Cocopeat Organic Matter For Soil

Cocopeat Organic Matter For Soil

Cocopeat organic matter for soil is getting a good popularity today. Having an ideal level of pH at 5.0 to 6.8, cocopeat is a great growing medium for nearly all plants. For example, lettuces, tomatoes, kales, and many others. And as people are more aware of health, many switch from anything inorganic to inorganic ones.

More and more people now prefer to consume organic veggies and fruits. Organic plants are grown hydroponically. And cocopeat is a good planting medium for hydroponic crops, as well as horticulture and floriculture farming. In this article, we will discuss everything related to cocopeat as growing media.

A Glimpse of Cocopeat

Cocopeat is also known as coco fibres or coco coir because it is made from coconut shells or coconut husks. Coconut coir consists of fibre and cork. Each coconut contains 75% fibre. And coconut coir contains chemical compounds, such as cellulose, charcoal, lignin, tannins, and potassium. One coconut averagely can produce 0.4 kg of coir with 30% of fibre content.

Processing coconut coir generates primary products, which are long fibre, short fibre or bristle, and coir powder. Coco fibre can be processed into mattresses, carpets, geotextiles, and others. While coir powder can be processed into compost and cocopeat. Using this cocopeat as growing media brings many benefits, such as cocopeat for soil amendment.

Types of Cocopeat

Coconut coir powder waste comes from the industry going several processes, such as washing, heating, filtering, and inspection before being processed into cocopeat. The cocopeat produced will be divided into various levels of granules and densities, then enter the packaging stage. Cocopeat is generally packed in the form of powder or in compressed packages in the form of blocks or briquettes, planks, and discs.

If you want to use cocopeat as planting media, you need to add water to decompose, develop, and aerate it. 1 kg of cocopeat can decompose into 15 litres of wet cocopeat. Cocopeat soil structure in a compressed form can make the cocopeat last for 10 years. Its durability is one of the main benefits of cocopeat.

Perks of Using Cocopeat

Cocopeat-enriched soil mix is commonly used in the horticulture and farming industries. In these industries, cocopeat is used as growing media, including hydroponic growing media as an alternative to soil. However, the nutrients contained in cocopeat are low so that it is necessary to add other materials. The recommended materials to be mixed with cocopeat are composts, organic fertilizers, and husks.

Natural cocopeat has a pH level at around 5.8 to 6, meaning it is quite acidic. However, in some popular cultivated plants, this pH level is an optimal pH range for those plants to grow well. Most plants generally require a pH level at 5.5 to 6.5. Cocopeat naturally still contains a fungus, which is Trichoderma sp that is in symbiosis with the cocopeat against the pathogenic fungus named Pythium sp.

In sterile cocopeat, Trichoderma sp is already removed. One way to sterilize cocopeat from this fungus is by using hydrogen peroxide. Some cocopeat is not fully decomposed so it still can use nitrogen available in the air. This condition triggers competition between the cocopeat and the plants if the nitrogen content is insufficient.

There is also poor-quality cocopeat that still contains remaining salts or tannins so that you have to wash it several times to get rid of the salts. Besides having an ideal pH level for various plants, here are other benefits of cocopeat:

  • Cocopeat is organic and eco-friendly.
  • It contains quite a lot of oxygen, which is around 50%.
  • It absorbs water 10 times better than soil, keeping moisture.
  • The pH is ideal as growing media.
  • It contains a lot of chemical elements and nutrients like phosphorus and potassium.
  • Cocopeat for improving soil texture by mixing it with soil.

Drawbacks of Cocopeat

Just like other things, the benefits of cocopeat come along with its drawbacks. Here are the drawbacks of cocopeat as planting media.

  • It can inhibit the growth of plants because cocopeat contains tannins. Therefore, it is important for you to thoroughly and cleanly wash it to make sure there is no tannin left.
  • Cocopeat contains fairly high chlorine that is not good for plants, especially when it reacts with water. If the chlorine reacts with water, it will produce chloride acid that will be too acidic for plants to grow.
  • Cocopeat has a very high absorption capacity of water. So, it is highly recommended to mix with other planting media, such as husks, sand, and so on.

The Use of Cocopeat in Hydroponic Farming

As it is said before, cocopeat is a great hydroponic planting medium because it offers various benefits. This planting media is organic because it is made from coconut shells, leaving no harmful substances. The hydrophilic nature of cocopeat makes it absorbent 8 times to 9 times its weight and is able to hold around 73% of the water given.

It is better than sphagnum that can only hold 41% water. However, do not water cocopeat too much because it can make the plants’ roots rotten. Cocopeat can also bind and store oxygen in the air up to 50%, better than soil that can only do 2% to 3%. Hydroponic systems with cocopeat blocks are commonly applied in hydroponic farming.

It is highly suggested to mix cocopeat with other planting materials, such as roasted husks with a ratio of 50:50. This combination aims to improve aeration in the media. Cocopeat hydroponic drip irrigation, or watering little by little, is recommended to prevent rotten roots. The texture of cocopeat is like soil, which is in the form of fine granules so that plants can easily adapt.

Moreover, cocopeat is also more resistant to pests, giving protection for the plants against pests. For those who learn hydroponic farming for the first time, using cocopeat is highly suggested. It is because cocopeat is easy to use.

If you want to use cocopeat as growing media, make sure you choose the high-quality ones. That is everything you need to know about cocopeat organic matter for soil.

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