This post is about taking care of the Banana Plantations In Kenya.
We will cut to the cheese and go straight to the main points that caught our attention about Banana plantations in Kenya. Let’s get started.
How to take care of Banana Plantations In Kenya
Just like any other crops, banana trees love plenty of water. This is attributed to the presence of huge leaves in the banana tree has a large surface area, which causes the plant to lose large volumes of water through transpiration.
In addition to the above, banana trees need plenty of moisture in the soil during their growing season to speed up their fruiting, bloating stems, and fleshy roots.
Remember, dry soils cause roots to get damaged due to rapture. This, in turn, will stop their growth.
Therefore, in this regard, water should be provided to the plant by irrigation at close intervals throughout the growing season.
It is good to note that the water needed for banana irrigation depends on;
- The type and nature of the soil.
- The climatic conditions prevailing in the region.
- Age of the plant.
- The type of irrigation method used in the plantation.
The salinity of water used for irrigation should not exceed 500 parts per million cubes to maximize productivity.
Generally speaking, banana tree plantations can be watered using the following irrigation systems:
Drip irrigation is the most preferred method of irrigating banana plantations in Kenya. This type of flooding allows the banana tree plants to archive their minimum water requirement.
This method is also be used to add fertilizer to the plant in a process known as Fertigation.
Drip irrigation also reduces the growth of weeds and increases the crop yield if used and managed correctly.
The drip irrigation method may also be used when using seedlings resulting from tissue transplantation.
How Drip Irrigation Works
Generally, the drip irrigation system uses two irrigation tubes on each side of the banana tree rows.
These tubes have dedicated points known as drip emitters, distributed across the lines at the dimensions of 50cm apart.
The drainage rate per emitter should be approximately 4litres/hour and ranges from the number of hours of daily operation between 6-12 hours per day.
This saves the plantations between 27 liters/day and 54 liters/day depending on other conditions affecting the plant’s growth, such as the climate, size of the plant size, and leaf surface.
The number of operating hours is calculated to allow ground moisture, which is about 75% of the field capacity.
Therefore, it is preferable to follow this system under technical supervision with those responsible for its follow-up.
Things to consider when watering Banana plantations in Kenya by drip irrigation:
- Avoid watering at noon during the hot seasons. Irrigation should best be done in the morning and evening.
- Regularly check the drip pipes, emitters, and taps to ensure their safety and repair damaged ones.
- Check the water pressure at the irrigation pump and the beginning and end of the lines.
- Ensure that the filters are clean so that they do not lead to clogging of the points, and thus the water does not reach the plants.
Banana Plantations In Kenya: Fertilizer Application
Bananas plantations are one of the neediest fruit plants for fertilizing, so an analysis of the soil must be carried out before the farm’s fertilizer policy is drawn.
If the dry matter of a litmus paper contains 2.6 -2.9% nitrogen (N 0,5-0,29%, (N2 phosphorous, (P2O2) 3.4% potassium (K2O)), in general, the following program can be guided to fertilize acres of bananas:
1. Organic Fertilizer
Organic fertilizer is added at a rate of 40-60m3 per acre during the cold seasons, and in the first year, it is added during the preparation of worms before planting.
2. Ground Mineral Fertilizer
Mineral Nitrogen Fertilizers
It is added at the rate of 550g of nitrogen per plant per year. It is preferable to provide it from ammonia sulfate and distribute it in bimonthly batches extending until October and starting in the first year after the planting month.
It is added at a rate of 45 units of phosphorous oxide (P2O2) and usually provides calcium superphosphate, equivalent to 250g per plant added during the cold season and can be agitated with the municipal fertilizer is added at the same time.
It is added at the rate of 250g per plant per year, as it is divided into two batches, the first during April and the second during July. Potassium is provided from the potassium sulfate fertilizer (K2SO4).
3. Foliar fertilizer
Foliar fertilizer from the micronutrients of ready-made compounds is given at a rate of 3 sprinkles in July.
Weeding of Banana Plantations In Kenya
Banana plantations are irrigated and fertilized at high rates than other types of fruits. Therefore, weeds spread abundantly on this type of farm.
Therefore, it is advised to cultivate the soil close to the surface whenever possible so that the depth of the hoeing does not exceed 5cm deep to protect the surface roots.
Caution is necessary to perform the hoeing at the time of flowering and holding the fruits. The number of hoeing times may reach about 15 hoes per year, which is costly.
Therefore, annual and perennial weed killers are currently used as sprays during the late rainy seasons’ and early summer ( December to March)