Ratooning can make mature okra productive again
A YOUNG and energetic graduating agriculture student found out that ratooning can make mature okra ( Abelmoscus esculentus L.) plants productive again.
In a study, Angelou Toledo Calope, a scholar at the De La Salle Araneta University in Salikneta Farm, Upper Ciudad Real, City of San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, determined that ratooned mature okra plants fertilized with vermicompost and supplemented with a foliar fertilizer through different methods and rates of application produced viable results.
Ratooning is a method that involves pruning the plants back to several inches above the soil line to encourage new growth with reinvigorated flowering and pod production.
Results of the study revealed that the application of Amino Plus Foliar Fertilizer, either through foliar spraying or soil drenching that supplemented the vermicompost, induced flowering within 21 days after ratooning or cutting of the mature (but unproductive) okra plants.
Likewise, ratooned okra plants significantly produced the highest marketable yield per plot.
METHODOLOGY In his study, Calope used a single factor experiment with five treatments and three replications arranged in Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) in an area of about 50 square meters of land that was previously planted with okra.
The area was divided into five rows of 10-meter (m) lengths with .50-m distances in between rows. Each row was further subdivided into three rows of three meters length with 0.50 m distances between rows to serve as blocks. Also, each row consisted of 10 experimental plants with a 30-centimeter (cm) planting distance between hills.
RATOONING Calope used six-month-old okra plants in his study. He says the mature okra plants were pruned to about 20-cm from the soil base using pruning shears.
After the experimental plants were pruned, they were randomly arranged into 15 plots. Each plot had 10 ratooned
Angelou Toledo Calope, a scholar at the De La Salle Araneta University in Salikneta Farm, Upper Ciudad Real, City of San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, proudly poses beside his ratooned mature okra plants.