Land Preparation

The vegetation is cleared one season ahead by ring barking trees followed by uprooting the stumps along with roots and leaving the litters to decompose in situ. The pits so formed are filled up with excavated soil and the ground is levelled with minimum soil disturbance. The drains are then laid out and excavated soil spread thinly over the ground. Following this, staking for tea
plants is made and seeds of green crop like Crotolaria anagyroides are sown between the tea lines for providing quick ground cover and temporary shade to the young tea plants. Tea is planted as soon as land preparation is completed. In general, planting is completed by end-May/June in draughty areas and by September to early November in other places. The newly planted tea fields are then adequately mulched. Between clearing the land and planting, there should be minimum time interval. The drains and the tea planting should be along the contour in hilly areas or in land with more than 2% slope.

Land preparation for replanting on uprooted land

The pits and the subsidiary drains should be filled up with soil and the land is levelled by hand hoeing or mechanically. The drainage lines should be marked according to topography of the land. Ploughing and cross ploughing should be undertaken when the soil is moist and sub-soiled where necessary, taking care not to plough the lines of drains. If the soil is highly acidic, 2-3 tons of powdered slake lime or dolomite is broadcast before ploughing. After levelling the land, drains are dug and the area put under rehabilitation crops for at least two years. After rehabilitation period is over, the grass is cut at ground level leaving the lopping in situ. The stumps are removed with minimum soil disturbance. The drains are deepened or re-graded and the area is replanted with vigorous clones or seedlings.

Soil rehabilitation