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What You Need To Know About Growing Coffee

Junior Racine
June 1, 2019

What You Need To Know About Growing Coffee

If you have never heard of coffee, then I wonder what side of the planet you are, or you have been.  Many people popularly use coffee for various activities. Many people make use of it to provide the early morning jolt that they need immediately after they lazily get out of bed, which is my early morning ritual most times. Sometimes,  a cup of coffee is ready, or within your reach in your place of work, this is a beautiful beverage is a powerful stimulant which can boost your activities and enhance alertness for the days work and the rest of the day. For many ways, it is true that coffee is crucial. Although sometimes I wish it comes in white instead of the deep brown color which makes me think that I am drinking on a powdered tree. Let’s exchange it with milk, please!. Well, let’s get back to business.  What is involved in growing this beautiful plant, which is a favorite drink nowadays?

LAND PREPARATION

You do not expect to start growing a coffeetree in the middle of nowhere and expect It to grow.  You first have to make sure that the land is ready for this beautiful plant. Although unlikely, if you have suitable soil in the jungle, you have to remove other trees which inhabit the area, this is important because it provides the required spacing needed for the plant. Other shrubs and grasses which are lower should be cleared to make it easier for pits to be conveniently and easily opened. The plot of land can then be divided in such away that it would be easier for you to have paths where you can quickly move about to care for your coffee trees when they eventually grow. It is also essential because they prevent clustering, which is not healthy for the plant growth. Various species of coffee can be planted in appropriate spacing which varies such as;

•   Coffee Arabic with a spacing of 2.1m x 2. 1m

•   Robust species with a spacing of 3.0m x 3.0m

•   Dwarfs with a spacing of 1.5m x 1.5m

•   The semi-dwarf with a spacing of 1.8 x 1.8m

PLANT PROPAGATION

The propagation of coffee is done generally utilizing seeds. It is also typical that you can see plants that are also planted through grafting.Most frequently, matured fruits are ripe for harvesting around November-December, for coffee Arabica, and around January-February for coffee Robusta.

Riped fruits after harvesting are then pulped and sieved to select and remove any of the beans which are not healthy but defective. It is popularly mixed with wood ash, and it is spread under shade for drying.  This provides for adequate air drying. It is stirred from time to time to promote thorough and uniform drying.  Carbendazim or Vitavax are used to treat the seeds to prevent attack by microbial.

SOWING

 After the initial growing on nursery beds, seedlings which are healthy and have shown signs to be free from diseases are selected. These plants are chosen and planted while the others who did not do well are discarded. After the soil is leveled, a hole is made, and the seedling is placed inside the hole.  It is carefully planted in such a way that the roots both the lateral and two roots spread in such a way that it is in a proper position. After that, you can then correctly cover the soil.

Planting of the nursery bag seedlings usually occurs during the northeast rain which is around September.

AFTER CULTIVATION

Weeds around the cultivated plant should be eradicated by digging or making good use of appropriate chemicals which are selective to only the weed but does not affect the plant. The shade should be appropriately done to help the seedlings grow properly against direct sunlight, and the soil around the seedling should be adequately mulched.  

IRRIGATION

 Irrigation is vital for the growth of coffee. The popular irrigation method by means of an irrigation sprinkler system is applied generally during November-January. It helps to keep the soil moisture at optimum levels, and during February- April, it ensures that there is proper growth of the tree.

Drought dramatically affects the growth of coffee, which could make it develop some abnormalities which reduce the yield. So it is essential that there is drought tolerance for the coffee to be better productive.  And the type which does better in areas of drought is coffee Arabica.

RIPENING OF THE FRUIT

To make coffee ripen faster, you can achieve this by the spraying of Ethel on the Berries when you notice that it is about 10% ripe.This helps to speed the process by saying about 2-4 weeks, which can also leadt o a ripe yield of about 96% fruits.

DISEASES

COFFEE LEAF RUST

This plant disease significantly affects coffee, especially Arabic coffee.  It appears on the lower surface of the leaves, and it is evident that you would see yellowish spots after the first rains appear. If these spots are not controlled, the spots appear and with a severity which causes defoliation. This severe defoliation causes problems to the bushes around and could affect you the next season.

CONTROL 

This can be achieved using a Bordeaux mixture, which is applied3-4 times a year. February to March or May-June as pre-monsoon spray, July toAugust as Mid-monsoon spray and September- October as post monsoon spray.

COFFEE BLACK ROT

This disease is usually common in coffee plants which are grown in areas of heavy rainfall. You also notice this disease in places with thick overhead shades, windy valleys, and other locations where the plants are sheltered from sunlight.  The leaves generally look rotten, and even the berries and twigs are black and unpleasant too. There would also be immature dropping of leaves and crops would be damaged heavily.  

The best way of getting rid of this problem is simply by getting rid of bushes before it starts to rain too much and the use of Bordeaux mixture. Once you begin to notice the early signs of this rot, remove the affected twigs, and burn them.  

PESTS

This also poses another significant threat to the growth of coffee, and it is essential that you do away with them as well.

Some of these pests include;

COFFEE BORER BEETLE

This pest is one of the most severe affecting coffee in many parts of the world. It attacks the berry using a hole insertion inside the navel region where it lays eggs which also become dangerous to the coffee beans at the larvae stage. It damages many ripe berries and can result in massive crop loss if you do not care for it.

Other pests include white Stem Borer, Shot Hole Borer, and Green Scale.

Various methods of pest control

Cultural method

Which involves timely harvest, removal of infested berries and good drainage.

Chemical method  

Spraying with chemicals has proven to be another effective way of controlling pests. Chemicals like Bordeaux mixture is effective, and other chemical sprays can help drive away from various animal and insect pest. But, don't expect to win any certifications when using this method.

No doubt from this guide you have seen what is required if you want to grow coffee. Enjoy growing and drink away!

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