Planting a sapling:
Choose a banana sucker for planting, weighing at least 600gms – 800gms
Choose a rhizome that has its first leaves like a sword and not flat.
Old roots should be cleaned and cut.
They should be soaked in Amrut Jal( Provide hyper link ) for 5 minutes.
They are smeared with wood ash and planted initially on bed of 20 ltrs Amrut Mitti (Provide hyper link) which is 9 inches high.
Observe the growth of banana carefully. Keep adding 20 ltrs of Amrut Mitti every month up to 5 months.
Keep making notes of
o Appearance and size of new leaves.
o Size of matured leaves (length and breadth after it is fully spread) date wise.
o Time table of addition of Amrut Mitti
o Height of stem
o Girth of stem
o Appearance of the flower.
o Conversion of flower into fruit
o Maturity of fruit and harvest time.
U will observe that it takes ten days for a new banana leaf to grow. Therefore in a month banana plant will have 3 new leaves. The life of every leaf is 5 months.
First few leaves are 1 sq ft area. Then as regular growth starts every new leaf is one and half or double the size of previous leaf. Maximum size of leaves is achieved before 4 months.
If you find this isn’t happening, look for reasons.
(less Amrut Mitti, less/more watering, etc… )
This goes on for 5 months.
So at end of 5th month, a healthy banana plant growing in 100 ltrs of Amrut Mitti has 15 matured leaves having canopy of about 25 sq ft area.
The life of each leaf is 5 months, hence after every 5th month 3 leaves die and 3 new leaves emerge.
Here onwards, every new leaf is of same size as the earlier leaf. And as one new leaf unfurls, the first leaf dries up to fall.
Never cut the leaves of banana plant before it dies on its own. While dying most of nutrients are sent back to mother plant for use for new growth or storage.
Formation of fruit:
Short duration plant gives fruit in 13 months and long duration plant in 18 months.
It is essential that the plant has all the 15 leaves from 5th month onwards or it does not produce optimum yield.
From 5th month onwards till the plant starts flowering the girth of the plant must go on increasing.
Normally we see lot of suckers of new plants growing around the plant. These should be cut and shifted to the nursery.
Only the sucker which grows in the seventh month; two months prior to flowering should be retained there. Suckers appearing after seventh month should also be shifted to the nursery.
When the plant is 5-6 (depending on variety) months old, the flowering process is complete within the plant
Half ltr of ash should be provided to the plant when it is 5 months old.
Harvesting Record yield:
Area of canopy of a matured plant is 25 sq ft.
On every sq ft area in India 3 gm/sq ft dry weight is produced.( add hyper link)
Out of this one gram is utilized by plant for its metabolism and two gms goes towards storage.
Out of these two gms one gm goes towards growth of roots, stem, leaves, etc…and one grm goes towards formation of fruit.
Now during childhood and old age of the plant ( pl refer to appendix for explanation ) no photosynthesis takes place.
Out of the life span of 13 months the plant is photosynthetically active for 10 months; after deducting three months of its childhood phase.
Now 2 grm / day of dry weight / sq ft area is utilized by plant for growth
ie: 2x25 sq ft = 50 gms/day
ie: 50 x 30 = 1500 gms / month
ie: 1500 x 10 = 15000 gms for ten months
= 15 kgs.
Now 50% of 15 kgs ie say 8 kgs will go towards formation of leaves, stem roots etc… a
And remaining 7 kgs will go towards fruit building.
Water content in fruit = 7x3times water= 21 kgs
So 7 + 21 = 28 kgs of total weight fruit can be harvested.
Add to it the weight of stem on which banana grows is 7 kgs.
So Total weight is 35 kgs.
Post harvest care
Post harvest the stem of banana plant should be cut, keeping one and half feet from the base. This provides nutrition to the baby plant.
The cut stem should be chopped in pieces and left on surface of mulch surrounding the small sapling, so that it decomposes and adds nutrition to growing plant