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Main Banana Discussion This is where we discuss our banana collections; tips on growing bananas, tips on harvesting bananas, sharing our banana photos and stories.


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Old 07-18-2018, 06:24 AM   #21 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Forcing K. Namwa to grow faster

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Originally Posted by beam2050 View Post
I am sorry but I have another question for you;

I have around 10 namwa mats going at this time. my property is pretty much the same soil [golden sand] front to back and near 20 ft. down.

question is; you have some small plants here and there that do not seem to be keeping up. you do something to kick them in the pants?

I have a couple doing the same thing, not moving. look healthy but not moving. come from pots.

beautiful scene. looks like a wonderful place to live. all your pics say that.
Small plants here and there! Runts!

Absolutely! I get annoyed with them, I blaim this on the quality of the stock. Within a population, there are giants and midgets. Multiplying from your own stock, choosing only sword suckers from strong plants will surely help.
In the field in question, we bought the suckers from another plantation, who had difficulty in supplying the numbers we wanted and got help from other colleagues. Who knows if we did not get water suckers in the lot? Once chopped short for transport, it is hard to tell.
However, the severe deleafing during the growth period of the rainy season seems to be waking them up. Taking away old leaves, spotted, yellowing, even if the plant is small forces them to grow and things are looking better in one corner of that field, much better than they looked a month ago.They basically grow up or die away.
This field was transplanted in mid October, now nine months old. Namwa are slow! I can have GM fruiting at nine months.
After a while I get annoyed and go around killing these runts, then we replace them with new hopefully stronger transplants so as not to waste an irrigation position.
Other factors including soil quality could be in play here. Interaction from certain types of weeds or pests is also possible. The water factor is not in play as irrigation is centrally distributed and equal for all in this field. Fertilizer is equal for all.
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Old 07-18-2018, 06:50 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Default Re: Forcing K. Namwa to grow faster

thank you. figures, in your industry why wait on them. replace them.

in my case the 2 were injured in pots. not knowing exactly where in the yard I wanted to plant them they blew over and I did not notice them until after they grew crooked. they did not get to any size before the winter. [your winters are just a bit milder than mine.]

thank you again.
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Old 07-19-2018, 09:02 PM   #23 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Forcing K. Namwa to grow faster

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thank you. figures, in your industry why wait on them. replace them.

in my case the 2 were injured in pots. not knowing exactly where in the yard I wanted to plant them they blew over and I did not notice them until after they grew crooked. they did not get to any size before the winter. [your winters are just a bit milder than mine.]

thank you again.
I find that leaving banana plants in standard 8 inch bags or similar size pots for too long will end up stunting their growth and they will never fully develop.
We have thousands of plantlets in our hardening tent, but comes a moment, they need to get into the ground. Sometimes we have to wait and let them reach three/four feet in size as the soil in the fields is too dry from lack of rain but I do not like it and we endeavour to plant them even if we have to wet the soil to achieve this.
I prefer to plant them at a size of two feet. All fresh and green, with a nice and clean green stem.

In this photo, our staff are moving GM at their maximum size for optimum growth. Thank goodness it is raining right now, we could not wait any longer


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Old 08-16-2018, 09:18 AM   #24 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Forcing K. Namwa to grow faster

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To my reelection, there was no science given. It was just a statement in reference to forced dwarfism. ... I think it was PR-Giants, that made the comment. May be he will see this post and comment.

I'll look later for the original post.

Just think about it. A Plant only grow so many leaves before flowering. So if the pstem is chopped when reaching about 75% height and before the plant starts stacking leaves, it still has time to grow those leaves before flowering. But not be able to add much height. ... You are de-leafing the plant anyway, so remove the upper pstem/leaves and allow the new leaves to grow at a short height.

Anyway, your in a very good position to try this without any additional cost. The info gained would/could be useful with other varieties.
We permanently top off hundreds of pups that are becoming too big as it is a technique for delaying flowering and maintaining the plant in its vegetative development phase.
I therefore believe that topping off adult plants, for instance stems of Namwa that have reached a height of three meters ++ will only delay flowering and restart the vegetative phase. Which would be the contrary of the result procured.
I also think it is a risky technique as botanical science does not yet really know what actually induces flowering in a herb, under normal non stressful conditions. There would be a risk of cutting the true stem with its flowering bud still in the central canal of the pstem, thus forcing back the stem into the leaf and stem forming stage or losing apical dominance altogether and just promoting the growth of pups through the proven technique of decapitation.
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Old 08-16-2018, 01:55 PM   #25 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Forcing K. Namwa to grow faster

