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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 02-06-2007, 01:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default making a suitable banana site

Ok so my second banana growing attempt looks like a bust, so i am on to try number 3.

I am going to make a spot in the back yard as banana friendly as possible and leave them outside, frost seems preferable to spider mites and over watering.

I have heavy cold slow draining clay soil. I will need to dig out a couple of feet of this, put in a soak hole in the middle, and lay down a deep layer of nice fresh hot manure then mix in sharp sand/grit with my soil and fill it all in.

Add a wind break of bamboo around the whole lot and pray for a warm summer.

Is this right or nuts?

Any ideas from other cold wet miserable climates very much appreciated.

Thanks,

R, aka jackdarook
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Old 02-06-2007, 07:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: making a suitable banana site

Jack,
I would use composted manure, and lots of it. Skip the sand though. Sand will just fill in spaces where macropores were...not good with clay. Just add lots of organic matter, and you should be fine. Dig a nice, large area, with room for the banana to spread.
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Old 02-07-2007, 07:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: making a suitable banana site

Thanks for the help Bigdog, time to rent that mini digger and get busy!
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Old 04-01-2007, 03:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: making a suitable banana site

Just before i start digging i thought of another question: I have dumped the digging from some other projects against a stone wall on a slope, its about 3-4' high and maybe 15 yard long. I was going to level this out but wondered if it would be a good idea to just plant the bananas right up on it. It should drain better than the usual soil level and perhaps be warmer, during the summer anyway. Its not great quality but i can add some manure to make it more appetizing.

Any thoughts on the general concept much appreciated.

Thanks all,

Jackdarook,
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Old 04-02-2007, 11:45 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: making a suitable banana site

Hey Jack, if I had such wall I would place Yucca's on it. It is a top
location for e.g. Yucca Rostrata or Yucca Thomsoniana and several
hardy other yucca's.

Just an idea.

Ron
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Old 04-06-2007, 04:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: making a suitable banana site

Thanks for the ideas, i will look up the yucca;s, once my head stop spinning from the mini-digger vibrations. The first 10 minutes on one are fun, the next couple days are very tedious.

Regards,

Jackdarook,
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Old 04-06-2007, 04:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: making a suitable banana site

TAKE PICTURES!!!!!! We would love to see what your up to!
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Old 04-06-2007, 04:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: making a suitable banana site

Living in Ireland, you should also choose the right species. Musa Sikkimensis outperforms musa basjoo in terms of growth here in Norway. Overwintering Sikkimensis is not as reliable, but mine survived this winter and have already pushed new growth (until we got a cold-spell a few days ago that is!). All musa basjoo, except one survived here too, but an underground-river during the winter-rains took the toll on that last one!

The soil here is very acidic, and sometimes clay-like. The bananas seem to grow anyway, and I just mix in a little top-quality soil with the native soil in the planting-hole. I also fertilize throughout the summer.

Erlend
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Old 04-07-2007, 07:18 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: making a suitable banana site

I am still waiting for any sikkimensis to germinate. They are sitting on a radiator since mid feb. So far 7 Ensette are the only ones to germinate, i guess they are much easier than true bananas. My older plants are now covered in aphids so i added parasitic wasps, who died because they were under the metal halide light. Plus the spider mite population has just exploded, not sure why. I am using a mini digger on a section of the back yard that has buried builders rubble and two or three sub surface pans that prevent drainage. After two days of digging a lot of the rubble has been found and used in a soak pit. My efforts at leveling have resulted in a series of dip hollows and humps, not a pretty site/sight! Thankfully my digital camera was dropped on the kitchen floor and broken so i cant post any photos yet. Once its cleaned up i will get a new camera and post some photos.

It all sounds like a good topic for a C&W song....

Enjoy the nice weather,

Jackdarook,
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Old 04-07-2007, 11:30 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: making a suitable banana site

How large of a hole should a person digg and what kind of growth will the roots put on in a summer? I'm thinking of digging 2 large holes, maybe 3 feet across by 3 feet deep and then dumping compost into both holes and mulching around the bananas (basjoo). Thanks for any tips.
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Old 05-02-2007, 07:08 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: making a suitable banana site

Frank, you may have planted allready but i thought i would share my experience of creating a well for my plants to soak in...... making a nice compost rich hole in a garden of hard clay, all the water works its way to the nice hole and then sits there refusing to drain away. But then i guess the psychology of hole digging is worthy of a topic in its own right!

Jackdarook,
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Old 05-02-2007, 09:13 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: making a suitable banana site

I dug them already and they've been planted since April 20. Probably about 2 feet across and about 3 or more feet deep dug in with some rich black compost. I have some sort of sandy soil here. Very heavy. I live near the banks of the Mississippi River. We'll see how it goes. I think they've have gotten too much sun, but it looks like new leaves are emerging.
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