Banana Trench Planting method

I am getting mixed answers for the benefits of digging trenches for Banana plantation. Apart from effective water management, are there any benefits of making trenches? Since digging trenches become labor intensive work, I am thinking of alternates to reduce the dependency with labors. Mine is a wet land and I can’t use tractors after planting Banana suckers. I heard trenches will help the root system healthy but I am curious how the same banana root system is healthy in garden lands without trenches. Any suggestions from experts in this field would be very useful for me.


As you said, it will improve the water management by using less water.  Since you will be putting water in the trenches, there will be less weeds.  Even the manures can be supplied through the trenches and this will optimize your productivity.

The other benefit will be improvement of microbes in the trenches which will help the plant obtain nutrients efficiently.

Padmanabhan Ganesan

Dear Sri Siva,

For Banana farming, both pits system and trench systems are well followed , by most of the successful farmers. in detail…

Pits system in Banana:  More labour days required and costly and takes more time for large extents.Costly , when compared to Trench system.  For small extent of lands, Management after plantation is good and suitable to any lands, especially to low lying wet lands. Be sure to provide good drainage system, at least 2 ft below your land ground level. Top soil of the pits can be used, and all the plants can get their share of fertilisers properly ( caliculation wise ).

Trench system in Banana:  Well followed for large extent lands and for mainly elivated lands and those are more prone to heavy winds . cost wise less expensive, and can be done fast with equipments like JCBs and proclines. can use water resources very effictively.

Mainly in trench system, plants roots will be at low level than the land level and periodically we can fill soil and fertilisers along with. These plants can with stand for any moderate/high winds also to some extent and for Gales to maximum extent. Good for inter croping. Any large extents also can be complited in couple of days and effectively also. It is good for uniform timely harvests.

It may not be a correct opinion that Root system will be healthy in Trench system only. You have to enrich the soil and we have to make the soil with with good and useful bacteria/fungus. We can follow the system of IIHR , Hassargatta, Bengaluru and make our root system healthy in any farming system.

My advise to you is, if your land is low lying area, and if you want to follow the trench system, be sure that you have to make special drainage to your farm . Banana do well with good humidity in the soil, but never likes with watery/water logging conditions.

with best wishes ,    g.p.rao,    farmer

Dear G.P.Rao sir,

Thank you very much for clarifying my doubts on advantages in using trench method planting. In my area I never seen people using JCB for digging trenches. I am thinking farmers in my area are not using JCB’s because JCB’s may get stuck due to the nature of the soil(it is mix of clay loamy soil). But it is worth trying in my next cycle of planting banana in my field.

Is it really requires to dig trenches in East-West as well South-North?  I am thinking of just doing trenches in one direction (East-West or South-North) on the entire length of my land. If I go with this method, it will be easy for me to maneuver farm equipment (small tractor or Power tiller) between the trees to control weeds. Hope this method doesn’t affect my plant growth.

Can you share me the link from IIHR guidance on keeping root system healthy?

Your help is much appreciated.

Best Regards

Dear Sri Siva,

It is learnt from the Horti Authorities that the rows should be provided in East West direction and trench should be taken in North South direction.

You can go for either Trench system or Pits system, which suits your land well. Both are good.

IIHR recommendations: ( which we are following from years )

take one tractor load of FYM and heap it in a shaded place, with a uniform height of 1 1/2 ft. Add/spread on top 100 kgs of neem cake ( oiled cake ). Mix it well all around and pour sufficient water on top. ( mix should not be watery,water drenching and should be only wet/humid sufficiently.)

Cover the top with wet jute gunny bags.spread little/required water for couple of days and check the bottom mix temperature, which should be normal temp, which is required .

Once the bottom temp is normal, add/mix, each of 2/5 kgs , 1. Trichoderma Viride, Psuedomonas, Paceilomysis and PSB in the above mix, along with 10 kgs of jaggery , which is mixed in water,
and thoroughly mix it again, and  cover the mix with wet gunny bags. Spray required water on the top daily and after 10 to 15 days, we will found Fungal/white formation on the inner/bottom side of
the gunny bags. It indicates, the mix is ready for application in the land.

This mix is sufficient for 1 to 3 acres, depends on the crop and soil.

Try to repeat this process , once in 3/6 months, as required. As stated by IIHR, This will take care of All most , soil borne diseases.

We should see that, no drenching of pesticides, like Chloryphyrifos etc and no mixing of Thimmet, Carbofuran 3G,10G in the same land soil. If mixed, the purpose will not be fulfilled.

with best wishes,    g.p.rao,    farmer