How to kill Minimize

November 2004. Coconut and cocoa growers in Papua New Guinea asked for a cost-effective way to kill bananas that were a nuisance in their plantations.

Several ideas were given:

1. Slash them down, it is realtively cheap and good for the health! If a chemical is needed, use 2,4,5-T).

2. Make a cut in the pseudostem and squirt in a dilution of 2,4 D, Dicamba or Roundup. Banana take a while to die. Otherwise, cut them off near ground level and put the herbicide on the cut stem surface.

3. Inject with glyphosate (Roundup or Touchdown work equally well). Inject 10 mls of 1:10 Roundup into a mature stem and 5 mls into a sucker. Injections are made 20-30 cm above ground level. Higher rates will kill then faster. If you inject all the stems and suckers in a clump the whole clump usually dies with little or no regrowth. If the stems are particularly large it may be necessary to inject twice with 10 mls - on opposite sides of the pseudostem.

The red plastic Velpar guns with a spike seem to work well. Commercial banana growers in north Queensland use a gun, to inject diesel or kerosene into decapitated suckers as part of the desuckering process.

4. Cut off spear points and form a crater, pour in a small amount (dishwashing soap bottle) of diesel. This technique can also be used when desukering a young plantation. 

5. Without chemical: dig, uproot, split butts, dry out.