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Author Topic: banana plant nutrients from stalk return to root mat  (Read 167 times)

rtdrury

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banana plant nutrients from stalk return to root mat
« on: January 11, 2019, 12:57:02 PM »
After harvesting the fruit, how much nutrients return from the dying banana stalk back to the root mat to benefit the next generation?  Has anyone done a comparison where one grove gets all its stalks cut and another where the stalks are left uncut?  If enough nutrients return to be stored in the root mat, this can save us some labor, and perhaps less exposure of roots to disease, and perhaps less evaporative loss of nutrients too?  Does it all add up to a net benefit to leave stalks uncut?
« Last Edit: January 11, 2019, 12:58:36 PM by rtdrury »

pineislander

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Re: banana plant nutrients from stalk return to root mat
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2019, 02:35:58 PM »
I split the difference by topping high, about 3 feet, and laying the cut parts down around the mat for mulch. I place the leaves down first and cover with pieces of pseudostem to keep them in place. Whatever is stored there returns via decomposition and builds soil, what may be in the trunk might return to the mat. Lastly, older leaves generally have some level of disease and putting them to ground should reduce the innoculum that would be airborne.

In my orchard I put a banana or papaya between almost every fruit tree when planted. As the mat grows I have seen the root mass and biomass produced has been building soil and the partial shade is a blessing to keep orchard temps lower. Bananas gather quite a bit of water on foggy/humid nights you will find a 1/2 cup every morning in each leaf axil. Yes there is some competition but the long term and overall benefits seem worthwhile.

 

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