In N.E. India, tea seeds mature from October and harvesting is continued upto 3 months. Mature fruits containing 1-3 seeds drop from trees and seeds are collected from the ground .A gentle shaking of the tree helps the dropping of seeds which remain attached to the fruit even after cracking of the capsule. The ground of the seed barie should be kept clean during the harvesting months. Seeds should be collected daily because the fallen seeds dry up quickly. The moisture content of the seed should not fall below 40 %.
Tea Seeds Collection
After collection, the seeds are to be placed in a large container filled up with water up to half portion. Some seeds which are empty float and the heavy seeds sink. Floater seeds are discarded. There are some floater seeds which become sinker when kept in water for another 1-2 hours. Before packing, 100 seeds are taken at random and cracked with a pair of nut crackers. The cheesy starred or damaged seeds are counted and the percentage of good seeds is determined and is mentioned at the time of dispatching the seeds boxes.
In general, packing is immediately done in wooden boxes. Now-a -days, bags are also used for packing tea seeds. 20 kg seeds are packed in one box using charcoal or sand or ash packing media which is reffered to as one unit. Seeds are packed in the box layer by layer. The moisture content of the packing material used varies from about 10-12 % in sand and ashes and 20-30 % in charcoal powder. Tea seeds should be sown immediately within two months because the viability is very short.