Tea World

Lesson 14

Digging of Pits or Trenches

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Prior to digging out the pits for planting tea, bamboo pegs are normally used in the field to mark the position of the plants in order so that the alignment of the bushes are in straight line. This procedure is called staking. Stakes are made of 45-50 cm long split bamboo pegs. Staking may be done in two ways. The stakes may be put between the pre determined positions of the plants so that the stakes will remain in its own position while pits are being dug according to spacing. Again, the stakes may be placed in the predetermined position of the plant as per spacing and pit is dug by removing the alternate stake.

Two methods of planting may be followed viz., pit planting and trenching planting. Pit planting is followed when the spacing between plants is sufficiently large enough to allow large pits to be dug without difficulties. Pit should be 45 cm wide 45 cm deep circular and straight walled. In heavy soils, the bottom soil may be forked to a further depth of 15 cm. If the spacing is closer, pits can be dug alternatively to avoid difficulties. After that the rest of the pits are dug. Pits should be dug only at the time of planting. In the rainy season, it is not desirable to dig pits in advance and leave them as such. On heavy rainy days also, pits should not be dug. Pebbles, wood, root or leaves should be removed from the pits.

Trench planting may be adopted for closer spacing and heavy soils. Trenches of 30 cm wide and 45 cm deep are dug along the rows. Normally pit planting is preferred to trench planting.

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