(Memoirs of an Agri Journalist)
When we met Romulo Cruz in 1991, he was very proud in telling us how had maintained a long productive life of his 3,000 guava trees in a hilly and rocky farm in Compostela, Cebu. His seven-year-old guava trees were very fruitful and he expected them to remain fruitful in the next five years or more. In the case of his neighbors who had also planted guavas, their trees had died after just a few years of fruiting.
What was Romy’s secret? The answer is goat manure tea. You see, he also took care of 50 Anglo Nubian goats which he raised in confinement. He fed them with commercial feed and some grasses gathered from his farm.
This was what he did. In his three-hectare farm, he constructed four concrete reservoirs where he stored the water for the daily watering of his trees. Each reservoir measured 4 meter long, 3 meters wide and one meter tall. He filled each tank with water and then submerged four sacks of newly collected goat manure. The goat manure was ideal because it comes in pellet-like form and did not have a bad smell.
The manure transformed the water into a dark tea that is rich in nutrients. This was what he used to water the trees every day. It made them very robust, hardy against diseases, very fruitful, and the fruits were sweet, crisp and with shiny skin. And that was the reason why he was able to sell his guavas at P22 per kilo right in Cebu. That was virtually double the P10-P12 per kilo that other growers got for their guavas.
Every two to three weeks, Romy took out the manure in the tank and spread it around his guava trees. The he put in another four sacks in the tank. Throughout the year, that was his way of fertilizing his trees.
Romy swore that his goat manure tea really worked wonders for his trees. He did not use any chemical fertilizer. He said that chemical fertilizers would not have done his plants any good because of the character of the farm. There was virtually no soil except in the one cubic meter that he dug for planting the trees which he filled with topsoil before plantng the seedlings.
Now, here is one more technique you can try not only in your guava trees but also for other fruit-bearing trees.