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Cold Hardy Bananas This forum is dedicated to the discussion of bananas that are able to grow and thrive in cold areas. You'll find lots of tips and discussions about keeping your bananas over the winter.


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Old 09-23-2009, 02:15 PM   #21 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: 1 Year Basjoo Growth in Mass.

Thanks again guys! Bob as for the zone 7a think I right on the edge, who knows with all the maps out there. If it is a zone 7a a it's the coldest, and longest one to warm up. Much different then the other zone 7 locations. My luck I'll get whaled this winter for opening my mouth. LOL! Reguardless of the weather my nanas and palms will all be ready!

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Old 09-23-2009, 03:16 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1 Year Basjoo Growth in Mass.

Thanks Bill, I kind of assumed that. It's the same way on the vineyard which is technichally zone 7 but always 2 weeks behind weather wise when I go in May.........I get to see and smell the lilacs in peak twice per year.
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Old 09-23-2009, 04:10 PM   #23 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: 1 Year Basjoo Growth in Mass.

Bob-if you put in heating cables please post the progress and results. Thanks guys.
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Old 09-23-2009, 04:30 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1 Year Basjoo Growth in Mass.

I'll let you know Howard. I might do it for one of the smaller (6') basjoos. Still debating.
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Old 09-23-2009, 04:37 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1 Year Basjoo Growth in Mass.

Quote:
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I'll let you know Howard. I might do it for one of the smaller (6') basjoos. Still debating.
That's one thread I'm looking forward to read.
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Old 09-23-2009, 06:19 PM   #26 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: 1 Year Basjoo Growth in Mass.

Is it common for these to grow that fast in warmer zones? I can tell you all for sure that This June-Mid July was like April May weather normally. No Sun Ever!

I really was not convinced at first either about the cables until they started growing the way they did. The only reason I did it in the first place is because the weather was so bad, and I did it on the washys already. I guess I'm just a tropical nut and I want all my plants/tree's to be as happy as possible. With the cables, I would say you could take a large unheated one and put it next to a small but not starter nana and it would pass it before long (in a northern climate). I going to try more experements this spring when the storage unit is gone.

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Old 09-23-2009, 08:59 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1 Year Basjoo Growth in Mass.

Okay, I could be wrong with this, but it's my understanding that Musa Basjoo is COLD HARDY......this does NOT mean that it can not tolerate warmer temperatures. I have heard a lot of people acting like since it's cold hardy that it likes cooler temps only....and I don't believe that's how it works. Again, could be wrong on that....someone please correct/confirm this, please.
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Old 09-24-2009, 01:05 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1 Year Basjoo Growth in Mass.

Bill, a very interesting thread. I'm going to try some of these cables this year, although I've had 100% survival, in the past, with wrapping and mulching.
I do have a few questions, though. Your picture shows placing the cable in the bottom of a hole, and then placing newly unpotted plants on top of it. I was wondering if you have any suggestions for my situation. My plants have been in the ground for 3 years, and the only way I could get the cables under them, would be to dig them up, place the cable, and replant, which I really don't want to do. I suppose I could dig some trenches, and get the cables around and between the plants, (There is the mother, and 8 pups; I don't want to dig, and separate, the pups until spring) What do you think? I was also wondering; have you ever dug any pups? How do you do this, and avoid chopping the wire? Do you just put the cables in the ground, or do you wrap any around p-stems, etc.?
I also have many plants that I over-wintered, outside, in pots. These were just covered with mulch, and a tarp. They all survived, but several died back to the corm. I'd like to try to save some of the p-stems, this year. Do you think I could adapt the cables to the potted plants? Maybe just lay them on the ground, or bury shallowly, and stand the pots on top, and then wrap, and mulch the stems?
Several years ago, I was rooting some cuttings, in a mist bed, and I wanted to provide some bottom heat. I found, in a close-out store, some cables that were meant to be placed in gutters, to prevent ice jams. I placed the cables on the bench, put an inch or two of peat moss on top of them, wet it down, and placed the trays of cuttings on top. This worked well, but they burned out quickly. I think they were meant to be constantly in water, or ice, and when the peat got dry, at night, (the mist only operated in daylight) they got too hot.
Several years ago I was wintering the basjoos in a greenhouse, so they kept growing. At the end of the summer the stems were huge and, the first year that I decided to winter them outside, I figured I wouldn't be able to get 8 or 10 feet of mulch, so I layed the pots down, and then covered. This was not good. In the spring, before I uncovered, they started to grow, but not from the top of the stem, but rather, from the base of the stem, at right angles to the stem. So, this year, I will keep them upright, and wrap the stems, cover with mulch, and a tarp, maybe adding some Christmas lights, around the stems. What do you (anyone) think? Besides the cables underneath, I suppose you had some sort of covering/protection on the stems, right?
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Old 09-24-2009, 01:33 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1 Year Basjoo Growth in Mass.

