Pineapple Orchard Business:This post is long overdue as I have always wanted to share ways of growing pineapple successfully on my family farm.
I have wrote several blog posts in the past about having a pineapple plantation and doing a research on pineapple soils in my final year project.
This blog post will share a step by step guide of growing pineapple successfully (with pictures), please enjoy your reading…
Pineapple is one of the most extensively researched tropical fruit crops.
Many aspects of production have been mechanized, and commercial cultural practices are highly refined.
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16 Tips to Start Pineapple Orchard Business
1. Pineapple Orchard Business:Know about the Soil Preparation:
Soil should be well tilled.
Addition of animal manures improves tilts, increases soil potassium.
And may improve micro-nutrient availability.
If the soil is imperfectly drained, beds at least 20 cm (8 inches) high should be formed.
Pineapple thrive well in well drained sandy soil.
2. Pineapple Orchard Business:Know the Plant Population:
Field plantings of pineapple are usually in double-row beds.
A population of approximately 58,700 plants/ha will result from beds 122 cm from center to center, rows 55 to 60 cm apart within beds, and plants 28 cm apart within rows.
Fruit size decreases about 45 g for each population increase of 2470 plants/ha
3. Pineapple Orchard Business:Know how to do Mulching:
Black polyethylene approximately 90 cm wide is used as mulch in most commercial plantings.
As the mulch is rolled out on the planting bed, its edges are covered with soil.
Planting holes are punched through the plastic with a trowel.
The mulch increases soil temperature in the root zone.
It helps to conserve soil moisture, promotes rooting by concentrating moisture in the root zone, and controls weeds.
Mulches are not used in equatorial climates with high temperatures and rainfall.
4. Pineapple Orchard Business:Know the needs of Fertilization:
Nutrient requirements of the pineapple plant change across different regions.
Like any other crops, pineapples too require nitrogen in greater quantities than any other soil nutrient.
For acidic soils, the application of magnesium sulfate proves to be beneficial.
Chelate is actually a chemical compound in which a metal atom is bound by other atoms.
Iron, when applied with nitrogen in a chelated form, increases the crop yield as well as the fruit size.
Pineapple has high requirements for fertilizer N, potassium (K), and iron (Fe).
And relatively low requirements for fertilizer phosphorus (P) and calcium (Ca).
K is usually applied to the soil before planting and later may be side-dressed.
Other nutrients sometimes including K are applied as foliar sprays or through the drip irrigation system, or by both methods, during the plant growth cycle.
P and Ca are usually banded in the plant line during bed preparation.
Less fertilizer is required during the first five months after planting; requirements increase sharply afterward and peak at two to four months before floral initiation.
5. Pineapple Orchard Business: Know the needs for Pre-planting fertilization:
The need for fertilizer applications to the soil is best determined by soil tests.
Calcium should not be applied if soil pH is greater than 4.6, because of the low plant Ca requirement.
If soils are low in P, approximately 75 kg/ha P should be banded beneath the plant rows.
Applications of animal manures may reduce the need for supplemental applications of Fe and other micro nutrients.
6. Pineapple Orchard Business:Know the Crop Colouration:
Crop colour can indicate its nutrient status.
Pale yellow-green is acceptable during the first five months from planting in regions with a 12- to 13-month vegetative growth period.
From month 5 to month 8, apply sufficient N to shift leaf color toward a darker yellow-green.
After month 8, apply enough N to produce dark green plants.
All yellow should be eliminated by the time of floral differentiation, or by the time N applications are suspended before forcing.
7. Pineapple Orchard Business:Take note of the Flowering
Induction of flowering is undertaken to control the time of harvest and maturity in pineapples
Use of chemicals to control the natural and ‘organic’ growth of any plant is artificial and unnatural.
However, cultivators tend to practice it to avoid excessive fruit production during peak periods.
Earlier, ethylene gas was commonly used to control the fruiting process.
Today, hormones such as a-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA) are used.
When a pineapple plant is 6 months old, it is treated with hormones to induce flowering.
Flower initiation takes place at the terminal axis of the stem.
This occurs naturally on short, cool days, usually in December.
The inflorescence is not externally visible for 45 to 60 days, when it appears in the center (heart) of the plant.
The off-shooted sucker(pictured above) flowers in 6 months when planted.
Conversely, the crown from the head of the matured pineapple takes one year!
8. Pineapple Orchard Business: Get to know the development stages:
Stages of development after its appearance are called half-inch open heart and one-inch open heart.
