The pineapple is an exotic, tropical fruit with a refreshing, citrus flavour that many families include in their diets. It has many nutritious properties, as it’s rich in vitamins C, B1, and B6, and it contains minerals such as sodium, calcium, and potassium
It works as a diuretic and a detoxifier, and eating it will leave you feeling full due to its high fiber content. It’s a great food for those who are looking to lose weight, and it contains a large amount of water.
You’ve most likely tried this delicious fruit in drinks, desserts, salads, or simply cut into slices or cubes. If you’ve ever wondered about the pineapple planting process, you can continue reading to learn more.
Its scientific name is Ananas comosus L., and it’s native to South America, originating somewhere between Uruguay and Brazil. The pineapple fruit becomes ripe 135 days after its flower has bloomed. Nowadays, it’s specially harvested in Costa Rica and then exported to countries such as the United States, and even to Europe.
Climate and soil
Pineapple grows in tropical climates with temperatures ranging between 23 and 30 degrees Celsius, as temperatures that are any higher or lower affect the growth of the plants’ leaves and the quality of the fruit. A nicely coloured peel is the result of the sunlight that pineapple absorbs, much like when a person gets a nice tan. It’s important to note that pineapple absorbs water in the atmosphere, which allows it to withstand long periods of draught. However, it’s important for it to be adequately watered during the initial planting stage, and while its flower and fruit are beginning to develop.
The soil where pineapple is being planted must be aerated and have a good drainage system in place, as well as adequate fertilizers, with an ideal pH balance of 5. In the regions in Costa Rica where pineapple plantations are located, the best months for planting are between May (when the rainy season begins) and August. However, if an appropriate irrigation system is in place it can be planted throughout the year.
There are two common pineapple varieties in Costa Rica, called Cayena Lisa and Monte Lirio. The former has dark green leaves and a reddish peel when ripe, with light yellow or golden coloured fruit, and it contains high levels of sugar. The latter is medium sized and has reddish-green leaves, it doesn’t contain much fiber but it tastes and smells delicious. The Monte Lirio variety is only grown in Central America.
The seeds must be disinfected by submerging them in a pesticide and fungicide solution for several minutes. The terrain where planting will occur must be clean and free of vegetation residues. Pineapple plantations must be exposed to direct sunlight, which means that there cannot be trees planted nearby. Adequate space must be allocated to facilitate fertilization, harvesting, and seed collection.
Keep in mind that the way a pineapple is harvested depends on its destination. That is to say, if it’s going to be exported, it must be harvested in the early stages of ripening while it’s still green. If it’s going to be sold nationally, it must be harvested in the middle stages of ripening, without allowing the fruit to ripen too much. Pineapple must be harvested manually, by twisting it to remove it from the ground, or by using a knife.
There are also those who plant pineapples in planters at home, transplanting them as the fruit grows. Either way, it’s a delicious fruit that everyone should try, as it’s full of nutritious properties.