Banana (Musa sp); Musaceae

Dessert
Grand Naine, Robusta, Dwarf Cavendish, Rasthali, Vayal vazhai, Poovan, Nendran, Red Banana, Karpooravalli, Udhayam, CO 1, Matti, Sannachenkadali and Ney poovan.
Cavendish groups are generally preferred for export.
Culinary
Monthan, Nendran, Vayal vazhai, Ash Monthan and Chakkia.
Hill areas
Virupakshi, Sirumalai, Namarai, Red Banana, Manoranjitham (Santhana vazhai) and Ladan.

Well drained loamy soils are suitable. Alkaline and saline soils should be avoided.

Wet lands: Feb – April: Poovan, Rasthali, Monthan, Karpooravalli and Ney poovan
April – May: Nendran and Robusta
Garden lands
January – February and November – December.
Padugai lands
January – February and August – September.
Hill Banana
April – May (lower Palani hills); June – August (Sirumalai)

Select sword suckers of 1.5 to 2.0 kg weight, free from diseases and nematodes. Trim the roots and decayed portion of the corm, cut the pseudostem leaving 20 cm from the corm and grade the suckers to size. To avoid wilt disease, infected portions of the corm may be pared, dipped for 5 minutes in carbendazim 0.1% (1 g in 1 lit of water) for Rasthali, Monthan, Neyvannan, Virupakshi and other wilt susceptible varieties. Pralinage with 40 g of carbofuran 3CG granules per sucker (Dip the corm in slurry solution of 4 parts clay plus 5 parts water and sprinkle carbofuran to control nematodes). Sow sunhemp on 45 th day; incorporate it after about a month. This operation reduces nematode build up. Use well hardened tissue cultured banana plants with 5-6 leaves. At the time of planting, apply 25 g Pseudomonas fluorescens / plant.

Wet lands
No preparatory cultivation is necessary.
Garden land
2 – 4 ploughings.
Padugai
One deep mammutti digging.

Hill Banana
Remove scrub jungle and construct contour stone walls.
Wet lands
Place the suckers at ground level and earth up.
Digging pits
Garden land, Padugai and Hill Banana: Dig pits of 45 cm x 45 cm x 45 cm in size. The pits are refilled with topsoil, mixed with 10 kg of FYM, 250 g of Neem cake.

                                                                       Variety                                               Spacing                                             No. of plants / ha
Garden land                            Robusta, Nendran, Dwarf Cavendish                1.8 x 1.8 m  1.5 x 1.5 m                                       3086  4444

Wet land                   Poovan,Monthan, Rasthali,Neyvannan, Ney poovan           2.1 x 2.1 m                                                     2267


Hill                                              Virupakshi (Sirumalai), Namarai and Ladan         3.6 x 3.6 m                                                  750
                                                                                                                                                                                           (When mixed with coffee)
High density planting system (HDP)
Adopt high density planting for higher productivity – Plant 3 suckers / pit at a spacing of 1.8 x 3.6 m (4600 plants / ha) for Cavendish varieties and 2 m x 3 m for Nendran(5000 plants / ha).

Irrigate immediately after planting. Give life irrigation after 4 days. Subsequent irrigations are to be given once in a week for irrigated plantations of garden lands and once in 10 – 15 days for wet lands. Irrigate the fields copiously after every manuring. Use drip irrigation @ 15 litres / plant / day from planting to 4 th month, 20 litres / plant /day from 5 th month to shooting and 25 litres / plant / day from shooting till 15 days prior to harvest.

Details                                                                                      N                                          P                                      K
                                                                                                                                  (g / plant / year)
Garden land
Varieties other than Nendran                                                     110*                                        35*                                 330*
Nendran                                                                                         150                                         90                                   300

Wet land                                                                                   210                                         35                                   450

Nendran, Rasthali                                                                         210                                         50                                   390
Poovan,Robusta                                                                            160                                         50                                  390

Hill bananas

After forming semi circular basins on uphill side, apply 375 g of 40:30:40 NPK mixture, plus 130 g muriate of potash per clump per application during October, January and April. Apply Azospirillum and Phosphobacteria 20 g each at planting and 5th month after planting preceding
chemical fertilizer application.

