Shade in V.P. nurseries is of two types- low level shade and high overhead shade. Vegetative propagation of tea is always carried out under shade which should allow only about 40% of daylight on the cuttings.
Low level shade: This consists of square type bamboo basketwork or lath frames each about the size of 1.30m x 1.30m. The beds required to have bamboo fence around their edges to support the shade frames. The square bamboo frames are laid across the bed with a clearance of about 25cm above the sleeves or cuttings. The frames may be raised further along with the growth of the plants.
Overhead shade: The overhead shade is a roof like structure provided above the beds at a height of about 160cm to 220cm. The most suitable type of overhead shade is the North light type of shade, where the roof is kept higher on the northern side with a slope towards south. The overhead shades may be constructed with locally available cheap materials like bamboo, ekara, thatch or weeds as roofing materials. On the east, west and southern sides, the nursery has to be provided with side screens made of any or the above materials to prevent direct sunlight.
Maintenance of proper shade is very important for the nursery. The north light type of shade allowing 40-50% of day light should not be disturbed until about 10 weeks before removal of the plants to the field. Then gradually the shade is to be thinned out with the removal of the side screens so as to harden the plants for field planting. This process involves the regulation of shade from 40% to 100% of daylight.
Overhead shade in Tea Nursery