Dr. Pereira and M.S. Pereira on Coffee Planting
Dr. Pereira is a microbiologist & a coffee farmer and owns the Kirehully Estate in the Western Ghats, in Hassan District, India. Ms. Geeta Pereira, wife of Dr. Anand Pereira is a horticulturist and a coffee farmer.
How do you prepare the soil for planting?
Pits are dug 50x50x50 cm LengthBreadthHeight
Pits are exposed for weathering for three weeks
Pits are then covered with top soil along with compost of 2kg per pit and 25 grams of rock phosphate.
Two types of coffee seedlings are planted to the main field.
Poly bag nursery seedlings (8 months old) are planted in the month of August and September.
20 month old seedlings raised in secondary beds are planted at the commencement of the south west monsoon (June).
At the time of planting a hole is made in the centre of the pit and seedlings placed in the hole. In the case of 20 month old seedlings, the polythene bag is cut at the bottom and the tip of the tap root is nipped if it is found bending. The soil around the seedlings is packed slightly above the ground level (2.5cm) to prevent water logging. The seedlings are protected with cross stakes to prevent wind damage. The base of the seedlings is mulched with only dry leaves.
What type of coffee species are you growing? How long after germination does the plant give its first harvest?
The coffee that we grow is the Robusta variety. Old Robusta and selection Robusta (S-274). The bush takes 8 years for maiden crop and 10-12 years for economic yield in the case of old Robusta variety. (Traditional variety). Another variety known as Selection Robusta responds very well to irrigation and gives economic yield in 8 years time.
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