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DIY coconut coir?

 
pollinator
Posts: 270
Location: Haiti
28
forest garden rabbit greening the desert
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I have some dried coconut husks that my little buddy from the village brings me. I'm currently throwing them into the garden as is, or burying them in the bottom of tree planting holes to hold moisture at the roots. But I'm interested in shreading for a finer mulch or making coconut coir.

The problem is, the DIY videos I've seen make it look like it just pulls apart. It doesn't. Some pieces do, but not most. And for the little bit of dust I can collect, it's not enough.

I'm wondering if I can try to pulverize it with a sledge hammer (which I don't have) or rock (which I do have)? Any benefit to making it wet first? Chop it with a machete first? I've already tried, but my machete was pretty dull, and now it's broken, so I'm waiting for a new one.

Would appreciate any pointers. I should be able to get basically unlimited coconut coir if I can figure out how to harvest it.
 
gardener
Posts: 6670
Location: Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Soak the husks first, you want them to be fairly well saturated, then place them on something solid that won't break easily and use a board or ball bat to beat the daylights out of the husks.
Once you have done that, the fibers should be easy to pull apart, if they haven't done so during the beating of the husks.
 
Priscilla Stilwell
pollinator
Posts: 270
Location: Haiti
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I'll try that! Thanks. Maybe I'll hire my little buddy to do it! :) He should enjoy getting paid to hit things. Kinda a boy's dream! Haha
 
pollinator
Posts: 362
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“Come on Marge, it’s fun to smash things!” - Homer Simpson
 
Priscilla Stilwell
pollinator
Posts: 270
Location: Haiti
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forest garden rabbit greening the desert
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Tim Kivi wrote:“Come on Marge, it’s fun to smash things!” - Homer Simpson



Exactly. Ha.
 
Posts: 9002
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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Those that have been driven on after a rain, readily come apart. Soak in black barrel in the sun. After they are cooked and saturated, put them on the driveway and stomp or roll over them a few times.

Then squeeze out the water and leave on driveway until sufficiently dry.
 
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