Coco peat increases the porosity of the potting mix. This helps to keep the soil loose and airy helping in better root growth. Better root growth results in better plant growth and higher yield.
Coco peat increases the water holding capacity of the potting mix even as it increases the porosity of the soil. This ensures that the plant does not suffer from overwatering or under watering.
High porosity, high water holding capacity and high cation exchange capacity together mean that the quantity of coco peat required per plant can be very less.
Coco peat has excellent properties that make it a very forgiving hydroponic (soilless) medium. Being an organic medium it has high Cation Exchange Capacity allowing nutrients to be absorbed and released to the plants according to their need.
Unlike peat, coco peat is easy to rewet. Dry coco peat is very hydrophilic and quickly absorbs water making it easy to use.
Unlike inorganic medium such as perlite, vermiculite or rock wool, coco peat can be compressed to one fifth or less of its volume reducing transportation, storage, and handling costs.
Coco peat is a renewable medium. It is extracted from the husk of coconuts. What used to be a waste product just a couple of decades ago is now one of the thrust areas for export for the Coir Board of India.
Coco peat contains natural Trichoderma which acts as a Bioagent against harmful pathogens. It provides a great environment for beneficial fungi and bacteria to grow.
Coco peat can be pressed into a variety of shapes and sizes to suit all growing applications.
Coco peat mixed with coconut husk chips provides all the advantages of coco peat while increasing the drainage of the mix.
Coco peat has natural salts. This means that only good quality can be used for most potting mixes. It also means that nutrient composition has to be adjusted keeping the salts available in coco peat in mind.
Due to salts in the coco peat, it is not suitable for recycling hydroponic systems. This is offset by the forgiving nature of coco peat in runoff systems.
Compressed coco peat need to be used within a few months of its manufacture due to creep. Otherwise, it becomes difficult to rewet and use. Again this can be overcome by using freshly compressed coco peat.
High porosity means that the potting mix cannot support the weight of the plant. This is a general problem with any good potting mix and can be rectified with providing plant supports.
Coco peat can have soil contaminants. However, today many growers avoid sterilization of coco peat, instead relying on bioagents to prevent pathogenic attacks on plants.
Coco peat demand has been increasing resulting in volatile prices.
Suppliers with poor knowledge of coco peat and its application may offer coco peat that is not suited for its application.
High demand has caused poor quality of coco peat to enter the market. Buyers may often pay higher prices for the poor quality of coco peat.
As a growing medium similar to sphagnum peat, coco peat, also called coir or coir dust, provides an alternative to potting soil featuring high water retention, suitable aeration, and antifungal benefits. ... Each one-third cubic foot brick of coco peat makes 4 quarts of planting material.
Processed coconut fibers are the byproduct of the coconut industry which, without its usefulness to gardeners, would otherwise be disposed of. As a growing medium similar to sphagnum peat, coco peat, also called coir or coir dust, provides an alternative to potting soil featuring high water retention, suitable aeration, and antifungal benefits. Coco peat is not only a natural, often organic product, but also a renewable one with a slightly acidic pH that many plants prefer to grow in.
Coconut coir is a lightweight, soilless grow medium made from the fibers found between a ripe coconut’s shell and the outer surface. Because it’s a material that occurs in nature, it’s completely renewable and is therefore considered an excellent choice for environmental sustainability. Coconut coir is available in brick or block format which expands when water is added. Many growers choose to mix coconut coir with another grow medium such as perlite for added benefits.
When you grow without soil, you have many options for grow mediums. That’s part of the fun of hydroponic gardening! There are many soilless substrates available to play with. Some popular options include perlite, clay pebbles, and peat moss. But one grow medium is becoming quite popular to use as soilless substrate and is widely available in indoor gardening shops all over: coconut coir.
Coconut coir’s primary benefit that most growers boast about is its improved water retention ability, including its ability to be easily re-hydrated. At the same time, coconut coir also possesses aeration properties which are important in soilless growing. Because of these two factors, plants grown in coconut coir – or a coco coir mixture – plants experience stronger root and better health overall because of its neutral pH level.
This inert and sterile grow medium is bacteria free which will prevent plants from developing diseases, pest infestations, or fungus growth. Coconut coir has a natural composition of lignin, which are a natural polymer that encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria in gardening capacity.
For many growers, the fact that coconut coir is an entirely renewable resource is an important benefit to consider when choosing your grown medium. Its environmental sustainability often gives it the edge over other alternatives like peat moss.
Coconut coir is a great soilless substrate to use in a tray system when growing wheatgrass or micro greens. It can also be used in pot systems for growing vegetable plants including leafy salad greens. It works great in either passive or active hydroponic systems because you can count on its ability to retain moisture.
Above all, it is really a “Nature’s Blessing....!”
How to Use Coco Peat Brick
Warning: According to a 2004 study performed at Utah State University, “some species [of plants] tolerate coir better than others,” and the coir brands tested could not consistently perform better than planting in sphagnum peat.