1.Can coir-pith be converted into compost? What is the method of converting raw coir pith into compost? What are the essential nutrients present in coir pith compost?
The Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore India and the Coir Board, have developed for converting the coir pith into compost by using a fungus call Pleurotus sajor caju and urea. For converting one tonne of coir pith into compost, 5 bottles of spawn culture and 5 kg of urea are required. The raw coir pith (100 kg) is spread uniformly over a hard floor of cement, stone, slab or brick in a layer of size 5×3 m with a thickness of 10 cm. Then 1 bottle (350 g.) of the fungus culture (spawn) is spread over the coir pith. Another layer of 100 kg coir pith is spread over it and add 1 kg urea over the second layer. This process is repeated by adding the fungus spawn and urea alternatively with 100 kg coir pith till heap reaches upto a height of one metre. Keep the heap as such with constant watering and cover with a thin layer of coir waste to conserve moisture. After 30 days of decomposition, coir pith turns into a black mass of compost with reduced lignin, cellulose, organic carbon and C:N ratio. The volume of material is also reduced by 40 percent. In order to ensure moisture retention and protection from heavy rainfall and wind adequate shelter need to be provided to the heap.
The major nutrients present in the coir pith compost are:
a. Nitrogen – 4.02%
b. Phosphorous – 0.06%
c. Potassium – 1.20%
d. Calcium – 0.50%
e. Magnesium – 0.48%
f. Organic carbon – 24.50%
g. C:Nratio – 24:1
Coir pith compost can be used as an organic manure in coconut gardens @ 10 kg per palm for young palms and 25 kg per palm for bearing palms.
2. How can I convert coir pith into compost?
The Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, india has developed a method of composting coirpith and other coir waste. This involves the use of a suitable basidiomycetes fungus (Pleurotus sp.). For the preparation of compost an area of 5 metre length and 3 metre width is selected. One hundred kg of coir waste is spread uniformly. One bottle (300g) of spawn (culture of Pleurotus sp) is spread on the coir waste. This layer is covered another 100 kg coir waste, over which 1 kg urea is applied. This process of sandwiching the pleurotus and urea alternatively with 100 kg coir waste repeated till the heap reaches a height of one metre. To compost one tonne of coir waste, five spawn bottles (1500g) and 5 kg urea, are required. Water sprinkled on the heap to maintain the moisture c tent. The heap is kept for 30 days for decomposition. At the end of 30 days, coir waste turns into a black mass of compost with reduced C:N ratio and increased nutrient content. The well composed pith compost contains about 1 per cent nitrogen, 1.2 per cent potash, 0.06 per cent phosphorous, 0.5 cent calcium and 0.48 per cent magnesium.