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Basics of Coffee Growing
by George Yasuda
The coffee plants nutritional needs fall within
the planting and cultivation category and is one of
the most important factors in improving the quality
It is very important to use high quality fertilizers
in the right proportions and the correct ingredients.
Keep in mind when choosing your fertilizer that coffee
trees seem to be chlorine sensitive and also susceptible
to boron toxicity more than any other plant species.
The fertilizer analysis is very crucial. The macronutrients
are nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, sulfur
and magnesium. Other nutrients needed are iron, zinc,
molybdenum & copper to name a few.
Soil sampling, tissue sampling and visual inspections
are key to maintaining the proper nutrition. Applying
the wrong fertilizer is a waste of time, labor and money
and could also cause damage to the crop needless to
say the ecosystem. Also remember that fillers are useless
weight and the wrong composition may be detrimental.
Good Nutrition - 2 years
Follow these general rules of thumb: Nitrogen is for
vegetative growth, phosphorus is for root development
and potassium is for fruit development and overall quality.
Calcium is needed for proper structure and growth and
magnesium for chlorophyll. All these nutrients work
together and excess, deficiency or absence of any of
the critical nutrients can result in negative results.
This is known as the law of limiting factors
simply meaning that when all the necessary factors are
present and in correct balance except for one the growth
of the plant is critically limited because of that one
It is important to remember that guessing or poor information
can prove costly as well. Seeking experienced, professional
advice is worth the time and energy. In order for Kona
coffee to remain viable and famous the plant and product
quality needs to be maintained at a consistent high.
Here are some general steps to follow when growing coffee:
1. Land preparation
2. Seedling nursery
3. Planting and cultivation
There are productive ways of performing the above steps
and there are counterproductive ways. Learning the right
way can prove very beneficial.
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appeared originally in Coffee Times print magazine and
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