How to grow tea
The Tea (Camellia sinensis (L.) Kuntze) is the species of the Theaceae family whose leaves and sprouts are used to produce the homonymous drink. All types of tea originate from the processing of leaves, shoots and other parts of this plant but are the processing methods that differentiate the various types. There are, if anything, different cultivars of this plant: Benifuuki, Fushun, Kanayamidori, Meiryoku, Saemidori, Okumidori and Yabukita but with very similar cultivation techniques. In this sheet we will see how to grow the tea and the most appropriate precautions and agronomic techniques, considering that the tea plant grows and is grown mainly in the tropical and subtropical belt with very high rainfall and exposure in full sun. The plant then needs very high environmental humidity and particularly fertile soils. In the absence of these conditions, a successful cultivation becomes much more complex, even if some more resistant varieties are also cultivated in Great Britain. In this regard, it should be remembered that the crops can also be found at 2,500 m above sea level (where the finest teas are often obtained).
For its cultivation we recommend a constant topping: the plant must be pruned at the height of the waistline to facilitate the emission of lateral jets and the next spongea tura; otherwise the plant tends to assume tree size. For the cultivation of tea it is advisable to start from the seed, if in the cultivation area it is more difficult to find seedlings in the nursery; the seeds can be bought much more easily on the internet.
For sowing it is advisable to keep the seeds soaking for 2 – 3 days to allow a good hydration of the seed; in addition, given the low percentage of germination, it is advisable to increase the quantity of seeds by 40-60%. Sowing should be carried out on soft, medium-textured soils with a slightly acid reaction and very low calcium content, an element not very appreciated by Camellia sinensis. The same thing should be done with irrigation water that should not be calcareous. For germination, tea needs about three weeks and the ideal temperature is 20 ° – 25 ° C for the whole sprouting period and for the first phase of vegetative growth. For this reason it is advisable to sow seeds and to carry out transplanting in a sunny and warm environment; the era of the appropriate transplant is the spring when the temperatures have exceeded 18 ° C, even at night.
The productive life of Camellia sinensis generally begins 3-4 years after sowing, and lasts for some ten years, even if there are wild specimens that are more than a century old.
Among the adversities found on the Camellia sinensis we remember some cochineals of the genera Planococcus, Virus of the infectious variegation of the camellia (C.I.V.V.), necrosis of the flowers of camellia (Ciborinia camelliae or Sclerotinia camelliae) and manifestations of leaf chlorosis if the pH is too high. Anthracnose of the camellia or Glomerella cingulata, rot of the collar and roots (Phytophthora cinnamoni) and leaf maculata (Phyllosticta camelliae) can also be found.