Growing Bananas: A Step-by-Step Guide

  • , द्वारा Agriplex India
  • 9 मिनट पढ़ने का समय

Information  
Banana is the fruit of a plant of the genus Musa (family Musaceae), which is cultivated primarily for food and secondarily for the production of fiber used in the textile industry are also cultivated for ornamental purposes. Almost all the modern edible parthenocarpic bananas come from the two wild species – Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana. The scientific names of bananas are Musa acuminata, Musa balbisiana, or hybrids of Musa acuminata and balbisiana, depending on their genomic constitution. Bananas are vigorously growing, monocotyledonous herbaceous plants. The banana is not a tree but a high herb that can attain up to 15 meters of height. The cultivars vary greatly in plant and fruit size, plant morphology, fruit quality, and disease and insect resistance. Most bananas have a sweet flavor when ripe; exceptions to this are cooking bananas and plantains.
 Banana Cultivation

Crop Selection  

Dessert 
Robusta, Dwarf Cavendish, Grand Naine, Rasthali, Vayal vazhai, Poovan, Nendran, Red Banana, Karpooravalli, Co.1, Matti, Sannachenkadali, Udayam and Neypoovan are popular varieties in banana. Cavendish groups are generally preferred in the export market. 
Culinary 
Monthan, Vayal vazhai, Ash Monthan, and Chakkia are cultivated for culinary purposes. Nendran is a dual-purpose variety used for dessert and culinary. 
Hill areas 
The popular varieties of bananas suitable for hilly areas are Virupakshi, Sirumalaiand Namarai. Red Banana, Manoranjitham (Santhana vazhai), and Ladan are also cultivated in hills. 

Soil and Climate 

Well-drained loamy soils are suitable for banana cultivation. Alkaline and saline soils should be avoided. 


Field preparation 
The land is prepared by plowing twice and harrowing thrice. Leveling is done by tractor after harrowing. Ridges and furrows are made, and the pits (30 cm (about 11.81 in) x 30 cm x 30 cm) are dug and filled up with well-decomposed FYM/ Annapurna Compost. The pits are irrigated to allow the soil to settle. 


Planting 

The time of planting of bananas depends solely on climatic conditions and the availability of water. In areas of heavy and continuous rains, planting of bananas should be done after rains i.e., September - October, and in those areas where rain is not so heavy planting can be done in June-July. In Irrigated areas the planting is done in February - March and in hilly areas in April.

The planting material is treated with a solution of 250 g of ghee, 0.500 g of honey, and 15 kg of cow dung. 

The spacing adopted by organic banana cultivators is 1.5 m x 1.5m and 1.5 m x 1.8 m. However, for tissue-cultured bananas, a spacing of 1.5 m x 1.8m accommodating a plant population of 4400 plants/ha is considered for working out the cost of this model scheme. 

Trichoderma and Pseudomonas are beneficial microbes that can be used to prevent fungal and bacterial diseases originating in soil. Apart from this carbendazim can be also used to control and prevent fungal diseases.

To use Trichoderma and Pseudomonas for planting bananas, you can:

  1. Mix the microbes with water and spray the mixture on the leaves and soil around the banana plants.
  2. Apply the microbes to the soil around the banana plants before planting.
  3. Inoculate the banana plants with the microbes by dipping the roots in a solution of the microbes.

The best time to apply Trichoderma and Pseudomonas is during the growing season when the banana plants are most susceptible to pests and diseases. You can apply the microbes once a month or as needed.

Banana Crop Plantation

Irrigation 
The plants need to be irrigated immediately after planting. About 30-40 weekly irrigations are required. When summer temperature crosses 37.5 0C, irrigation on every 3rd day is essential. Inadequate irrigation of bananas leads to delayed flowering, irregular bunch size, delayed maturity, reduced fingers, and poor keeping quality of the fruits. The drip system of irrigation is being followed in most of the organic banana cultivation in Maharashtra. In this model scheme, the cost of installation of drip is not considered. 

