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Old 09-11-2014, 05:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Location: Mountains of Madrid (sierra de Guadarrama) 1015 m altitude
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Hello, my name is Fran and live at the Sierra de Guadarrama, in the mountains of Madrid, Spain, at 1010 m / 3314 ft altitude, hardiness zone 8b (perhaps a bit optimistic..., but in my yard I only saw once the temperature dropping down to -10 C / 14 F, the lowest peaks are between -6 and -8 C / 17 and 21 F, in my particular place, facing Southwest in a mountain slope, we have a milder microclima than supossed, and we experience a sort of chinook that makes us to have warmer conditions here than at lower altitudes in the surroundings).
I have a small orchard full of fruits trees, from several ancient and modern apples, pears (I keep on looking for material to graft the classical Flemish late pear Winter Nlis, should anyone reading this happen to have it...: it was widely cultivated in the US as one of the most apreciated late pears, even its seedlings were used as rootstocks to graft other varieties on them), quincies, different edible service trees and hawthorns, plums, sloes, cherries, almonds, figs, alders, filberts, walnuts, pecans, jujubes and pistachios, to green and gold kiwis, hardy kiwis and different berries, and even a few tropicals of small size (in pots keeping them indoors and in a small greenhouse in winter) including mango, pitanga, a small and hopefully a bit hardy avocado (outspring of Mexicola), vanilla orchid, pitahaya, ginger, curcuma...

I professionnaly work in two main directions: Landscape and garden dessing and management (I also teach on that), as well as a practicing artist and art exhibitions organiser. I have been living in Germany (I studied there), the Canadian Rockies (Banff), the US (Southern Indiana and Southeastern Kansas) and travelling through differente places having short time residencies as artist in Kamchatka, Mauritius (where I ate those beautiful tiny, extra tasty buttery bananas), Japan, Chile, Lithuania, Estonia and Finland and creating gardens and ephemeral art installations in the nature in some of those countries).

Bananas...? I most recently got infected with the virus of growing bananas by a good friend from the Basque Country, who began himself with some hardy bananas, so I am new in this and ready to lern. By now I only have a young Helen's Hybrid planted outside and a couple of Super Dwarf Cavendish in pots, to overwinter inside (most probably they come from tissue culture, let's see if they survive...) and I am interested in dwarf edible hardy varieties suitable to grow here (more or less..) as Dwarf Orinoco and Dwarf Nam Wah, and other as Blue Java Ice Cream, Raja Puri... and Dwarf Red Cuban...? as well as on those able to pollinate Helen's Hybrid: Hajaray or others.
So I will lern and enjoy very much this great forum. Privately I can correspond in English, German, French or Spanish and can read Portuguese with pleasure, but for the open posts I will keep on English though, of course.

Best regards everybody !
Fran

Last edited by Francisco Figueroa : 10-12-2014 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 09-11-2014, 07:08 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hello, Welcome & Happy Growing.. :^)
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Old 09-11-2014, 09:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Welcome aboard ,
pull up a chair and have some fun learning.
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Old 09-11-2014, 09:29 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Thank you !! Migael and Kub.
Nice to be here, I will have a lot to read for weeks
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Old 09-11-2014, 08:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Thank you as well to everyone who said me welcome!: 2woodensticks, Abnshrek (09-11-2014, bananimal, bengal tiger nanas, boffcheck, cincinnana, crazy banana, Duckfood, ehernande86, from the sea, Iunepeace, JackQuack78, jbyrd88888, Jcitrus, Kat2, kubali, Lau, merce3, natero, Pallen, pmurphy, pukyman, rottiedog46, rz7667, sal, Scuba_Dave, siege2050, sunfish.

Last edited by Francisco Figueroa : 09-20-2014 at 10:27 AM.
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Old 09-12-2014, 04:04 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Location: Mountains of Madrid (sierra de Guadarrama) 1015 m altitude
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A first question (or should I better post it on another specific thread?):

I got recently a Hellen's hybrid 3 ft. tall rooted pup from a friend, I planted it in the garden close to a 4 ft. stone wall and facing Southeast, now the friend who sent it to me told me he has had that pup growing all the time in his greenhouse and he fears it may not be strong enough for this winter...here the Fall is mild and I don't espect first frost before mid December, though. Should I take it now or ending November it to a 10 gal pot into the greenhouse until Springtime? or better let it where it is now?: in this last case I would protect its soil and roots with a good layer of pine bark over with apermeable frost protecting foil covering, and the pseudosteam with a canvas around during the coldest days; I can also easily place a canvas over ir from the top of the wall. What could be the best? I spect to reach some nights peaks of 17F (-6 C) or eventualy a bit lower in January and early February.

