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Old 04-01-2013, 11:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Greece

Hello my name is Olga
I am Dutch, but i live in Greece, since Greece is in a lot of problems right now, and i see people not having money to buy food i decided to look at what we can grow ourselves.
Bananas would do really good here (zone 9) but i could not find any reasonable eatable banana rhizome for sale in Europe, all American companies, I hope to find this here, and if anybody has some good ideas or wants to help and has some survival food seeds , that would be great.
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Old 04-01-2013, 11:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 04-01-2013, 12:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Greece

Welcome to Bananas.org Olga,its great to see another member from Greece!!!
Where in Greece do you live and want to grow bananas? Zone 9 is relatively easily doable for bananas but is not alway easy on them and unless you can find or create an especially good microclimate,expect to lose the leafs annually but the pseudostems should survive fine in zone 9. Let me know your area and i may be familiar with its climate if its in southern Greece.

I am growing some edible banana varieties both at my tropical garden in zone 10a in Pyrgos and here in Melissia,Athens,at my main house's garden in zone 9a/8b. The ones in the ground in Pyrgos are doing awesome and grow super fast and i am expecting the first flowers and bananas this summer/fall. The one in ground in Melissia is not growing in the best possible place as it has lots of root competition and grows in mostly in the shade of the buildings with very few hours of sun. Thus,it only grows at a decent pace when kept very well irrigated and very well fertilized in the growing season,neglect either and its real slow. In Pyrgos they grow fast no matter what as they are in good locations that allow heavy mulching,which they love,lots of organic fertilizer,and grow in already rich,well draining clay soil with a shallow water table of only 30cm to 2-3 meters at the end of the dry season,which minimizes the need for watering even in the summer.

There do are some webshops for bananas i Europe,you can check the tread about banana nurseries in Europe in the European section of the forum. Most offer tissue cultured plants of various varieties,a few of them uncommon.
I could also provide you with pups of various edible varieties i grow but all of them have waiting lists for pups and you may have to wait some unfortunately.

Happy Banana growing in Sunny Greece!!!
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Old 04-01-2013, 01:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kostas View Post
Welcome to Bananas.org Olga,its great to see another member from Greece!!!
Where in Greece do you live and want to grow bananas? Zone 9 is relatively easily doable for bananas but is not alway easy on them and unless you can find or create an especially good microclimate,expect to lose the leafs annually but the pseudostems should survive fine in zone 9. Let me know your area and i may be familiar with its climate if its in southern Greece.

I am growing some edible banana varieties both at my tropical garden in zone 10a in Pyrgos and here in Melissia,Athens,at my main house's garden in zone 9a/8b. The ones in the ground in Pyrgos are doing awesome and grow super fast and i am expecting the first flowers and bananas this summer/fall. The one in ground in Melissia is not growing in the best possible place as it has lots of root competition and grows in mostly in the shade of the buildings with very few hours of sun. Thus,it only grows at a decent pace when kept very well irrigated and very well fertilized in the growing season,neglect either and its real slow. In Pyrgos they grow fast no matter what as they are in good locations that allow heavy mulching,which they love,lots of organic fertilizer,and grow in already rich,well draining clay soil with a shallow water table of only 30cm to 2-3 meters at the end of the dry season,which minimizes the need for watering even in the summer.

There do are some webshops for bananas i Europe,you can check the tread about banana nurseries in Europe in the European section of the forum. Most offer tissue cultured plants of various varieties,a few of them uncommon.
I could also provide you with pups of various edible varieties i grow but all of them have waiting lists for pups and you may have to wait some unfortunately.

Happy Banana growing in Sunny Greece!!!
Hi kostas i live in Volos zone 9 i believe, and nice you answer me so soon. I was thinking to put vermiculite (some,since this is expensive) with peatmoss, compost and soil, and some koupria.
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Old 04-01-2013, 03:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kostas View Post
Welcome to Bananas.org Olga,its great to see another member from Greece!!!
Where in Greece do you live and want to grow bananas? Zone 9 is relatively easily doable for bananas but is not alway easy on them and unless you can find or create an especially good microclimate,expect to lose the leafs annually but the pseudostems should survive fine in zone 9. Let me know your area and i may be familiar with its climate if its in southern Greece.

I am growing some edible banana varieties both at my tropical garden in zone 10a in Pyrgos and here in Melissia,Athens,at my main house's garden in zone 9a/8b. The ones in the ground in Pyrgos are doing awesome and grow super fast and i am expecting the first flowers and bananas this summer/fall. The one in ground in Melissia is not growing in the best possible place as it has lots of root competition and grows in mostly in the shade of the buildings with very few hours of sun. Thus,it only grows at a decent pace when kept very well irrigated and very well fertilized in the growing season,neglect either and its real slow. In Pyrgos they grow fast no matter what as they are in good locations that allow heavy mulching,which they love,lots of organic fertilizer,and grow in already rich,well draining clay soil with a shallow water table of only 30cm to 2-3 meters at the end of the dry season,which minimizes the need for watering even in the summer.

