Culture and Management

 

Land Preparation

"Queen" pineapple thrives well in soil with adequate tillage. Two plowings each, followed by harrowing, is done at an interval of 7 to 10 days per operation. This results in a well-prepared soil and reduced weed population.

In open areas, cleaning is performed before plowing and harrowing. The number of times clearing is done depend on the soil tilth and weed incidence.

Some farmers practice zero tillage or no plowing. Pineapple suckers are planted after digging holes by means of a heavy hoe.

 

Preparation of Planting Materials and Planting

Suckers and crowns are two popular planting materials of Queen pineapple. Before planting, the suckers are cured by exposing the root section or butt to direct sunlight for 3 to 5 days. This prevents stem rot in the newly planted crop.

When grown as intercrop to coconut trees, pineapple may be planted using the single row method at 70 centimeters to 100 centimeters between rows, and 30 centimeters between hills. The double row method can also be used at 80 centimeters between double rows, 50 centimeters within double rows and 30 centimeters between hills.

Planting is done with the aid of a bolo. Suckers are placed in the hole in vertical position.

 

Weed Control

Weeds can be efficiently controlled by using herbicide such as Diuron or Karmex using 2.5 kilograms to 3.0 kilograms per hectare, sprayed 7 to 10 days after planting. Herbicide-resistant weeds can be controlled by hand pulling. A second application of herbicide may be done 4 to 5 months after planting.

For cogonal areas, a pre-tillage application of glyphosate herbicide (round-up) is very helpful. In areas where mutha (Cyperus Rotundus) is thickly growing the same glyphosate herbicide compound can be applied 7 to 10 days after planting.

In areas infested by Aguingay (Nattboellia exaltata) or itchgrass, the use of Fluazifop-Butyl (e.g. Onecide 15 EC) is recommended.

Fertilization

Pineapple requires sufficient supply of fertilizer for vigorous growth and profitable harvest. One hectare of Queen pineapple consisting of 35,000 plants requires 24.5 bags of urea, ammonium phosphate and muriate of potash.

Potassium makes the fruit sweet; nitrogen gives vigor to the plants; and phosphorous help in the development of the roots.

Urea is best applied at the base of the plant. Ammonium phosphate and muriate of potash can be placed on top of the first three oldest leaves at the base of the plants.

Flower Induction

Forced fruiting can be done when the pineapple plant is 10 to 13 months old or when it has 36 or more normal leaves. Ethepon (e.g. Ethrel 480) is now popular flower inducer. The use of 50 ppm ethrel + 2% urea + o.o4% calcium carbonate is both economical and highly effective. Thirty (30) millimeters of the solution is poured at the "heart" or center of the whorl of leaves of the plant.

Calcium Carbide or "kalboro" can be used in flower induction at a ratio of 1 kg. Carbide per 8-12 cans of water. (kerosene can = 19 liters).

Harvesting

Queen pineapple can be harvested 4.5 to 5 months after flower induction. For distant market outlets, fruits are harvested at maturity index of 0 to 1 (green ripe to 14% yellow). For nearer outlets, fruits can be harvested at maturity index of 2-3 (15% to 49% yellow).