Raising white pineapple (often referred to as “White Sugarloaf” or simply “Sugarloaf”) in grow beds in Hawaii at 700 feet elevation involves paying careful attention to several factors including soil quality, pH, and nutrient levels. Here are some general guidelines to consider:
- White pineapples prefer well-draining soil. If your natural soil doesn’t have good drainage, consider amending it with sand, perlite, or compost to improve drainage.
- Ensure that your grow beds are raised to allow for even better drainage, as pineapples are susceptible to root rot in waterlogged conditions.
- Pineapples thrive in slightly acidic soil with a pH range of 5.5 to 6.5. You can measure soil pH using a pH meter or a soil test kit.
- If your soil is too acidic (below 5.5), you can raise the pH by adding agricultural lime.
- If the soil is too alkaline (above 6.5), you can lower the pH using sulfur or organic matter like composted pine needles.\
- Nitrogen (N): Essential for vegetative growth. However, too much nitrogen can lead to soft fruits. Use a balanced fertilizer or one with slightly higher phosphorus and potassium compared to nitrogen.
- Phosphorus (P): Important for root and fruit development.
- Potassium (K): Helps with fruit quality and overall plant health.
- A general recommendation for pineapples is a balanced fertilizer like 10-10-10 (N-P-K). However, as the plant gets closer to flowering and fruiting, you can use a fertilizer with a higher potassium content.
- While pineapple plants are drought-tolerant, they do need consistent moisture, especially in the early stages. Water them thoroughly but let the soil dry out between watering.
- Ensure that the grow beds have good drainage to avoid waterlogged conditions.
Pest and Disease Management:
- Look out for pests like mealybugs, scale insects, and mites. These can be controlled with insecticidal soap or neem oil.
- Root rot can be a problem in waterlogged soils. Ensure good drainage and avoid over-watering.
- Ants can be an issue as they tend to farm aphids and mealybugs for their honeydew. Managing ant populations can help control these sap-sucking pests.
Climate and Sunlight:
- At 700 feet elevation in Hawaii, you’ll have a warmer climate, which is ideal for pineapple cultivation.
- Pineapples require full sun, so ensure that your grow beds are situated in an area that receives at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily
- Pineapples are typically ready to harvest when the fruit becomes more golden or yellow in color, and when it emits a sweet aroma.
- The fruit should be firm to the touch, but not too hard.
Remember to rotate crops if you’re continuously growing pineapples in the same grow beds, as this will help prevent soil-borne diseases and pests.
Lastly, while these are general guidelines, local conditions and practices can vary, so it’s always a good idea to consult with local farmers or agricultural extension services in Hawaii for specific recommendations tailored to your location.