There do are some webshops for bananas i Europe,you can check the tread about banana nurseries in Europe in the European section of the forum. Most offer tissue cultured plants of various varieties,a few of them uncommon.
I could also provide you with pups of various edible varieties i grow but all of them have waiting lists for pups and you may have to wait some unfortunately.

Happy Banana growing in Sunny Greece!!!
Hi kostas
I do not mind waiting at all, although i do not know your planting language (english is not my native language i am Dutch) i will find out how to grow the banana's, internet is an awfully good medium. I know a family that have 1/2 str land and no income at all, so i want to put some things there that will keep them healthy , vitamins (potassium in the case of bananas ) to keep them healthy, that can make them a little money, and that will bring some food and fruits to the tem too (exchange without money) i also want to put a banana on my father in laws land ( a bit hot there) one that can stand a bit of draught would be good there, a plaintain maybe, and i want one on my balcony, i found a site (thanks for the tip) and there i got interested in the musa double mahoi, a good yeald , small and every year i can give a rhizome or more to someone i know to put on their balcony. I myself am looking for land to buy, all the land i found still has these miljonair prices. People say o dear the prices are going down, but they don't remember 16 years ago, i saw houses for sale for 10.000 euro. Everybody got the buildingcraze and took loans, and that made the price of land much higher. I can send you some tobacco seeds, and maybe some other interesting seeds i will be buying shortly.
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Old 04-01-2013, 03:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Greece

Hello and welcome! I can't help too much with pointing out sources for bananas in your area but I can say, eBay is often a great place to go looking. That and right here with some of our European members. If you can locate them, I'd suggest dwarf and semi-cold hardy varieties. Mahoi is nice but in zone 9 without protection I wouldn't rely on it quite as much as others like Namwah, Brazilian, or Orinoco. Plus, if you want flavor, from what I always hear - Most any other banana is usually tastier than the Cavendish types like Mahoi. Good luck!
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Old 04-01-2013, 03:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowinaki View Post
Hello my name is Olga
I am Dutch, but i live in Greece, since Greece is in a lot of problems right now, and i see people not having money to buy food i decided to look at what we can grow ourselves.
Bananas would do really good here (zone 9) but i could not find any reasonable eatable banana rhizome for sale in Europe, all American companies, I hope to find this here, and if anybody has some good ideas or wants to help and has some survival food seeds , that would be great.
I do not believe bananas would be a good choice zone 9 ,hit and miss.You could by the fruit for less than you could grow it.
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Old 04-01-2013, 05:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Greece

Hi again Olga,

I am Greek and born and raised in Greece(thus my native language is Greek but i also know English very well) but have travelled to many countries,including most of Europe(unfortunately not Holland yet!) and small part of US(Of course my favorite place from all my travels so far is Central and Southern Florida and Keys. But for swimming,beaches and diving,its difficult to rival Greece!).
I dont know Volos's climate much,nor its zone. Basically,your zone is determined by the usual minimum temperatures you see in winter and the record lows of your area. How cold did it get this winter and what are the minimum temperatures the places you want to grow bananas at,experience most winter and what during the worst winters? Knowing these,we could better help you select cultivars that will have higher chances of fruiting well under your conditions but as Tony said and i fully agree with him,growing bananas for food in zone 9(9a at least) is a hit and miss project that depends a lot on your climate and microclimate as well as each individual winter and what damage it causes to the pseudostems as well as the weather during the growing season and the timing of flowering as you can only get ripe bananas if the plant flowers till August or early September at most i think and you also dont want it to flower before having at leaf some leafs on it,so this give you a narrow window of June to August for flowering. The odds for that are not that good but it does is doable and worth it as a side project but not for relying on it for food production. It is doable though with good planning and pup selecting to increase your chances for getting the flower when it has time to grow and mature the fruits and after a few years when you will have mature clumps and some more experience with bananas,your mats will be able to give you fruits annually,1-2 bunches annually from each banana mat is something you could work onto and could get but there are also a lot of things that can go wrong in the meantime like the growing point of one or more of the pseudostems failing to start growing after winter or rotting,and others. The higher your minimum temperatures,the better your chances and the easier it is. For example,in zone 9b you dont have to worry about pseudostem damage and thus you dont have to worry about protection. In zone 9a,the hardy ones usually do ok unprotected but if the winter is unusually bad,they may have problems. The reason we care about pseudostems is that each pseudostem needs to overwinter,in most cases for 2 winters,before it flowers as the growing season is not long enough to allow it to grow to maturity in just 1 growing season in our latitude and zone.

For all the above reasons,i dont think that growing bananas will help you accomplish your goals of feeding that family or having extra fruit for the tem anytime soon. In the future maybe,its doable, but not in the near future as if you plant a banana now,it will fruit on its 3rd growing season,at the end of the second at soonest(but you dont want that anyway as the bananas wouldnt mature). If its in a good location,with sun,warmth and water and the mat is strong,from the first fruiting on,you could be getting flowers every year and have short term fruit abundance every time a bunch matures.

