This is our micro Cacao R and D garden. Houses 5 cacao trees, 3 kinds of variety (W10, PG610, PBC123) in just +-15 sqm area. Spacing of the trees are at 2-2.5 meters.
Note: Ideal space/distance between trees is at least 3 meters.
This garden is 100 % cide free (no pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, etc), although sometimes I use small amount of synthetic foliar NPK, but at a very minimum rate at less than 50% of the suggested feeding rate. I apply ones per month or sometimes 2-3 months interval, so since I only apply very little amount of synthetic input, it maybe safe to say it’s more likely organic (at least 90%-95% organic).
If you noticed that leaves are just left underneath the trees, which in the basic good practice of cacao growing is not ideal, because they say “it can cause pest and diseases”, yet I don’t have any serious problem about it (by far) at all.
The common term of this practice is “Permaculture”, but the right term is called biome (microbiome).
Since this is 100% cide free garden, the insect kingdom here is so dense, meaning it’s very biodiverse. Microbes and fungi help breaking down organic matters more easily. Composting process is much faster than the normal rate. And plants are so healthy, happy and vigorous, one of the reason why pest and diseases are not a big deal here.
Forest frogs thrives here so well that they’ve even created this area their home. They reproduced so fast that they’ve even attracted so many predators, like stray cats and snakes. Yes, snakes.. Finally saw snakes living or just hunting here. But can’t blame the snakes, it’s a lovely place to be for them. 🙂
Birds also visits the area everyday, every morning they come here like it’s their one stop shop for worms, insects and some more foods that they can eat. I should say that growing organic and not putting salt based NPK directly to the soil, or not using any kind of cide helps nature do its thing efficiently and effectively. This is a perfect example of nature at its best. Growing your foods (as much as possible) naturally. Making your soil so healthy, once it is, all that lives there will also be so happy and healthy leading to good quality produce.
Remember, “Nature doesn’t need people, but we, the people, need nature” .