Learning how to treat coco peat is essential to prevent poor germination due to the scorching effect caused by excess sodium in the medium.
Cocopeat is treated by first soaking it in water to hydrate it after which fertilizer such as calcium nitrate that can replace the sodium salts is introduced. This reaction takes about 24 hours and helps to remove the unwanted salts. It is then and rinsed several times. Finally, the water is drained, and EC measured to ensure it is within the pH range required.
The media is then potted in seedling trays or pots. Seeds are then sowed singly and put under a shade or a greenhouse.
Step by Step Procedure on How to Treat Coco peat
- Soaking in Water
Soak coco peat in water for 15minutes to hydrate it. This also loosens it.
2. Add Calcium Nitrate
Add calcium nitrate in the mixture solution at a rate of (1 spoon ful) for every 5kgs then stir the mixture and leave it for 24hours. A displacement reaction will take place.
3. Wash coco peat 5-7 times with clean water
Once 24 hours has elapsed drain the water and wash the coco peat 5-7 times to remove any traces of sodium salt. The pH and electrical conductivity (EC) of the media are then measured. Ideal pH should be 5.6-6.5 while the EC should be 1.6-2.0
4. Potting of the media on seed trays or planting bags then sowing.
5. Commencement of nutrition regime
Two weeks after germination, nutrition programme begins.
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