Organic management of young and adult coconut plantations

By R. Bourdeix, 2018

Our observations in the Pacific region seems to indicate that many by-products of the coconut palms are presently used for organic cultivation, but not yet for cultivation of the coconut palms! 

Avocado protected by coconut husk
in Rennell Island, Solomon
Coconut husks are rich in potassium, are loaded with beneficial microorganisms and have good moisture retention qualities. They are often used to surround and protect the base or young fruits or ornamental trees in farmer's fields and garden. Orchids and vanilla generally grows of a heap of coconut palms. Nurseries of other tree crops are often using powder extracted from the coconut husk, mixed with soil, to grow seedlings in plastic bags. In European countries, nursery pots made from coconut husk are sold to grow ornamental crops; Off-ground vegetable crops are often grown on coconut husk fibers, less polluting and leaving less residue than the fiberglass that was previously used.  

Coconut leaves have a hiding power that is often used to protect and nourish the soil while limiting the development of weeds. They are often used for various purposes, and especially in Taro plantations.
Taro plantation with organic use of coconut leaves
in Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Presently the expert opinion is not to use coconut husk and leaves for preparing mulching. A circle of about 3 m diameter around the coconut palm should be cleaned from weeds and especially from grasses (graminea sp), that often have negative effects on coconut roots. Then a first layer of coconut husks should be installed on this circle, their split or internal face turned towards the ground. This first layer can be covered by a second layer made of coconut leaves who will limit weeds growing.

Bunches peduncles, leaf petioles and coconut stems could be used for preparing mulching, that will be probably used by farmers for cultivation of other crops than coconut.  If coconut palms are intercroppend with these other crops, thay will also benefit from the mulching. Beware some mulching organic techniques may favor the proliferation of Oryctes insects that may kill a large number of coconut palms (communication from Richard Markham). This opinion will have to be discussed during Nadi meeting.

Leaf petiole are also sometimes used to to strengthen the small paths in the coconut plantations.
Yandina Island, Solomon.
Here is a short video showing how horses are used at a very large scale (more than 200) to havest coconut in a large Brazilian plantation (Sococo farm).

Organic cultivation 
of Dwarf coconut palms in Thailand

Some references by region

Niggli, U., Baker, B., Rahmann, G., Cuoco, E., Möller, C., Ssebunya, B., ... & Gould, D. (2014). A Global Vision and Strategy for Organic Farming Research. First Draft.
See also: Organic Fertilizer Calculator

Pacific Region
MAPUSUA, K. (2013). Organic Agriculture in the Pacific Islands. The World of Organic Agriculture Statistics and Emerging Trends 2013, 303.
Mapusua, K., & Maccari, M. (2007). An overview of organic agriculture in the Pacific. IFOAM.
Organic farming in coconut - S Jothimani - Indian Coconut Journal, 1994

South East Asia
The Use of Organic Fertilizer in Coconut (A Research Note) J.A. Mantiquilla, L.H. Canja, R.Z. Margate, and S.S. Magat1 © Philippine Journal of Coconut Studies 19(1): 8-13, June 1994
CocoInfo International Volume 21 No, 2 2014. Anon (2014) PCA implements Organic Cocolisap Treatment Protocol in Certified Coco Farms. CocoInfo International 21 (2) 34-35.

South Asia
Balakrishnamurthi, T. S. (1975). Inorganic and organic sources of nitrogen and phosphorus as fertilizers for coconut.
Organic farming in coconut - Chapter · January 2016. In book: Organic Farming in Plantation Crops, Publisher: Daya Publishing House, Astral International Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, Editors: V. Krishnakumar and P. Chowdappa, pp.17-65
Solangi AH, Iqbal MZ, & Shafiq M (2014) Effect of Organic and Inorganic Fertilizers Amendments on Inflorescence and Flower Morphology and Yield of Coconut (Cocos nucifera L.). Cord 30 (2) 10-18
You may pl visit and look into Agri Tech Portal. Here under Horticultural Crop choose Coconut. You will get details on Coconut including general fertilizer schedule.