ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 83 Number 3
Nutrient evaluation as an analytical tool for balanced nutrition of the tea crop in the plantations of Bir area of Himachal Pradesh in North-West India. (79)
In order to investigate the nutrient status of China hybrid tea grown under Bir area (Factory Zone-IV) of Himachal Pradesh, India, the soil at depth of 0-30 cm was sampled from 16 well-managed and 13 poorlymanaged tea gardens and analyzed for nutrient status. The third leaf of the tea shoots were also sampled in three seasons of the year from the same site from where soil samples were taken. The leaf samples were analyzed for contents of N, P, K, Ca, Mg, S, Fe, Mn, Zn, and Cu and soil samples were analyzed for pH, organic C, texture, cation exchange capacity, and macro- and micro-nutrients. Tea soils of this factory zone were loam to sandy loam in texture with a pH value ranging from 4.9 to 6.1.The organic C content was high. Available N status was high and P and K medium in both types of gardens. Calcium was adequate, but Mg was deficient. In well-managed gardens, 31 %, and in poorly-managed gardens, 69% of soils were deficient in S. Iron and Mo were found to be sufficient, but certain soils were deficient in Cu, and Zn contents. Shoot nutrient status exhibited erratic behaviour of nutrients particularly Ca, Fe, Mg, S, and Zn falling in low to medium fertility class. These contents increased during the monsoon period, but declined during the backend flush, indicating thereby the high requirements during the second flush in BirKangra Valley of Himachal Pradesh, India.
Keywords: Tea; Nutrient status; Analytical tools; Soil and leaf samples