These points have already been mentioned, but here's some more insight:
1) deleafing the lower leaves on younger, smaller plants when relying on rain for water might actually increase the growth rate only because more water will get into the root zone. Since those lower leaves are older, they're not as active in capturing PAR, so it might not negatively affect the plants.
2) Chopping off newer leaves may cost you on yield.
2) Getting the plants to produce as many leaves as possible in the quickest way possible is likely the way to induce flowering the quickest.
3) That pH issue has to be resolved if you want maximum growth. Cutting the grass was a good move, but it may not be enough to lower the pH significantly.
4) while adding significant organic matter to the soil can initially be costly and labor intensive (probably not an issue in Thailand though), fruit quality may increase, so you can possibly demand a higher price per pound on the harvest. It'll also probably buffer the soil's pH for much longer periods of time compared to sulfur, which likely requires multiple applications.

One test that I'd like to see is if having the ratio of nitrogen slightly lower than P and K on bananas. Higher nitrogen in other plants tends to delay flowering, while stressing N and increasing P and K induces flowering earlier. Timing of nitrogen stressing might also play a huge role: is it better to stress younger plants, and then increase N near the flowering stage, or vice versa? Or does it have no effect on flowering time?

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Old 08-16-2018, 09:19 PM   #26 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Forcing K. Namwa to grow faster

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These points have already been mentioned, but here's some more insight:
1) deleafing the lower leaves on younger, smaller plants when relying on rain for water might actually increase the growth rate only because more water will get into the root zone. Since those lower leaves are older, they're not as active in capturing PAR, so it might not negatively affect the plants.
2) Chopping off newer leaves may cost you on yield.
2) Getting the plants to produce as many leaves as possible in the quickest way possible is likely the way to induce flowering the quickest.
3) That pH issue has to be resolved if you want maximum growth. Cutting the grass was a good move, but it may not be enough to lower the pH significantly.
4) while adding significant organic matter to the soil can initially be costly and labor intensive (probably not an issue in Thailand though), fruit quality may increase, so you can possibly demand a higher price per pound on the harvest. It'll also probably buffer the soil's pH for much longer periods of time compared to sulfur, which likely requires multiple applications.

One test that I'd like to see is if having the ratio of nitrogen slightly lower than P and K on bananas. Higher nitrogen in other plants tends to delay flowering, while stressing N and increasing P and K induces flowering earlier. Timing of nitrogen stressing might also play a huge role: is it better to stress younger plants, and then increase N near the flowering stage, or vice versa? Or does it have no effect on flowering time?
Many thanks for the clear and interesting points

The best Namwa in the plantation grow up to fifteen feet and grow quickly (well, for Namwa anyway). They also quickly push up pups that can rapidly reach similar size. These large plants give the largest bunches, up to twelve hands + in some cases, more to come as the mats increase in size and power. Plants in the same field (1000 plants in that field) that flower at a smaller size (but not at a younger age) give small and low value bunches with few hands and small fingers.
The heavy deleafing process involves not letting new plants in new fields fall asleep after transplant while other plants are shooting up to max size. Right now, this process is proving efficient in keeping these plants awake, pushing them to grow up, to grow new leaves, creating strong and healthy stems and larger and larger leaves. Of course, heavy deleafing will stop as soon as the stems reach a certain height, after that, the engine of the plant seems to be running at a good speed and off it goes without interference. I have always found that in any transplanted plant of any kind, there is a slow development until a strategic size and root network is achieved. After that, the plant will suddenly accelerate its growth rate.
Our process aims to ensure that these plants do not stay in this slow phase and become dormant, slowly degenerating through dwarfism.

What is really important in flowering for our Namwa is that they reach their maximum size first. It is of no interest to promote flowering if the plant is not large enough. Big plant = Big bunch and Small plant = Small bunch. They have to get big, They cannot be allowed to grow to half size or less.

The soil alkaline PH is an important problem in some areas of the plantation, we are still considering how to address it. Fortunately the problem only involves maybe 10% of the total acreage. Right now, we solve this issue with folear feeding but I know it is not a long term solution.

Oh! and labor is a problem actually, hard to find and quite costly and often unproductive. There is actually no unemployment here and nobody starves. If they need money for food or something, they can go into the wild and catch some fish or hunt some game, or pick some wild mushrooms, ant eggs, bamboo shoots and sell them on the side of the road.
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Old 08-16-2018, 10:20 PM   #27 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Forcing K. Namwa to grow faster

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I have always found that in any transplanted plant of any kind, there is a slow development until a strategic size and root network is achieved. After that, the plant will...
I understand the benefit of the established corn and root system for the first generation however its unclear to me how the prior growth should be leveraged by following generations (second, third, fourth, etc.). The first generation (first pup produced by the original plant) will be directly tied to the original plant however what about the second generation? Should it be a pup from the first generation (i.e. directly tied to the 1st generation and through the 1st generation to the original corn) or a pup produced by the original corn in year 2?

