About Coco Peat
Nowadays this is the most popular growing product in many countries. Greencova Coco Peat is a sophisticated product of high value and it gurantee the best results. As it needs less labour it acts as an effortless cultivation. More than 300 containers of greencova Coco Peat are exported per a year.
The Innovation of Coco Peat
As the world becomes increasingly eco-conscious ideas such as sustainability, reducing our global footprint and green living are at the forefront of people's’ minds. It is no longer just the hippy vegans who are looking for innovative solutions to prevent unnecessary global waist, now mainstream individuals and companies are looking for alternatives traditional methods of horticulture and hydroponics growing and this is where coco peat becomes useful.
What is Coco Peat?
Coco peat, also known as coir, coir pith, coir fiber or coir dust, is made from coconut husks, one of the by-products of the coconut industry. Coir is the fibrous material that exists between the hard, internal shell and the outer coat of a coconut. Coco peat is 100% organic and eco-friendly making for environmentally safe growing. Since it is natural there are no unwanted harmful effects. It is also a 100% recyclable product. Coco peat can be re-used, usually up to three times. Coco peat is produced as coir dust, a by-product of coconut husk processing. The extraction of the coconut fiber from the husks results in the incidental production of coco peat. This coco peat is dried naturally by the sun and is processed to produce different items namely coco peat blocks, coco peat briquettes, and coco peat tablets.
Most of the coco peat fiber is 4 to 12 inches long and is naturally a brown or white color. Coconuts are normally harvested when they are more than 6 months old, however, they can also be harvested after one year of growth.
What is Coco Peat used for?
Coco peat provides an alternative to potting soil and is a very good alternative to traditional vermiculite, peat moss and rock wool. In fact “coco peat” got its name because it has the same relationship with fresh coco fiber that peat has to peat moss, however, it is not a true peat. It is an ideal growing medium for plant crop and is used in homes, gardens and horticulture centers for seed starting, bedding plants, container plants, and more. Horticulture is the art of cultivating vegetables, fruits, ornamental plants, and flowers. Coco peat is commonly used for hydroponic growing. Hydroponics is a division of agriculture where plants are grown in a soil-less medium. Green house plants are invariably grown using the hydroponics method as it allows for more plants to be grown in a smaller area.
Coco peat can also be used as an organic natural fertilizer, as it has the ability to condition both plants and the soil. In this way it functions as a multi-purpose growing medium. Organic fertilizers are fertilizers that are derived from organic matters such as animal or vegetable matters. This can include material such as manure, slurry, worm castings, huminic acid, seeweed and more.
There are various types of coco peat on the market such as brown fiber, white fiber bristle coir and buffering coir and each of these types of coir has its own specific uses. White coir, which is harvested from unripe coconuts, is used for making string, rope, finer brushes, and fishing nets. Whereas brown coir, which is made from ripe coconut, is used in horticulture, upholstery padding, and sacking. Coco peat is also used in products such as doormats, brushes, aquarium filters, carpets, charcoal, crafting products, and mattresses. In the United States, the most popular uses for coir are in fact doormats, agricultural twine, and geotextiles. Geotextiles are blankets that are laid on bare soil for the purpose of promoting the healthy growth of protective ground covers and controlling soil erosion.
An Australian company has of late begun turning coir pith into an absorbent product used to control and rectify oil spills.
Making use of waste
By weight coir fibers of the coconut makeup only one-third of the coconut pulp. The other two-thirds known as the coir pith or coir dust was for hundred’s of years dismissed as a waste product and lay in piles along the southern Indian and Sri Lankan coasts. Although coconut palms can be found throughout the world’s tropical regions, the bulk of the commercially produced coco peat is sourced from India and Sri Lanka. India alone produces about one-fourth of the world’s 55 billion coconuts and 309,000 short tons of coir fiber each year. Coconuts are grown mainly for food and only 15 percent of the husk fibers are salvaged and used.
It was not until the last half of the 1980s that researchers were able to successfully develop a process that allowed for the transformation of coir pith into soil treatment and hydroponic growth product.
Initially, coco peat was found to be too rich in sodium and potassium so a treatment process called Retting was developed to solve this problem. Retting not only normalized the salt levels it was also found to produce consistently higher yields that did not need to be watered as frequently. Retting is a curing process where the coconut husks are placed in an environment that promotes the decomposition of the husk’s pulp through the work of naturally occurring microbes. This process separates the husk’s pulp into coir fibers and coir pith. When dealing with fully ripe coconut husks freshwater retting is used. Saltwater retting is employed when green husks are used. Freshwater retting involves the burying of the ripe husks in pits dug along riverbanks or water-filled concrete tanks. The husks are left to soak for a minimum of six months. Green husks are treated by soaking them in seawater or artificially salinized fresh water. This process generally takes eight to 10 months.
