Once we extract the coco fibers, we are left with coconut Coir, (or coir) or Coco peat (cocopeat). It is the second part of the husk that covers most of the portion. Coir was earlier thought of as a waste product, but now this is more of an alternative to peat moss in Gardening.
Can coco peat replace soil?
Yes, coco coir can be used as a replacement for soil especially for urban homes where space constraints force people to look for an alternative material.
- Coir is very lightweight and can hold water very efficiently.
- You can never overwater coir as it has very good drainage.
- Coir is excellent for seed germination.
- Having said that you cannot use a 100% coir to grow plants. It lacks basic plant nutrients so mixing coir with other mediums and compost is essential for growing plants.
- How to prepare coco peat for plants:Coco coir is generally sold in compressed blocks. The good thing about this is that it’s easy to transport and store but you can not use this coir block directly in gardening. You have to first prepare the coco peat for plants by soaking it in water and convert it into a loamy texture.
First place a coir brick in a large container. The brick can increase about 5-6 times in volume; make sure your container is large enough to hold it. Then add enough water on the brick.
Wait for some time so that the coir brick can absorb the water. The time varies from brand to brand.
Next, you can mix the material with your hands or cultivator to fluff the loose coir. This coir is now ready to use for growing plant.
A standard 5 kg coir brick (about 12.5 x 12.5 8 in. or 32 x 32 x 20 cm) will be able to make approximately 60 liters of coir.