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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 09-15-2009, 11:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default 1 Year Basjoo Growth in Mass.

Hello everyone,
I thought I would share my success story with everyone in the northern zones of banana growing. This is my 3rd season growing bananas in Massachusettes with nice growth every year. My first year I grew a nice 12 footer that I was amazed with. It didn't make the winter because of lack of protection from what the nusery that sold it to me said to do. Even though I thought differently, rule 1 go with your intuition.

My second year I bought what I thought was a basjoo on ebay which grew very well but turned out to be a Raja puri I believe. Good thing I chickened out at the last minute and dug it up. I got five off springs this from the mother which died over the winter 6 foot trunk most likely ready to flower before I dug it up.

This Year I was done messing around I had already gone to Florida to pick up a load of palms and other tropicals in early March. With no luck finding any Basjoos then I was on a mission to find some in my return trip in late May. With some luck I managed to find some ahead of time through a lowes outside of Savannah which I stopped at on my return from bringing my grandmother back from Florida. Well I managed to pack in 9 5 gal. basjoos, one 7 gal I think Plantain, and a nice red maurellii for very cheap money in her grand am . When I got back I decided to put heat cabels under them since the weather was so cold this spring. Well it worked with flying colors! This is my first post with pictures and I hope it helps people next year! I'm a huge palm guy but I love bananas just as much! First picture is June 10th! I really did make the soil super rich even though it was nice to begin with. I adding manure, compost, and green sand before I planted them. Seemed to work nicely!



September 16th nine mother plants with some seven foot babies now. A few long shot pictures.



An inside picture of one of the trunks.


Width and height of one of the big leaves I could get too.



And last but not least the total height with no wind blowing the leaf up. I would say give the heat cables a try in any climate. This was a very cool summer here and I'll have 16' off one year plans in Ma. GDD 3400 not bad growth, my trachy gained height from 5 feet to 7 and a half this year 30 plus fronds.



Hope I helped people gain so serious growth next year!

Bill
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Old 09-16-2009, 12:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: 1 Year Basjoo Growth in Mass.

Very Nice!!!

If I remember correctly raja puri and basjoo were used by the author of Tropical Perrenials; he was from Massachusetts too and did a friends front yard/driveway. Really beautiful in my opinion but not nearly as productive as yours.
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Old 09-16-2009, 12:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: 1 Year Basjoo Growth in Mass.

My oldest daughter decided last night that she wants some bananas too... Of course, the first that she picked was musa ae ae. She then stated that a siam ruby wouldn't be too bad either.

Now today...after seeing your thread, she decided that she needs to have a couple basjoo also..

I thought that one addict in a family was enough...

Thanks... lol

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Old 09-16-2009, 07:12 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: 1 Year Basjoo Growth in Mass.

Stunning is all I have to say.
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Old 09-16-2009, 08:41 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: 1 Year Basjoo Growth in Mass.

1. Where do you get Heat cables?
2. How long do you leave them on?
3. What's your electric bill? ;-)


Awsome Results.!
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Old 09-16-2009, 11:37 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: 1 Year Basjoo Growth in Mass.

Thanks Guys! Aaron I'm glad your daughter liked them, they would be a bit cheaper then ae ae too! LOL.

Here's where the heat cables came from, I have two 48' cables under them. I haven't shut them off! They do have a thermostat that shuts them off at 74 degree though. They can't be on all the time I don't think. I figured they would be best for spring and fall. If one of the cables runs full time for a month at 15 cents a kilowatt hour it would be about 18 bucks a month, the biggest cables are 168 watts. I could deal with that for sure if it would get me 20' nanas which it will next year pretty easily I would say. I don't think my bill is all that high and I have 3 more under my washys too, which put on some nice growth for being here! I'm sure they won't hurt me in overwintering them too. I want to save five feet of trunk, that's my goal for this winter. This link is the cheapest place I could find them.

Economy Plant Soil Heating Cables | Heat Mats & Heating Cables | Growers Solution

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Old 09-16-2009, 04:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: 1 Year Basjoo Growth in Mass.

Great looking garden! I'm really intrigued with the palms. They all have heating cables? What other protection do you use? Thanks.
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Old 09-16-2009, 04:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1 Year Basjoo Growth in Mass.

Awesome growth for just one year! They look top-notch, that's for sure! Keep them growing strong!
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Old 09-16-2009, 06:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1 Year Basjoo Growth in Mass.

Wow, that's amazing results. I thank you for posting the source of the cables. That does seem like a very good price.
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Old 09-16-2009, 06:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1 Year Basjoo Growth in Mass.

Bill I just happened upon your post and seen the palm in the picture. You say you live in MA. I didnt know palms grow up north. I live just 50 miles south of Columbus Ohio and I am trying to put in a tropical garden of sorts. Just what the North will let me. What kind of Palm is that and what does it take for maintenance during the winter months? I have already started my Bajsoo and know how to prepare those, but I really want a palm. Any info appreciated.
Thanks Tania
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Old 09-17-2009, 04:13 AM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: 1 Year Basjoo Growth in Mass.

