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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 02-12-2014, 08:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Cool Some Short Naners From PSL Nursery

2 of the 3 PSL Naners planted on Aug 12 bloomed yesterday, Feb 11.

The pseudostems were 4' 7" & 4' 8" and all 3 were planted in a similarly sized small pots.

The third plant appears close to shooting and it's current height is 3' 10".

Pot dimensions play an important role in getting a banana to fruit quickly at a short height.

The plants were labeled as GN, Datil, & Dw Namwah.
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Old 02-12-2014, 10:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some Short Naners From PSL Nursery

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..
Pot dimensions play an important role in getting a banana to fruit quickly at a short height. ...
And also: climate. Here in San Diego my Dwarf Namwah in a pot took 18 months to fruit outdoors.
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Old 02-12-2014, 11:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some Short Naners From PSL Nursery

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And also: climate. Here in San Diego my Dwarf Namwah in a pot took 18 months to fruit outdoors.
Richard, there are many factors that control when a banana fruits and at what height.

If you are happy with your Dwarf Namwah in a pot taking 18 months to fruit outdoors, then continue using that pot.

All the bananas in this study were grown on my farm and did not include any data from bananas grown in San Diego.

When comparing my growing times, it would be more meaningful to compare the time as a %.

The climate was the same with all of the plants in this study and the only variable has been pot dimensions.



Simply by changing the dimensions of the pot, the time to bloom & final height also changes.

Most know what to do, but few do it.
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Old 02-12-2014, 12:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some Short Naners From PSL Nursery

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...
When comparing my growing times, it would be more meaningful to compare the time as a %.
...
I agree, but percent of what?

From 2008 to 2012 I operated a nursery and growing grounds in San Diego. I had about 1/2 dozen banana cultivars, each of which in pot sizes ranging from 1 gallon to 25 gallon inclusively. I also had a few in 40 gallon pots.

What I noticed in my environment was that the smaller the pot, the greater the production of pups. Also, bananas in 1 and 2 gallon pots would tremendously slow their growth rate - Tony (sunfish) has observed this also in our climate. For bananas in 5 gallon pots, the pot would split after 9 to 12 months. Plants in 15 gallon would fruit in about 18 months, with the pstem shorter and the number of hands about 1/2 of normal "in the ground" production. Bananas in 25 gallon pots also fruited in 18 months and performed better than the 15 gallon plants. The few plants in 40 gallon pots fruited "normally" in 18 months.

I'm not surprised that you are getting more variation in performance with differing pot sizes in your climate. The winter climate here is cooler and basically shuts down most banana plant processes for 2-3 months.

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Old 02-12-2014, 01:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some Short Naners From PSL Nursery

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I agree, but percent of what?
A percentage of the entire process.

I am not trying to grow short plants, so I consider these a failure but other may consider them a success.

We have some members that just want to harvest fruit quickly and bunch weight is less important.

Tony (sunfish) had posted a study on pot size and root development.

IMO the study overlooked the importance of gradually and also seamlessly making these adjustments.

Maintaining an even and healthy root density is difficult to do in generic nursery pots.

I'm not surprised that your winter climate is basically shutting down the banana plant processes for 2-3 months, but planting in the Spring and harvesting in the Fall can eliminate your cooler winter climate for some cultivars.



Quote:
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From 2008 to 2012 I operated a nursery and growing grounds in San Diego. I had about 1/2 dozen banana cultivars, each of which in pot sizes ranging from 1 gallon to 25 gallon inclusively. I also had a few in 40 gallon pots.

What I noticed in my environment was that the smaller the pot, the greater the production of pups. Also, bananas in 1 and 2 gallon pots would tremendously slow their growth rate - Tony (sunfish) has observed this also in our climate. For bananas in 5 gallon pots, the pot would split after 9 to 12 months. Plants in 15 gallon would fruit in about 18 months, with the pstem shorter and the number of hands about 1/2 of normal "in the ground" production. Bananas in 25 gallon pots also fruited in 18 months and performed better than the 15 gallon plants. The few plants in 40 gallon pots fruited "normally" in 18 months.

I'm not surprised that you are getting more variation in performance with differing pot sizes in your climate. The winter climate here is cooler and basically shuts down most banana plant processes for 2-3 months.
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Old 02-12-2014, 02:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some Short Naners From PSL Nursery

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... planting in the Spring and harvesting in the Fall can eliminate your cooler winter climate for some cultivars.
This has been attempted in San Diego and southern CA in general many times by many people since the 1850's -- and at greater frequency in recent years. There have been no successes to date. We don't have the humidity at the correct time of year to envelope the plant in heat. I'd love to see someone succeed.

Similarly: Oranges, Grapefruit, Mandarins, and Avocados take 16 to 20 months to ripen here depending on the cultivar.
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Old 02-12-2014, 07:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some Short Naners From PSL Nursery

In the 1850's most of the bananeros would have gone to Sutter's Mill.

If someone is able to put a banana plant in a pot they probably could find a spray bottle.

Anyone who has ever grown a tc plant knows that spray bottle is essential.

