Valmayor and 100 g/hole of TSP (Triple

Valmayor (2000) stated that banana is native to Southeast Asia, and the Philippines is within its center of origin and diversity.

Banana is also the premier fruit in the international export trade. In agreement with agrolink. moa, banana is normally propagated by suckers or tissue culture materials. If by sucker, sword sucker is preferred. Square, rectangle and triangle system are recommended for planting. For monocultured cropping system, the recommended planting distance is 3. 0 X 1.

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5 m.When intercropped with other permanent crops, the recommended planting distance is 2.4 X 2. 4 m. Planting holes of 0. 3m X 0.

3m X 0. 3m in size are dug and allowed to weather for 2-4 weeks. Organic matter or compost at 5-10 kg/hole and 100 g/hole of TSP (Triple Super Phosphate) are incorporated into the hole and seedling is planted with minimal disturbance to the roots.

According to extento. edu, the ideal soil should be well drained but have good water retention capacity. Soil Ph should be between 5. 5 and 6. 5. Bananas grow best in areas with 100 inches or more of well-distributed rainfall per year. Irrigation is needed if rainfall is inadequate or irregular.

Banana plants should be planted in protected areas, because they are generally susceptible to wind damage. An average temperature of 81 degrees F and full sun is also ideal. Coir dust consists of short fibers (2mm or less) and pith (dust), which are left behind after processing of coconut husk. Coir dust accumulates in large dumps outside the mills, which process the husk for extraction of industrially valuable long fibers.

The Central Coir Research Institute, Allepey (Coir Board) has developed a technology for the bio-conversion of coir dust into a very useful organic manure which has application in agriculture and horticulture industry.The coir dust is available in huge quantities, which needs to be processed into a form suitable for agricultural and horticultural use. (http://www. nrdcindia. com/pages/pith. htm) Coir dust or pith, the leftover dust after extracting coir from coconut husks, was introduced to the horticultural industry about fifteen years ago as a soil-less plant growth medium. Due to its high water holding capacity and the ability to wet easily without wetting agents, coir dust became more popular than peat moss.

This popularity has created a high demand for coir dust.Similar to the crop industry, the horticultural industry found there were different coir dust sources and very soon understood that all sources of coir dust do not have similar properties but depend on the processing method. The main problem experienced was the high salt content in some coir dust. (Cresswell, 1992) Blom, J. T. (1997) concluded with roses that during the first year coco coir produced about 15. 6% more marketable stems as well as 18% more fresh weight compared to granulated rockwool, while there were no significant differences between the substrates during the second year.There were higher levels of micro-elements in rose stems grown in coco coir than those grown in rockwool.

Fresh rice hulls have typically not been used as a horticultural substrate component because of weed seed and the potential for nitrogen tie-up in the substrate. However, it has been demonstrated that parboiled fresh rice hulls are free of viable weed seed and do not cause nitrogen tie-up in the substrate. Parboiled fresh rice hulls have a higher total pore space and a higher air-filled pore space than horticultural perlite (8mm). (http://www.uark.

edu/ArkHort/research_programs/greenhouse. html)Hirschey, P. J. (2003) stated that the large pore spaces that whole rice hulls provide are very desirable when combined in traditional media with substances that retain water well, like peat moss. But because whole rice hulls don’t hold water well, plants grown in them require several waterings per day.

Peanut shells have been used and recycled in many ways. They aren’t dumped anymore like they were a few years ago. Now, they can be mixed feeds for cattle or a base for litter and budding.It can also go into all sorts of stuff: plastic, wallboard, abrasives, fuel, cellulose (used in rayon and paper), mucilage (glue), mulching, kitty litter, linoleum, and a source of hydrogen for fuel cells. (http://www. wonderquest. com/snow-bigbugs-peanutshells.

htm) Some of its components are: magnesium, iron, niacin, phosphorus, thiamin etc. (http://www. hubspeanuts. com/peanutfacts. html) According to Texas, M. (1990), the species of tree from which sawdust is derived largely determines its quality and value for use in a growing media. Several sawdusts, such as walnut and non-composted redwood, are known to have direct phytotoxic effects.However, the C:N of sawdust is such that it is not readily decomposed.

The high cellulose and lignin content along with insufficient N supplies creates depletion problems which can severely restrict plant growth. However supplemental applications of nitrogen can reduce this problem. Calcium (Ca), an essential part of plant cell wall structure, provides for normal transport and retention of other elements as well as strength in the plant. It is also thought to counteract the effect of alkali salts and organic acids within a plant.

Some sources of calcium are dolomitic lime, gypsum, and superphosphate.On the other hand, magnesium (Mg) is part of the chlorophyll in all green plants and essential for photosynthesis. It also helps activate many plant enzymes needed for growth. Soil minerals, organic material, fertilizers, and dolomitic limestone are sources of magnesium for plants. Like nitrogen, phosphorus (P) is an essential part of the process of photosynthesis. It is involved in the formation of all oils, sugars, starches, etc. and helps with the transformation of solar energy into chemical energy as well as proper plant maturation and withstanding stress. It also causes rapid growth.

In addition, it encourages blooming and root growth.Furthermore, phosphorus often comes from fertilizer, bone meal, and superphosphate. (http://www. agrilink. com) According to Nogurea (1996), the fruit yield and harvest data results indicate that both media (saw dust and coco coir) were comparable, in all three crops the yield difference were non-significant when compared at 5% level of significance.

Studies conducted by Shinohara et. al. , (1997) reported similar results with tomato yields, when coconut fiber substrate was compared to bark or rice husk. They also concluded that excess supply of nutrient solution is essential when coco nut fiber substrate was used for the first time.

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