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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 03-08-2009, 11:30 AM   #1 (permalink)
Bob
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Default Anyone in the northeast

uncover your basjoos yet? After 70 degrees yesterday I was really tempted. After this winter though I'm guessing the P-stem is toast, the lowest low was -4 and we just had too many days more than the normal amount of single digit days. I planned all along to wait till beggining to mid April but if you took a peek at yours I'd like to hear about it.
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Old 03-08-2009, 11:45 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Anyone in the northeast

I uncovered a mat that tree limbs fell on a couple weeks ago. Your guess is correct the pstem was mush. I dug out the corm and cut off the soft stuff and treated it with fungicide and put it in the basement. I think its gonna be fine but there goes my attempt of saving some pstem. I reached in the cage of my largest basjoo and the stem just feels like it all dried up to nothing. It's not mushy at all. Couldn't get to the ground level so maybe some of it is ok but I doubt it.

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Old 03-08-2009, 03:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Anyone in the northeast

I'd take it off and put it back on. Next week is going to be cold again . We're predicted to go down to 31F (Coastal DE) next week (which will likely be lower).
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Old 03-09-2009, 03:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Anyone in the northeast

Lewes, DE .. With temps these cold, yes good ideas to leave it on

Wednesday, Mar 18
Low: 24 F

Thursday, Mar 19
Low: 25 F

Friday, Mar 20
Low: 26 F
-----

And Morris Plains, NJ

March 18, 19, 20th.. all low 20s (23F to be exact).

Hopefully the plants will be coming out like crazy next month. Really gotta hand it to you guys.. amazing the work you put into the corms/pstems. And I'm crying over here when it gets down to 28F once a season.
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Old 03-09-2009, 07:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Anyone in the northeast

I checked my pstems and they look great. I'm not uncovering mine until april 15th. I'm in southern ohio.
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Old 03-10-2009, 12:32 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Anyone in the northeast

Bob, Yes, it was nice to get that heatwave the other day. I still have the tarp on mine though.
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Anyone in the northeast

I am trying to figure out the best way to prep the ground to plant my basjoo outside this year and try to get it to grow here. We do drop very cold and I am worried I will kill it, but they claim it will grow anywhere with proper care ... Well, I live in Upstate NY and am not so sure this is true ... I guess I will fidn out, but anyone who has any tips and pointers ... please share them with me. Thanks!!!
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Old 03-11-2009, 05:53 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Anyone in the northeast

Hi Ang. What type soil do you have? I have really nice draining sandy loam so I don't have to do much. I just throw in some compost, water it well every couple of days and fertilize it. But they are spose to grow in about anything. I think I'd wait till after the danger of frost before planting. Then if you plan on leaving it in the ground you will have to protect it next winter. Using the search feature will lead you to all kinds of info on specific questions and topics. They like lots of sun and if you have a place to protect them from the wind it will keep the wind from tearing the leaves. I kinda like a few torn leaves myself. Anyway good luck with your basjoo.

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Old 03-11-2009, 06:50 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Anyone in the northeast

Bob I did, I uncovered one of them. I took the tarp off and my heart dropped....Yep its dead to the ground. I don't have much hope for the other one, but I still have some that are potted in the garage and some that I dug up...Oh well I guess I know how to overwinter next year.
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Old 03-11-2009, 08:25 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Anyone in the northeast

Iwabird,

Where in southern Ohio are you?

I'm in Florence, KY just 16 miles south of Cincinnati. I grew up in Cincinnati, then went into the military. When I returned married we relocated to NKY.

Michael

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Old 03-11-2009, 08:26 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Anyone in the northeast

Stump and Ang, I think I'm going to uncover and have a peek myself. I really doubt the P-stem made it though. It was just too cold for too long this year. Still I'm betting the corm will turn out ok. If I get a chance I'll do it today and post with pics. If not, by the weekend for sure.
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Old 03-11-2009, 03:19 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Anyone in the northeast

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael_Andrew View Post
What type soil do you have? I have really nice draining sandy loam so I don't have to do much.

Michael
Michael -

I have crappy, rocky, nasty soil. Eveything I plant is usually something I prepare a bed for except my tomatoes and rhubarb. I want my little basjoo, who is now a foot + tall, to have a good start. But I am in zone 5 (thank GOD no colder) and worry about the warmth factor for the winters. Protection, yes, I am aware. But I was wondering if I should even go so far as to put a heater (very low wattage, just enough to keep the firgid air out, but still cold enough for him to stay dormant) in there with the poor thing. I plan to try and get him in the ground and was wondering about maybe planting him in a LARGE container in the ground .... like a sunken garbage can or a sunken tire pot. Has anyone tried something like that???
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Old 03-11-2009, 04:47 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Anyone in the northeast

I couldn't stand it another minute so I just went out to the ugly brown tarp(still beats blue though

ripped that off then took off the remay I was sure would add that little bit extra protection( even 1 degree can't hurt right?

under this were 4 bales of straww meticulousy bound to prevent any and all damage to my beloved 3 1/2 ft P-stem

Which flopped over deader than good will on wall street.
I pulled all the mushy goodness away to find

The corm hard as a rock about 1 1/2inches high and looking good.
Not the success I'd hoped for but after this winter not a failure at all.
Wait till next year!..I'll show ya!!!!
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Old 03-12-2009, 08:28 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Anyone in the northeast

Well, Bob ... I am wondering what I would have to do to keep my baby alive. Yours froze up but the corm stayed good? ... how long before she starts to grow??

I wonder if doing the tree lights and bubble wrap along with burlap and Then straw would work> I saw pics of this guy in I think Michigan who grows a palm tree in the ground that way and it has been alive for YEARS. I would have to try to find that info again, but maybe we should write him????
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Old 03-12-2009, 08:30 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Anyone in the northeast

PS .. has anyone tried regular house insulation and wrapping it the p-stem that way prior to the straw bales??? Just curious.
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Old 03-12-2009, 09:01 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Anyone in the northeast

Sorry Bob, Looks like we are in the same boat here. I havent removed the bales of straw yet but it looks the same. After tonights unexpected snow hopefully it'll stay warm to where I can finally unwrap them for good. Good luck buddy.
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Old 03-13-2009, 06:39 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Anyone in the northeast

Ang, I'm going to modify things a bit next year maybe using the insulation. The Christmas lights work but I'm more in to low tech( unless I were trying an edible variety that would be a different mindset for me then. Check out the tuckedawayfarm .com website. he advertises here as TA farm. It shows there pretty clearly how he wraps his palms for the winter. What it doesn't show is that he also uses lights for additional warmth during below zero weather.

Thanks Stump , after this unusually cold winter I'm not disappointed with losing the p-stem. Next year maybe additional............something. Still the corm is as hard as a rock so I think late March/ beginning of April I'll uncover again and put a plastic tent or maybe a wall'o water over it to jolt it in to growth.
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Old 03-13-2009, 08:29 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Anyone in the northeast

I'm in Waverly, Ohio.
I put cypress mulch around the base of mine basjoos, cut them back to abour a foot tall and place 4 black garbage bags of leaves around the plant with 2 over lapping on top. I haven't lost my psuedostems yet.
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Old 03-23-2009, 07:54 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Anyone in the northeast

September 2008:




January 2009:




March 2009:




I think I see a pup:



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Old 03-23-2009, 09:43 PM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Anyone in the northeast

Michael- Good news!

I haven't dug mine out yet, but I fully expect to find a p-stem of mush and a good corm also with the basjoo. Hopefully the lasiocarpa and sikkim will also have made it through this colder than normal winter. I know that I have a needle palm that has had no problems previously but is almost toast now.
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