April 17, 2018

Suitable environment for tea cultivation

To grow, tea needs plenty of water and sunshine, 4,000m² (1 acre) of tea in full leaf during normal fine weather will draw just over 10 tonnes (0.9 tons) of water a day from the soil - equivalent to about 0.25mm (less than 0.1”) of rain.

Some of this will be lost through evaporation, surface run-off etc., but a considerable quantity of rainfall is needed for leaf transpiration which allows photosynthesis and healthy plant growth.

Tea plants grow well in tropical and subtropical climates. Temperature plays an Important part in the growth and yield of tea. Temperature affects tea yield by influencing rate of photosynthesis and controlling growth and dormancy. In general, the ambient temperature within 13°C and 28-32°C is conducive for growth of tea.

Maximum ambient temperature above 32°C is unfavorable for optimum photosynthesis more so if it is accompanied by low humidity. A humid climate and high RH favors growth of tea.

Generally, sandy loam to silty loam type of soil with pH range of 4.5 - 5.5 is ideal for growing tea. Soil should possess a minimum 1% of organic carbon, 1-2% of organic matter, 35ppm of P2O5 and 80 ppm of K2O for successful establishment of tea. Tea grows well on high land well drained soils having a good depth. The depth of ground water table should not be less than 90 cm for good growth of tea. Catchment planning is required for improved soil and water management practices in a tea estate for which land survey designed to identify all major and minor topographical features needs to be carried out.

Like every plant tea bushes need protection from weeds otherwise the competition for water and soil nutrients would damage the tea crop potential. This is done with a combination of herbicides and hand weeding in non-organic crops.
Suitable environment for tea cultivation
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