Wednesday

Severity of plucking


The tea bush is well trained so that the top of the bush is flat or dome shape to allow equal sunlight without mutual shading among shoots. Such flat well trained surface of tea bush is called the plucking table.

Depending on the climatic and weather conditions, the shoot growth also changes. In monsoonal periods where both adequate rainfall and sunlight is available shoots tend to grow very fast. Other cultural practices such as pruning, new planting, infilling, fertilizer application, tipping, etc. must also be done in other fields where necessary. Due to the rapid growth, more labour demand takes place for plucking as well as for other cultural practices.

In such periods which is termed as the “Rush Crop Season”, it is necessary to pick shoots at the point just above the fish leaf, which is termed as “fish leaf plucking”. This severity of plucking is termed a “hard pluck”. This is important in maintaining the height of the plucking table. When the climatic conditions are not favorable, such as in droughts, plucking is done remaining the first normal leaf to the canopy. This leaf is nourishing the newly emerging shoot and hence, called the “mother leaf”. The severity of such plucking is termed as a “fine plucking or mother leaf plucking”. When fish leaf plucking is practiced, the fish leaf remained on the plucking table is working as a mother leaf to the new shoot.

For maintaining a good photosynthetic action, adequate to maintain the bush, it is requited to maintain at least 25 cm thick top leaf layer. Older leaves below that layer won’t contribute much to photosynthesis as they are older and mutual shading from upper layers.

Tea leaf become its highest photosynthetic rate at half of its mature size approximately in six 6wks from unfurling, and remain in that rate approximately 6 months. After that it will remain about 18 months in the canopy but the contribution to the photosynthesis is considerably low. Therefore, adding new leaves to the canopy is compulsory for favorable carbohydrate assimilation for better and vigorous maintenance of the tea bush.

This will make your understand correctly that alternate fine and hard plucking systems must be practiced in favorable and less favorable weather periods.

1 comment:

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