airflow or nutrient availability than coco peat, which may restrict its usefulness for specific kinds of plants.

What is the difference between coco peat and coco coir?

Raw material: Coco peat is produced from the husks of coconuts, while coco coir is produced from the fibers of coconuts.

Drainage and aeration: Coco peat is better absorbent than coco coir and carries more moisture, making it more suitable for plants that require more water. Coco coir is useful as it has more suitable drainage and aeration effects.

Cation Exchange Capacity: Coco coir is more mold-immune and has a high cation exchange capability, making it more suitable for plants that require more nutrients.

Texture: Coco peat is lightweight and fluffy, while coco coir is rough and fibrous.

Color: Coco peat is usually white or creamy brown, while coco coir is deeper brown or rosy brown.

pH levels: Coco peat is neutral, while coco coir is a little acidic.

Similarities between coco peat and coco coir:

  • Both coco peat and coco coir are perfect options for diverse gardening applications.
  • Both are products of the coconut industry.
  • Both are universal and can be employed in multiple methods, such as a potting mix, added to soil to enhance drainage, or even utilized on their own as a growing medium.
  • Both are famous because it’s earth-friendly and endurable.
  • Unlike other plant materials, coco coir, and coco peat will keep their structural virtue for an ample duration.

Different Forms of Coco Peat

1) Lose Coco Peat

Coco peat is widely available in any nursery in your area, or you may order it online. You can find it in a hydrated state. It would help if you bought it from reputable sources because it could contain harmful additives to enhance its weight or volume. 

How to use coco peat in gardening: 

a) For container gardening, 

Mix equal parts soil, compost, and coco peat to make your potting mix. Alternatively, you can prefer using 35 percent coco peat, 40-45 percent soil, and 20-25 percent compost.

Alternatively, you can mix coco peat and compost separately until a 1:1 ratio is achieved. However, because compost is high in nutrients, mixing it with soil and compost is highly recommended to reduce nutrient leaching.

b) In gardens, 

You can mix coco peat into the soil by plowing the planting area gently. It enhances the soil structure while also adding organic matter.

c) Germination: 

You can utilize coco peat alone to germinate seedlings in the germination trays. A seed starting mix is another name for it.

d) Bedding

It can be utilized as a bedding material/substrate in vermicomposting and mushroom growing.

e) As a mulch: 

Coco peat is an excellent mulching material for preventing water loss from the soil or any other substance. It can be used as a coating to decrease moisture loss from land, potted plants (on soil), and compost piles.

2) Compressed Bricks

Little fibers/coir are squeezed and shaped into various shapes to manufacture hard bricks. To satisfy various requirements, the size and shape of these marketing bricks may vary. They are dry and compacted to provide a high volume of coco peat in a little amount of space. 

One can soak it in water to the point where it expands many times its volume, resulting in a loose virgin coco peat powder. Reconstitution is the term for the process of hydrating the coco coir block.

Coco brick re-constitution:

  • In a big tray or tub, place the coco brick. Slowly pour water into the brick by twisting it. Make sure the block is hydrated enough from both sides. 
  • Now, you should let the block rest for 5 to 6 minutes.
  • Continue to apply water to the remaining dry brick while loosening the enlarged coco peat. Repeat this technique until the entire brick has been extended.
  • You should add water to the coco peat to make it somewhat damp. Therefore follow the recommendations in the product description.

Note: Coir bricks can expand up to 15 times their original size.

3) Seed starter coco discs

Seed starter coco discs or coco pellets are different types of coir goods specifically developed to germinate seeds, hence the names. When hydrated, coco peat or coco peat with potting mix is dried and crushed into circular discs with varying diameters. 

They are wrapped in netting or soft woven linen, which retains the coco peat when enlarged. It can be transplanted when the seedlings are ready, and you can set them directly in the ground without taking them from the discs since the coco peat cloth allows roots to grow. 

4) Coir Pots

Coco coir planters are shaped and pressed in the same way as other pots. It comes in various sizes and forms, just as plastic/ceramic pots, to accommodate the space requirements of various plants.

5) Coir Mulch Mats

Coco coir is also commonly used as a mulching material to retain moisture in the soil for longer periods. Coco coir is now pressed in the form of mats to aid in the mulching process. These mats are simple to spread on top of the soil. You may water plants even when the cocoa mulch mats are laid on the soil because they are incredibly porous.

6) Coco Chips

Coco chips come in various sizes and are created from either the exocarp and mesocarp of coconut drupes or just the mesocarp. They are available in a variety of sizes and forms. Coco Chips are mostly made to be mulches, but some are also used in potting mixes to help with aeration and drainage in the growing medium.

7) Coir planters

Coir planter liners are composed of many layers of thick coir fibers pressed together to prevent soil from escaping. They’ll fit into any metallic wire baskets or window boxes.

