Coir Pith: The Multi Purpose Growing Medium
Coir pith is also known as coco pith, or cocopeat, for its role as a substitute for peat moss in gardening. Brown coir pith comes from ripe, mature coconuts, while younger, immature coconuts produce white coir pith. To produce coir pith, the waste from coir fiber is washed, treated, dried, and graded.
A spongy material that binds the coconut fibre in the husk, coir pith is finding new applications. It is an excellent soil conditioner and is being extensively used as a soil-less medium for agri-horticultural purposes. With its moisture retention qualities, coir pith is ideal for growing anthuriums and orchids. Available in raw form or converted into organic manure.
Coir pith is an aerobic composting. So it should be heaped above the soil. There is no need for pit or cement tub to make the compost. Coir pith should be spread to the length of 4 feet and breadth of 3 feet. Initially coir pith should be put up for 3 inch height and thoroughly moistened. After moistening, nitrogenous source material should be added. The nitrogenous source may be in the form of urea or fresh poultry litter. If urea is applied, it is recommended that 5 kg urea is required for one ton of coir pith. This 5 kg equally divided into five portions and in alternative layer of coir pith one kg of urea should be applied. If fresh poultry litter is applied, it is recommended @ 200 kg for one ton of coir pith.
Benefits of coir pith:-
- The addition of coir dust improves soil texture, structure and tilth, sandy soil become more compact and clayey soil become more arable.
- It improves the soil aggregation
- It improves the water holding capacity (more than 5 times its dry weight) contributing towards increased soil moisture.
- The bulk density of both the sub surface (15-30 cm) sioil is reduced to considerable extent with the application composted coir pith.
- Composted coir dust contains all plant nutrient elements and it can provide a supplemental effect along with inorganic fertilizers.
- There is improvement in cation exchange capacity of soils, where composted coir pith is applied.
- Coir pith compost application increased the soil native microflora because of addition of humic materials.
- Ammonification, nitrification and nitrogen fixation are increased due to improved microbiological activity.