Propping and Harvesting of Plantains

Propping The heavy weight of the plantain bunch bends all bearing plants and can cause doubling (pseudo stem breaks), snap-off (corm breaks, leaving a part in the ground) or uprooting also called top-over whereby the entire corm with root comes out of the ground. Plants are generally weak during the dry season and strong winds, nematodes and stem borers also increase the rate of loss. For these reasons, bearing plants always need support from 1 or 2 wooden props usually made of bamboo. If a piece of bamboo is used,…

Read More

Inter-cropping of a plantain field and its Advantages

Plantain fields are arranged in rows spaced at about 3m x 2m. as the canopy closes only to about 5 to 6 months after planting, a fair amount of inter-row space remains un-exploited during the first months. This space can be used for plants which have a short life cycle and which do not compete with the plantains for example, plants like Groundnut, Yam, Cocoyam and Maize are suitable inter-crops although maize effectively delays the plantain harvest by about 2months. Cassava and Cowpea are not suitable because their yields are…

Read More

Recommended Weed Control Practiced / Methods for Plantain Plantations

Plantains should always be weed free, weed control starts during the field preparation and weeds are initially controlled about every 6 to 8 weeks but when the plantain canopy closes, at about 5 to 6 months after planting, weed infestation declined due to shading. Ensure that any plant with a superficial root system should be considered a weed and therefore must be eliminated. Grasses or herbs are the most pernicious weeds because they derive their nutrients from the same level of the soil as the plantains while tree seedlings are…

Read More

Recommended Plantain Fertilization Methods

In order to produce a heavy bunch, plantains always need some extra nutrients. These can be applied in the form of either inorganic or organic fertilizers (mulch, manure or ash from wood fires). Inorganic fertilizers have the advantages of easy handling and concentrated nutrients while organic fertilizers are very bulky, yet they manifest many important characteristics as they improve soil retention, weed and erosion control, soil porosity and biological activity. The application of fertilizers should start 1month after the planting of plantains or with the first rains in an already…

Read More

Mulching of Plantains and its Advantages

Organic matter is essential for plantain cultivation if the field is to be very productive for a long time. A high level of organic matter in the soil is beneficial because it stimulates root development, improves soil drainage, decreases soil temperature fluctuation and increases soil porosity and biological life. Organic matter decays under the influence of micro-organisms in the soil, heavy rainfall and high soil temperature. The amount of organic matter will gradually decrease once the field has been cleared and cause a decrease in yield. Therefore, newly established plantains…

Read More