Using Coco Products For Sustainable Home Gardening
Coco products achieve growing popularity for home gardens to preserve water and help the environment, but are you using these products correctly?
Products containing coconut husks or Coconut coir and Coco Peat are becoming increasingly popular due to their sustainability and eco-friendly alternative to many other gardening products. Coco coir or coco peat is the layer between the shell and the coconut pith. - the layer that was previously discarded after harvesting until a select few in the coconut industry discovered that this product can be used in the garden in many ways.
Now, coco coir or coco peat products can be found in almost every garden centre or nursery and the products have become popular as an addition to bagged soils and can also be purchased as coco peat bricks or packs of coco peat. But you need to ensure that you use this product properly to gain full advantage of its usefulness in the garden.
WHAT IS COCO PEAT OR COCO COIR
As mentioned above, both these products comprised of the outer husk of the coconut, the part that was typically thrown away. With the world looking for greener alternatives and more eco-friendly gardening principles, it was found that coco husk, once processed, absorbs up to just over 8 times its weight in water, which is something of interest to gardeners in hot climates with little or no rainfall.
The coconut husk undergoes a process where the fibres are removed and dried before being packed into products such as coco coir, coco peat, and other coco products.
COCO PEAT OR COCO COIR IS A SUSTAINABLE PRODUCT
Coconuts are an abundant natural resource, with each tree producing well over 100 coconuts each year. While the coconut husk was previously thought of as waste, it can now be harvested and put to good purpose for gardening methods. Coco peat or coco coir is a product that is far more sustainable than peat moss and now becoming available for gardeners that see the value of a water-retaining product. Even a small amount added to your soil or compost will cut down on the watering frequency by retaining moisture within the soil.
WHERE TO USE COCO PEAT OR COCO BRICKS IN THE GARDEN
For water retention, coco peat acts almost like a sponge, soaking up moisture and holding it for a longer period than other organic materials. The lightness of coco peat is an ideal addition to clay soils and for rock gardens, as well as its many other uses in gardens.
Coco peat aids in healthy root growth, keeps soil moist and aerates soils.
• Add to soil
When mixed into normal garden soil, coco peat holds moisture within its fibres and releases the moisture slowly. This means that you water your plants less during the summer months and only need to give plants a good soaking weekly.
DO NOT add coco peat to plants that require only minimal watering or pots containing succulents. As this product absorbs water the soil will be too moist for these types of plants.
• Use instead of peat moss
Coco peat is a 100% organic alternative to peat moss, so simply replace peat moss on your indoor plants with coco peat. It is excellent for those plants that require regular watering, helping to keep moisture levels in the soil for a longer period.
• Get seeds flourishing
You can use coco peat as a growing media to establish seeds, whether in garden beds, herb or vegetable gardens. Coco peat has antifungal properties that will allow your seedlings to flourish and has also been shown to reduce plant diseases.
• Pot up or plant with coco peat
Coco peat has a neutral pH, which means it will not harm your plants in any way, so always add the product when potting up new plants or planting up seedlings. A handful of coco peat mixed in with potting soil will aid in good growth for happier plant roots.
• Eco-friendly gardening practices
Every gardener wants to use organic methods for growing herbs and vegetables, as well as plants and shrubs. choosing sustainable options for gardens is a way of working hand-in-hand with Mother Nature.