How do I buffer cocopeat?


A very simple method is to use a bunker (washbay) system to buffer the cocopeat. It can be done in lots of 25, 50, 75, 100, 125 or 150 cubic meters at a time – depending on the size of your washbay.

The first step is to hydrate or expand the cocopeat completely. Once expanded, leave the cocopeat until these is no more water runoff.

The next step is to mix Calcium Nitrate at a ratio of 8 Kilos per 1,000 litres of water.

The recommended buffering ratio is 200 litres of treated water (i.e. water mixed with Calcium Nitrate) per 1 Cubic Meter (or +/- 15 x 5kg blocks) of cocopeat – alternatively: 1,000 litres of water mixed with 7 kg of Calcium Nitrate will buffer 5 Cubic Meters of cocopeat. Ideally the treated water should be administered over a 24 hour period via a slow sprinkler system if possible.

After the treated water has been applied, leave the heap for 2 days for the buffer to take full effect and for optimum results.

Once the resting period is over, rinse the cocopeat once more – i.e. let the all the water runoff, fill the washbay again with water and let it then run off once more.

Now you will have buffered cocopeat.

It is suggested that a totally soluble CANO (Calcium Nitrate) is used if available. Field grade CANO can also be used if the mixture is adequately agitated to dissolve the particles.

The method described above is the best, most practical and simplest of buffering methods. If sprinklers are not available, one can simple soak the cocopeat in the treated water – just ensure that the cocopeat and water are well mixed.

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