Organic Tea Farming Guide | Cultivating Methods & Production

Tea Farming And Production Process, Profit Margin

Introduction

Every buddy of us is well aware of the morning hot drinks called “Tea”. But, none of much aware of¬†how is tea grown?¬†So, friends today we are going to learn¬†how to grow tea or tea farming and cultivation.¬†

Basically, tea is a sweet-smelling beverage which is generally prepared by putting cured leaves of Camellia sinensis, a shrub. This shrub crop is native to Asia. After the water, tea is the 2nd most liquid, which is consumed or drink by the people in the different portion of the world. There are many kinds, in which this popular beverage is available such as Chinese greens, Darjeeling, etc. They all have vastly different profiles including nutty, sweet, floral, and grassy notes.

tea production

Originally, tea plants are native to China, especially Southwest portion of China where it was utilized as a medicinal drink to cure many kinds of problems. And is popularized as a recreational drink to all over the world. Generally, they are dried leaves of a bush or shrub plant which on adding to the hot and boiling water along with sugar and milk gives a stimulating and aromatic drink. During the 17th century, tea drinking became fashionable among the high profile peoples who started the commercial or large-scale cultivation of tea to meet the global requirement.

Health Benefits of Tea

health benefits of tea

Tea is a miracle cure for numbers of the problem and that is why it is drunk by most of all of us. There are lots of health benefits of tea. The following is a list of some of the health benefits of tea.

  • Tea is full of¬†antioxidants, which is beneficial in fat burn and also in improving muscle stamina
  • Drinking tea is also helpful in¬†reducing the danger of¬†heart attack and also prevent from¬†degenerative and cardiovascular diseases.
  • It also provides protection from numbers of cancers such as¬†colorectal, skin,¬†breast, colon,¬†small intestine, esophagus, stomach,¬†ovarian,¬†prostate,¬†pancreas,¬†liver, and oral cancers.
  • Tea is high in ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) and can help in fighting against free radicals.
  • The¬†caffeine content is tea is lower than the coffee and is also hydrating¬†to the¬†body.
  • Drinking tea is also provide protection from¬†Parkinson‚Äôs disease and ultraviolet rays to both; men and women.
  • Regularly consumption of hot tea leads lower waist circumference and also lower down the BMI ratio.
  • Tea is beneficial to those people who are suffering from Type 2 diabetes.
  • Green tea could help in improvement in bone,¬†strength and mineral density.
  • Polyphenols with green tea could help in maintaining and regulation¬†of brain parts. So, consumption of tea can help in learning and boost memory power.

Is Tea Good For Health?

As per me,¬†yes, yes, and yes… But, take care of consumption amount.¬†Tea in small quantity is beneficial for a healthy life but in taking it in high amount, it may be hazardous for you…

Climate Required for Tea Farming

In commercial tea production, the climate conditions and weather of cultivating area plays an important role in the production. For excellent tea leaf production, it requires a moderate humid and hot climate conditions. Since tea can thrive their best in¬†moderate hot humid climate conditions. Tea plantation in preferred agroclimatic conditions definitely impacts on the crop yield by quality and quantity. The optimum temp for the tea plantation should range between 18 ¬į C to 35¬†¬į C for excellent plant growth because temp more than 35¬†¬į C and less than 15¬†¬į C causes the contraction in tea plant growth.

tea farming & cultivation

However, a rainfall; well distributed throughout the year is also required. ranging from 120 cm to 280 cm. Tea plants are shade loving and grow more quickly if a shade is provided.

Soil Requirement in Tea Farming

This crop is able to thrive in deep and friable and loamy soils with the facility of well drainage. However, the Madonna forest soils which are full of all essential organic matters and plentiful of hummus with a good iron content is considered as the best suitable for optimum tea leaf production. The presence of phosphorus and potassium in higher amount is beneficial in giving a special flavor to the tea.

Avoid tea plantation on waterlogging soil since waterlogging damages the tea plants and crop. To increase the soil fertility and organic matter content, add a good dose of Nitrogen at the time of land preparation for tea plantation.

The ideal soil pH for tea plantation is pH, ranging from 4.3 to 5.8 for healthy tea leaf production.

