China Tea Marketing Association released news about a winter cold snap in early January that brought (potential) frost conditions to 10 provinces, including major tea growing regions.
Depending on location, topography, and hardiness levels of the tea varieties, these frost conditions will have varying degrees of impact.
Tea farmers have several strategies for preventing frost damage, including:
- Bacterial (thermophillic and mesophillic) processing of cut vegetation. Weeds, cover crops and other plants growing between tea rows can be cut and left on the ground. The digestive processes of the bacteria in cut grass release heat that provides some protection.
- Smoke– controlled, small fires can be set nearby to carry smoke and warmer air over the tea fields,
- Covering tea rows to create insulated pockets of warmer air,
- Water– spraying tea plants with water can prevent frost, as water can also serve as insulator
Late winter and early spring frosts can delay or reduce spring flushes, and measures can be taken to help plants recover:
- Pruning of frost damaged portions of the tea plant can encourage better flushing
- Tilling and fertilizing support the plant’s root development and nutrient absorption
- Pest management programs help protect the plants from further attacks as they recover from frost
Firsd Tea has not received any reports from parent company Zhejiang Tea Group regarding frost damage to tea fields or any impact winter weather on the 2021 Spring crop.