Thanks for advises...
Fran

Last edited by Francisco Figueroa : 09-12-2014 at 04:34 AM.
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Old 09-12-2014, 07:58 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Hi, new in here

first of all yes i think you should have posted your question in "Cold Hardy Bananas" but don't mind it now

I think you should protect it from getting frozen. But the sort (cross between Musa sikkimensis and Musa (AB Group)'Chini Champa')) is said to survive in Zone 5 to 9.

So it should get throu the winter.. but i'd suggest you protect ist
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Old 09-12-2014, 12:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Thanks so much for the answer and advise Boffcheck! then I can keep it in the actual place where I planted it and I shall protect it, specially from the frosts of this first Winter. And I shall meanwhile look for potential pollinators. Someone in a village next to mine has several basjoo, but I don't espect its pollen to help very much...
I will place future questions and participation in the adecuated, already opened threads or open new ones whenever necessary, as the Cold Hardy sections, as you suggest.

Last edited by Francisco Figueroa : 09-12-2014 at 12:45 PM.
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Old 09-12-2014, 02:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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de nada amigo

another advise if you are not sure if a plant survifes any environmental change save one of the pups in a save environment. for cold hardines tests a save environment would be the a warm place in the house
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Old 09-12-2014, 05:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Welcome to the Jungle...

Have fun here!

When in doubt take it out... give the plant another year to grow in a container to overwinter then try leaving it out.
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Old 09-12-2014, 06:34 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Thanks again Boffcheck, and Mike. Both advises with same phylosophy sound very reasonable; since by now I just have a single plant or better said, a grown pup without extra pups, I will take it inside into a pot and next Springtimewill plant it in the orchad.
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Old 09-13-2014, 05:28 AM   #12 (permalink)
 
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good choice! As i grow Bananas here in germany i allways go the save way for the plants.. even if its "not that warm" i take them inside but i think at your place you don't need to be as carefull as i am here

taking it in for the winter is never a bad choice.

Good luck for you and your plant and next spring a good growing period
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Old 09-15-2014, 04:54 AM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Nice answer, nette Anwort Boffscheck !
My Helen's Hybrid seems enjoing the place: is shooting a new lea nowf, but in a month or bit later I will take the plant to a pot into a warm sunny place inside, and next Spring to the definitive place, once it has harden enough (I hope...).
I saw your images, it's really admirable you achieved such good results!
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Old 09-15-2014, 05:03 AM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Thanks but I'm also new to growing bananas and still learning every day.

When next spring is close let your banana get used to the sun otherwise it may get a bit burned. (might not kill it but let it look ugly for a while)
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Old 09-15-2014, 05:16 AM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Thanks again! I hope it will make it through the Winter inside, and next Spring once outside I shall then protect it for a while from direct sun until adapted. Now I am looking for Hajaray and other potencial pollinators, hardy and with own good fruit.
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Old 12-07-2015, 02:01 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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As of by this early Dez., Helen keeps growing slowly, derolling a new, last leaf for this first season outdoors and a new pup is shooting out of the ground.
It is being a pretty mild late Fall here on the mountains, just touching freezing point for a couple of hours one week ago. I am now preparing it for the first Winter outside, a challenge.
Meanwhile the family grew: a Dwarf Namwah is progressing at the greenhouse thanks to a friend ;-)

PS: thanks fo the welcoming pabloo120 and all the other friends!

Last edited by Francisco Figueroa : 12-07-2015 at 03:19 PM.
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Old 12-08-2015, 12:46 AM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Welcome fran...
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Old 12-08-2015, 05:22 AM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Welcome and congratulations!
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Old 12-08-2015, 03:29 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Congrats and welcome to the banana gang!
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