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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 07-11-2008, 01:03 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default pushing max growth

I have two Basjoos now in the ground their second full year in the Portland Oregon area. I over wintered them with just a light mulch and a wrap of frost cloth. They started this growing season at about 4 feet tall and are just over that now. I am really trying to push all the growth possible this year. I have fertilized with high nitrogen Scotts lawn food once a month and I water well every day. Growth rate is one new leaf every week at best. They look great but are not explosive in growth. Is this a good growth rate or could it be better? There is a house around the way with 10ft tall basjoos that they do not protect in winter. I am jealous.
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Old 07-11-2008, 01:12 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: pushing max growth

some of us with basjoos have notice all kinds of new leaves but no new height. i think it just might take time for them to get taller. i have excepted the idea that it might take 3 yrs to get 1 ft. of height. lol.
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Old 07-11-2008, 02:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: pushing max growth

One full leaf every week???? I thought you said you were from Portland, OR. That's like you're in a greenhouse here in Seattle. We've only had our first week of really warm weather here. And you're talking only in the 70s during the day, mind you. 55F-60F at night. I think you're doing pretty good.

Your neighbors plants may be a lot older. That's why they're bigger. Or, the plants are in a really warm sunny area.

Another thing, Scots lawn fertilizer hardly has Phosphorus and Potasium. If you are using granular fertilizer, find something with an N-P-K ratio of close to 2-1-3, like Vigoro UltraTurf 12-3-18, or even Scotts WinterCare 22-2-14. You really want to get the Potassium(K) higher than the Nitrogen(N), and the Phosphorus(P) at least less than 1/3 of the Potassium, if possible. Personally, I prefer fertilizer that I can apply every 2 weeks in the late spring through summer months. The most commonly available one is the MiracleGro All Purpose fertilizer which a ratio of 24-8-16. I just saw that the 10-lb box is on sale at Home Depot for $14 last Sunday.

Also, I would hold off watering every day, unless it's so hot over there that the soil dries out everyday.
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Old 07-11-2008, 05:50 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: pushing max growth

Hi mskitty/samantha,
my basjoo is doing the same, maybe because its still quite small and already now producing lots of pups? the pups areound it are growing much faster, maybe they are takig away the energy from the motherplant?
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Old 07-11-2008, 09:36 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: pushing max growth

Mine are smaller than I expected. They are putting on a leaf a week but not getting a whole lot taller. Stuck at 8'. They are usually 6' the first year,10+ the second and 15+ the third and bloom. My buddies are shorter this year and his usually pass 15' easy. Don't know. My Orinoco's are gonna pass them up pretty quick. Oh well, they still look great.
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Old 07-12-2008, 01:03 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: pushing max growth

Well Portland is much hotter than Seattle it seems. We have broken 100 degrees that actually scorched the leaves on one of my basjoos, and are floating around 90 degrees daily now. My basjoos actually broke dormancy in Febuary and started to grow for while until they were hacked back by frost! Back to the point though: I will try the higher Potash fertilizer and maybe not water every day. I am pleased with the foliage growth as it is beautiful, but I am not really gaining height yet. I must admit that I want the 15 foot high plants because they look so striking.

I also have noted an incredible amount of pups. Maybe they are taking energy away from growth of the parent?
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Old 07-12-2008, 01:14 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: pushing max growth

Overly high Nitrogen fertilizer formula will encourage "pupping" in bananas. They will grow just like grass.
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