Help the coconut industry avoid wasting valuable coconut fiber by using processed coco peat as a sterile growing medium. Using coco peat as the primary growing medium is an organic way to provide plants with beneficial drainage and valuable antifungal properties, which will assist in the healthy development. Coco peat comes from the husk surrounding the brown, fibrous coconut shell and has become a valuable byproduct of the coconut industry.
Things You'll Need
- Coco peat bricks or blocks
- 5-gallon bucket
- Plant container, hanging basket or window box
- High-quality potting soil (optional)
Purchase coco peat bricks or blocks from a reputable coco peat or hydroponic retailer. Break the coco peat block or brick into smaller pieces, so it will fit inside a small, 5-gallon bucket. One coco brick will expand to make at least 2 gallons of soil-less mix, depending on the manufacturer's brick size.
Drop the pieces of coco peat into the bucket, then add double the amount of fresh water. Allow the coco peat to soak and soften for four to six hours or until thoroughly expanded.
Dig your hands into the soft coco peat and fluff it. Fluffing the coco peat will create a loose texture. Fill a hanging basket, container or window box with the loose coco peat. Tamp the growing container on a hard surface repeatedly to eliminate air pockets and settle the coco peat evenly.
Spray the coco peat with water and add enough additional peat until the top is 2 inches from the container rim. Insert your hands into the coco peat and push the soil to the sides, creating a space that will hold the plants. Place the plants in the coco peat and position the container, window box or hanging basket in the plant's recommended sunlight requirements.
Water the coco peat three or four times every week to maintain moisture. Because coco peat holds almost 10 times its weight in water, water needs may drop to two or three times per week depending on outdoor temperature and humidity.
Tips & Warnings
- Mix high-quality potting soil with the coco peat to provide your plants with added nutrients and fertilizer. Many high-quality potting soils contain slow-release fertilizers. An ideal mixing ratio, when considering adding potting soil in with coco peat, is one part soil with two parts coco peat.
- After the end of the growing season, remove the plants and add the coco peat to the garden soil for nutrient-rich compost.
- Remove the plant, soak the coco peat four to six hours and drain it thoroughly for re-use in up to four additional growing seasons.
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