AbstractThe plantain clone Superplátano was evaluated with drip irrigation at the Fortuna Substation using three plant spacings of 3.05 by 1.22 m, 3.05 by 1.52 m and 3.05 by 1.83 m (2,628 to 1,790 plants/ha) and five bunch (raceme) pruning and bagging subtreatments.Two weeks after bunch emergence the immature racemes were pruned to either four, five or six uppermost hands. In addition, racemes with five and six hands were either bagged or unbagged. The Maricongo cultivar with unpruned bunches was used as a control. Plant spacing had no significant effect on number of fruits and weight per bunch, bunch mean fruit weight and individual fruit characteristics (diameter, length and weight) in the last hand of 'Superplátano' bunches. Hand pruning had a significant effect on bunch size and individual fruit characteristics in the fourth, fifth and sixth hands of 'Superplátano' racemes. Bunches pruned to either four, five or six hands averaged 59, 72 and 86 fruits and weighed 19.1, 21.6 and 23.3 kg, respectively. Regardless of the number of hands that remained in pruned 'Superplátano' bunches, these racemes contained significantly more fruits than the unpruned 'Maricongo'. Bunch mean fruit weight in the 'Superplátano' significantly increased from 273 to 324 g at the expense of reducing bunch size from six to four hands. Bunch mean fruit weight in the unpruned 'Maricongo' raceme was 325 g. The reduction in the number of hands from six to four significantly increased individual fruit diameter, inner and outer lengths, and weight in the last hand of 'Superpiátano' bunches. The pruning effect, however, was not sufficient to produce fruits in the 'Superplátano' comparable in mean diameter and weight to those corresponding to the same numerical hand of the unpruned 'Maricongo'. The combined pruning and bagging subtreatments had no additional effect on bunch size and individual fruit characteristics. The Superplátano clone with bunches pruned to five hands had a yield potential of 157,000 marketable fruits/ha; the unpruned Maricongo cultivar, whose racemes averaged nine hands, produced 124,130 fruits/ha.
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