Sugarcane Water Needs – How To Water Sugarcane Plants
By: Darcy Larum, Landscape Designer
As gardeners, sometimes we simply cannot resist trying unique and unusual plants. If you live in a tropical region, you may have tried growing the perennial grass sugarcane, and probably realized it can be a water hog. Read on to learn about watering sugarcane plants.
Sugarcane Water Needs
Sugarcane, or Saccharum, is a perennial grass that requires a long growing season and regular sugarcane irrigation. The plant also requires the heat and humidity of the tropics to produce the sweet sap that sugar is derived from. Providing enough, but not too much, water is oftentimes a struggle for sugarcane growers.
If sugarcane water needs are not properly met, it can result in stunted plants, improper seed germination and natural propagation, decreased amount of sap in plants and loss of yield to sugarcane crops. Likewise, too much water can result in fungal diseases and rots, decreased sugar yields, leaching of nutrients and generally unhealthy sugarcane plants.
How to Water Sugarcane Plants
Proper sugarcane irrigation depends on climatic conditions in your region as well as the type of soil, where grown (i.e. in ground or container) and method of watering used. In general, you’ll want to provide sugarcane with about 1-2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm.) of water each week to maintain adequate soil moisture. This, of course, may increase in periods of excessively hot or dry weather. Container-grown plants may also require additional watering than those in the ground.
Overhead watering is not typically encouraged, as this could lead to wet foliage that is prone to fungal issues. Container plantings or small patches of sugarcane may be hand watered at the base of the plant as needed. Larger areas, however, will most often benefit from watering the area with a soaker hose or drip irrigation.
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Read more about Sugarcane
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Sugarcane is also one the most grown commercial crop, all over the world. However, growing sugarcane is not a hardworking job but it requires good care and management while sugarcane farming to produce optimum since this crop is very susceptible to the climate conditions, type of soil, manure and fertilizers, the way of irrigation, pests, insects, diseases and their controlling measures.
It also requires care and attention during harvesting sugarcanes along with proper care and management to obtain a higher production from sugarcane farming.
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Basically, sugarcane crop is a perennial grass crop that grows the most in tropics and subtropics region which produces multiples of stems having a diameter about 3 to 5 cm and height about 5 m. However, this crop belongs to the bamboo family. Stems of this crops grow into cane stalk formed, and contributes about more than 70 % of the total plant when matured.
A mature sugarcane stem contains about 11 to 18 % water-soluble sugar, 10 to 16 % of fibers, about 3 to 4 % of non-sugars content along with more than 70 % of water content in it.
Basically, this commercial crop is native to India which is mainly grown or cultivated for producing sugar the most. Apart from this, it also supplies raw material for making alcohol and other beverages. The rest residue of sugarcane is also used as the nutritious fodder for the dairy cattle.
The scientific name of sugarcane is Saccharum officinarum.
One can create a huge income via growing sugarcane with suitable techniques and technology. So, let’s learn commercial sugarcane farming or cultivation and earn millions of this.
How to Grow Sugarcane in a Greenhouse
Technically a tropical grass, sugarcane is grown as an edible crop in tropical climates that have mild winters. Sugarcane can grow up to 13 feet tall, but it can be harvested when it’s only 3 feet in height. You can easily grow sugarcane in your greenhouse from sugarcane stalks sold at most health food or ethnic grocery stores for chewing. As long as you have heating elements set up in your greenhouse, your sugarcane-growing experience will be simple and rewarding.
Saw the tops of the sugarcanes to make them into 5 1/2- to 6-inch seed pieces, also called “setts.” Use only the freshest sugarcanes for planting.
Fill a seed tray that has drainage holes in the bottom with a mixture of equal parts grit, such as coarse sand, and organic compost.
Lay the setts flat on top of the mixture, and cover them with a light sprinkling of compost.
- Technically a tropical grass, sugarcane is grown as an edible crop in tropical climates that have mild winters.
- Fill a seed tray that has drainage holes in the bottom with a mixture of equal parts grit, such as coarse sand, and organic compost.
Sprinkle or mist the compost and setts with warm water from a spray bottle.
Place your seed tray inside a covered frame or a clear plastic bag, or place a clear seed tray cover on top of the tray.
Place the seed tray on top of a heating element and in bright light in your greenhouse, set to warm the compost in the seed tray to at least 68 to 70 degrees F. Maintain air temperatures in your greenhouse at 65 to 75 degrees.
Water the compost and setts very lightly, if at all, until the canes sprout, which usually takes about three weeks.
Remove the plastic bag or covered frame from the seed tray after the shoots emerge and grow to about 3 inches tall.
Fill 6-inch-diameter planter pots that have drainage holes in the bottom with a mixture of equal parts potting soil, organic compost and coarse sand or grit.
Carefully remove the sugarcane seedlings from the seed tray, and plant them individually in the pots.
Place the pots in bright light and water your sugarcane plants two or three times each week to thoroughly moisten the potting mixture and until water drains freely from the bottom of the pots.
Repot your sugarcane plants as soon as they fill their pot, transferring the plant into pots that are about 1 ½ times the size of the current container.
Keep the potting mixture evenly moist at all times don’t allow it to dry out.
To harvest your sugarcane, cut down the sugarcane stalk when the plant reaches about 3 feet tall. Peel off the outer leaves.
Wear gloves and use caution when handling sugarcane stalks, because the leaves are very sharp.
Other Sugarcane for Cool Climates
While it’s feasible to expand business sugarcane in the most southern components of the continental U.S., researchers are striving to create selections that can make it through in chillier environments and also much shorter expanding periods, with the hopes of broadening manufacturing further north.
A great deal of success has actually been located in going across types of sugarcane (Saccharum) with types of Miscanthus, a decorative turf that has a lot better cool strength. These crossbreeds, called Miscanes, reveal a great deal of guarantee with 2 various facets of cool resistance.
First, they have the ability to hold up against a lot reduced temperature levels without enduring freeze damages. Second, as well as likewise essential, they maintain undertaking and also expanding photosynthesis at a lot reduced temperature levels than standard sugarcanes. This extends their efficient expanding period significantly, also in environments where they need to be expanded as annuals.
The advancement of cool durable sugarcane is a warm concern now, and also we can anticipate some huge adjustments in the upcoming years.