When coconuts are harvested a bi-product of the process is the fibrous husk of the fruit. From this husk coir fibre or coir dust is produced as a bi-product of extracting the long fibres.
This fibrous dust has been found to have a lot of beneficial properties for growers in both the conventional and hydroponics markets.
Coir peat is the binding material that comes from the fibre fraction of the coconut husk. This coir dust is graded and a special grade is screened, washed and processed into products for the agricultural and horticultural industries. Coir peat acts as a multi-purpose soil conditioner and growing medium. Its texture is consistent and uniform and it is a completely homogenous material. Coco coir is composed of millions of capillary micro-sponges that absorb and hold up to nine times it’s own weight in water. It has a natural pH of 5.7 to 6.5, plus an unusually high Cation Exchange Capacity and 27% of easily available water. All this ensures that coir peat will hold and release nutrients in solution over an extended period of time without rewatering.
Used as a growing medium or as a potting medium coco coir peat outperforms most of the popular brands of peat and sphagnum peats. This also has the added benefit of reducing the destruction of valuable peat bogs and wetland marshes worldwide where peat moss is currently mined for horticultural use.
It has been observed by the Hydroponic and Horticulture Industries that plants grown using coir develop larger roots, stems and blooms. This is because unlike ordinary soil, which is easily compacted, coco coir peat provides more air spaces and aeration for plant roots, giving rise to a greater oxygen uptake by the plant. Also, because it can retain moisture, up to nine times its own volume, while still maintaining excellent air filled porosity,the provision of vital nutrients to the roots and soil is greatly enhanced. Coco coir peat has a naturally high lignin content which encourages favorable micro-organisms around the root zone. Overall, this results in better plant growth and higher yeilds.
Due to it’s fibrous and sponge-like structure coco coir peat is ideal for soil conditioning, whether to aid moisture retrention in sandy areas, or to help lighten heavy clay soils. It is by far the most effective and economical way to revitalise degraded soils without the risk of contamination. Having a slow degradation rate, it conditions the soil and promotes the development of an optimum pH level. Coco coir peat has been universally accepted as an excellent plant growth substrate as well as a soil additive.
Coco coir peat will last three times as long as Peat Moss and Sphagnum Moss. It is hydrophilic, meaning it will re-wet easily without the use of chemical wetting agents and it is capable of holding and releasing nutrients over a period.