Re: Winter protection?
No more leaves after the flower emerges.
Meizzwang has a great deal of experience in your area getting fruit through winter so maybe search/check some of his excellent threads. He is in North California and has a cooler climate.
Based on what I have gleamed from members on this site this is my winter plan:
1. Apply 100 grams of muriate of potash mixed with water every two weeks. No nitrogen other than what's already loaded in the soil and grass clippings;
2. Cut the bell six inches below the last female flower after the male flowers start to emerge;
3. Prune the lower half of the bunch. Leaving the lowest two fingers. Probably remove half the bananas;
4. Cover the bananas with a giant white trash bag to help keep the bananas warm and prevent predators such as squirrels eating them. Not sure if the bag should have holes in it or whether the end of the bag should be open for drainage. Still working on this one.
5. Cover the whole plant with frost cloth before the first freeze. Usually this is a light one and can occur anywhere from early December to early January. Hopefully the later.
6. Remove the bunch before the second freeze which is usually a harder one. No way I can get it through that one.
7. Let bunch finish ripening in the garage or laundry room.