COCOPEAT AS A
In farming, not only land that can be relied upon as a planting medium. There are still other planting media, cocopeat is one of them. Cocopeat is included in the organic hydroponic growing media because it is made from coconut fiber powder. Coconut fiber powder is quite easy to find around the house, so it's not uncommon for us to see this planting method applied in every home. Because Cocopeat is a powder, its presence can be obtained using finely ground coconut coir first.
One of the benefits of using Cocopeat as a hydroponic growing medium is that it can hold water and has quite a lot of chemical elements. Cocopeat has a Ph between 5.0 to 6.8 so it is very good for growing any plant. This hydroponic growing media is usually mixed first with other materials such as roasted husks with a ratio of 50:50 which aims to increase aeration in the planting medium. Cocopeat has the property of easily absorbing and storing water. It also has pores, which facilitate air exchange, and the entry of sunlight. The content of Trichoderma molds, a type of enzyme from mushrooms, can reduce disease in the soil. Thus, cocopeat can keep the soil loose and fertile.
Even though it is touted as a quality alternative planting medium as good as soil, the nutrients in the soil are not present in it. Therefore, cocopeat requires additional fertilizer as fertilizer. As an organic growing medium, Cocopeat t has several advantages over other growing media.
advantages of Cocopeat include:
1. The texture
is like soil
The shape and texture of Cocopeat resembles soil and its fine granules make plants adapt as well as when planted in soil. The difference between Cocopeat and soil growing media is only in its nutritional content where Cocopeat does not contain nutrients like soil. Therefore, to grow plants with Cocopeat, the plants are not only doused with water but also must be given a nutrient solution.
Cocopeat which can absorb water well
Cocopeat is a planting medium that has a high-water absorption capacity and can store more water than is stored in the soil. Cocopeat can store and retain water 10 times better than soil and this very good of course for plants that grow with a hydroponic system. Because it can retain water well, plant roots don't dry out easily and can be properly hydrated.
Because it is made from organic materials, Cocopeat is very environmentally friendly and can be properly degraded in the soil if it is not used. In addition, Cocopeat can also be recycled back into new planting media, of course, with certain processes.
4. More pest resistant
Some types of pests such as pests that originate from the soil do not like being in Cocopeat and this can certainly protect plants better and protect them from pest attacks.
5. Easier for
Growing plants with Cocopeat is highly recommended for those who are just starting to learn to grow plants hydroponically. Cocopeat is easy to use when first planting because of its earthy shape and texture.
Although it has many advantages, Cocopeat also has some disadvantages, including the following.
1. Not sterile
Cocopeat does not contain pests before it is used Cocopeat must be sterilized
first by washing it and drying it first.
2. Not suitable
for plant roots that don't like getting wet
can hold water longer, this planting medium should not be used for planting
plants with roots that do not like wet conditions, such as cabbage or broccoli.
3. Does not
contain nutrients or Inert
Even though the
shape and texture are like soil, remember that Cocopeat does not contain any
nutrients, so when it is used as a planting medium, you need to add nutrient
solutions and supplements that support plant growth.
Variations in Cocopeat Shapes
Coconut coir powder waste originating from the industry is then included in the process of washing, heating, filtering, and then careful inspection before being processed into cocopeat. Cocopeat produced will be divided into various levels of granules and densities and then enter the packaging stage. Cocopeat is generally packaged in the form of bulk powder packages or in compressed packages (compressed and dense) in the form of blocks (briquettes), planks, and discs. The use of cocopeat as a planting medium is usually by adding water to decompose, develop and aerate it.
weighing 1 kg can decompose into 15 liters of wet cocopeat. The cocopeat
structure packaged in compressed form can decompose cocopeat within 10 years of
use. This is very beneficial because the use of cocopeat can last longer.
Cocopeat is commonly used in agriculture and horticulture as well as absorbent in industry. In agriculture and horticulture, cocopeat is used as a growing medium for cultivation, including hydroponic growing media as a substitute for soil media. Unfortunately, the nutrient content in cocopeat is low, so other components need to be added as a planting medium to replace soil. The addition of compost or other organic fertilizers and husks will be a good alternative to a mixture of planting media. Natural cocopeat has a pH level in the range of 5.8 - 6 which means slightly acidic. However, in some popular cultivated plants, this pH range is their optimal pH range to grow well (plants' pH requirements are generally 5.5 - 6.5).
naturally still contains a fungus, namely Trichoderma sp which is in symbiosis
with cocopeat against the pathogenic fungus Pythium sp. In sterile cocopeat,
Trichoderma sp is gone. One way to sterilize cocopeat from Trichoderma sp is to
use hydrogen peroxide. Some cocopeat is not fully decomposed (from coconut
husk) so it is still able to use nitrogen available in the air. This condition
triggers competition between cocopeat and the plants that support it if the
nitrogen content is insufficient.
There are also poor quality cocopeats that still contain traces of salt or tannin, so they need to be cleaned many times to remove the salt and tannin. Cocopeat is not suitable for use as a fuel because it produces a lot of smoke and generates little heat. The chlorine (Cl) content in cocopeat is still high so that when it reacts with water it forms hydrochloric acid (HCl) which has acidic properties. Perfect washing of cocopeat will make the chlorine content disappear.
Trends in Use of Cocopeat
Aside from being a planting medium, cocopeat has other benefits, one of which is as a better-quality substitute for coconut coir because it is free of bacteria and most of the fungal spores. Cocopeat is an environmentally friendly material. In mushroom cultivation, cocopeat is very suitable for use as a substrate. Cocopeat substrate provides good nutrition for mushroom growth because cocopeat contains high cellulose and lignin. Cocopeat is a good absorbent material. Dry cocopeat can absorb oil on slippery floors. This material can also be used as bedding for livestock and pets because it absorbs animal waste well. Cocopeat can be reused (re-used) up to 3 times.
The Use of Cocopeat in the
World of Hydroponics
Cocopeat acts as a good water retainer. This
material can re-wet quickly if added water even though it has experienced
drought. Cocopeat can hold air (oxygen) approximately 1000 times more than soil
media. This cocopeat ability is very good for hydroponic methods that use water
as the main growing medium.
The hydrophilic (water-loving) nature of cocopeat makes this material absorbent 8-9 times its weight and can hold about 73% of the water supplied. Better than the ability of sphagnum media which can only hold 41% water. Cocopeat is also able to bind and store oxygen in the air up to 50%, better than soil which is only 2-3%. However, avoid giving excess water because if the cocopeat is too moist it can cause the roots to rot. A mixture of cocopeat with sand or husks is highly recommended (because the binding capacity of the two (chaff and sand) is not too high). Giving water should also be done little by little but continuously by means of drip irrigation or misting (hydroponics with the drip method and the aeroponic method). In the fertilization process, the use of slow-release fertilizers such as deka star is highly recommended if you want to use cocopeat as a cultivation medium.