Pineapple is one of the most preferable fruits and ranks after mango. It is known for its sweet taste, rich and glossy texture. Pineapple is a delicious fruit – prickly on the outside and sweet and delicious on the inside. The fruit is native to the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. Pineapple plantation can be the best source of income if someone maintains it properly.
It is highly nutritious and is enjoyed by everyone across the world. Pineapples grow abundantly in Bihar, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, West Bengal, and North Eastern parts of India. Pineapple is a delicious fruit- thorny on the outside, sweet and delicious inside. The fruit is native to the Caribbean, Central America and South America.
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Climate For Pineapple Plantation
A humid climate with adequate rainfall is ideal for pineapple planting. This kind of climate is found in the coastal areas. The optimum temperature should be between 22⁰C to 32⁰C. While leaves grow optimal at 32⁰C, roots grow the best at 29⁰C.
Pineapple crops do not grow at temperatures below 20⁰C and above 36⁰C. There should be a difference of 4⁰C between day and night temperatures. However, high temperatures at night are not desirable for pineapples. Although adequate rainfall is well suited for pineapple, it grows best in 100–150 cm of rainfall.
Season of Pineapple Farming
Ideally, farmers plant pineapples 12-15 months before the flowering season. The flowering season comes between December to March. It varies between regions. Generally, planting time depends on the onset of the monsoon, its intensity, rainfall etc. Farmers plant it during April-June in Karnataka and Kerala, while in Assam, it is done from August to October. They avoid the cultivation of pineapple during periods of heavy rains.
Soil for Pineapple Cultivation
Farmers can grow pineapple well in any type of soil, although sandy loam is ideal. Farmers should take well-drained soil, which is the most basic requirement for pineapple cultivation.
They can also grow in heavy soils because it provides good drainage capacity. Waterlogged soil is not recommended for pineapple cultivation. Alluvial and laterite are other soil types that are suitable for planting pineapples. Pineapple requires slightly acidic soil with a pH between 5.5 to 6.0.
Water for Pineapple Cultivation
Farmers cultivate pineapple in coastal areas and places where rainfall is plenty. Therefore, they do not need irrigation for it. However, supplemental irrigation helps in producing good-sized fruits if cultivated on a commercial scale.
In addition, irrigation helps in off-season planting. It also ensures the production of pineapples throughout the year. This practice is followed to produce export quality pineapples. If farmers grow pineapple in areas with low rainfall with hot climates, they should irrigate once in two weeks.
Land Preparation for Pineapple Cultivation
Farmers cultivate the pineapples in trenches. You should remove earthen lumps, rocks, crop debris and stones. After ploughing, the land is dug up and then levelled. After this, the trench is dug. Farmers can choose each tranche 15-30 cm deep and 90 cm wide. And generally, they choose August to October or April to May as the ideal time to avoid the harvest during the rainy season.
Unlike other crops, you can propagate pineapple by crown, sucker and slip. Therefore, farmers use planting materials in pineapple cultivation such as a crown, slip and sucker. Flowering occurs in the crown 19-20 months after plantation, whereas in slip and sucker, flowers appear 12 months after plantation.
Farmers use the planting material for cultivation at 5-6 months old. Typically, they use slips and suckers for commercial purposes because the crown takes longer to flower. They should use material of uniform size. Farmers plant the Suckers and slip in previously dug and prepared trenches.
Intercultural Operations in Pineapple Plantation
Various intercultural operations such as mulching, weeding, earthing, removing slips, suckers, crowns, and ratoon crops are practiced in pineapple farming.
Diseases and Plant Protection in Pineapple Cultivation
Unlike many other crops, pineapples in India are not prone to too many diseases. However, mealy, scale insects and stem rot infestations are most likely to occur in pineapple cultivation in India. Dipping suckers in Bordeaux mix before planting and a good drainage system takes care of stem rot and other fungal diseases.
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