Building Soil and Plant Health with Compost and Compost Teas in Coffee Plantations

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2020: $12,443.00
Projected End Date: 09/30/2023
Grant Recipient: Finca La Jiba
Region: Southern
State: Puerto Rico
Principal Investigator:
Gabriela Medina
Finca La Jiba


  • Additional Plants: coffee


  • Soil Management: composting, organic matter, soil quality/health

    Proposal summary:

    As climate change begins to be a serious challenge to farmers it is precarious to have natural resources regenerate. By applying compost and compost teas large populations of beneficial bacterias, nematodes, fungi, and protozoa can correct deficiencies in soil food web regenerating soil health by increasing moisture and fertility and acting as organic/natural pesticides bettering plant health.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    The experimental trials on this project were conducted with the means of bettering the soil condition with compost and compost tea applications. For each Robusta variety coffee tree an amount of 2 pounds of compost were applied in a term of 4 months. As a compost companion a solution of effective microorganism (EM) was spread to the soil each week for 4 months.

    The compost pile of (4 ft long X 4 ft wide X 4 ft high) was made at the farm in a thermal process using hurricane Fiona wood debris and local grass. A 1:1 Carbon-Nitrogen ratio was implemented in the composting process. The compost was inoculated with Californian earthworm tea, EM and cow manure for bettering the thermal composting process. In a term of a month the thermal compost process was achieved and applied on the field.

    At the application 2 cups of EM amendment was spread for each coffee tree. This amendment was made in an anaerobic fermentation using 1-part of Kombucha, 1-part of Molasses, 1-part Californian earthworm casting in 5 gallons of spring water for 21 days in a dark and fresh area.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.