Cocopeat : The growing medium for hydroponics

The science of hydroponics has revolutionized farming and the way we grow food crops. Coir pith aka coco peat is perfect for growing anthuriums and orchids due to its moisture retention properties.

Cocopeat

What is coco peat?

A product made from coconut husk aka Coir pith is known as coco peat. Coco coir extract gives you a by-product called cocopeat, which is a 100% natural growing medium. It is made up of a dark brown fibrous product of peat moss, coir dust, and other organic matter that has been decomposing in a peat bog for thousands of years. Coconut husk is naturally dried in the sun and processed to make various products like Cocopeat Brick, Cocopeat Block,Cocoslab, etc. Loose coco peat is commonly referred to as coco soil. Being porous, Cocopeat offers plants that perfectly balance high water holding – without water clogging, coco soil helps the plant to have strong roots, making it an excellent growing medium for hydroponics plants.

Types of coco peat products

Different types of cocopeat products are available in the market as per the requirement. The cocopeat compost is an organic form of bioconversion made out of washed coconut husk with high water holding. It can be modified according to the function and types of seed plug. Three popular types of coco peat products are:

01. Cocopeat Grow Bags

It is a mixture of coconut pith with an appropriate amount of short coir fiber. The UV stabilized black and white polythene bag consists of a compressed cocopeat slab. This is perfect for crops like tomatoes, strawberries, and cucumbers.

02. Coco Block

Coco Block is an elongated Block made up of cocopeat. It requires less expansion time and offers a good compression ratio, which in turn helps plants grow strong roots.

03. Coco Chip

Coconut husk is chipped into small-sized blocks which protect the inner germinating seeds from excess saturation and salt. Coco Chip is generally used to grow flowers as it has significant advantages in terms of quality, consistency, and production cost.

04. Coco Plug

A great medium for holding moisture, coco coir based coco plugs or coco starter plugs are best medium for successful seed germination hydroponically. Apart from being better at moisture control, coco plugs also maintain pH levels to neutral, and provide appropriate nutrient and better aeration for strong roots.

Cocopeat

Uses of cocopeat

Two things are required for seed germination: a) Perfect Moisture & b) Soft Medium. Since the cocopeat meets the above criteria, cocopeat can be used directly in the garden soil to retain water, improve ventilation and reduce the risk of soil fungus and root diseases. Studies have proved that seeds grow faster in cocopeat than soil hence, coco plugs, which are also called coco starter plugs are considered to be the best medium for seed germination in hydroponics. One can use cocopeat as a potting soil with other essential elements.

Advantages of cocopeat

Cocopeat soil is made from the pith inside coconut coir. It is naturally anti-fungal, making it an excellent choice to start seed germination. Cocopeat gardening is common in hydroponics plant production. There are several advantages of using cocopeat for gardening.

01. Sustainable Alternative

Cocopeat is a sustainable alternative to soil. Plants grow 50% faster in cocopeat than soil. As it possesses an ample amount of nutrients, it doesn't require pesticides and fertilizers.

02. Eco-friendly

Cocopeat is a renewable source, being made up of coconut coir. This coconut husk, which used to be a waste product decades ago is now one an eco-friendly medium for gardening

03. pH Level

Coco coir has a neutral pH range of 5.2–6.8. Still, the cocopeat disc needs nutrient support because this pH range fluctuates over time.

04. Organic and Reusable

Cocopeat is made from coconut coir renewable sources and is reusable. Farmers and gardening enthusiasts are looking forward to a sustainable future of farming and cocopeat is designed to help them do that seamlessly.

FAQs

WHAT IS COCO PEAT AND HOW DOES IT HELP PLANTS?

Potting soil is inexpensive and simple to use, yet it has several disadvantages. It frequently does not drain properly and may include peat, which is strip-mined and pollutes the environment. Coco peat soil is a better substitute for potting soil. Planting in coco peat has various advantages while also recycling a once-useless substance. Its antifungal properties make it a great seed starter, but it's also utilised in soil amendment, potting mix, and hydroponic production. Coco peat is reusable, and it absorbs a lot of water compared to other soils, slowly releasing it to plant roots.

HOW COCOPEAT BENEFICIAL TO PLANTS?

Coco peat is a great growth medium for indoor and outdoor plants. It enhances soil aeration for healthy root development while preserving optimal plant nutrient availability. It also assists in the loosening of thick soil and the retention of water. Coco peat contracts up to 6 times its original weight when mixed with water, making it ideal for long-term use. It is completely organic and devoid of contaminants.

HOW DO I USE COCO PEAT AT HOME?
  • Fill a large bucket halfway with water and submerge the compressed coco-peat block.
  • Soak the block in water for 3–4 hours to allow it to absorb as much water as possible and loosen.
  • The entire block will absorb water and swell up to 2-3 times its original size after 3-4 hours.
  • After draining the excess water, you'll have soft, fluffy, and light coco soil to work with.

Coco peat is an excellent medium for seeding and rooting. It's used for root induction as well as sowing vegetable and seasonal flower seeds. Thus, coco peat becomes ideal for soilless gardening, indoor plants, cacti and succulents, hydroponic farming, terrariums, and hanging baskets, among other uses.

IS IT A FERTILIZER?

Cocopeat is not a fertilizer. It supports the plant to stand tall and low EC of coco peat helps plants to absorb the nutrients provided to them through hydroponic farming.

What are the Applications of Coco Peat?

Coco peat may be utilised in a variety of applications, including:

  • As a soil supplement: Adding a rehydrated coco peat block to the soil enhances water retention and aeration.
  • For seed germination: Using coco peat dust in starting pots helps seedlings germinate faster and root more deeply.
  • For tissue culture: A wet coco peat brick in poly bags stimulates tissue cultured plants and grafted seedlings to flourish in the early stages.

Coco peat is also used in potting mixes, greenhouses, hydroponic growers, seedling nurseries, lawn and golf course construction, and other horticulture and floral applications

How To Use Coco Peat For Gardening?

When coco peat is reconstituted, it swells and grows in volume up to 5 or 6 times its original size. Break off only the quantity you intend to use.

  • Dismantle a brick and place the pieces in a big pail. Pour enough water to completely wet the brick.
  • Let the dried coco peat soak in the water for a while so it can loosen up and absorb the liquid.
  • After 10-15 minutes, stir and fluff coco peat with a garden trowel, adding extra water if it seems dry. If it's loose, come to a halt.
  • After a few minutes, stir and fluff it again to make sure it's thoroughly saturated; if it's not loose enough, add additional water. It's ready to use in the garden after you notice the moist and loose coco peat.