Plantain is a heavy feeder of soil nutrient which makes it thrive well in soils that are rich and also able to release its nutrient.
The nutrient consumption of 1 ha of plantain farm per year can be estimated at 300kg of N, 150kg of P and 1050kg of K which means that to have a good yield on your plantain field, you will need to maintain the soil fertility yearly by the input of fertilizer either organically or inorganically or organo-mineral.
There are basic rules to follow in other to retain the fertility of your soil; they are explained in the bullet point below.
The addition of a high quantity of organic waste: No doubt that plantain is a heavy feeder of nutrient which makes it grow vigorously and big if well nurtured. Giving your plantains organic waste, e.g., poultry waste, cow dung, pig poo, rice husk, cocoa pods and others will improve growth and yield but the best organic waste to apply is poultry waste because it provides a high amount of nitrogen which is needed during the vegetative period of the plant.
The addition of leguminous plants: a leguminous plant has been scientifically proven to fix nitrogen into the soil and later help boost the growth and yield of the non-leguminous plant. For example, planting cowpea between two rows of plantain stand will support the growth of the plantain.
The addition of NPK and Urea supplement: This method provides plantain with quick nutrient as NPK and Urea fertilizer are known to release its nutrient as against organic fertilizer. Though NPK has a future negative effect on the soil and plant, it is a quick fix for Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium deficiency in plants. However, urea fertilizer provides only nitrogen for plantain (needed during the vegetative stage). In considering the mixing ratio of NPK and Urea, you will mix in ratio 2:1 and apply 500g per stand.
How often should fertilizer application be made on plantain farm? The periodical use differs by soil to soil, location to location and quantity to be applied, but the average application per year thrice depends on the time of planting. It is best to apply both organic and inorganic fertilizer as a first application (if soil nutrient is low) and only organic fertilizer (if soil nutrient is average).
In summary, the best way to maintain soil fertility for plantain is the application of fertilizer, and the best compost to add is an organic waste in which poultry waste serves to be the best fertilizer, loved by plantain.
In Conclusion, Always provide your plant with enough fertilizer and water all year round as this will result in real growth and big fruit