Bill, a very interesting thread. I'm going to try some of these cables this year, although I've had 100% survival, in the past, with wrapping and mulching.
I do have a few questions, though. Your picture shows placing the cable in the bottom of a hole, and then placing newly unpotted plants on top of it. I was wondering if you have any suggestions for my situation. My plants have been in the ground for 3 years, and the only way I could get the cables under them, would be to dig them up, place the cable, and replant, which I really don't want to do. I suppose I could dig some trenches, and get the cables around and between the plants, (There is the mother, and 8 pups; I don't want to dig, and separate, the pups until spring) What do you think? I was also wondering; have you ever dug any pups? How do you do this, and avoid chopping the wire? Do you just put the cables in the ground, or do you wrap any around p-stems, etc.?
I also have many plants that I over-wintered, outside, in pots. These were just covered with mulch, and a tarp. They all survived, but several died back to the corm. I'd like to try to save some of the p-stems, this year. Do you think I could adapt the cables to the potted plants? Maybe just lay them on the ground, or bury shallowly, and stand the pots on top, and then wrap, and mulch the stems?
Several years ago, I was rooting some cuttings, in a mist bed, and I wanted to provide some bottom heat. I found, in a close-out store, some cables that were meant to be placed in gutters, to prevent ice jams. I placed the cables on the bench, put an inch or two of peat moss on top of them, wet it down, and placed the trays of cuttings on top. This worked well, but they burned out quickly. I think they were meant to be constantly in water, or ice, and when the peat got dry, at night, (the mist only operated in daylight) they got too hot.
Several years ago I was wintering the basjoos in a grrenhouse, so they kept growing. At the end of the summer the stems were huge and, the first year that I decided to winter them outside, I figured I wouldn't be able to get 8 or 10 feet of mulch, so I layed the pots down, and then covered. This was not good. In the spring, before I uncovered, they started to grow, but not from the top of the stem, but rather, from the base of the stem, at right angles to the stem. So, this year, I will keep them upright, and wrap the stems, cover with mulch, and a tarp, maybe adding some Christmas lights, around the stems. What do you (anyone) think? Besides the cables underneath, I suppose you had some sort of covering/protection on the stems, right?
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Old 09-25-2009, 10:39 AM   #30 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: 1 Year Basjoo Growth in Mass.

LilRaverBoi,
I'm Sure that the cold hardieness thing is just for winter terms only. All nanas love the heat and for the most part the more you can give them the more they will grow. That's why I use the cables, to trick then in the spring to get growing. They are well hardy here without the cables with proper protection like John mentioned.

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Old 09-25-2009, 10:53 AM   #31 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: 1 Year Basjoo Growth in Mass.

Hey John,
I'm not sure about putting the cables around the plant in trenches. I guess if it's the only reasonable way you can do it, go for it. I believe they would work much better if the heat could radiate through the corm from the bottom of the hole though. I was starting from scratch so it was much easier for me. The cables are not supposed to touch each other, I guess because they could short out. When I plugged them in before putting them in the hole they where not super hot to the touch.

Have you ever used mini lights under mulch before? I haven't and would like to this year, I just don't want them to short out. I want to put 2 liter soda bottles full of water around the stems after cutting them and maybe run the lights around them, under the leaf pile. Kind of like a heated wall-o-water but cheaper. How have you done it in the past? You have had good luck obviously, I would like to share some ideas with you.

Bill

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Old 09-25-2009, 01:23 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1 Year Basjoo Growth in Mass.

Bill- I haven't used the christmas lights yet, but intend to, this year. I'll get back on here with more, tomorrow. Don't have the time, now. In the meantime, I'll try to get ahold of my friend, jimzone7 and get him to post here, as he has used the lights, with much success. (He had beautiful blooms on the basjoo, last year and, again, this year.)
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Old 09-27-2009, 10:29 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1 Year Basjoo Growth in Mass.

