Our tea plantation goal remains elusive. In the greenhouse, the tea cultivars are regularly hit by blight, aphids and scale. In the field, we suffered that setback recently when pigs tore up the whole field. My attempt at getting cuttings to root has been a serious laborious effort of a year of potting and tending, with virtually no success. Even today, every few days i cull a handful of dead or dying plants. They do seem to do better once in the ground, but i am scared to plant more until i can afford some pig fencing.
I do a detailed count every month, and today i made charts to see the big picture. Here’s how the cultivars have done. There were cultivars purchased several times through the Tea Society, but with the death rate, the number of surviving plants barely inches upward. The one unqualified success is the Darjeeling seedling, which are 90% growing strong and healthy:
It’s far more grim with the cuttings. I cut and potted all these cuttings myself, from a dozen different sources including USDA, Eliah, and many odd tea plants found around Hamakua. Out of 1000 original cuttings, the largest and most successful batch is from Eliah’s field, of which 41 out of 255 are alive today, a 16% success rate. Overall, the survival rate is 7%:
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