3.06 Recap and Glossary
- USAID advise farmers space trees at 8 feet apart (1680 per hectare) in order to achieve a planting density where each plant’s roots don’t cross over each other.
- Research suggests densities of up to 5000 plants per hectare may be preferable due to the increased ground cover.
- Individual plants yields less in high densities but the overall yield can be far higher at around 5000 trees per hectare because of mutual leaf shading, reduced soil temperature and evapotranspiration, and a reduction in the competition from weeds.
- Mulch creates a physical barrier that reduces the ability of wind and sunlight to evaporate water in the soil.
- Plants which are grown with mulch, irrigation, or nitrogen fertilisers produce higher numbers of fruit bearing nodes.
- On sloped ground, cover cropping is an effective alternative to digging through the soil to control weeds and a means of preventing erosion.
- The drawback of cover crops is that seeds can be expensive, and the crop itself is generally not useful as a commodity.
- Irrigation can help in controlling the timing of flowering and fruit ripening, potentially protecting soil from erosion or compaction, or suppressing weed growth.
- Irrigation has a dramatic effect on increasing yields by allowing plants to be grown at much higher densities. Irrigation also allows farming on land that might otherwise not have been suitable for coffee growing.
- In order for plants to make their own food through cellular respiration, they need a supply of certain nutrients from the soil. If any of these nutrients is lacking in the soil, it can limit plant growth and yield, even if the growing conditions are otherwise ideal.