Apply N as neem-coated urea. Apply N and K in 3 splits on 3rd, 5th and 7th month, Phosphorus at 3rd month of planting. Apply Arbuscular mycorrhiza (250 g/plant), phosphate solubilising bacteria (50 g/plant), Azospirillum (50 g/plant) and Trichoderma harzianum (50g/plant) at the time of planting. Apply 20 g in each of Azospirillum and Phosphobacteria again five months after planting (This should be applied prior to chemical fertilizer application).


For HDP with three suckers, apply 2.25 times of recommended dose per clump
For Tissue culture banana, apply 50% extra fertilizers at 2nd, 4th, 6th and 8th month after planting.

For maximizing productivity follow fertigation technique – Apply 25 litres of water / day + 200:30:300 g N: P2O5: K2O / plant using water soluble fertilizers.
For economizing the cost of fertilizers, fertigate using normal fertilizers (Urea and Muriate of potash) with 50% of the recommended dose along with recommended dose of phosphorus as basal at 2nd month after planting. Fertigate at weekly intervals as per the following schedule:
Fertigation schedule
Weeks after planting                                             N (%)                                             P2O5 (%)                                           K2O (%)
9-18 (10 weeks)                                                            30                                                      100                                                          20
19-30 (12 weeks)                                                          50                                                        —                                                           40
31-42 (12 weeks)                                                           20                                                        —                                                           32
43-45 (3 weeks)                                                            —                                                         —                                                             8
Total                                                                              100                                                      100                                                        100

Application of FYM @ 10 kg + Neem cake @ 1.25 kg + Vermicompost @ 5 kg and Wood ash @ 1.75 kg / plant + Triple green manuring with sunnhemp (one time) and Cowpea (two times) + biofertilizers viz., AM @ 25g, Azospirillum @ 50 g, PSB @ 50 g and Trichoderma harzianum @ 50 g/ plant is recommended for organic cultivation of banana cv. Grand Naine. The schedule for application of different components is as detailed below: 1. Basal: FYM and neem cake. 2. After 3months of planting: vermicompost 3. After 5 months of planting: Potassium as wood ash 4. Triple green manuring: Each manuring is done at 10 days interval, first with sunhemp for 45 days from planting and then twice with cowpea for 30days
Garden Land Give spade digging at bi-monthly intervals and earth up. Prune the suckers at monthly intervals. The dry and diseased leaves are removed and burnt to control the spread of leaf 10 spot diseases. Male flowers may be removed a week after opening of last hand. The plants at flowering may be propped. Cover the peduncle with flag leaf to prevent stalk end rot. Cover the bunches with banana leaves to avoid sun scald.
Form trenches in between alternate rows and cross trenches at every 5 th row. The trenches are periodically deepened and the soil is spread over the bed. Surface diggings may be given at bi-monthly intervals and desuckering at monthly intervals. Remove the male flower a week after opening of last hand. Prop plants at or prior to flowering. Cover the peduncle with flag leaf and the bunch with leaves to avoid sun scald. For ratoon crops, in respect of Poovan, Monthan and Rasthali, allow the follower at flowering of the mother plant and remove the other suckers at harvest.
Give surface digging with spade once in two months. Give one deep digging with spade during January – February. Other operations as in garden land.
Give four forkings in January, April, July and October. Remove outer sheaths to keep the corm inside the soil and ward-off borer. Maintain two bearing plants and two followers per clump along the contour.
To improve the grade of bunches, 2,4-D at 25 ppm (25 mg / l.) may be sprayed in Poovan and CO 1 banana after the last hand has opened. This will also help to remove seediness in Poovan variety. Spray CCC 1000 ppm at 4 th and 6 th month after planting. Spray Plantozyme @ 2ml / l at 6 th and 8 th month after planting to get higher yield.
Spray micronutrients viz., ZnSO4 (0.5%), FeSO4 (1.0%), CuSO4 (0.2%) and H3BO3 (0.2%) at 3 rd, 5th and 7 th MAP to increase yield and quality of banana. Apply 25 kg ZnSO4 basally
Leguminous vegetables, beetroot, elephant foot yam and sunnhemp. Avoid growing cucurbitaceous vegetables.