Planting in Tea Farming

In tea plantation, planting is an important task that requires good planning and a careful supervision at the time of plantation. Perfectly planted tea shrubs of crops establish quickly on the field with vigorous growth rate and also attain maturity faster.

tea farming

Whereas an inadequate error during sowing causes mortality at high % and also an even permanent setback of total crop

Planting season of Tea Farming

To meet an excellent market demand for tea leaves, the planting should be done from April to June and from September to November with the facility of adequate irrigations.

  • Note: Avoid planting during heavy rains.

Planting Material Used for planting in Tea Farming

In tea plantation, planting matters a lot in deciding the production amount. So, care to be taken while selecting the planting material for tea plantation. Use only healthy tea plants having two feet high along with minimum 10 good and well mature leaves with pencil thickness girth for tea plantation on the field. Usually, a one year older plants can meet all the essential needs of planting material.

Discard all the sub-standard tea plants. And before they removed from the nursery, plants should be strengthened by continuous exposure to the sunlight. The transplantation of plants on the field should be carried out with maximum care and should be done after conventional labeling.

Tea Plantation Methods

Usually, tea plantation is mainly done by two methods. These are

  • Pit Planting Method
  • Trench Planting Method

planting tea

Both of above methods are explained below:

Pit Planting Method in Tea Farming

When there is a facility with enough space for preparing an individual pit having good size for Tea plantation without any kind of difficulty, this method of planting tea should be followed. The pit should be 45 cm deep, straight walled and about 45 cm wide in circular diameter since small size pits in tea plantation causes lower down the root growth and also lead to retardation in shoot growth and plant development.

For preparing the soil for tea plantation, add about 5 kg of farmyard manure to each of prepare pits and mix it well with the uppermost soil. Also, add about 30 gm of rock phosphate along with 30 gm of SSP to each of the prepared pits at the time of tea plantation on the main field.

Trench Planting Method in Tea Farming

When the facility of enough space for proper spacing, this method of tea planting should be adopted with closer spacing between the pits. This method is also followed for planting tea on the heavy soils.

In this method, trenches of 45 cm deep and 30 cm wide should be prepared along with the rows where the tea plants can be planted directly on the prepared trenches.

Tea Cultivation | Spacing and Propagation

tea seeds for tea farming

Tea Planting | Spacing

Planting tea plants at a proper distance is helpful in attaining excellent bush population in the field. An ideal bush population is required for the optimum production of leaves. The ideal row spacing for tea plantation is 100 to 110 cm whereas the plant spacing is 65 to 75 cm. With this planting spacing, one can easily plant around 15000 tea plants or bush in a one-hectare land. However, the bush population for planting tea on the hilly areas should be 17500 plants to maintain the avg population.

The plantation should be done with the single and double hedge only.

Method of Propagation

Tea plantation requires proper means of shade for the healthy growth of tea bush. So, tea gardens are generally set up on the hilly slopes where there is the full availability of shade of previously planted trees.

Tea bush or crop is mainly vegetatively propagated mostly with the help of seeds. Tea seeds are propagated firstly on the germination beds, and later, the saplings or seedling ate transplanted to the garden with an appropriate way of planting.

How To Grow Tea?

For tea plantation, the tea plants are firstly grown or raised in the nursery beds. For raising tea plants on nursery beds there is two method.

tea harvesting

These two are:

1) Bheti Planting Method and

2) Stump planting Method.

Bheti Planting Method of Raising in Tea Farming

In this method of planting, the tea plants are uprooted with Bheti without injuring the roots from nursery beds. This method is convenient for growing plants in the polythene sleeves, which directly reduces the complexity faces during transportation. The %age of plant survival in this planting method is very high. It also reduces the chances root damage.

For planting with this method, removed the polythene by carefully splitting the tube. Where the Bheti is accommodated in the pit, which is previous half loaded with prepared conditioned soil so that Bheti can be flushed with the ground surface. Add about 30 gm of rock phosphate at the base of Bheti. Then after, fill the prepared pit with conditional soil along with adequate ramming whereas the 30 gm of SSP should be added @ 5 cm depth round the Bheti. The presence of adequate ramming is essential to preventing the sinking of the pit level, which causes localized waterlogging in the pits.

However, this is also applicable for growing tea plants in sleeves.