8) Coir Planting Poles

Climbing poles, like moss sticks, are made of coco coir fibers to support climbers. It retains moisture for a long time and provides nutrition to the aerial roots of vining/climbing plants. Plants are also supported mechanically by them.

After describing the forms of coco peat, we will cover the coco peat benefits and disadvantages.

Coco Peat Benefits

  1. Using coco peat can boost the porosity of the potting mix. It keeps the soil loose and airy, which promotes root growth. It can result in improved plant growth and yield.
  2. It increases the porosity of the soil while also raising the water holding capacity of the potting mix. It prevents the plant from being overwatered or underwatered.
  3. Because of the high porosity and water retention capacity, the share of coir required per plant can be quite low.
  4. Coco peat benefits include being easy to rewet. Dry coco peat is particularly hydrophilic, meaning it absorbs water quickly and is easy to work with.
  5. Unlike artificial media like perlite, vermiculite, or rock wool, Coco peat may be compressed to a fifth of its original volume or less, lowering transportation, storage, and handling expenses.
  6. Coco peat is a biodegradable material. Coconut husks are employed to extract it.
  7. Natural Trichoderma present in coco peat functions as a bioagent against dangerous pathogens. Coco peat benefits include creating an ideal habitat for beneficial fungi and bacteria growth.
  8. Coco peat may be crushed into a wide range of shapes and sizes to suit growing needs.
  9. Coco peat blended with coconut husk chips delivers all of the coco peat benefits while improving drainage.

Coco Peat Disadvantages

  1. Natural salts can be found in coco peat. As a result, most potting mixes can only be made using high-quality materials. It also means that you must adjust nutritional composition to account for the salts present in coco peat.
  2. It is not ideal for recycling hydroponic systems due to the salts in the coco peat. The forgiving character of coco peat in run-off systems compensates for this.
  3. Due to creep, compressed coco peat disadvantages include being used within a few months of manufacturing. Otherwise, rewetting and using it becomes tough.
  4. The potting mix’s high porosity means it can’t hold the plant’s weight. Adding plant supports may solve this common issue with any good potting mix.
  5. Coco peat may include pollutants from the soil. Today, however, many producers forego sterilizing coco peat and instead rely on bioagents to protect plants from disease attacks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Ques1: Is it possible to grow plants with coco peat and compost?

Yes. You can grow plants in a 1:1 mix of coco peat and compost, but there will be nutrient leaching because compost contains surplus nutrients. To take advantage of all the benefits of both coco peat and compost nutrients, we propose making a potting mix of soil (35-40%), compost (20-25%), and coco peat (35%).

Ques2: Is it possible to combine coco peat and soil?

Yes, you may grow plants with coco peat in the soil. Coco peat is known to improve the aeration and drainage of the soil. It also helps to avoid root rot by preventing waterlogging.

Ques3: Is it possible to grow plants just on coco peat?

No, coco peat is a good soil amendment and component, but it doesn’t hold a lot of nutrients. To develop a better growing medium for plants, combine coco peat with soil and compost. On the other hand, you can use coco peat for germinating seedlings on its own.

Ques4: What is the coco peat’s pH level?

Coco peat for gardening often has a low EC and a pH of 5.5 to 6.8, making it mildly acidic and allowing for the delayed release of nutrients to plants.

Ques5: How long may the reconstituted/hydrated coco peat be stored?

The hydrated cocopeat can be stored for a long time (3-4 years). Dry the coco peat in the shade until damp or dry, then store it in any plastic container or cover. Because it is pathogen-free, a good quality coco peat will always be resistant to bacterial and fungal growth. So, if you want to buy coco peat, make sure you get it from a reputable provider.

Ques6: What are the advantages of coir pots over other pots?

It can be used both indoors and outdoors.
It creates a well-drained environment for your plants.
Coir pots retain moisture for an extended period.
It improves root aeration to promote healthy root growth.
You can directly transplant plants and coir pots into your garden because they promote the establishment of new roots and gradually deteriorate over time.

Conclusion

Coco Peat’s benefits are many, and utilizing it is an appealing choice. It is fairly appropriate in many hydroponics settings, with high cation, water retention, and excellent nutrient distribution, and would appear to be a medium that you should offer your evaluation.

Just keep in mind that buy as fresh and healthy as possible from a knowledgeable vendor or online, as it’ll need some strengthening to support the weight of your plants.

We have covered everything in detail, like what is coco peat, how to use coco peat, how to make coco peat at home, how to prepare coco peat soil, forms, benefits, disadvantages, and some frequently asked questions. If we skipped anything or you have anything to ask, drop it down in the comments.

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One comment

  1. aileen

    Great artiϲle.

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