 Mulching with 100µm degradable polythene sheet immediately after planting conserves soil moisture and also suppresses weed growth. Surface digging and earthing up of soil at bi-monthly intervals facilitates better root system. Desuckering should be done at monthly intervals. Removal of dried leaves at periodical intervals reduces the disease spread. At the time of bunch emergence, prop the plants using bamboo or casuarina poles. After the completion of female phase, remove the male bud for better fruit development. After opening of the last hand, withered styles and perianth to be removed to avoid finger tip disease.

 Bunch thinning i.e., removal of one to two small bottom hands from the bunch (keeping only 7 to 8 hands) facilitates uniform bunch development and this practice is recommended for export purpose. Cover the peduncle with flag leaf to prevent main stalk end rot. Cover the bunch with degradable polythene sleeves (2 – 4 % ventilation) or with white colour non-woven UV stabilized polypropylene sleeves to avoid sunscald and to produce quality bunch. After harvesting, the pseudostem should be cut leaving a stump of about 0.6m height to nourish the developing daughter sucker.

(Source: Banana Expert System, TNAU Agritech portal)

Pests
Rhizome weevil

 Apply or sprinkle carbofuran 3G 33g/sucker at the time of planting.
Pseudostem borer

 Remove dried leaves periodically and keep the plantation clean.
 Remove the side suckers up to eighth month and destroy.
 Do not dump infested materials in the manure pit. Infested trees should be uprooted, chopped into pieces and burnt.
 Trap and kill adult weevils by chopping pseudostem chopped into small pieces.
Banana aphid:  Apply any one of the following insecticides
 Carbofuran 3G @166g /plant
 Dimethoate 30EC 1.0 ml/l.
 Methyl demeton 25 EC 2.0ml/l.
Bunchy-top

 The Banana Aphid, Pentalonia nigronervosa is the vector of Bunchy-top virus disease.
 The spray may be directed towards the crown and pseudostem base upto ground level at 21 days interval at least thrice.
To prevent the disease,
i) Use virus-free suckers
ii) Paring and pralinage: Pare the corm and sprinkle 40 g of carbofuran 3 G over the corm (Before sprinkling, corm should be dipped in mud slurry).
iii) Destroy virus affected plants.


Thrips:   Spray dimethoate 30 EC 1.0ml/l.
Lace wing bugs:
Spray any of the following insecticides:
 Dimethoate 30 EC 1.0ml/l.
 Methyl demeton 25 EC 1.0ml/l.
 Quinalphos 25EC 4.0ml/l.
Nematode
Pre-treat the suckers with 40 g of carbofuran 3G. If pre-treatment is not done, apply 40g of carbofuran around each plant one month after planting (refer selection and pretreatment for alternative technology). Then grow sunnhemp after 45th day and incorporate one month later. Press mud application @ 15 t per ha one month after planting and neem cake 1.5 t per ha one month after planting. Intercrop with marigold @ 4:1 ratio. Apply Pseudomonas fluorescens (Pf1) liquid formulation @ 4 lit/ha @ 2nd , 4th and 6th month after planting through drip system to manage panama wilt and nematode complex

