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Old 04-25-2018, 10:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Propping up the bunch efficiently, economically



As you can see, we use a compound system made up of a forked branch stuck into a bamboo stick for propping up our fruiting plants.
The current stormy season is upon us and we have had some breakage of the flowering stem, on nearly ripe bunches, the breakage is occuring between the propping fork and the bunch. This is affecting a local variety of Hom that has a rather flimsy and short stem but a heavy bunch. Even the smallest bunches weigh in at 15kgs.
I would greatly appreciate some input on better propping up systems that have been implemented in other plantations. Keeping in mind the economical side which is of prime importance in view of the numbers involved.
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Old 04-25-2018, 11:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Propping up the bunch efficiently, economically

Based on the picture, I think the fork is too low and doesn't provide support for the bananas. Perhaps supporting higher, like where the stem starts to bend downwards....


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Old 04-25-2018, 11:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Propping up the bunch efficiently, economically

From the picture the fork is on the wrong side of the bend. It will cause the peduncle to break at that point. Move the fork to the bunch side of the bend, just where the peduncle starts down. The wt of the bananas is already on this part of the peduncle, so the fork is only keeping the bunch wt from pulling the peduncle down further.
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Old 04-25-2018, 12:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Propping up the bunch efficiently, economically

Hey Louis14, check this link out: propping the tall ones, best materials?

I think a lot of well known growers here in the states uses this method. And some use 1" PVC instead of 2". Hope this helps!

"There are many ways to accomplish this, but this has been simple and very successful. The secret is the 45 degree elbow, which naturally allow the legs to be spread apart, giving very good side-to-side stability (shear resistance for engineering types). 2" PVC has much greater strength than 1-1/2". Anything larger is not necessary. It is important, when using any form of propping or staking to support the weight at the very top of the bunch. Propping at any point lower on the trunk usually ends with the pseudostem folded or broken at the support point. You want to support the banana bunch as if you had removed them from the plant and had hung them up to ripen." - http://webebananas.com/culture.html
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Old 04-25-2018, 06:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Propping up the bunch efficiently, economically

Well noted the comments about the position of the fork and thanks. We will work on that,. Maybe the pole needs to be positioned very early. Not always easy to patrol the whole plantation all the time. There is other work to be done. One issue is that the bunch should not touch the pole, or the fruit will be scarred with black marks. The PVC elbow thing is nice if you have 10 or 20 trees, unthinkable with 10,000 plants or more!
It actually has to be a bamboo pole, this is the only economical wood locally available in many lengths. Unfortunately it only has a useful life of two to three years before it becomes overly rotten when used outdoors.
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Old 04-26-2018, 12:17 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Propping up the bunch efficiently, economically

Quote:
Originally Posted by louis14 View Post
... Even the smallest bunches weigh in at 15kgs ...
In my experience 15 kg banana bunch is very light and 35 kg is normal. Perhaps your plants would do better with a potassium supplement? I think you have the right idea: two poles with a strap between them to support the bunch.

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Old 04-26-2018, 02:16 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Propping up the bunch efficiently, economically

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... The PVC elbow thing is nice if you have 10 or 20 trees, unthinkable with 10,000 plants or more!...
Most commercial growers sustain strength with potash. Propping is unheard of in many parts of the world.
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Old 04-26-2018, 07:23 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Propping up the bunch efficiently, economically

A new propping thing to me is that you can prop up a fallen plant at about 45 degrees and it will stay alive.

If you "lose" a bunch too early (= it gets blown down way too young, like fruits a month or two old), it is not always lost. A low prop (2 pieces of bamboo tied together in an X) just high enough to be off the ground may be enough if some roots are still in the ground. A little dirt over the corm may be helpful.

I would not want to be you facing 10,000 downed trees after a storm .... hoo-weee lot of work.
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Old 04-26-2018, 05:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Propping up the bunch efficiently, economically

The purpose of the "prop" to NOT to keep the plant from falling over, though that is one of the results of using the "prop". The purpose of the "prop" is to take the weight of the bananas off of the pseudostem. You should in essence be "hanging" the bunch of bananas. in the same way that you would hang them in your garage, or patio, or whatever, to ripen, with all the weight supported. When there is no weight depending on the pseudostem for support, then there is very little for the wind to push around.

Additionally, if you use 2 props or "legs" you form a tripod (two legs and the pseudostem) which will make you arrangement much more stable in the wind, from any direction.

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