Managing the fallow period in Plantains

A field which becomes unproductive should be left fallow. If plantains are to be planted again after a fallow period, the following points should be considered.

  • At the beginning of the fallow, all plantain mats should be entirely destroyed. Otherwise, remaining plants could maintain nematode and stem borer populations which would readily infest newly planted plantains after the fallow period.
  • Only manual destruction guarantees the complete elimination of the existing plantain mats.
  • The level of organic matter in the soil should be raised as high as possible during the fallow period in order to restore fertility. This can be done by allowing trees to re-grow and /or by planting a legume cover crop.
  • The fallow period should last at least 2 to 3 years.

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