ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 50 Number 3
Effect of bunch covers on fruit growth and maturity in bananas
Two series of trials were conducted in two seasons to investigate the effects of polyethylene bunch cover on yield, emergence-harvest interval, growth rates and immaturity of bananas. Final fruit size was increased by covers in two out of four trials. Yield was increased in only one trial but was a function of fruit number as well as size. The effect of treatment on emergence-harvest depended upon the stage at which bunches were harvested. If harvested when commercially full, the emergence-harvest interval was reduced by bunch covers. If allowed to ripen in the plantation, the covers had no significant effect. Relative growth rates (R) of fruit were increased by covers in three out of four trials. R was constant throughout each treatment as was relative change of green-life with time and relative change of green-life with growth. This would be useful for prediction purposes. The fruit grew rapidly even when other fruit on the same bunch was ripening in the plantation. It appeared that green-life is not necessarily associated with growth in the same way from one season to another. Bunch covers did not significantly affect the relationship between green-life and growth in either season.