The tea plant (Camellia sinensis) grows in high altitude tropical climates and at low elevation in sub-tropical climates with mild year-round conditions. To determine if your area is suitable for cultivation of C. sinensis, apply the following rule, which summarizes the three criteria that I just outlined: If during an average day in the warm season you can stand within view of a thriving ornamental camellia, and at the same time find yourself looking for either a shade tree or a swimming pool, then your area has potential as a tea-growing location! Too much of a gradient and gardening becomes challenging in other ways, but a gentle change in elevation across your garden, even just one or two feet of change, is sufficient. A more realistic estimate of yield, especially for novice growers, is closer to one-quarter of a pound of leaf per mature plant per year. The Camellia sinensisplant is a small shrub about 3 to 7 feet (1 to 2 meters) in height, though it will grow taller if you don't prune it. You realize, through a 5-to-1 conversion, 5 pounds of finished tea for the entire year. Prior to taking up writing full time she has worked as a landscape artist and organic gardener. If you choose to go the container route to tea cultivation, consider these tea tips: Pot up as many tea plants as you can afford to prepare. Sometimes puddling is caused by a compacted layer of topsoil. Six months is better. And though my tea will not yet win international awards, it is most definitely enjoyable to drink and also worth every drop of sweat that I’ve shed while working in the garden. When commercially produced tea has health and environmental impacts - pesticides, plastics in tea bags which may not be suitable for compost Put the tea seeds onto the compost about 1 inch apart and top with 1/8 inch of soil, enough to just cover the seed. There are two main varieties which require warmer growing zones: Camellia sinensis var. If you already have soil that satisfies these thresholds for CEC and soil organic matter, then you have already won a challenging part of the battle. Tea plants require consistent temperatures that range between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit . And even with that amount of rainfall, I think it’s a good idea to supplement with irrigation, especially if you have recently installed plants. If by mid-day, however, the temperatures in your garden frequently hit the 90s, then your tea needs relief from the sun and heat. Rain often comes with high humidity and tea needs a lot of water. “Two and a bud” are used for green and black teas alike. But let’s suppose that you have satisfied Mike’s Rule #1 for successful tea gardening. For instance, I can only hand-roll about one-and-a-half pounds of plucked tea leaf at a time, and then just two such batches per day because the fatigue of my hands and wrists limits production. Tea will not live in bogs and so you should avoid such areas. Mass-produced tea is grown on large plantations in more than 30 countries, but the four biggest producers are China, India, Kenya and Sri Lanka. Keep the seeds damp in an area where the temperature is between 65 and 72 degrees F. Indirect light or dappled shade is best; avoid full sunlight. For one thing, mature hedgerows have a leafy canopy that shades out weeds from growing underneath. Sub-soil drainage problems occur because the water table is too close to the surface or because the structure of the sub-soil lacks sufficient air spaces to allow water movement. 4. I covered a lot of important decision points regarding small-scale tea gardening. How to pick your tea. If you are unfamiliar with the climate in your area, refer to the USDA plant hardiness zone map. Almost any plant can be grown within a … Growing tea in the garden: estimating spatial needs, testing the soil, and checking drainage and irrigation, semi-dormant stem and leaf combination called banji, The Ideal Soil V.2: A Handbook for the New Agriculture, Assam, India, shade trees with a high, thin canopy of foliage are frequently planted among tea hedgerows, Indian Tea Journey: Exploring the Storied Teas of Assam, Darjeeling, and Nilgiri. Something to keep in mind: You will find that the more tea leaf you can harvest the faster you will learn how to make good tea. Suppose less rosy yields (e.g., one quarter-pound per plant per year) and less generous conversion if you want to be conservative in your predicted tea rewards. Tea tip: Soil laboratories will tailor their recommendations for a particular crop plant, but it’s unlikely that US-based operations will have specific recommendations for tea camellia. Soil science is accessible to anyone with DIY sensibilities. Indeed, there are by now a bewildering number of cultivated varieties of tea, each of which may be chosen by planters to suit particular environments and to improve the qualities of made tea. Carbon is absolutely the backbone of organic life, but it can build up so high that nitrogen gets tied up by soil microbes that are busy digesting the carbon. Manufacturers produce produce tea commercially from young shoots of Camellia sinensis.However, in commercial tea plantation, the planter keeps the plant in the form of a bush with flat surface. Depending on where the Camellia Sinensis tea plant is grown it will produce varying flavor. The tiny shop with wooden sign above has been there for hundreds of years. Thanks in advance for all the help. 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