More effective and quicker mechanical techniques have, however, recently been developed to eliminate or speed up the process of retting. Immature husks can be dry milled and no retting what so ever is needed. After only seven to 10 days of retting ripe husks can be processed in crushing machines.
Known in Sanskrit as “the tree that provides all the necessities of life” the coconut palm is one of the world’s most useful trees. This tree has a very long history, in fact, it is one of the world’s oldest plant families. Although the coconut palm is indigenous to Southeast Asia it spread quickly throughout the tropics. Part of the reason for it successful propagation is the hardy nature of the coconut fruit. Coconuts have a tough outer shell allowing them to travel through the ocean for great distances at a time while retaining their ability to propagate.
Coconut palms have been cultivated for over 4,000 years and has provided food, drink, fibers, fuel and building materials to many people throughout the world. Ancient navigators were known to widely use the fiber as ropes for their ships, however, coconut fiber based products were introduced into the Western World in the late 19th century.
A greek sailor wrote about a East African village that was producing coconuts around A.D. 60. He noted that they were making boats from planks sewn together by the fibers sourced from coconuts. Arab traders taught the inhabitants of what is known as modern day Sri Lanka and India how to utilize and benefit from coconut fibers. This took place in the eleventh century. In the thirteenth century, when visiting the Persian Gulf, Marco Polo discovered that the Arab seamen were astutely building their ships using coconut fiber that they would sew together, thus avoiding the use of nails.
Surprisingly, however, it was not until the 1980s in Holland, that coir became used for commercial growing and as potting in soil gardens. Dutch Plantin used coco peat to help them cultivate their rose gardens and found that it successfully promoted healthy root production and overall plant growth. The rose growing were experiencing problems as their roses were suffering from severe infections and soil diseases. These problems were not easily solved as the Dutch did not allow the use of chemical soil sterilisation methods. Coco peat was found to be a viable solution. It was used in hydroponics growing and was found useful for its water retention properties. The Dutch found it to be better than peat moss and bark compost as it retained its structure, not breaking down or compacting. Soon Dutch rose growers in the U.S. and Canada adopted coco peat as a hydroponic growing substance.
Benefits of Coco Peat
Coco peat prevents potted soil from getting hard and caked up. Coco peat is characterised by it air filled porosity which keeps the soil loose providing aeration and allowing the roots of the plant to spread out. It also features high water retention and acts just like a sponge. Coco peat can absorb up to 8X its weight in water, in this way plants grown with this substance are less likely to get dehydrated. Unlike a soil garden, however, coco peat needs to be watered with nutrient-enriched water.
It also has antifungal benefits as it boasts its natural supply of trichoderma, a naturally occurring beneficial fungus, which helps to prevent diseases. It also has natural rooting hormones which promotes root establishment. Together these properties support healthy plant growth and make it an ideal growing medium.
Growing in coco peat provides a natural transition from growing in soil as the two mediums are so similar in look. It is possible to create a hydroponic garden from coco peat that looks very much like a soil garden. Once more while traditional hydroponics can be daunting, especially for those that are new to growing. Coco peat is a good way to practice the basics of hydroponic gardening without needing to create a full blown hydroponic system. In this way, coco peat makes for a less complex hydroponic method.
Unlike sphagnum peat moss, which poses environmental concerns, coconut peat breaks down over time making it a renewable resource. Furthermore, it can be used more than once making it an environmentally friendly product. Also, coco peat is generally speaking insect-neutral, meaning that most garden pests to not seek out coco peat as a nesting ground.
How to Use
Coco is available in disks, bricks, or blocks. To begin, start by breaking the block or bricks into small pieces. You then need to soak the pieces of coco peat in water for a few hours. If the product you have purchased is untreated you will need to add additional water after you have soaked the pieces of coco peat and allow it to stay like that for a few hours. This will let the excess sodium and chloride leach out of the coco peat. Then drain the coco and use.
Look towards the future
The future for coco peat looks bright. Companies and government organizations are pushing for more uses of coir fiber. Currently the annual world demand for geotextiles is 1.2 billion square yards and all indications seem to indicate that this number is on the increase. In addition an alternative to plywood is being developed out of coco peat which could also prove to be a material of the future.