| Lynsey Harley
It's Bank Holiday weekend and that first Spring Bank Holiday generally brings with it a fresh start and new ideas at home whether it's painting the bedroom or getting mucky in the garden. But for the coffee lover who likes to try something different, growing your own coffee plant could just be the ticket.
Coffee plants, in theory, can be pretty resilient given a few correct variables, but most of all they love warmth which makes them perfect for growing in a greenhouse or indoors. There
Coffee plants come in two forms Robusta and Arabica - although there are literally thousands of plant variations, Arabica plants produce the best beans. In an ideal
This is what coffee looks likes before it's roasted. I wouldn't try drinking it though as it basically tastes like straw.
Here's how you germinate your seeds...
1. Give the beans a good soak in fresh water for at least 24-hours. If you live in an area where the water is particularly hard you might want to consider using bottled mineral water for this first step.
2. After a day you can sow them in a soft planter (you can get the fabric ones from most garden stores) or some damp sand. The key here is tucking them in but also allowing for good drainage as you'll be watering them twice daily (top tip, jute is actually perfect for this job!)
3. There's a lot of factors that'll determine how long a seed takes to germinate, so it's really just a case of watering and waiting. Once it does, you can transfer it to some good quality soil packed with lots of nutrients. Make a hole about 1.5cm-2cm deep, pop the germinated seed in and gently place some soil over the top.
4. At this
5. Once your seed has fully germinated it's time to move your plant to a bigger home. Choose one with porous, nutrient-packed soil with low-acidic content - just ask at your local garden centre for this and let them do the leg work! Adding a layer of sand to the bottom of your pot will promote good drainage, you can also mix a little bit in with the soil.Coffee flowers and a ripe red cherry.
Nurturing your coffee plant...
1. Coffee plants thrive in unique tropical climates like the mountains of Brazil and Columbia - in
2. Water twice a week or as often as you need to keep the soil moist. Good drainage is essential here as sitting water will most likely cause your roots to rot. So keep an eye on your soil at these early stages to make sure it drains well. Each time you move your plant you'll want to keep an eye on this.
3. If you're hoping to enjoy a fresh cup of your own coffee in a hurry here's the kicker, coffee plants on farms take 5 years to mature so they can be harvested.
So for something a little more out-there than