Learn where to buy and how to use cocopeat.
Cocopeat also known as coco coir dust, is a natural sponge like material extracted from coconut husks. It is a by-product of the coconut industry. Among its many applications is its use in horticulture where it is used as soil conditioner or as a soilless growing medium.
They are generally available in garden or agri-vet centers where they are sold as dehydrated dust in bags or as compressed dehydrated blocks or bricks. Because they have gone through processing bagged cocopeat and cocopeat blocks or bricks are generally sterile.
Cocopeat are also available as unprocessed material that are sold in bulk. Unlike processed cocopeat, these can possibly contain pathogens and sap which are both detrimental to plant development.
Sap is present in fresh cocopeat. The sap contains plant hormones that stunt root development. Sap can be removed by allowing it to degrade. A cost effective way of doing this is by simply leaving a pile of cocopeat out in the open where it will be exposed in rain and sunshine.
Unprocessed cocopeat also contains a lot of moisture which makes them host to harmful bacteria and fungi. Sterilization of unprocessed cocopeat is recommended. Cocopeat can be sterilized by boiling it for at least 30 minutes.