What is coco peat? How to make coco peat at home?
How to make cocopeat at home-
What is coco peat
Coco peat is a dusty by-product obtained from coconut husk, during the process of preparation of coconut coir. Coconut coir is the fibers present in the husk of coconut and the remained dusty part is the coco peat.
It is also called as coir dust or coir pith.
As we all know coconut is a fruit having all its part actual usage in our daily lives. May it be the coconut oil obtained from coconut, or it may be the white flesh (solid endosperm) or coconut milk (liquid endosperm), which are both rich sources of energy and both are very nice hydrating agents. Similarly, the external covering i.e. the shell or the coconut husk is having great economic importance.
As we all have experienced during the process of removal of husks from the coconut, small powdery particles fall down. Also, if we hammer the husk or grind the husk, then also we can get a good amount of such dust. This dust is called coco peat or coir dust.
The first commercial use of coco peat was done in Holland during the 1980s, where roses and lilies were grown using this medium, which gives exceptional results. After that coco peat is regularly used in gardens and indoor plants.
Why should you use coco peat?
The following are some points that really shine for the fact that coco peat is one of the must-have companions for your home garden. You will know the various advantages of it.
1. High water holding capacity
Coco peat is characterized by very high water holding capacity when compared to any other medium. A single KG of cocopeat can hold up to 8 to 12 liters of water. Therefore, if watered once, it does not require watering for a long period of time, even in the hot summer months.
2. Rich nutrients contents
It contains nitrogen, phosphorus high amount of potassium, zinc, magnesium, etc. Therefore, it is the readymade source of nutrients for the plants.
3. Good aeration
As a growing medium, they provide good aeration to the plants. Which enhances root respiration and therefore builds a healthy plant.
4. Proper drainage
It does not allow to create a water stagnant condition or waterlogging condition at the base of the plant. It prevents the rotting of the stem and develops a healthy plant by absorbing the water.
5. Can be used for a long period
Coco peat can be used and reused again and again. It can be used up to 4 long years and after that, it starts to disintegrate, and then it should be replaced by new coco peat.
6. Cheap in price
It is one of the cheapest media available, for our home gardens and hydroponics.
A coco peat block of 1 pound will cost you somewhere around 10 to 15 USD.
Or if you want to make it at home, the husk of 30 to 40 coconuts is sufficient for making 5 kg of coco peat. The husk is easily available in the nearby fruit shop or fruit market or temples nearby. You can get those husks for a very cheap price.
7. Easy storage and handling
Since it is highly compressible and can be stored for a long time, it is somehow easier to store it and handle it.
8. Contamination free growing media
Coco peat has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.
By only washing the coco peat with water it is made contamination-free. Coco coir is rich in various salts, which may be harmful to the plants. Therefore, it can be only rinsed with water and used as a growing medium.
9. Keep the soil loose and airy
Since the coco peat has low bulk density when mixed with soil, it keeps the soil loose and airy and promotes root respiration.
10. High CEC (Cation Exchange Capacity)
Since coco peat has a high cation exchange capacity, it prevents the leaching loss of nutrients as nutrient retention is more.
11. Eco friendly
The use of coco peat is an eco-friendly method as no harmful chemicals are being used in the entire process.
This is a long list of why you should use coco peat.
Now let us discuss
Where should you use coco peat?
- Coco peat can be used as a growing media in hydroponics and soil-less farming.
- Can be used for growing indoor plants.
- Mixed with garden soil and can be used as a potting soil to grow fruits, flowers, and vegetables.
- In stem cuttings, the coco peat can be used as a media for root growth.
- Important media for hanging baskets and succulents.
How to make coco peat at home?
Following things are required if you are planning to prepare coco peat at a home.
- A scissor
- A grinder/mixer
- A sieve
- A container to store the coco peat
- And the most important thing is the Coconut husk
Where can you find the coconut husk?
- You can ask in the nearest fruit shop, local vendors
- You can get them in religious places like temples.
- From coconut farm (If present nearby)
- Take the coconut husk
- Then cut the husk into small pieces with a scissor.
- Grind the cut pieces using a mixer/grinder
- After grinding collect the dust and remove the fiber. You can also sieve the fibers to collect the dust.
- Then add sufficient water to the collected dust, to make it a fluffy solution, so that the salt content is removed.
- Then keep it for 12 to 16 water and after that drain out excess water by squeezing the fluffy peat.
- Keep the remained peat in the sun for a day.
- After that coco peat is ready for use.
Alternative process without a grinder
- Collect coconut husk.
- Separate/disintegrate the fiber with hands and rub them among themselves.
- It will generate the coir dust within no time.
- Collect the dust in a container.
- Add sufficient water to the dust to make a fluffy solution.
- Keep it as such for 12 to 16 hours.
- After that drain out excess water by squeezing the peat.
- Keep the peat in the sun for a day.
- Then coco peat is ready to use.
Preparation of coco peat from coco peat block-
If you don’t want to follow the above process you can simply buy a coco peat block. It is easily available in the local market, or you can order one online.
- After getting the coco peat block/brick, open the polythene cover and then keep the brick in a comparatively large container.
- After that add a sufficient amount of water to the brick.
- It will absorb water to a great extent and swell.
- Then disintegrate the brick with your hand.
- Add some more water if needed, to make a fluffy solution of coco peat.
- Now coco peat is ready to use.
Coco peat has excellent wettability, highly user friendly to handle, odorless, no side effects on plant growth, furthermore one of the cheapest and affordable options to prepare a medium for plant growth. It is easily available everywhere and can be easily prepared at home also. Therefore, it is always advisable to use coco peat as a growing medium, whether you are planning to grow some indoor plants, or want to grow some succulents, or planning to make a hanging basket of flowers. It is one of the most favorite options for hydroponics cultivation.