What is Coco Peat?
Coco peat is the next best thing since sliced bread, at least in the gardening industry.
Coco peat comes from the pith of a coconut, and what was once a recycled useless product, has come to gain the reputation as a soil conditioner and a better option as a potting soil, even for hydroponic gardens.
Coco peat is environmentally friendly and can be reused after a rinse and strain, which can’t be done with many growing mediums. Potting soils are easily available and found in many varieties, however, there are a lot of drawbacks that come with it, such as pour drainage or uneven distribution of water and nutrients, composites that haven’t fully broken down, and the possibility of carrying either pests or diseases.
Coco peat on the other hand retains moisture and nutrients and releases it evenly and slowly throughout the root system and has natural antifungal properties, so there are no pathogens found in this medium. Microbes are better established and the coco peat medium does not compact to help aerate the soil for better oxygen intake to the roots.
Coco peat should not be mistaken for coco coir, as they are part of the same family, coco coir however is used similar to peat moss, comes in bricks that need to be hydrated in order to be used as a medium, and does not hold moisture evenly as the consistency is very fibrous.
When looking for premium potting soil, we look for good aeration, holds moisture, and drains well. By mixing coco peat and perlite together, you have created a super medium for your plants and they will thank you for it with lush and healthy growth.
Perlite is a volcanic glass that when heated expands and becomes a lightweight material. This non-organic additive helps to aerate growing mediums, and once the material has expanded, consists of tiny air compartments that help retain moisture and nutrients as well.
This makes perlite a great additive for coco peat, just as vermiculite, however, perlite is a lot more porous which allows for better drainage. This also makes perlite a lot more suitable for growing mediums housing plants that do not require as much moisture (cactus).
Vermiculite is a hydrated laminar mineral (Magnesium Iron Aluminum silicate). It comes in various sizes and helps improve the soil structure by aerating the soil, as well as absorbing excess moisture to prevent rot or mildew.
It is a lightweight material that will not rot, deteriorate or mold, and is odourless, non-toxic, and sterile. Vermiculite is better at retaining water than perlite is, which makes it best for water plants.
Mixing vermiculite with coco peat helps with aeration, reduces the watering frequency, and allows for roots to spread evenly.
Composting with Coco Peat
Compost works great and a lot of people will think it is the final ingredient for their garden. However, as well as it may work, compost has not broken down its composites fully and could carry unwanted pathogens or pests into your garden. Aeration, quality, and good distribution of water are not guaranteed when using compost..
This makes coco peat a much better alternative.
- It is light weight
- No pests, diseases or weeds
- Promotes stronger root growth
- There is no loss or shrinkage due to composite breakdown
- Retains water and nutrients
- Has a stable pH and EC
- Excellent for germinating seedlings
General Potting Soil
Notice the uneven moisture distribution leaving the roots dry, with lots of noticeable composites that will still breakdown.
Coco Peat and Perlite Mix
Even distribution of moisture, roots look healthy and receive plenty of oxygen.
- Concrete/Terracotta pots: Coco peat & Chunky Woodchips
- Hanging Baskets: Coco peat & Perlite
- Kokedamas: Coco peat & Perlite
- Plastic Pots: Coco Peat