Stump Planting Method of Raising in Tea Farming

For raising tea plants with this method, the tea plants should be lifted from nursery beds in such a way that soil could not remain on the roots. In this method, the shooting part of tea plant is to be cut off @ 20 cm from collar whereas the extra part of the roots is cut off before planting them inside the prepared pits.

This planting method of tea plantation or growing tea plant is usually followed for the overgrown nursery tea plants. The main advantage of this method is there is the easy transportation of plants from nursery beds to pits and it also minimizes the possibilities of withering occurrence after plantation.

But, the survival %age in this method is very very less in comparison to the Bheti planting method of raising plants.

Irrigation in Tea Farming

Irrigation should be done on the regular basis to meet the water requirement of tea bush for proper growth and plant development. Supply water on the basis of bush or plant requirement to obtain maximum growth in the plants.

However, irrigating with the Sprinkler method of irrigation is the most convenient and widely in commercial tea plantation of tea farming. Since drip irrigation is tea farming may lead to the restriction in seed-bearing.

Intercultural Activities in Tea Farming

tea farming in India

Hoeing and Weeding

Hoeing and weeding of the garden should be done on the regular basis with an interval so that the bush in the ground can grow efficiently without any kind of difficulty.

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Also, add manure and fertilizers after each of the hoeings and weeding in tea farming to increase the soil fertility, growth rate and development of plants. Nowadays, application of green manure and oil cakes are more practices in the commercial tea farming or tea plantation.

Pruning in Tea Farming

This is also an important task in tea cultivation that is done for maintaining the shape of bushes in a proper appearance at a height of 1 m and 1 m diameter.

Pruning of tea bushes is mainly done to have new and fresh shoots on plant bearing fluffy tea leaves in lots of amounts so that plucking of leaves from garden or ground becomes easy and comfortable.

Points To Be Consider While Tea Farming | Cultivation

planting tea

Take the following measure for care and management of tea plant in commercial tea farming to obtain high tea leaves yield.

  • Keep the newly planted tea plants free from any kind of weeds for the better establishment of plants.
  • Weeding should be done by hand until the canopy closes and shades out weeds.
  • Pruning should be done to¬†encourage the¬†leaf production and also lateral branches in tea plants.
  • Tipping and thinning of tea branches should be done to obtain the desired shape¬†of bushes.
  • Pruning also maintains size and productivity of plants and is best, when carried out at the plants are in the dormant stage.¬†If not, then pruning should be done in winter and after the dry period, on the basis of the atmosphere.
  • Keep¬†tree clippings while pruning of plants in the centers of rows so that it can play a role of organic mulch.
  • Manure and fertilizers are given, at least three times per each year after plantation. The nutrient content of manure and fertilizers should be maintained on the basis of soil¬†deficiencies, which can be learned by a soil test or testing leaves¬†before tea plantation.

Tea Pest and Diseases

  • Aphids or Tea aphid
  • Algal leaf spot
  • Blister blight
  • Camellia dieback and
  • Canker
  • Camellia flower blight
  • Horsehair
  • Blight
  • Poria root disease
  • Red root¬†disease
  • Root rot
  • Spider mites or Two-spotted spider mite
  • Tea scale

Tea Harvesting

Tea plantation or farming needs more labor for the tea leaves plucking that is for the harvesting of tea leaves from the ground. However, availability of labor at cheaper rate can minimize the capital input in Commercial tea cultivation.

The younger leaves of bush have the excellent flavor and the removal of uppermost younger leaves enhance the production. However, it lowers the overall leaves quality along with the quality of older leaves.

Tea Harvesting Method

Tea¬†is mainly¬†harvested¬†by hand. Tea Harvesting is mainly done in different “flushes” (A few leaves with little part of the stem along with the tips are called “flush”).¬†At the time of harvesting, plucking of¬†only a few juicy and young leaves with a little portion of plant stem should be done for producing tea leaves in a higher amount.

tea harvesting of leaves

The leaves should be plucked by hands manually by gripping the plant between forefinger and thumb and is carried out at every 7 to 14 days of interval, depending on garden altitude.

Bottom Line of Tea Farming

Tea Farming is really a profitable and enjoyable business with a huge income with little care and management of field and lower capital input.

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