Intercultural Operations 
Propping 
Propping or supporting the bearing plants can be done with suitable propping material like bamboo or wooden poles. 
Mulching 
Mulching is desirable immediately after planting. Mulching controls weed growth conserves moisture, hastens growth, and improves yield. 
Desuckering 
All varieties of banana throw suckers from 2-3 months after planting. All these suckers should not be allowed to grow as they will compete with the mother plants for water and nutrients thereby reducing the yield of the main crop. Desuckering with a sickle at 15-20 days intervals right from the beginning till flowering is essential. Wrapping the bunches is essential to have blemish / bruise-free fruits with uniform size and quality. For this, black coloured polythene may be used to cover the fruits 

 Application of fertilizers: 
Recommended Dose: 200:35:300 g NPK per plant 

Here are some Best Fertilizers for Banana Plantation
 

Pest management 

Corm Weevil 
Apply carbaryl 10 – 20 g/plant in the soil around the Banana stem to control the Corm Weevil pest.
Stem Weevil 
Remove dried leaves periodically and keep the plantation clean. Prune the sucker every month. 
Banana Aphids 
The pest is the vector for Bunchy top virus disease. Spray any one of the following systemic insecticides to control it. Phosphamidon 2 ml/lit or Methyl demeton 2 ml/lit or Dimethoate 30 EC 2 ml/lit. The spray may be directed towards the crown and pseudostem base up to the ground level at 21-day intervals at least thrice. ml/plant (1 ml diluted in 4 ml of water) at 45-day intervals from the 3rd month till flowering is very effective.
 Thrips and Lacewing Bugs 
Spray Lambdacyhalothrin @ 2 ml/lit or Ortho Silicic Acid 2% @ 2ml/lit. 
Banana plant common pest 

Diseases Management 

Sigatoka leaf spot 
Remove affected leaves and burn. Spray any one of the following fungicides commencing from November at monthly intervals. Carbendazim 1g/lit., Benomyl 1 g/lit., Mancozeb 2 g/lit., Copper oxychloride 2.5 g/lit., Ziram 2 ml/lit, Chlorothalonil 2 g/lit. The alternation of fungicides for every spray prevents fungicidal resistance. Always add 5 ml of a wetting agent like Anshul Stickmax, Triton AE, Teepol, etc. per 10 liters of spray fluid. 

Anthracnose 
● Spray Copper oxychloride 0.25% or Bordeaux mixture 1% or chlorothalonil 0.2% or Carbendazim 0.1%. 
● Post-harvest dipping of fruits in Carbendazim 400 ppm, or Benomyl 1000 ppm. 
 
 Panama Disease 
Uproot and destroy severely affected plants. Apply lime at 1 – 2 kg in the pits after removal of the affected plants. In the field, Panama wilt disease can be prevented by corm injection methods. A small portion of soil is removed to expose the upper portion of the corm. An oblique hole at a 45° angle is made to a depth of 10 cm. Immediately, a gelatin capsule containing 60 mg of Carbendazim or 3 ml of 2 % Carbendazim solution or capsule application for 50 mg of Pseudomonas is injected into the hole with the help of a ‘corm injector’ on the 2nd, 4thand 6th month after planting. 
 Fusarium wilt 
● Varieties Poovan, Robusta, and Moongil show resistance. 
● Rasthali, Monthan, and Karpooravalli are susceptible to the disease. 
● Flood following the infected fields. Raise paddy for one season to suppress the pathogen. 
● Nematodes predispose the pathogen, paring, and paralinage with carbofuran 40g / rhizome and 10 g of Pseudomonas. 
● Removal of infected trees and application of lime @1-2 Kg/pit. 
● Capsule application of Carbendazim or Pseudomonas @ 60mg/capsule/tree  on 2nd, 4th and 6th month after planting. The capsule is applied in the corm by making a hole of 10 cm depth at 45°. 
● Corm injection with 3 ml of 2% Carbendazim. 
● Spot drench with carbendazim 0.1%. 

Common Banana Diseases

Harvesting

Bananas are ready to harvest when the fingers are yellow and the peel is slightly soft. The best time to harvest is in the morning when the fruit is cool.

Storage

Bananas can be stored at room temperature for a few days. To extend their shelf life, they can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

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