The coconut palm is an integral part of life in Sri Lanka: the leaves are used to thatch roofs of houses, the trunk is a prime source of cheap wood as rafters for roofs. The sap of the coconut flower is used to tap toddy, a natural alcoholic beverage. The water of the fruit is used as a thirst quencher and the kernel of the fruit is used in Asian cuisine.
The fibrous husk of the fruit is usually a by-product – the fibre is combed to obtain the pith. This pith or fibrous dust has been found to be very beneficial to growers in conventional as well as hydroponic markets. This coir dust is graded and screened, washed and processed into products for the agricultural and horticultural industries.
Coir peat acts as a multi-purpose soil conditioner and growing medium. Its texture is consistent and uniform and it is a completely homogenous material. Coco coir is composed of millions of capillary micro-sponges that absorb and hold up to nine times its own weight in water. It has a natural pH of 5.7 to 6.5, plus an unusually high Cation Exchange Capacity and 27% of easily available water. All this ensures that coir peat will hold and release nutrients in solution over an extended period of time without re-watering.
Used as a growing medium or as a potting medium coco coir peat outperforms most of the popular brands of peat and sphagnum peats. It has been observed by the Hydroponic and Horticulture Industries that plants grown using coir develop larger roots, stems and blooms. This is because unlike ordinary soil, which is easily compacted, coco coir peat provides more air spaces and aeration for plant roots, giving rise to a greater oxygen uptake by the plant