How much tea would a tea bush yield, if a tea bush could yield tea? That’s the way the nursery rhyme goes, right?
A few days ago, we had an interesting conversation about tea bush yield on our USLTG Facebook page and we thought that since we have so many new tea growers, this information might be great to get out to everyone!
Nicole: I was considering growing tea and am having difficulty finding out just how much 1 bush would yield?
USLTG (Jason McDonald): I am not an expert, but, if a typical acre yields 900 kg of tea a year, and there are roughly 4500 plants per acre, then the average yield of a plant is 200 grams or nearly half a pound per year. This, of course, depends on multiple factors like soil pH, climate, variety, vigor, husbandry, etc. So, it is not easily determinable how much per plant is produced as around the world, tea is usually grown from small gardens to huge plantations, not just single plants. The USLTG recently set the lowest number of plants to be considered a “grower” at 25. If grown in traditional commercial spacing, 26 plants will only need 180 sq ft (6′ x 30′).
USLTG (Nigel Melican): I once managed 500 bushes in a greenhouse in England . We achieved about 150 grams of tea from each plant. As Jason says, it varies a great deal depending on conditions and bush size. Making an accurate estimate for a particular location without knowing all the growth determining factors is like looking at your two year old child and guessing how tall he or she will grow at maturity.
So there you have it! A little nugget to start the conversation for our tea growing pals. How much tea are your bushes yielding and how are you increasing the quantity/quality of that yield?