Confessions of a Mediocre Gardener

Twenty years ago I’d have had to go to the library to find answers but today, courtesy of the internet, I’m a coffee-growing expert.

Of course, I was a tea-growing expert at one point but that hasn’t worked out too well. I first thought the deteriorating of the tea plants was due to over-watering and/or scorching. So we shaded them and let them dry out a bit. It hasn’t really helped; they still look a bit shabby and down at heel. Then it occurred to me – we’d been doing a lot of watering with tap water. Tap water contains lime and tea plants, liking acid soils, don’t like tap water.

Seems like a good bit of deduction but trying to get the group to remember is more difficult than you’d think. Then, after more research, I find that it might not be a problem from tap water.

(And before you tell me to get more rainwater storage, I generally have enough, but people will insist on using the hosepipe for ease and speed. I confess that I do it myself at the end of a long day.)

So I’m going to add some ericaceous food, some organic matter and tap water.


They look slightly better here than they really are.

The coffee plant looks in need of a little help too, but according to the web all I need to do is replicate conditions on a tropical mid-level mountainside and all will be OK.

Should be easy enough in a mock-Tudor semi in Nottingham. Apart from the tropical bit, and the mountainside…

So – humidity (gravel tyray), good drainage, temperature above freezing and preferably above 65 degrees F (18 degrees  C), plenty of sun (but not direct) and it likes acid conditions and orchid fertiliser.

I reckon I can do this.

But that’s what I said about the tea.


Looks better than the tea, at any rate.

14 thoughts on “Confessions of a Mediocre Gardener

  1. Pingback: A Bad Day – Part I | quercuscommunity

      1. quercuscommunity

        I’m going to try propagation by cutting and air-layering and, if they eventually produce seed, by sowing seed. However there is normally quite a gulf between my ambition and my results… 😉
        Some sources say 10 – 15 feet high!

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