Very impressive.....I'm also curious about the palms!
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Old 09-17-2009, 11:23 AM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: 1 Year Basjoo Growth in Mass.

Saltydad, the only palms that I'm using the heating cables on is the Washingtonia Robustas. They are not even close to hardy but they are such a awsome palm that grows like mad. I figured the only chance I had to get them going was the heat under them plus serious protection of course! Austin in Littlerock was the one who really got me thinking about it a few years back after watching his grow from small to giant in just 3 years. Thanks Austin!!! I wasn't as patient though I bought 8 footers with 4' clear trunk. LOL!

John your very welcome for the source! For people with climates like ours they really do the trick (fall,winter,spring). I have had good luck in previous years but man! 8 foot clear trunk in a little over 3 months I would say they worked better then well. I forgot to mention the weekly application of banana fuel, that helped too I'm sure. By far the best fertilizer I have used for nanas which I found on this site (thank you)

Tania & bananadude, there are so many choices for you guys regarding palms that will work in your area if you are willing to protect them properly. Tropical gardening is my hobbie so I don't mind spending the time or money on protecting my palms and nanas over the winter. I actually treat it like a challenge which has worked very well so far. If you guys are really interested PM me or email me and I'll give you more info then you need.
billo@shewmail.com

Here's another picture of the front of my house. The top of the bottom window is 10 feet and the bottom of the second floor one is a little over 14 for scale. I can see the orinoco through my living room window blowing back and forth pretty neat being on the second floor! That one should be nice and light to carry into the basement.


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Old 09-17-2009, 12:45 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: 1 Year Basjoo Growth in Mass.

Bill your gardens are just stunning, and the banana's are gorgeous, well done~~!

Nice "Canadian" beer too, thats what i drink...
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Old 09-17-2009, 12:54 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: 1 Year Basjoo Growth in Mass.

Oh my, your pictures get even better. I would LOVE to live next door to you.
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Old 09-17-2009, 12:57 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: 1 Year Basjoo Growth in Mass.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christine1950 View Post
Oh my, your pictures get even better. I would LOVE to live next door to you.
Christine
I agree with you there Christine, to have a neighbor who takes the time and looks after their yard...
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Old 09-17-2009, 03:41 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1 Year Basjoo Growth in Mass.

Yeah, the pictures (and your yard) are BEAUTIFUL! Thanks for sharing! What zone are you in? I don't know that the heating cable would really be an effective option for me back home in zone 5, but that's a pretty awesome idea! Best of luck with your plants!
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Old 09-17-2009, 06:48 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: 1 Year Basjoo Growth in Mass.

Thanks again guys, I really have found a passion for tropicals and plants that don't belong here without help in the colder months.

LilRaverBoi, thanks man, I live 10 miles N. of Providence RI. at the last Ma. exit on 95. Winter is pretty mild for Ma standards as my low was only 3.6 a 7a zone last year and 5.6 the year before. 2004 we saw -4 for a very short time and that was the coldest in a while. I seem to be in a great micro climate for some reason as most of the towns around me are much colder. I seem to also be on the snow/rain line for quiet a bit of our storms, not Nor-easters though they slam me here. It's nice to have a few good storms, what's the cold without a few really good one's a couple times a year.

Is St. Louis a zone 5? I find that hard to believe, you warm up much faster then me here I'm sure. I think the heating cables would really help you more then you think, when the weather is cool after the last frost. That is the main reason why I got them for spring ground warm up. Might as well try and trick the plants into growth early to get some monsters. Might be worth a look at least, that's why I posted these pictures to help people get the best growth they possibly can in one year.

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Old 09-17-2009, 06:55 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1 Year Basjoo Growth in Mass.

Well, I live in St. Louis, MO right now which is zone 6. I don't have any ground here to plant in, though, so no possibility of even ATTEMPTING to overwinter in the ground. The zone 5 I was referring to in my post was my home back in Iowa. Last winter, it hit -37....so I'm afraid that there isn't enough heating wire in the world that can protect plants from that LOL (well, unless you wrapped the entire plant in it...or better yet, just built a heated greenhouse around the plant LOL).
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Old 09-22-2009, 03:46 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1 Year Basjoo Growth in Mass.

Looking good Bill,those are some nice pics that I have not seen before!
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Old 09-22-2009, 04:09 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Re: 1 Year Basjoo Growth in Mass.

Very impressive Bill ,stunning yard. I go through your area every year in spring and didn't realize zone 7 went up that far inland. Maybe if you're very close to the Seekonk leading to the bay it helps with moderating the temps. In any case you can bet I'll be checking out the cables. It might not be as cost efficient here in zone 6..... 10 degress is huge, but would be an aid to season extension in case of an emergency(like if I ever get an edible flower). Thanks for the pics and cable link .....which is where I'm heading next!
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