|Better Farming Series 22 - Cocoa (FAO - INADES, 1977, 32 p.)|
|Choosing and preparing the plantation site|
Sometimes growers sow cocoa seeds straight away in the
plantation. This is a bad thing to do.
It is better to put into the plantation either young cocoa seedlings from your own nursery beds, or cocoa seedlings bought from a research centre.
25. A few hours before lifting the seedlings from the nursery
beds, water the soil. Then take the seedlings out of the nursery beds with a
spade or a hoe. Be very careful not to break the roots.
Next sort out the cocoa seedlings. Throw away diseased plants and plants that have a twisted tap- root.
You can dip the roots of the seedlings in liquid mud, so that the cocoa plants take root again easily.
26. When to plant cocoa trees Plant cocoa trees at the beginning
of the rainy sea son.
Choose a day when the soil is moist and when the sky is cloudy. Plant the young cocoa trees when they are about 6 months old.
27. How to plant cocoa trees A few days before planting, fill in the holes you have dug. At the bottom of the hole, put the soil you have dug out from the top, and on top put the soil you have dug out from below. You may mix the soil with manure.
How to plant cocoa trees
When you are ready to plant, make a small hole. In this small hole place your young cocoa seedling. If you have sown your seeds in baskets or bags, make a hole big enough to hold the root ball with the cocoa seedling. Be very careful not to twist the tap- root.
Do not cover the crown with earth.
Pack the soil down well around the tap- root.
For the first few days, protect the cocoa seedling from the sun.
If there are palm trees in your village, use a palm frond.