Sword suckers weighing approximately 500-1000 gm are commonly used as propagating material. Suckers generally may be infected with some pathogens and nematodes. Similarly due to the variation in age and size of sucker the crop is not uniform, harvesting is prolonged and management becomes difficult.
Therefore, in-vitro clonal propagation i.e. Tissue culture plants are recommended for planting. They are healthy, disease free, uniform and authentic. Properly hardened secondary seedlings are only recommended for planting
Advantages of Tissue Culture Planting Material
True to the type of mother plant under well management.
Pest and disease free seedlings.
Uniform growth, increases yield.
Early maturity of crop - maximum land use is possible in low land holding country like India.
Round the year planting possible as seedlings are made available throughout the year.
Two successive ratoons are possible in a short duration which minimizes cost of cultivation.
No staggered harvesting.
95% - 98% plants bear bunches.
New varieties can be introduced and multiplied in a short duration.
Planting of tissue culture Banana can be done throughout the year except when the temperature is too low or too high. Facility of drip irrigation system is important. There are two important seasons in Maharashtra, India;
Mrig Baug (Kharif) Month of planting June - July.
Kande Baug (Rabi) Month of planting October - November.
But Due to availiability of quality Planting material round the year planting is recmmonded execpt during very hot temperature in summer.
Traditionally banana growers plant the crop at 1.5m x 1.5m with high density, however plant growth and yields are poor because of competition for sunlight. Various trials are conducted at Jain Irrigation System R&D farm with Grand nain as cultivar. And then suitable spacing of 1.82m x 1.52m is being recommended, it accommodates 1452 plants per acre (3630 plants per hectare) keeping row direction North-South with wide spacing 1.82m between the rows. The region like north India, coastal belt and where humidity is very high and temp falls down upto 5-7ºC, the planting distance should not be less than 2.1m x 1.5m.
Crop Geometry var. Grand Naine
The plant is Separated from the container without disturbing the root ball of the plant and then plants are planted in the pits keeping the pseudo-stem 2cm below the ground level. Soil around the plant is gently pressed. Deep planting should be avoided.