Did you know that more than 20 million people in Uganda depend on bananas for food and income? To have better yields here is how to look after it.
If your banana plantation is on a steep slope, dig trenches of 60cm wide and 60cm deep across the slope, putting soil on the upper side of the trench. These should be 10 to 20 paces apart.
Trenches prevent the washing away of soil down the slope when it rains and also enhance water infiltration.
You should stabilise the trenches using grass bands, for example, kisubi (lemon grass) or vetiver. You plant them in a line on top of the trenches.
There are mainly three ways of controlling weeds in a banana shamba. These include weeding using either hoes or uprooting them by hand or applying herbicides to kill weeds.
When using herbicides, make sure that they do not run off to the bases of the plants.
If possible, avoid spraying on days when there are high winds because winds may force some of the chemicals off the grasses and do not spray immediately after it has rained because the herbicides will be diluted by the rain.
Applying fresh dung
No, fresh dung should not directly be applied to bananas because it has elements that may affect the roots by ‘burning’ it up. You have two options with this.
Let the dung dry up in a reservoir, turn it into humus and then apply it near the stems of the bananas. This process can take at least two weeks.
Alternatively, you can create a holding point between four plants, put in the dung and then let water help it flow towards the banana stems.
The holding point can be at least 3×3 feet and deep. You can also use other organic materials like rotting food waste, peelings etc to fertilise the farm.