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close this bookBetter Farming Series 23 - Coffee (FAO - INADES, 1977, 36 p.)
close this folderChoosing the seeds or seedlings
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentChoosing good seeds
View the documentSowing the seeds in seed beds


Because the International Coffee Agreement does not allow producing countries to add to their coffee plantations, the grower cannot make new plantations.

But he can replant his old plantations which do not produce much.

4. The grower can ask the local advisory service for help in buying:

· either selected seeds of good quality which he first sows in a seed bed, then transplants into a nursery bed, and finally plants In the plantation;

· or seedlings of good quality, which have been grown in a seed bed and a nursery bed, and which the grower plants directly in his plantation.

5. Some growers have no advisory service nearby. They can nevertheless make good coffee plantations by

· choosing their own seeds,

· sowing their seeds in seed beds,

· transplanting the young seedlings into nursery beds, and later planting out the seedlings in the plantation.

B. Seed bed is the name for the place where the seeds are sown to make them germinate.

Seedling is the name for the young plants that have grown in the seed bed.

Nursery bed is the name for the place to which seedlings are transplanted.

Choosing good seeds

If the grower wants to have fine coffee trees which produce a lot of big berries, he must choose carefully the seeds he is going to sow

When choosing seeds you should:

7. Take the berries from the finest trees which bear the biggest fruit.

The good quality of the tree and of the seed enters into the new plant, which will also yield many fine berries.

B. Choose berries that are quite ripe.

If the berry is not quite ripe, the seed is not ready.
It cannot germinate well, and it may rot.
Take the pulp out of the berry and dry the beans in the shade.
If the beans are put in the sun, they dry too quickly and the germ may die.

Never keep the seeds more than two weeks. If they are kept longer, the germ dies and the plant will not grow.

Sowing the seeds in seed beds

9. Preparing the seed plot

Choose a small plot, quite flat, with light and rich soil. It is best to prepare a plot which is near a small stream, because watering will be easier.

Till the soil fairly deeply, to more than 30 centimetres. Break all the lumps of earth so that you get a fine filth.

Put in some old, well- decomposed manure, to make the soil contain more humus.

10. Sowing

Make beds of soil 1.2 metres wide.

Leave a little path of 60 centimetres between one bed and the next, so that you can walk between the beds.

Take a piece of string and mark out little furrows in each bed.

Leave 8 centimetres between one furrow and the next. Sow your seeds in each furrow, leaving 4 centimetres between one seed and the next.

Seed beds

Do not push the seed in too deeply, otherwise it will not have enough air. Put the beans in flat, with the groove downward.