Tea lovers often hear the word organic tea, but many people still don’t quite understand what organic means. Today I’m going to share with you what organic tea is!
Organic tea is a kind of tea produced and processed according to organic farming methods. In its production process, no artificial fertilizers, pesticides, plant growth regulators, chemical food additives and other substances are used. It also complies with the standards of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) and is issued a certificate by the organic (natural) food certification organization. Organic tea is a kind of pollution-free, pure natural tea.
During the planting process, natural green manures are used, biological or physical methods are used to prevent and control pests and diseases, and natural farming is the main method. The use of any chemical synthetic pesticides and fertilizers is not allowed. No chemical additives are used in the organic tea process. Organic tea minimizes environmental pollution during the entire production and processing process, while also fully retaining the fragrance and glycol characteristics of tea.
Ⅰ. Environmental selection
Production areas should be far away from urban and industrial areas. The air meets the first-class national atmospheric environment quality standards, and the water quality of irrigation water meets the first-class national surface water environment quality standards. And the content of heavy metals such as copper, lead, cadmium, arsenic, mercury, and chromium in the soil must be lower than the national organic tea processing technology standards. Production, processing, and storage sites should be kept clean and sanitary, and the use of chemicals is prohibited.
Ⅱ. Garden site selection
Seeds and seedlings must come from organic agricultural production systems and do not use seedlings of varieties obtained through genetic engineering. The tea garden has an excellent ecological environment and is surrounded by green belts. There should be a certain isolation zone between organic tea and non-organic agricultural production land. The garden soil is deep and fertile, with good permeability, organic matter content >1.5%, pH value 4.5 to 6.5, effective soil layer is loose, and biological activity is strong. No toilets, cesspools, livestock pens, etc. are allowed within 100 meters around the tea garden.
Ⅲ. Soil management
- For young tea gardens that are 1 to 3 years old, green manure should be planted reasonably between the rows to fertilize and improve the soil.
- Before the rainy season and after applying base fertilizer in autumn and winter, cover the soil with non-polluting straw, mountain green, etc. to reduce the loss of water, soil and fertilizer, retain water and prevent drought in summer, and keep heat and frost in winter.
- Tea gardens with fertile soil, no weeds, and high coverage should require less (no) tillage. It is advocated to use organisms (such as earthworms, etc.) to improve soil structure and increase soil fertility.
- The use of chemical herbicides, synergists and soil conditioners is strictly prohibited.
Ⅳ. Fertilization technology
- Tea gardens producing organic tea are allowed to apply organic fertilizers that are not contaminated by heavy metals, pesticides and other harmful chemicals and have undergone harmless treatment, certain natural minerals (e.g., mineral nitrate, etc.), natural humic acid salts (e.g., peat, etc.), and purely biotechnology-produced organic liquid fertilizers, bacterial fertilizers, and fertilizers specifically for organic tea, among others.
- It is prohibited to use various artificial chemical fertilizers, compound fertilizers, compound fertilizers, rare earth element fertilizers, auxins, various artificially synthesized multi-functional leaf nutrient solutions, urban and rural garbage, and factory waste residues in organic tea gardens.
- The pruned tea branches and leaves every year must be returned to the soil. They can be directly used as fertilizer and buried in the soil, or they can be used as soil mulch and spread between the rows.
- Organic tea gardens should apply base fertilizer and top dressing. The base fertilizer is organic fertilizer that has been composted for 1 to 6 months and fully decomposed, including various types of non-polluting cake fertilizer, green manure, crop residues, peat, organic tea fertilizer and other fertilizers. Top dressing uses high-temperature composted and harmlessly treated human manure, livestock and poultry manure, organic tea-specific fertilizer, and bio-organic liquid fertilizer.
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