Effect of fertilizer levels and plucking intervals on yield and quality of clonal tea [Camellia sinensis (L.) Kuntze]
Keywords:Tea, Camellia sinensis, Plucking intervals, NPKS 25, 5, 5 fertilizer, Quality, Yields
AbstractVariation in yield and black tea (Camellia sinensis (L.) Kuntze) quality of a high-yielding clone, S 15/10 in response to rates of NPKS 25:5:5:5 (at 100-600 kg N ha-1 yr-1) fertilizer and three plucking intervals (7, 14, and 21 days) were studied. Yields responses were quadratic, reaching calculated maximum production when 466, 487, and 491 kg N ha-1 yr-1 was applied at 7, 14, and 21 days plucking intervals, respectively. But significant yield increase was achieved by applying only up to 200 kg N ha-1 yr-1.The most profitable production was also achieved by applying 200 kg N ha-1 yr-1 irrespective of plucking intervals, at the 1993 production costs in Kenya. Mean weights of plucked (two leaves and a bud) shoots, shoot density, and shoot extension rate increased with fertilizer rates. On unselective plucking, long plucking intervals produced leaf with a high proportion of mature (coarse) leaf beyond two leaves and a bud.