All that said however,we dont know what your minimum temperatures yet and you may even have a good enough climate that approaches zone 10 and be able to grow bananas easier and more reliably. In any case however,you do should be able to grow bananas,they just will not help you in achieving your goals in the short term.

As Illia already said,Mahoi is a poor choice as its not very cold hardy and it will not produce a double bunch when potted unless in a huge pot as it needs to build a strong mat before doing that. Even though relatively short,they still outgrow the ceiling with their height plus pot height so they may need cutting back to remain shorter or to lean out of the balcony maybe. Potted outdoor bananas are even slower and even more difficult to grow as they are very easy to rot in cool weather,so basically the whole of winter...In the ground they dont rot easily once established.

Even though bananas can stand some drought,others little more,others little less,they barely grow at all during drought and as our summer is dry,they will barely grow the whole summer. So that is not an option at all if you want fruit. Hot is good,they just need lots of watering to go along with hot weather such as during summer unless you have very shallow water table,as i do in Pyrgos! You wont believe how fast they grow in hot weather when well watered and fertilized! You can almost watch them grow!

For land,farmland outside of major cities is relatively cheap,much cheaper than land or house prices in cities,so i would look there.

I will let you know when i have any pups available then,but it may be a while. Thank you very much for the seed offer,i appreciate! I have more seeds and seedlings than i could ever hope to fit in my garden but if its something very special,i may try it!!!! Tobacco is a host for various harmful plant viruses that can affect other plants of mine so i cant grow it.
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Last edited by Kostas : 04-01-2013 at 05:58 PM.
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Old 04-01-2013, 06:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Pretty Good

Average Weather For Near Anchialos/Volos, Greece - WeatherSpark
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Old 04-01-2013, 09:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Greece

[quote=lowinaki;216820]Hello my name is Olga
I am Dutch, but i live in Greece, since Greece is in a lot of problems right now, and i see people not having money to buy food i decided to look at what we can grow ourselves.
Bananas would do really good here (zone 9) but i could not find any reasonable eatable banana rhizome for sale in Europe, all American companies, I hope to find this here, and if anybody has some good ideas or wants to help and has some survival food seeds , that would be great.[/QUOTE

Growing bananas in zone 9 can be done but you must realize that it requires more intensive labor in protectng the plants during the winter.

You have to consider the winds as well as the temperature range and rainfall.

During the winter you can construct plastic coverings for the bananas taking care that the covering does not touch the plant itself.
The cost for material can be minimal if the winds are not great, higher if the coverings have to be more sturdy but in either case the labor is more intensive. Knowing that heat rises lights to provide heat might be set up down low under the covering.

Consider the rainfall in your area, when is your rainy season and when do you have to water.

Much information to help in your endeavor is available on the internet with a few searches.

There are banana varieties that withstand the cold more than others. Look into these varieties.

Good luck.
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:37 AM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowinaki View Post
Hello my name is Olga
I am Dutch, but i live in Greece, since Greece is in a lot of problems right now, and i see people not having money to buy food i decided to look at what we can grow ourselves.
Bananas would do really good here (zone 9) but i could not find any reasonable eatable banana rhizome for sale in Europe, all American companies, I hope to find this here, and if anybody has some good ideas or wants to help and has some survival food seeds , that would be great.
Olga, welcome to the forum. Cyprus, Paphos region, I saw a good plantation. Can somehow communicate with Cypriot growers?
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Old 07-14-2013, 02:49 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Welcome to Bananas!

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Old 07-14-2013, 03:10 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Welcome from south Alabama. USA.
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Old 07-14-2013, 05:13 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Hello from PA.
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Old 08-26-2013, 06:54 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Greece

Hi

Another Greek here. I live very close to Aghialos but unfortunately I am far away from the sea and the zone here is 8b. Just half an hour drive it is zone 9a!

Kostas, do you have any advice for me? I don't to grow edible bananas, just musa basjoo. I live in Karditsa, where the temperatures in the winter are usually not below +1 C, but some nights they will fall down to -5 and -6 C. When I was little it used to snow 1-2 times in the winter but because of climate change we rarely see snow sticking anymore. The area is not windy at all, you rarely see leaves moving here. Do you think I have to cut down the musa basjoo in the winter? Or can I just cut the leaves and wrap the trunk in bubble wrap? Will it die in -7 C if I don't do anything at all? Thanks a lot!

Last edited by ego : 08-27-2013 at 03:56 AM.
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Old 09-04-2013, 06:21 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Greece

Hey Olga, and welcome!

Hope you can find a suitable solution to your problem.

Surely there are other fruits and vegetables that would
grow abundantly where you live.

Like the other members mentioned, bananas can be so hit
and miss. Plus, it would probably take longer to grow to
maturity than many other things.

However, a banana plant growing in your garden/yard just
makes things look better!
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Varieties Growing in Zone 8:
Ice Cream, Raja Puri, Gran Nain, Williams, Cavendish, Mekong giant, Basjoo, Double Mahoi, Ensete Snow, Viente Cohol, Saba, FHIA-3 Sweetheart, Thousand Finger, and one BIG mystery Banana.
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