Soil Conditons in Relation to Banana Growth

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The banana requires a relatively deep1 well drained loamy soil. Jacob and Von Uexkull (1960) state that with adequate irrigation and fertilizer treatment light permeable soils are greatly preferable to heavy ones Heavy soils should be in excellent structural condition to ensure good drainage and 'deep rooting. The best soils have an optimum ph range of 6.5 to 7.5 (Jacob and Von Uexkull, 1960). It is well known that low pH levels favour the spread of Panama disease, but Si1monds (1959) considers that where Panama disease is not serious or where resistant clones are cultivated it would seem that pH, within wide limits, is unimportant' The Institute Francais de Recherehes Fruitieres Outre-mer (hereafter referred to as I.F.R.F.) has found that the banana can tolerate a wide range of pH, from 4.5 to 8.00 Experience in Ecuador has shown that bananas do well within pHs. of 7 to 8, provided the soil structure permits good drainage. In the Jordan valley, Cavendish bananas are grown economically on soil with up to lime and a pH of "8 and over' Alkali chlorosis, causing a condition known as n plant failure , has been reported from Haiti (Wardlaw, 1961) on soil of pH 7.5 to 9.2. Wardlaw considers that the symptoms of alkali chlorosis may be due to essential nutrients being rendered unavailable by the II alkali complex' but are also a direct result of alkali toxicity possibly caused by soil bicarbonate.
Soil Survey Horizons