So how green do you want to be? Coconut Coir is entirely renewable & an incredibly sustainable product.
Coconut Coir is produced from the outer shell of the coconut – the coconut husk. The first step when they harvest the coconut is to extract the meat & milk which may turn out to be oil, milk or cattle feed. The husk (a by product of the milk and meat industry) is then taken and they extract the long fibers for matting, roping, brushes of all sorts, mattress stuffing and various other products. During the process of extracting the long fibers they get another by product called pith. Pith is the small spongy part of the Coconut that is found between the long fibers and the product we call Coir, which is essentially a by product of a by product. No trees are cut down to get the pith and a coconut tree produces 2 crops of coconuts each year. Coir is a completely renewable growing media.
So what should you do with the coconut coir when you are done growing in it? You can add it to your gardens, lawns and other growing areas, especially if they are sandy. Use it like compost, it holds water well and because it is slow to decompose it lasts a couple of years.
When you are done using the coir in your growing operation just empty the pots and either break up the root ball with a mulcher or compost the root ball and coir until it breaks up easily. If you keep it moist the composting should only take about 6 months. Adding about 2 inches of the used coir to your garden bed and tilling it in about 10 inches deep will help to break up clay soils and add water and nutrient holding capacity to sandy soils. If you do not add any amendments like perlite to the coir it will blend right in to the garden soil.
Happy Recycling – we’d love to hear how you recycle your Coir. Like our Facebook page & post your ideas about recycling – you never know where they end up!