Cultivation of Banana can be made successful under subtropics like Punjab, if planting is so regulated that bunches emerge before winter, so that there is minimum frost damage and choke condition is avoided. This has been made possible by planting tissue culture raised plants at proper time and of specific size. Tissue culture raised plants are known to decrease the time for emergence and maturity of bunches and also improve yield over conventional sucker plants.
Climate and Soil
Banana is a tropical plant which is normally grown in coastal states of India, but it is successful in subtropical climate also by adopting cultural practices so as to escape winter frost damage. It is most suitable for bet area, river banks and central zone comprising districts of Moga, Ludhiana, Fathehgarh Sahib, Mohali, Sangrur,Barnala and paddy growing areas of arid irrigated zone with pH up to 8.5.It prefers neutral soil pH (6.5-7.5), but can be successfully grown in deep, well drained loam soils with pH up to 8.7 and rich in organic matter. It is a shallow rooted crop, so at the time of selection of soil,drainage and anchorage may be kept in mind.
Grand Naine (2008): It is a selection from ‘Giant Cavendish’,identified to be the major export variety introduced in India. It has the potential to bear 40 kg bunch. Grand Naine has replaced the famous‘Gross Michel’ an international variety of commerce, which succumbed to Fusarium wilt. Plant characters resemble ‘Cavendish’for most of parameters except for its robust stature, well-spaced hands with straight fingers of bigger size. It bears a heavy bunch weighing 25-30 kg and requires propping.
Plants raised through tissue culture are recommended.
Tissue culture raised banana plants of 30 cm size should be planted on 15 Feb.-7 March in the field at 1.8 x1.8 m distance.Before planting pit of 60 cm x 60 cm size should be filled with half FYM and half top soil after mixing with 180g DAP (90 g P205).
Manures and Fertilizers
Fertilization 450 g urea (200 g N) and 350 g muriate of potash(210g K2O) in 5 equal doses should be applied during April, May,June, July, August and September as given below :Fertilizer schedule for Banana cv Grand Naine Dose per plant (g)Month Urea DAP MOP February-March* - 190 -May 60 - 60 June 60 - 60 July 80 - 70 August 80 - 80 September 80 - 80*At the time of planting.or Fertilizer schedule for Banana cv Grand Naine Dose per plant (g)Month Urea NPK (12:32:16) MOP February-March* - 280 -May 60 - -June 60 - 40 July 80 - 60 August 80 - 80 September 80 - 80* At the time of planting
Banana prefers wet soil conditions. Water is crucial for its growth.Little moisture stress can lead to decrease in finger size and color of leaves. Excess water may lead to breakage of pseudo stem near root portion, due to rotting. The details of water requirement are given in the table below:
Table 3. Irrigation schedule for banana cv Grand Nalne. Irrigation time Time of Irrigation March-April 7-8 Days May-June 4-6 days interval July on wards during rains 7-8 days interval, as per need October-February 10-15 days interval
Sucker Management : Suckers should not be allowed to grow till the emergence of panicle. After bunch emergence only one sucker/plant should be allowed to grow.
Spathe Removal : Spathe (pollen inflorescence) should be removed after complete panicle emergence, to enhance the filling of fingers.
Frost Protection : To save the crop from frost damage, irrigate the fields and smoke the crop with farm waste during expected frost days. Also cover the bunches with polythene sheets and stalks with banana leaves to decrease the frost injury and breakage of stalks.
Fruit Maturity and Harvesting
Emergence of bunches will start during September-October November.These will be ready for harvesting during April-May.Harvesting should be done carefully so that sap from cut ends should not flow on the fruits otherwise it would lead to blackening of bunches.
Banana yields two-ratoon crops after 1st crop; which means banana yields 3 crops.One sucker per plant should be retained during September after the emergence of panicle or at the time when about 80% of paniclesemerged in the field.
Post-Harvest Management and Processing
Ripening: The banana fruits harvested at green mature stage can be successfully ripened in four days by exposing to ethylene gas (100 ppm) for 24 hours in a ripening chamber maintained at 16-18'C and 90-95% RH. The fruits attained uniform color, excellent quality with shelf-life of 4 days at 16-18'C and 2 days at 30-32'C.
The banana fruits harvested at green mature stage can also be successfully ripened in 4 days by dipping in a solution of ethephon 500 ppm (1.25 ml per litre of water) for 2-3 minutes. The fruits should'be air dried and kept at 16-18'C and 90-95% RH. The fruits attained uniform color, excellent quality with shelf-life of 4 days at 16-18'C and 2 days at 30-32'C.Plant- Protection A. Insect Pests Tobacco caterpillar, thrips and aphid feed on banana plants.Low population of aphid is active during February-mid April and again during September-October, while thrips is active during May-June.
Pests and Symptoms of attack Control measures B. Diseases Tobacco Caterpillar : It is active during July-September. Gregarious caterpillars cause damage both on upper and lower surface of leaf blades while full grown caterpillars (solitary)eat up the central whorl of plant thus render the plants stunted.(i) Destroy the gregarious caterpillars by plucking the infested leaves.(ii) Spray 1000 ml quinal phos(Ekalux 25 EC) in 500 liters of water on the appearance of the pest. Repeat the spray if needed.
1. Bacterial soft rot : Pseudostemrots, affected tissues become soft,dark brown or black and breaks at the ground level.
2. Anthracnose : Dark brown to black sunken spots develop on leaves and fruits, later on which enlarge and cover the entire fruit surface.(i) Use disease free planting material(ii) Improve the drainage infield(iii) Avoid injury to rhizome and pseudo stem.Spray Bavistin (0.1%) at 15 days interval during July September.