Coffee sponsors your good mood every day. But where does this fantastic drink come from? Have you at some point considered growing it at your home?
Would you love to brew the coffee that you have grown at home? Well, today’s package is a guide on how to grow your coffee. This fantastic drink has a long and interesting journey.
This is a topic that will wow you. You will appreciate the work that is involved in coffee production by the end of the article.
Growing coffee requires some patience exercise. It takes 3 to 5 years for a coffee plant to mature and produce ripe fruits. After maturing, 1 to 2 pounds per coffee is produced in every plant.
If you want to plant coffee, there are some factors that you need to put into consideration. They include:
- The type of soil.
- The climatic conditions.
These factors influence the growth and quality of the coffee. You can choose to grow your coffee outdoors, indoors, and in a greenhouse. Let’s have a look at what it takes to grow your coffee in the areas.
To grow your coffee outside, you will need:
- Soil that is moist and with good drainage.
- The temperature should be above 65 degrees.
- Ample sunlight. However, avoid direct sunlight. This will kill your coffee plant.
It takes 3 to 5 years for the plant to grow if provided with the necessary conditions.
To grow coffee inside, you will need:
- Soil with low PH that is close to 6 and good drainage.
- Temperature above 65 degrees.
- Artificial lighting.
As long as the conditions required are good, the time frame for the plant to grow and yield fruits is between 3-5 years.
To grow coffee in a greenhouse, you need:
- Soil that is moist and with good drainage.
- The greenhouse temperature should be above 65 degrees.
- Enough Lighting.
With the necessary conditions, it takes four years for the greenhouse coffee plant to begin flowering.
How do you grow your coffee starting from the seed? Here is how to go about it.
- Get the coffee seed
Ripe cherries are the best to plant. Look for coffee cherries that are freshly picked from a coffee tree. If you are picking the coffee, ensure you choose the cherries from the tree that produces the fruits in bulk. The plant from which the cherries are picked should not have any disease or pest infestation. If you have no access to the cherries, get green coffee seeds that have been harvested.
- Prepare the seeds
For the cherries, crush them using your hands, then wash them and give them some days for them to ferment. When the remaining pulp falls off, wash the beans, and discard any bean that floats. Dry the cherries in an open place making sure that they are not reached by direct sunlight. After the drying process, the bean should be dry on the outside and moist on the inside. For the green coffee beans, soak them in water for 24 hours.
- Germinating the seeds
After removing the seeds from the water, plant them in a nursery or sack. If you have the dried cherries, also plant them in sacks for them to germinate. Ensure you water them two times a day. Make sure also to plant the seeds in a warm, airy place for them to germinate. For fresh seeds, they germinate within a period of three to four months. For old seeds, they can even germinate for 6 months. Ensure the seeds are fresh for quicker germination.
- Plant the germinated seeds
Once the seeds have germinated, carefully remove them from the nursery or sacks and plant them in the soil. Ensure that the soil is rich in nutrients and has low PH for them to grow. You can add manure or fertilizer to the soil to add nutrients. To plant the seeds, make a 1.25cm hole, put the germinated seed in the hole then add soil.
- Take care of the coffee tree
Now that you have the coffee plant, you still need to nurture it for its proper growth and to yield good fruits. To take care of the plant, here is a list of things you can do.
- Consider replacing seeds that have not grown well or are small. This is optional depending on the plants that have grown. If they are enough to produce the amount of coffee you need, feel free to skip the step. For commercial use, you can replace the seeds.
- To preserve moisture, consider covering the soil with cut grass or weeds. Also, ensure that there are no growing weeds around the plant as they take away the nutrients from the plant, reducing their yields.
- After the first harvest, make sure to prune the coffee tree. This is to ensure that it still makes large yields. Failure to do this, the many branches will lead to low yields. The branches use up the nutrients needed to produce large yields.
- Add fertilizers to generate more yields. Fertilizers provide nutrients for the coffee plant. Consider fertilizers that are rich in nitrogen, zinc, magnesium, potassium, and calcium.
- Once a tree is old and does not produce the yields you require, cut it off and only leave its trunk. Ensure you cut all the stems. Leaving the trunk will allow new stems to grow, and the tree returns to being young again and producing large yields.
- Finally, ensure that you protect the tree from diseases and insects. These will destroy the coffee trees and should therefore be controlled.
Once the coffee plant has produced the fruits, harvest them. This you can do using your hands or using a machine. The cherries can be strip-picked, which is through the hands or using a machine. They are all picked leaving nothing on the tree. They also can be selectively picked. Selectively picking involves picking the ripe cherries by hand and leaving the rest to ripen.
Once you’ve harvested, dry them, roast, and brew them. After brewing, sit on a couch and have your cup of coffee- the sweet fruits of thy labor.
For planting, you can choose to either plant the seeds or the germinated seedling. The only difference is the time it takes for your seeds to germinate. Opting to plant the seedling will save you the months you need for the seed to germinate.
What should you expect from your growing plant throughout the years?
Here is what to expect throughout the years:
In the first year, give the seeds the time for them to germinate in their nursery. After planting them on the soil, consider the other months’ time for them to mature into a tree.
Here you can start adding nutrients to the soil. Start adding the fertilizers that will provide nutrients for the plant. The roots, leaves, and stems will grow firm at this stage.
Here depending on your coffee type, the plant starts to flower. After a month, the flowers drop leaving a ball that will develop into the fruit which is the cherry. A ready-to-pick cherry will be red.
With the guide, you can now plant your seeds and enjoy drinking freshly made coffee from your home.