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.
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.