Horticulture
Horticulture :: Fruits:: Pineapple
Pineapple (Ananas sativus)
Bromeliaceae

Varieties
Kew, Mauritius and Queen are the commercially cultivated pineapple varieties in Tamil Nadu.


Soil and climate
Mild tropical climate as found in the humid hill slopes is best suited for cultivation. This can also be grown in plains under shade i.e as intercropping system. Elevation from 500 m to 700 m is ideal for cultivation. A light well drained soil with pH 5.5 to 7.0 is highly preferable. Heavy soils can also be used for commercial cultivation if drainage facilities are available. 

Spacing
Plant in double rows either in beds or in trenches with the plants into the second rows set in the middle of the plants in the first row. The spacing between two trenches will be 90 cm. Row to row spacing in the same bed per trench will be 60 cm and plant spacing within the row is 30 cm.

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Kew
Planting
Use suckers and slips of 300-350 g weight for planting. Give a slanting cut to the suckers before planting and dip in Mancozeb 0.3 % or Carbendazim 0.1%.

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Method of propagation
Planting season
The ideal season for planting is July – September

Manures and fertilizers
FYM 40-50 t/ha, N 16 g, P 4 g and K 12 g/plant in two equal splits at 6th and 12th month after planting. Apply as foliar spray 0.5% - 1.0 % sulphate of Zinc and Ferrous solutions at 15 days interval to overcome the deficiencies in the early crop phase.

Aftercultivation
To have uniform flowering apply NAA 10 ppm + 2 % urea (20 g in 1 lit of water) at 50 ml/plant poured into crown, or 2 % urea + 0.04 % Sodium carbonate + 20 ppm Ethephon (ethrel) at 50 ml/plant poured into the crown the when the crop attains 35 – 40 leaf stage. To increase the size of the fruit, 200 – 300 ppm NAA should be sprayed after fruit formation. To avoid calcium induced Iron chlorosis adequate shade should be given.


Plant protection
Mealy bug
Mealy bugs can be controlled by spraying Methyl Demeton 2 ml/lit or Monocrotophos 36 WSC 2 ml/lit.

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Planting of pineapple in black polythene mulch
Harvest
Fruits can be harvested from 18 to 24 months after planting. Slight colour change at the base of the fruit indicates maturity. 

Yield
An average of 50 t/ha can be harvested from well maintained pineapple orchard. One plant crop and two ratoon crops are normally practiced in most of varieties and in Mauritius variety up to five crops can be taken.

Market information

Growing Districts Namakkal, Dindigul, Kanyakumari
Major Markets in Tamil Nadu Koyambedu WholesaleMarket, Coimbatore
Grade Specification Size, Shape, Maturity, free from disease, pest and blemishes
Crowns should be trimmed to less than 10 cm and the stalk end trimmed to 5 -7 cm
Source
1. http://www.fao.org/inpho/content/compend/img/ch33/AE614e13.jpg

 
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