Quote:
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Bill- I haven't used the christmas lights yet, but intend to, this year. I'll get back on here with more, tomorrow. Don't have the time, now. In the meantime, I'll try to get ahold of my friend, jimzone7 and get him to post here, as he has used the lights, with much success. (He had beautiful blooms on the basjoo, last year and, again, this year.)
Hi Bill
Your must be onto something, your plants and growth rate are outstanding. I'd be very interested in your future comparisons of similar plants with and without heat coils.
I think your right when you told John that the most effective use of the cable would be under the corm.
But my biggest concern is how would you ever be able to cut out pups?
(I hope I'm missing something, because we can really use something to increase our growing season. This past spring was terrible, I opened up my two basjoo piles April 17th we had a good week temperature wise and then it seemed like we had two months of wet & cold weather. I dont believe the bananas ever caught up to last year's growth.
I'd like to try the fertilizer that you use, if you can give some details and the source I'd appreciate that.
Keeping basjoo corm alive through the winter in our area has been fairly simple for the past couple of years, a little mulch and a tarp and you're good to go. The work comes when you want to save the pstem.
I was able to save 60 inches of pstem this winter and when I opened the pile a leaf was growing.
What worked for me last year was to use christmas lights and a Thermo cube outlet that would turn on the lights at 35 degrees and off by 45 degrees. This to me was what really made the whole christmas light thing work. Because leaving the lights on the whole winter would definetly cause temperatures that are too high during some mild winter days. The last thing you want is to wake them up and then chill them on and off all winter.
I use three sets of christmas lights per pile (use at least two in case one goes bad)
One Thermo cube outlet (I purchased mine at Pet Supplies | Dog & Cat Supplies, Pet Meds | DrsFosterSmith.com Pet Products)
I wrap the pstem with straw and leaves and try to keep the lights from touching the pstem. Cover the whole pile with a tarp and wait. Don't open till spring when weather forecast calls for 10 days no threat of frost. Keep the tarp handy, just in case you get a bad night.
This fall I'll be adding a remote temperature contol so I can monitor interior temps from the comfort of my house, I'll keep you posted.
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Old 09-27-2009, 12:43 PM   #34 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: 1 Year Basjoo Growth in Mass.

When you guys are referring to Christmas lights, which type are you referring to? I assume you don't mean the LED ones as I suspect they don't throw that much heat (if any?) I know the old old style from when I was a kid would certainly throw a lot of heat, but the mini-lights that I have now don't seem to have much heat coming off them.

Just curious as I'm planning to try overwintering a basjoo in my front yard. Didn't get much growth this year and would like to try keeping as much of the p-stem as I can, and if christmas lights will help I'll certainly try!
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Old 09-27-2009, 03:18 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1 Year Basjoo Growth in Mass.

I'm talking about the mini lights, but not the LED type. Another thing that I think bears mentioning. Jim says he leaves the last one or two lights on the string outside of the covering, so you can see if it's working.
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Old 09-27-2009, 07:27 PM   #36 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: 1 Year Basjoo Growth in Mass.

Hey jim,
That's funny you mentioned the thermo cube because when I looked it up it's the same thing I was going to use just by a different company. They called it a thermostatic outlet, What ever they call it I need one. I was thinking about saving as much trunk as possible (5' is my goal) so I will use the soda bottles with the lights. I might do it a bit different, setting my thermocube on a outlet timer after dark. Being able to get to it if we get a cold spell. I might mix in some hours of heat cable here and there even though it's most likely not necessary.

Do you spray yours with a fugicide first and if you do what do you use? I plan on using my 35-40 leaf bags around my nine basjoos, there all in that one area. It is a pretty sunny spot in the winter so that should help too.

As for cutting the pups, no problem the cables are about a foot down. I like to put my pups in straight water at first anyways so I can see what they are doing with roots before planting them. I didn't cut off any even though there are tons on each of the plants, I want the biggest mat I can get and I didn't want to disturb the corms this year.

Jim, where do you live exactly anyways, near John? Also do you have pictures of the stem protection? Even though it sounds self explanatory pictures show a thousand words. If not that's ok I know what I'm doing anyways, just though others might find it helpful. I'll take picture when I wrap mine for sure.

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Old 09-27-2009, 08:29 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1 Year Basjoo Growth in Mass.

Never tried to protect the stems Bill,this year I will leave my Basjoos out too.I will store my mystery Banana plant in the basement to keep it's size-

I live in Fairfield Iowa-52556 it's in extreme s.e. Iowa.

Don't forget you thermo cube needs to be in the same exact place as what you trying to protect! In the case of my Butia /Washys I will have it inside one of the enclosures.I am also toying with the idea of leaving my A.americana out.


One more thing-I do usually use fungicide on anything I close down for the winter like leaf cages.I also mix in a little wilt-pruf.

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Old 09-28-2009, 10:07 AM   #38 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1 Year Basjoo Growth in Mass.

Hey Bill,
Jimzone7 lives about a half mile from me.
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Old 09-28-2009, 12:29 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1 Year Basjoo Growth in Mass.

Very nice. They are growing like weeds!

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Old 09-28-2009, 03:14 PM   #40 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: 1 Year Basjoo Growth in Mass.

Hey everyone,
This is what I used for fertilizer on my nanas and this is where I found it. Most of you probably know about it but the stuff really worked amazing. I used way more than they said and also used it way more often. I think I used 3 table spoons per five gallon bucket, poured into two gallon buckets watering each plant. Shipping didn't matter if you bought 1 or 20 pounds it's a flat rate of 10 bucks if I recall. I will use this fertilizer from now on. I never burnt anything once, well maybe my ice cream banana but that was it. The rest of them would take as much as I could give them.

Banana Fertilizer - 1 Lb.

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