Planting of Coffee

 

Field Preparation If it is a jungle, only selective felling of trees is done maintaining the trees, which are desirable at appropriate spacing. The under growth may be cleared to enable line marking with a base line and opening of pits. The entire plot may be conveniently divided into blocks with roads and footpaths.

In April, pits of 45 x 45 x 45 cm may be opened at appropriate spacing for different coffee cultivars as described below.
Tall arabica like S 795, S 288: 2.1 m x 2.1 m
Semi-dwarfs like Cauvery: 1.8 m x 1.8 m
Dwarfs like S 7 (San Ramon): 1.5 m x 1.5 m
Hybrids like Congensis x Robusta (CxR): 2.5 m x 2.5 m
Robusta selections like S 274, BR series: 3.0 m x 3.0 m

The pits after digging will be kept open for weathering for a couple of months until monsoon. In June, the pits are covered with topsoil and staked. In poor soils, 250 g of FYM or compost per pit may be added before filling.

Planting

Disease free and vigorous seedlings are selected for planting. Seedlings with stunted and twisted roots are discarded. Rooted plants (aged 16-18 months) with and without ball are planted during June and bag plants are generally planted during Sept- Oct. A hole is made at the centre of the pit after leveling the soil. The seedling is placed in the hole with its taproot and lateral roots spread out in proper position. The hole is then filled. The soil around the seedling is packed 3 cm high above the ground to prevent stagnation of water around the collar. The seedlings are provided with cross stakes to prevent wind damage and mulched properly.

Ball and bag seedlings are planted towards the end of the heavy monsoon rains and commencement of northeast rains, i.e., in September. First the bottom portion of the bag is cut and the tip of the root is nipped. The seedling is gently removed from the bag with its soil and root system intact and planted in the hole. The hole is covered with soil and the plant is firmly fixed similar to ball plants. It is wise to maintain both types of nurseries and have planting seasons, June and September.

References

 

Kerala Agricultural University. 2011. Package of Practices Recommendations: Crops. 14th edition. Kerala Agricultural University, Thrissur- 360 p.