Shade in the seed nurseries may be provided by flat-topped overhead shade or provided by raising green crops by the side of the beds. The overhead shade itself is of thinly spread thatch, grasses, reed or fern, tied between bamboo or wooden laths to make panels.The usual height of the top is150 to 160 cm from the ground level. The shade should be thinned out progressively along with the growth of the seedlings, finally removing it completely after the seedling complete a flush of growth.
The overhead shade is generally not required for seed nurseries in optimum climate condition. In areas prone to blister blight attack, as in Darjeeling overhead shade should never be used. Areas prone to early seasons drought and /or hailstorm should be provided with overhead shade of north light type in seed nurseries.The artificial overhead shade like coir matting, plastic net may also be used. One shade should preferably cover only one bed.
In areas having good climatic conditions, shade is provided by growing green crops in between two seed beds. Crops like Crotalaria anagyroides, Tephrosia candida are generally grown in a bed of about 30cm width laid out in between two seed beds. The green crops are raised well ahead of planting the tea seeds. Tephrosia candida should not be used in red rust prone areas and should not be continued into the second year.