I can select pups from either the original plant/corn or the first generation produced by the original plant.

Which pup is better to select and nurture for next year in order to leverage the prior corn and root growth?

Hope the above wasn't too confusing! I'm talking about maximizing the growth of my namwas. Thanks!

My biggest namwa is now greater than 13'. He looks like he has topped out and has been crowning. My gallery has a recent photo of the crown. He better pop a flower soon because we are running out of road!! Haha.

Last edited by Akula : 08-16-2018 at 10:29 PM.
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Old 08-16-2018, 10:44 PM   #28 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Forcing K. Namwa to grow faster

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I understand the benefit of the established corn and root system for the first generation however its unclear to me how the prior growth should be leveraged by following generations (second, third, fourth, etc.). The first generation (first pup produced by the original plant) will be directly tied to the original plant however what about the second generation? Should it be a pup from the first generation (i.e. directly tied to the 1st generation and through the 1st generation to the original corn) or a pup produced by the original corn in year 2?

I can select pups from either the original plant/corn or the first generation produced by the original plant.

Which pup is better to select and nurture for next year in order to leverage the prior corn and root growth?

Hope the above wasn't too confusing! I'm talking about maximizing the growth of my namwas. Thanks!

My biggest namwa is now greater than 13'. He looks like he has topped out and has been crowning. My gallery has a recent photo of the crown. He better pop a flower soon because we are running out of road!! Haha.
Here is what we do with our GM.
Once sword suckers (pups) start growing around the first pstem and once they have reached the minimum size of 50cm out of the ground we will dig them up, all except one, the workers have instructions to leave the largest of the pups alone.
That pup is left to grow.
Until the original pstem starts to flower, we continue to remove all other new pups that pop up, once the pups have reached 50cm size as we use them for transplanting.
Once the original pstem starts to flower, we will leave the strongest next to appear once more. At that time we have three pstems allowed on the mat
Once the first bunch is harvested and the original pstem is cut, we will still have two generations ready to replace, and the process is repeated again and again.
We do this to get larger bunches as the mat does not spend energy growing too many pstems to adulthood. Some farmers will top off the third pup to slow it down if it is growing too quickly.
You can of course apply this to Namwa.
Keep always the biggest and healthiest pup.
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Old 08-17-2018, 08:47 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Default Re: Forcing K. Namwa to grow faster

Over the last 18 years growing bananas in S Florida. I found that what is most important for fast maximum growth is a high potassium fertilizer. The one I use comes from Diamond R Fert Co. Proportions are 6-3-16.

Ph and other factors have not been as important.

Just harvested a nice bunch of FHIA 2 and the flavor is awesome.
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Old 08-17-2018, 12:09 PM   #30 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Forcing K. Namwa to grow faster

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Over the last 18 years growing bananas in S Florida. I found that what is most important for fast maximum growth is a high potassium fertilizer. The one I use comes from Diamond R Fert Co. Proportions are 6-3-16.

Ph and other factors have not been as important.

Just harvested a nice bunch of FHIA 2 and the flavor is awesome.
Very true, On a small, hobby scale, pH and other minor factors don't matter. On a commercial scale, every detail counts, as it affects the bottom line.
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Old 08-31-2018, 10:24 PM   #31 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Forcing K. Namwa to grow faster



Six weeks have gone by, the Namwa have been trimmed down to the top three leaves every two weeks. Folear feeding every two weeks after deleafing. All growing nicely, strong stems, big leaves and looking good. Lots of pups too which is nice.
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Old 09-17-2018, 09:24 AM   #32 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Forcing K. Namwa to grow faster

We are still continuing regular deleafing of any Namwa plant under about 8 feet in stem size and this technique is proving very successful in not allowing plants to go dormant and stop growing. Most plants seem to go dormant when they start to grow the leaves in a fan shape at a sub standard size. This happens across the plantation without any discernable explanation. However, deleafing the fanned area is proving to create renewed rapid upwards growth by restarting the vegetative phase. Our objective being to grow the largest plants as possible as we notice a direct connection between plant total size and final bunch size and weight.
Here is a photo where you can clearly see how the vegetative growth phase has restarted after fanning leaves were cropped upwards, leaving only the most recent three leaves.
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