Banana is a monocot with underground stem modified into a corm with adventitious root system. Bananas are consumed either raw (Dessert) are cooked (Vegetable) or processed (Jams, Jellies, chips etc.). Plant part growing above ground is pseudo stem, formed with compact overlapping sheaths of leaves. Pseudo stem height varies with variety 1.8m to 4.0m.; Wild varieties grow even to a height of 7m - 8m. Leaves are spirally arranged, leaf length in cultivated varieties is 3.0m to 4.0m and breadth is 0.5m to 1.0m with parallel venation. Young leaves are light green, turns dark green on maturity with glossy surface. Crop cycle varies with variety, climate and culture; ranges from 10 months to 18 months. Plant growth ends with a solid stem like stalk which arise from the terminal portion of the underground corm (heart) that ends in inflorescence (fruit bunch).
Banana is a heavy feeder. Banana comes up well on fertile, deltaic alluvial soils with good drainage facility. It can also be grown in sandy loams. Soil with at least > 1.0m deep, 6.5 - 7.5 pH and electrical conductivity of <1.0 m.mhos per square cm are optimum. I'll drained soils adversely effect the banana growth by reducing root activity. Saline soils, calcareous, gravelly and sandy soils are not suitable.
Preparation of land:
Preparation of land
One summer deep ploughing to a depth of 30 Cm improves the soil aeration, water holding capacity of soil, facilitate easy root penetration, there by the availability of nutrients and water, reduce the weed intensity, incidence of soil borne pests and diseases. On receipt of rains land is tilled 2-3 times with cultivator. Pits of 45X45X45cm are dug at required spacing for the selected variety.
Planting time:
Banana can be planted round the year. But planting time varies from region to region depending on rainfall, season, market demand etc. Planting during late June - August (with the onset of monsoon) is congenial for higher yield. Also planted during February to April in low rainfall areas. Avoid planting of Cavendish varieties during April - May months.
Selection of suckers:
Select the sword suckers of 3 months age with 2-3 prunings. Select the healthy gardens (i.e free from viral diseases) for collection of seed suckers. Avoid engaging contractors for collection and planting of banana. Employ the labourers to dig the suckers under direct supervision of farmers.
Preparation of land
Banana Profile Package of Practices - Seed Profile

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