Selection and pre-treatment of suckers
 Select sword suckers of 1.5 to 2.0 kg weight, free from diseases and nematodes. Trim the roots and decayed portion of the corm, cut the pseudostem leaving 20 cm from the corm and grade the suckers to size. To avoid wilt disease, infected portions of the corm may be pared, dipped for 5 minutes in carbendazim 0.1% solution (1 g in 1 l of water) solution for Rasthali, Monthan, Neyvannan, Virupakshi and other wilt
susceptible varieties.
 Pralinage with 40 g of carbofuran 3 CG granules per sucker (dip the corm in slurry solution of 4 parts clay plus 5 parts water and sprinkle carbofuran to control nematodes).
 Sow sunnhemp on 45th day; incorporate it after about a month. This operation reduces nematode build up.
Sigatoka leaf spot
 Remove affected leaves and burn
 Spray carbendazim @ 1 g/l or benomyl @ 1 g/l or mancozeb @ 2 g/l or copper oxychloride @ 2.5 g/l or ziram @ 2 ml/l or chlorothalonil @ 2 g/l at monthly interval from November onwards
 Alternatively spray propiconazole @ 1 ml/l or 0.5 ml/l along with petroleum based mineral oil @ 10 ml/l or Pseudomonas fluorescens @ 0.5% three times at 15 days interval to control sigatoka leaf spot incidence. Always add 5 ml of wetting agent like Sandovit, Triton AE, Teepol etc. per 10 l of spray fluid.
CIB recommendation
 Spray pyraclostrobin 133 g/l + epoxiconazole e 50g/l SE @ 3 g/l or tebuconazole 50%+ trifloxystrobin 25% WG @ 300 g/ha

Panama Disease (Fusarium wilt)
 Uproot and destroy severely affected plants
 Apply lime at 1 – 2 kg in the pits after removal of the affected plants
 Corm injection: Remove a small portion of soil to expose the upper portion of the corm. Make an oblique hole at 45° angle to a depth of 10 cm. Immediately insert a gelatin capsule containing 60 mg of carbendazim or of 50 mg of Pseudomonas fluorescens or inject 3 ml of 2 % carbendazim solution into the hole with the help of ‘corm injector‘ on 2nd, 4th and 6th months after planting
 Apply press mud at 5 kg per plant to reduce the wilt incidence or apply Pseudomonas fluorescens (Pf1) liquid formulation @ 4 l/ha at 2nd, 4th and 6th months after planting through drip system to manage panama wilt and nematode complex.
Cigar end rot
 CIB recommendation: Spray mancozeb 75% WP @1.5-2.0 kg/ha
Bunchy-top
 Use virus-free suckers for planting
 The banana aphid, Pentalonia nigronervosa is the vector of bunchy-top virus disease
 Destroy virus affected plants by inserting a gelatin capsule containing 200 mg 2,4 – D into the corm 7 cm deep using capsule applicator or inject 5 ml 2,4 – D solution (125 gm/lit of water) into the pseudostem by using the injection gun. The plant collapses and topples in 3 – 5 days
 Apply carbofuran 3G @ 166 g /plant or spray dimethoate 30EC @ 1 ml/l or methyl demeton 25 EC @ 2 ml/l to control vector
 The spray may be directed towards crown and pseudostem base upto ground level at 21 days interval at least thrice.

Kottaivazhai in Poovan: Spray 2,4 – D @ 25 ppm within 20 days after opening of last hand (1g/ 40 lit / 200 bunches) or 1.2 g of sodium salt of 2,4 – D dissolved in 40 lit of water for 200 bunches.

The bunches will be ready for harvest after 12 to 15 months of planting

Bunches attain maturity from 100 to 150 days after flowering depending on variety, soil, weather condition and altitude.

Poovan & Rasthali : 40 – 50 t / ha
Monthan : 30 – 40 t / ha
Ney Poovan : 30 – 35 t / ha
Robusta : 50 – 60 t / ha
Grand Naine : 70 – 80 t / ha
Grand Naine uner HDP : 115-130 t / ha

Growing Districts:                         Coimbatore, Erode, Thoothukudi, Tirunelveli, Trichy, Vellore, Kanyakumari and Karur districts
Major Markets in Tamil Nadu:     Trichy, Coimbatore, Theni
Preferred Varieties and Hybrids: Grand Naine, Dwarf Cavendish, Robusta, Rasthali, Poovan, Nendran, Red Banana, Ney Poovan,                                                                                    Pachanadan, Monthan, Karpuravalli, Neyrannan.
Grade Specification:                       The hands are graded based on the number and size of fingers in each hand. Over ripe and injured fruits                                                                   are discarded.
                                                              Banana is sent to the local market as bunches.

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