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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 08-06-2011, 09:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default " Walking Plantation"

Can Someone explain the term : A Walking Plantation" & the advantages of using this method.
One obivious disadvantage is, if the bananas are already growing in rows, you'll loose your rows. A local grower using this method recommended it. He also prunes the lowest leaves, then leaves the trash where it falls together with any desuckered material. Does this actually help the growing bananas? Does it increase the likelyhood of spreading disease like leaf spot? Thanks.
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Old 08-07-2011, 05:24 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: " Walking Plantation"

Any explanations about "Walking Plantations", what is that?
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Old 08-08-2011, 12:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: " Walking Plantation"

It's the growing method that involves having a permanent plantation(replanting only the ones lost for some reason) in rows more or less which,as the grower leaves the pups facing windwards and the motherplants flower and die,the plantations slowly "walks" windward over time.

I would also love to hear more on it's advantages.
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Old 08-08-2011, 12:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: " Walking Plantation"

This refers to letting the mats move over time, but there a number of ways it is done. Sometimes a farmer will remove suckers predominantly from one side of the mat so that the mat "walks" in one direction, though they are still kept in the rows. Another way to go about it is to remove the suckers anywhere, and the mats will "walk" in any direction. Normally most large and semi-large scale farmers are replanting with new plants after 2-5 years to keep the mats more manageable (and sometimes for disease control).

The advantage of not replanting, and letting the mats "walk", is that you don't have to dig any up or replant. The disadvantages could be that if you need to irrigate, deepening on your system "walking" mats can pinch off the tubes and cut off water to the rest of the line. Also, if the farm is big enough that trucks or carts are used to harvest the bunches, it is very difficult once the mats move out of the rows.

So it all depends on the specific situation and the needs of the farmer. If you just have a few plants in your backyard, it really doesn't matter, you can have the plants wherever you want. But in a farm situation, it is much more important to think about the logistics of the operation, and so how the mats are managed becomes much more important.

As for leaving the leaf debris on the ground, it is normally a very good thing to do. Mulching is one of the best and easiest ways to improve the health of the plants, and the leaf litter is free and already on-site. If there is lots of leaf disease such as Black or Yellow Sigatoka, laying totally infected leaves down can support more infections on other leaves, but if you remove the leaves before they are totally diseased, it is usually easy to keep the disease in check and still use all the leaves as mulch. If you are in a very rainy area however, the leaf diseases are normally always more severe and so it might help to take the diseased leaves off-site.
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Old 08-08-2011, 02:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: " Walking Plantation"

In this photo, you can see where the original sucker was planted on the far right, and now the mat has "drifted" or "walked" to left about 3ft by it's 3rd fruiting cycle.
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: " Walking Plantation"

Haven't had enough time to see things walk to far but generally I only leave the suckers 180 degrees from the bunch. Which at my location is pretty random. Some mats are going one way and some are going the other way.
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