Coco coir/peat is the ‘coir fibre pith’ or ‘coir dust’ produced as a bio-product when coconut husks are processed for the extraction of the long fibers from the husk. Coco coir/peat is the binding material that comes from the fiber fraction of the coconut husk. A very special grade of coir dust is washed, screened, and graded before being processed into various Coco coir/peat products for horticultural and agricultural applications. Coco coir/peat is a multi-purpose soil conditioner and growing medium. It is consistent and uniform in texture. It is a completely homogenous material composed of millions of capillary micro-sponges that absorb and hold up to eight times of its own weight in water. The natural pH of 5.7 to 6.5, plus an unusually high cation exchange capacity – and 27% of Easily Available Water assures that coir will hold and release nutrients in solution over extended periods without re-watering.
Where does coir come from?
- Coco coir/peat has been around for years. It was first discovered as a growing medium in ancient India and China. Western civilization for years has used the fiber from the shell for making twine, mats, and brooms. But the pulp resembling peat moss had not been looked at as something to support plant growth. Amazingly, it did not find a home for commercial growth until the 1980s in Holland. Dutch lily and rose growers discovered how good it promoted and supported root growth. When used in hydroponics growing, it was found to be superior to peat moss. Coco coir/peat was better aerated and still held more water. Unlike peat moss and bark composts, coco coir/peat did not break down or compact. Containers that had been filled with coir four years previous were found to be at the same level and consistency.
- Dutch rose growers in the U.S. and Canada were next to find that this was the answer for their new hydroponics support media. Due to the foreign competition, a new method had been adopted to produce roses that were as large as those being imported from Ecuador and Colombia. At first clay pebbles were used, then following suggestions and observations from Europe, Coco coir/peat was introduced. Trials using 100% coco coir/peat soon showed that this was the ideal media for the hydroponics growing method.
- Coir must be processed with the right amount of washing in freshwater. Some suppliers use seawater, which causes the coco coir/peat to be toxic for plant growth. Coir takes great care in its procedures to make sure that growers receive a medium that will help improve their crops
- Coir is used as a growing medium in the same way as peat moss, rock wool, sawdust, or any other type of growing medium.
- Coir is superior to peat moss in both chemical nutrient value and physical properties. Commercial growers in Europe and the Middle East have established positive agronomic benefits of coir use. Now, commercial growers in North America have begun to see increases in gains from using coir. In addition, unlike peat moss, the process of obtaining Coir does not destroy natural ecosystems, thereby making Coir a natural, renewable resource, and an environmentally friendly alternative to peat moss.
Main uses of cocopeat are as:
- Potting mixes
- Green houses
- Hydroponics growing media
- Nursery & garden center professionals
- Seedling nurseries
- Lawn and golf courses
- Horticulture and floriculture applications
- Home gardening (indoor and outdoor) and for landscaping use
- Amending clay soils
- Worm bedding