||Pineapple grows on a wide range of soil types
However, the most suitable soil is a well drained sandy loam with a high content of organic matter. It should be at least 60cm deep with medium to by acidity - pH of5to6.5.
||Pineapple thrives best in warm temperature 201 tc 32°C at an altitude ranging from 1370 to 1740 meter above sea level. Suitable rainfall should range from1000mm to 1500mm (40"-60") per year. Pineapple can resist drought as it stores moisture in the leaves
||Prepare land early to enable planting to take place when there is adequate moisture in the soil. Since the pineapple has a weak root system, it needs a seed bed that is deepy and thoroughly cultivated.
Remove perennial weeds like couch grass by spraying with Round Up or Glyphosate - mixing about 200-250m1 per 20 litre of water in a sprayer.
A similar chemical with the trade mark "MAMBA' is now also on the market.
||Pineapple can be planted using:
a) The crown which is the terminal shoot at the top of the fruit.
b) The sucker that develops from the aerial or
underground part of the stem.
c) The slip which is a shoot arising from the stalk or peduncle.
For uniform fruit size, it is recommended that you plant similar planting materials in one area (slip, sucker, crown). These could be sorted further according to uniformity of size.
Suckers mature earliest at about 18 months, slips take about 20 months while crowns take up to 24 months.
|Preparation of planting materials:
||The planting material should be treated as follows:
(a) Remove the leaves 3-5cm from the bottom to encourage early rooting.
(b) Dip the plant for about 3-5 seconds in
Sumithion (Fenitrothion) 50 of the following
possible mixture to destroy mealybugs:
(i) 30m1 per 20 liters of water
(ii) 1 5mb per 10 liters of water.
(c) Heap the treated planting material for about a week to allow the wounds to heal.
|Other soil treatments:
||To increase soil fertility and reduce nematode incidence two other important activities should be undertaken:
Application of fertilizer is necessary to boost the yield of the crop.
Currently three types of fertilizers are recommended in the following quantities and
at the times shown below:
(i) Just before planting, to be incorporated into the soil.
CALCIUM AMMONIUM NITRATE (CAN) - 80kg per acre
SINGLE SUPER PHOSPHATE (SSP) - 80kg
MURIATE OF POTASH - 100kg per acre,
mixed together. Total - 260kg.
(ii) After crop establishment 2-3 months later
(if still raining) apply CAN 80kg per acre, on
the soil surface.
Alternatively, a thick mulch of coffee husks up to 10cm (4) can be applied to suppress weeds and also provide nutrients as the mulch decomposes. To adequately cover a complete acre, you may require up to four lorry loads of coffee husks.
|When to plant:
||Pineapple can be planted any time there is adequate moisture in the soil but the earlier the better at the start of the rainy season.
||Pineapple requires a lot of planting material depending on the spacing and size of fruit one intends to get.
(a) 60cm x 30cm x 120cm (2ft x 1 ft x 4ft) requires 14,500 planting material per acre. This spacing produces big fruits.
(b) 30x30x120cm requires 17,500 planting
(c) 30x15x120cm requires 35,000 planting
This produces small fruits of 0.8 to 1kg needed by the export market. The planting could be in pure stand or intercropped with other crops.
For example, in Kangulumira in Mukono district bananas are interplanted satisfactorily with pineapples. Here, the bananas are planted first at a spacing of 10m by lOm and the pineapples planted in between rows spaced at 60x30x120cm.