Tea World

Lesson 32

Fertilizer Application in Young Tea

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Adequate fertilizer application during the formative years of tea is of great importance for proving the plants with the essential nutrient requirements for developing of a healthy frame and at the same time bring them into economic bearing as soon as possible.The major nutrients (NPK) are applied as YTD mixture in young tea at the recommended proportion depending on the soil fertility status and are applied in splits at frequent interval. The rate and method of application of YTD mixture varies with the age of the plant.

Follow the following guideline for fertilizer application.

 (A) Preparation of YTD Mixture 


Key points

1.Selection of fertilizers i) Select appropriate nitrogenous, potassic and phosphatic fertilizers available in the market.
ii) Procure the fertilizers from the genuine source only.
2.Decision on the type of YTD mixture i) If the available soil potash is below 100 ppm, prepare 10:5:15 YTD mixture for application.
ii) If the available soil Potash is above 100 ppm, prepare 10:5:10 YTD mixture for application.
iii Use sand or dry and well decomposed powdered cow dung or dolomite as filler material.
3.Computation of the amount of YTD mixture i) Decide on the amount of YTD mixture to be applied depending on the age of the plants.
ii) Compute the total quantity of YTD mixture for the entire section/area and for that split.(Example  as follows):
Area of the section 10 ha
Age + 2 year
Spacing 105 cm x 75 x cm
Dose 60 g per plant
Number of split 4
Growth and production of the section Average
Amount of YTD mixture per split 13,000 x 10 x 60 
=1950 kg
iii) Compute the quantity of YTD mixture to be applied per plant when applied in Ring Method.
4.Computation of individual fertilizers i) 100 kg 10:5:10 YTD mixture contains 10 kg N,5 kg P2O5 and 10 kg K2O.
Again 100 kg 10:5:15 YTD mixture contains 10 kg N,5 kg  and 15 kg .
ii) List the nutrient content of different fertilizers to be used for preparation of YTD mixture.
  The nutrient content of different fertilizers are as follows:
        Urea 46% N
        SSP 16 %
RP 20-24 %
MOP 60%
SOP 50%
DAP 18% N and 46%
iii) Compute the quantity of different fertilizers required to prepare 100 kg YTD mixture. For example:
YTD mixture to be prepared 10:5:15 NPK
Available fertilizers Urea, SSP and MOP
Requirement of fertilizers for 100 kg 10:5:15 YTD mixture Urea    :  
SSP       : 
MOP     : 
22 kg
31 kg
25 kg
  Filler     : 22 kg
  Total     : 100 kg
5.Preparation of YTD mixture i) Calculate and weigh the different fertilizers separately for each split for the entire section/area.
ii) Mix the fertilizers (except SSP) and the filler thoroughly on a concrete/hard, dry and clean floor or on a sheet of tarpaulin spread over the ground.
iii) Use rotary shifter if the quantity of fertilizers is large.
iv) Mix SSP just before application.
v) Prepared only the required quantity to be applied just before application.
vi) Never store YTD mixture.

(B)Application of YTD mixture


Key Points

1.Time of application i) Apply the first application following a few showers in spring during March-April.
ii) Ensure that the soil is moist. Soil should be moist up to a depth of about 45 cm.
iii) Apply on weed free clean ground.
iv) Do not apply immediately after planting.
v) In unpruned tea, apply the fertilizer after the bushes have made some new growth.
vi) In pruned tea, apply the fertilizer after the bushes have produced few new leaf.
vii) Avoid application during heavy rainy days.
viii) Apply YTD mixture in split as recommended at 6-8 weeks interval.
2. Method of application i) Clean the collar region of the plant by scrapping weeds and other debris.
ii) Fork the area lightly before application.
iii) Apply YTD mixture in Ring method during 0 to +3 years as follows:
  (a)Keep 1/3 rd area of the spread of the bush from the centre un-manured. For example, if the spread of the bush is 60 cm dia, then a ring of 10 cm radius from the collar if left un- manured.
(b) Apply fertilizer mixture only in the remaining 2/3 rd area at the periphery of the ring. For example, since the spread of the bush is 60 cm dia, 2/3 rd of 60 is 40 cm dia. This area and a further 10 cm outside the ring (i.e.40cm+10cm) are manured.
iv) Stir the soil after application of fertilizer and cover with the weeds/debrises.
v) Apply YTD mixture in +4 and +5 years in strip by broadcast, 10 cm away from the collar of the plants.

 Take the following precautions:

  • Don’t apply fertilizers until the plants establish well in the field.
  • Care should be taken so that the applied fertilizers do not come in contact with the collar of the plant.
  •  Don’t apply fertilizers on dry ground.
  • Mix SSP only just before application otherwise the mixture will become muddy.
  • Broadcast the YTD mixture in strips on either side of the row only when the ground cover is almost covered by the bushes.

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