How to Plant a Sugar Cane Crop

Overview

Sugar cane, a perennial grass, grows easily in tropical regions in temperatures ranging from 70 to 95 degrees F. A widely grown crop throughout the southern United States, sugar cane is grown commercially and on hobby farms. Three varieties of sugar cane are chewing canes, crystal canes and syrup canes. Within each variety are numerous cultivars.

Step 1

Plant sugar cane in tropical regions from September to January for best results. Avoid planting from tiny sugar cane seeds. Plant 20-inch segments of sugar cane directly into the soil for best results.

Step 2

Choose a location that offers ample sunlight. Well-draining soil is required with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5.

Step 3

Till the soil 2 to 3 feet deep. Well tilled soil reduces weed growth and offers softer conditions for a healthier root system.

Step 4

Lay the 20-inch segments of cane into furrows horizontally, 3 to 7 inches deep. Each segment should be spaced 4 to 7 inches apart, in rows that are at least 5 to 6 feet apart.

Step 5

Spread 1 lb. of 8-8-8 fertilizer for every 10 feet of furrow once the canes are planted. Thoroughly water the fertilizer into the soil. Fertilize prior to spring and again in spring. Do not fertilize in summer as the production may be diminished.

Step 6

Water the sugar cane regularly. Young plants must be kept moist, but not overly wet.

Step 7

Hoe soil around the base of the furrows as the canes grow. Mound the soil up to 12 inches around the base of the canes as they grow in height.

Tips and Warnings

  • Plant sugar cane away from areas with heavy pedestrian use, because the sharp foliage of the grass can easily cut or injure people.

References

  • University of Florida: Backyard Sugarcane
  • University of Florida: An Overview of Florida Sugarcane
  • Florida Crystals: Growing Sugar Cane

Who Can Help

  • Sugar India: Sugar Cane
Keywords: planting sugarcane, planting sugar cane, sugar cane crops

About this Author

Kimberly Sharpe is a freelance writer with a diverse background. She has worked as a Web writer for the past four years. She writes extensively for Associated Content where she is both a featured home improvement contributor (with special emphasis on gardening) and a parenting contributor. She also writes for Helium. She has worked professionally in the animal care and gardening fields.