For many, coffee is the 'black gold', although that name is also said to chocolate. It is one of the most consumed beverages, especially first thing in the morning, due to caffeine, a substance that wakes us up and keeps us active (even if we don't want to). But, How to grow coffee? Can it be done easily?
Although coffee is a plant that is grown mainly in the tropics and subtropics, that does not mean that you cannot have a coffee garden in your own home. Or use it as an ornamental plant. But do you want to know how it is sown? And what care does it need? Here we explain everything you want to know to grow coffee.
Table of Contents
What is needed to grow coffee
The first thing to sow coffee is to know what you will need. And it is that preventing what the needs of the plant are could prevent you from major problems. Thus, one of the first elements is undoubtedly the coffee seeds. Another option is that you already have seedlings, that is, seeds that have already germinated and have a seedling, a stem with the first leaves.
The next step is to find a good pot. Experts recommend that, at the beginning, you have a pot, or even a plastic bag, in which the plant grows. But beware, not just anyone. The bag must be at least 17 × 23 centimeters, that would be the ideal size.
Another essential element when planting coffee is the land. It is very important because it is what can determine that the plant has root problems or poor growth. And which one is better? Not much is specified, but it is recommended that it be with one third of organic matter.
It would also be advisable to have a series of tools at hand to work with the plants, such as a trowel, rake, etc. that will help you dig to put the seeds in the pot or bag)
Where to grow coffee
As we have said before, the most important coffee plantations take place in the tropics and subtropics. But that does not mean that there are not other countries in which it is cultivated. In fact, in Spain, specifically in the Agaete Valley, in Gran Canaria, there is a coffee production. They don't produce much, but it does give you an idea that coffee can be grown in Spain.
Another aspect that you should be careful is choosing the variety of coffee. They exist in the world 4 categories of coffee: Arabic, robust, liberian and lofty. Of all of them, only the first two are the best known and those that you will have consumed, either regularly or from time to time. But each of them has specific needs for location, orientation and temperature so that it develops optimally.
In general, and for all coffee, an arc of between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius is maintained as ideal. Beyond that, water shortages could be a problem for their development.
Another aspect to take into account is whether you should place it in the sun or in the shade. Coffee plants need sun, yes, but not as much as you think. Experts say that 1800 hours of sunshine a year is more than enough, with that being about 5 hours of sunshine a day. In addition, it is not recommended that it be in the hours when it is hotter. In other words, you should place it in a semi-shady place so that it has a part of light per day and another part of shade.
Finally, if you also place it in a place where there may be rain (there is talk of between 1500 and 2000mm per year of water) much better.
How to plant potted coffee
A coffee plant can easily reach 5 meters in height. However, planting potted coffee is not going to come close to that number. Depending on the size of the pot you use, you will have a plant of greater or lesser height. Now, how is coffee grown?
Before doing it, you need the seed to germinate, since this way you will have more opportunities for the plant to go all the way. To do this, take a clean glass and fill it about halfway with water. Put the seeds inside.
It is possible that some will float, leave them because in time they could end up sinking. Now you have to wait at least 24 hours for them to hydrate properly. After that time, there are two ways to act:
- Some prefer to take the seeds and put them on a moistened napkin, then cover them with another moistened one and cover the container with plastic wrap for 4-6 days (sometimes longer), long enough for the root to appear.
- Others are of the opinion of sowing directly in seedbeds or in pots, always 1-2 centimeters deep, and covering very lightly so that it can germinate easily.
The first process is much faster, because in a matter of days we will have the little plant. But in the case of planting it, it may take about 2 months or more to germinate.
Once you have it, just you will have to take care of it like one more plantAlthough we advise you not to expect me to give you coffee for about 6 years, which is the time the plant needs to produce coffee properly. Obviously, being in a pot, its production will not be the same as if you had planted it in a garden.
Plant coffee in the garden
If instead of a pot, what you would like is to have a coffee garden, the process that is followed is the same. Only when the plant is larger (stem and leaves) can it be planted in the ground, with a soil rich in organic matter, and taking good care of the care it needs.
In general, a coffee plant is ready to go to the ground in about 6-9 months, just when it reaches 15-20 centimeters in height. To do this, you need a hole about 10cm deep.
It is important that you give space between the plants, at least 2-3 meters apart from each other so that their roots do not become entangled or hinder their development.
Important aspects of growing coffee
Finally, the most important aspects that you must take into account when grow coffee are:
- Land. Use soil rich in humus that has good drainage. Coffee likes soil that stays moist.
- Irrigation. It is important that the soil is moistened, but not flooded, so you will have to water frequently to prevent it from drying out.
- Pass. Only if the soil is poor or if it is in full sun for a long time. It is better to use liquid fertilizer so that it absorbs all the nutrients.
- Pests. They are usually very affected by spider mites and mealybugs.
Now do you dare to plant coffee?