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January 30, 2016

Coffee Seedlings! Growing coffee trees from seed in Florida

In one of my previous posts I talked about my coffee forest consisting of four coffee trees. At the time of this post I planted about twenty seeds from my own harvest. I have never done this before. From what I read on the Internet, coffee can take somewhere from two to six months to germinate from seed.

This morning I was so excited to see two of the seeds sprouting!

So, it's been about two months since planting. As you can see, I just used a regular seedling tray, a leftover from some plants I bought some time ago, that I filled with potting mix. The tray sat on my counter, covered with wrap. Temperature was in the 60's to 70's the whole time, as it is Winter now in Florida. Quite possibly they would've sprouted earlier if the temperature was higher.

However, I would not stand by that statement. I don't know enough of sprouting coffee. Maybe it sprouts in cooler temperatures in anticipation of spring.

I had a good harvest from my existing coffee trees. They are easy to grow and are fun to look at. I am certainly willing to expand my coffee forest to as many trees I can get my hands on, or however many will sprout.

January 28, 2016

Florida Fall Colors

Florida is different. It is the end of January, and we are having a typical "up-north" September weather here in Central Florida. It is rainy, gloomy, and quite cold, by the Florida standards, even during the day. But look, we have fall colors. I enjoy a variety of trees in Central Florida, and some of them even change colors. This is a rare, short-lived sight. Soon the trees will shoot new leaves, overnight, and Spring is just around the corner.

If it were "up-north", we would be eating the last of our canned tomatoes and other vegetables, and keeping fallen leaves in the piles to compost under the blanket of snow. In Florida we are starting tomatoes and pepper seeds on the top of the fridge. We just recently had our first and possibly last frost night. Some tender tropicals were damaged.

I took care of covering my coffee trees and remaining tomato plants. Papayas had some damaged leaves, but the fruit did not suffer. Hopefully, this was the last frost. It is quite a chore to cover up tall trees.

Soon box stores will start selling seeds again. Funny, management thinks in "up north" terms too. They only know of spring planting season, even in Florida, where we garden mostly in winter.

This year I will not start seedlings inside. In about a month I will plant the seeds - meaning tomatoes and peppers - right in the soil, under inverted jars. This way I will skip transplanting and will let the plants establish themselves where they may. I also will be experimenting planting tomatoes under papaya trees for natural support, as well as under pigeon peas that I planted in the garden as a manner of nitrogen-fixing plant as well as natural stakes for tomatoes.

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