Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers
Deeper planting holes for banana growing
Recognize the problem
performs well in highland areas with a wet cool climate. These areas are
characterized with a bimodal pattern of rainfall which ensures good distribution
of rain in greater parts of the year. Climate changes have brought major
changes in the rain pattern, amount of rain and reliability. So, banana
production is shrinking because of soil drought stress. Bananas lacking soil moisture remain small,
have yellow leaves, and yield little to no fruit.
is well-adapted to the cool, wet climate and fertile soils of the highlands.
They perform best in agro-forestry areas because they require shade and wind breakers.
However, bananas are grown everywhere, even in suboptimal fields. To improve
banana production in suboptimal plots, agronomic practices have to be
changed. For example, deep planting holes filled with a mix of manure, crop
residues and soil can improve banana growing. These holes play multiple roles
which include: good anchoring of banana trees, better rain water storage in
the soil, the provision of nutrients if applied, and retention of soil
of using conventional planting holes for banana (60x60x60cm), make deeper and
bigger planting holes of 120x120x120cm, or even more depending on
availability of manure/compost and crop residues.
the top soil layer from the dug-out soil near the hole up the slopes and the bottom
soil near the hole down slope. The top soil is a fertile layer of soil that
is used for refilling.
the holes stand for 30 days to enhance weathering of the soils
5-10 buckets (each 10 to 20 litres) of farmyard manure or compost with the
top soil and crop residues, such as rice husks, tree leaves, dry
grass, etc. But do not use banana crop residues.
the holes with the mixture
the centre, cover with mulch and let the refilled holes stand for 60 days.
the mulch, and plant clean, healthy sword suckers of bananas at a depth of
50cm (size of the sucker matters) into the filled holes.
to the original height and put the mulch back.
the bottom soil to pile a ring ridge around the tree for better watering.
substrates in the hole around the plant can sustain the crop for 3-5 years.
- This technology is of
little importance in sandy soil unless they are very much enriched with manure.
The recommendations in this factsheet are relevant to:
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