At these stages, the center is open approximately 1.25 and 2.5 cm, and the red inflorescence is clearly visible below the opening.
Three to four weeks after the one-inch open heart stage, blue flower petals can be seen at the bottom of the cone-shaped inflorescence.
Before all flowers have opened, the earliest petals will have begun to dry.
After all petals have dried, the inflorescence is said to be at the dry petal stage.
Its surface is dull, individual fruitlets (eyes) are pointed, and a crown has just begun to develop.
9. Pineapple Orchard Business: Know the Soil types:
Acid soils are especially suited to pineapple.
When soil pH is between 4.5 and 5.5, soil-borne diseases are reduced.
Soil pH greater than 7.0 should be avoided.
Good soil drainage is a necessity.
Where rainfall is high or soils are not well-drained, soil management techniques to improve drainage must be used.
Pineapple tolerates low soil fertility, but best production is obtained with high fertility.
High levels of soluble soil aluminum and manganese are tolerated.
High soil organic matter and potassium status are desirable.
See also: Tip to Start Cocoyam farming
10. Pineapple Orchard Business: Irrigation and Weed Control
For the cultivation of pineapple plants, irrigation is required only in the dry months of summer.
Manual weeding is not recommended in pineapple fields, since it proves to be expensive and can also lead to soil erosion.
Practice of mulching is the best option for controlling weeds.
Weeds are controlled by black plastic mulch.
To control weeds in bare soil areas between the mulch beds, registered preemergence herbicides cleared for pineapple may be used.
According to the instructions on the label.
Some herbicide labels permit application of the herbicide as overtop sprays immediately after planting and at later stages during the crop cycle.
11. Pineapple Orchard Business:Know the harvesting:
When flower initiation occurs, ripe fruit is harvested six to eight months later.
Fruit is harvested by bending it over and twisting to remove it from the stalk.
12. Pineapple Orchard Business: Sucker Propagation:
Planting suckers allow fast growth of pineapples in comparison to the traditional method of planting the crown.
For this, you need to first identify them and learn to pick them.
Suckers are found between leaves of fully-grown pineapple plants.
They can be pulled out with the hand; you just have to twist them at their base. It also prevents the plant (sucker) from getting hurt.
Rest of the procedure for growing pineapple plants is same as that used in the traditional method.
13. Pineapple Orchard Business: Climate and Soil Requirements
The pineapple plants grow well in a temperature ranging from 65 °F to 95 °F.
Although it can tolerate cold temperatures for a short period during nights.
The growth gets stunted and fruits become acidic when it is exposed to lower temperatures for a longer time.
Well-drained and friable soil, rich in organic matter is considered as best for growing pineapples.
The pineapple plants grown at high altitudes bear acidic fruits.
14. Pineapple Orchard Business: Know the Planting requirement
Before planting, pineapple fields are well-prepared to suit this shallow-rooted plant.
Crowns prepared for plantation are sown at a depth of 10 cm in double-rows.
A distance of 25-30 cm. is maintained between two plants, while two double-rows are kept 0.9-1.8 m apart.
Mulching is used in pineapple fields for conserving soil moisture, maintaining the necessary temperature of soil and also for controlling weeds.
In the mulching activity, entire field is covered with plastic sheets or bagasse (sugarcane pulp) is used.
15. Pineapple Orchard Business:Pests and Diseases:
Care of pineapple plants becomes important in order to protect them from pests and diseases.
Controlling the nematodes is necessary because they stunt pineapple growth.
1,3-dichloropropene or 1,3-D is efficient in controlling the nematodes and is applied using the fumigation process.
In this process, the soil is smoked.
Mealy bugs which cause the wilting of pineapple leaves are controlled by spraying pesticides.
The fire ants which carry mealy bugs from one plant to another need to be controlled in this case.
Root rot disease is controlled by improving soil drainage and fungicide application.
16. Pineapple Orchard Business:Harvesting:
Summer fruits of pineapple mature early as compared to the winter ones.
To know if the summer fruits are ready for harvesting, check whether the pineapple’s ‘eye’ is pale green.
In the winter season, fruits turn light yellow at the base and are considered as ready for harvesting.
For pineapple fruits to be ‘canned’, it is necessary to harvest them when fully ripe.
The activity of pineapple cultivation requires in-depth knowledge of different stages of growth of this plant.
With proper care and maintenance, you can grow pineapple in fields as well as in the indoor environment.
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