Share on Facebook

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Planting & Management of Seedling tea Nursery

Seedling plantign is now not widely done since Vegetatively Propergated (VP) plants give higher yields and uniform growth. (This article is written on a request by a reader)

Harvesting of seeds

Mature tea fruits are dark greed to light brown in color depending on cultivar. When the ourter coating of the fruit is removed, seed(s) must be dark brown seed coat. Light brown and yellowish ones are not mature enough to propergate. Picking fruits before they are fallen is a must as viability of seeds become low when they fall on the ground. If you collect seeds after falling them on ground, it should done daily to avoid collecting old fallen seeds, also ground must be free of weeds.

Tea seeds don't have any dormant period, once picking from the tree they can be put in a nursery. Never take seeds picked more than 7 days before, as viability decreases rapidly.

Nursery management

Presoaking seeds 2-3 days in water, could be done prior to put in the nursery to decrease the time taken for crackin the seed coat. This is not necessary practice. However, put seeds in water for float-sinker assessment. Seeds that are sinking can be taken for germination.

Coarse river sand removed only with larger particles is suitable as a nursery media. Depth of the nursery is 4"-6" with any convenient width and length. 1" sand layer is removed from the nursery and seeds are sown after which they are covered with the sand layer removed before. Seeds must be sown at 0.5"-1" depth. Placing piece of coir matting will protect seeds from bird's damages. Water twise a day.

Transfer plants from nursery to bags.

Germination commences about 2 weeks after sowing and reaches maximum at the 3rd-4th week. Once the tip of the root emergs from the seed coat, they should transfer to nursery bags filled with soil medium. Care should be taken not to damage the root end emerging (tap root).

Fertilizer application

After 2 weeks of planting fertilizer application can be done. Pls refet to my blog archive on Fertilizer for Tea Nursery for the details. (Fertilizer for seedling & VP has no much difference in nursery management) Shading is not necessary as this is a natural process.

Planting in the field

After 8-10 months in nursery bags, depending on growth, plants are ready to plant in field. Care should be taken not to allow the tap root to reach or penetrage in to nursery soil coming out from the bag. This will sure damage the tap root when transplanting.

Please refer to my archive on Field establishment of young tea for further details.

1 comment:

Agronomic Practices for High Yielding Tea Plantation

This blog is meant for discussing proper agronomic practices applied in tea cultivation, where you can discuss and have answers for tea related agronomic and other problems.