I didn't realize it takes 16 to 20 months for an Avocado to ripen in CA, here flower to harvest could be as short as 3 months.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post
This has been attempted in San Diego and southern CA in general many times by many people since the 1850's -- and at greater frequency in recent years. There have been no successes to date. We don't have the humidity at the correct time of year to envelope the plant in heat. I'd love to see someone succeed.

Similarly: Oranges, Grapefruit, Mandarins, and Avocados take 16 to 20 months to ripen here depending on the cultivar.
When growing bananas rapidly amassing roots quickly is key.

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Old 02-12-2014, 07:51 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some Short Naners From PSL Nursery

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In the 1850's most of the bananeros would have gone to Sutter's Mill. ...
Yes, meanwhile the gringos on my father's side of the family were settling in the San Bernardino Valley. They established nurseries, orchards, and the water supply to Mentone and the City of Redlands. A historical map of Crafton from 1854 shows banana groves on a 100-acre parcel southwest of the reservoir. Meanwhile in San Diego county - bananas, mangos, and other fruits were being grown in the area that is now Encinitas and Solana Beach.
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Old 02-12-2014, 09:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Some Short Naners From PSL Nursery

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Originally Posted by PR-Giants View Post
2 of the 3 PSL Naners planted on Aug 12 bloomed yesterday, Feb 11.

The pseudostems were 4' 7" & 4' 8" and all 3 were planted in a similarly sized small pots.

The third plant appears close to shooting and it's current height is 3' 10".

Pot dimensions play an important role in getting a banana to fruit quickly at a short height.

The plants were labeled as GN, Datil, & Dw Namwah.
Can you please elaborate on how the pot size makes fo a shorter plant? An what varieties were used? To me height is a crucial factor n growing bananas because my unheated greenhouse has a very low roof. HAving a shorter plant is indeed very nice for me. But, as for now, shorter plants has always meant "slower plant".
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Old 02-15-2014, 11:02 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some Short Naners From PSL Nursery

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Can you please elaborate on how the pot size makes fo a shorter plant? An what varieties were used? To me height is a crucial factor n growing bananas because my unheated greenhouse has a very low roof. HAving a shorter plant is indeed very nice for me. But, as for now, shorter plants has always meant "slower plant".
Soil Density effects root growth rate

Root Mass effects plant growth rate & maturity

Container Size effects plant height & yield

The 8" depth produced full sized plants & bunches

The 6" depth produced short plants.

The use of partitions will aid in speeding up plant growth.

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Old 02-15-2014, 08:05 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Some Short Naners From PSL Nursery

So, if i understand everything correctly, to get a plant with a short pstem, and a reasonable productivity i should aim for a pot about 6'' shallow, with low soil density, high root mass, capable of being splitted in several partitions, in a pot somewhat bigger than 15 gallon at least.
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Old 02-15-2014, 09:58 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some Short Naners From PSL Nursery

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So, if i understand everything correctly, to get a plant with a short pstem, and a reasonable productivity i should aim for a pot about 6'' shallow, with low soil density, high root mass, capable of being splitted in several partitions, in a pot somewhat bigger than 15 gallon at least.
AND in the tropics.
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Old 02-16-2014, 12:45 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Some Short Naners From PSL Nursery

Last requirements seems a bit harder to obtain than the rest, but i will try nonetheless to grow something potted.

Regarding pstem height, it seems to me that people in tropic usually get shorter plants compared to people living further north. I'm wondering if people who are living up north get higher pstem because their plants are somewhat etiolated compared to the one of people living in the south.
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Old 02-16-2014, 01:48 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some Short Naners From PSL Nursery

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Last requirements seems a bit harder to obtain than the rest, but i will try nonetheless to grow something potted.
Go for it! A greenhouse with a humidifier should do the trick.
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Old 02-18-2014, 01:29 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Wink Re: Some Short Naners From PSL Nursery

Quote:
Originally Posted by PR-Giants View Post
In the 1850's most of the bananeros would have gone to Sutter's Mill.

If someone is able to put a banana plant in a pot they probably could find a spray bottle.

Anyone who has ever grown a tc plant knows that spray bottle is essential.

I didn't realize it takes 16 to 20 months for an Avocado to ripen in CA, here flower to harvest could be as short as 3 months.




When growing bananas rapidly amassing roots quickly is key.
I agree, I have noticed the same thing with banana plants that are growing in loose organic soil they grow faster than plants that are in hard compacted soil, growing plants in a small container and restricting the roots would only add to the amount of time it takes for the plant to fruit.

Thanks for sharing Keith.
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Old 02-22-2014, 12:34 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some Short Naners From PSL Nursery




How soil is amended makes a significant difference in growth and yield.

20 years ago I used this pot design to test soil amendments.

My goal was to compare the roots from the same plant in different mediums.

The pots were divided into 4 sections using partitions.

The sections were removed after a specific amount of time, the roots cleaned and weighed.

Very simple and effective test to study root growth.



Banana root and soil health user’s manual - Queensland the Smart State

Links | Australian Banana Growers Council


The Basics

Soil needs to be broken and will remain loose by adding organics.

It's also a much safer and healthier method of feeding your banana plants.

Composted plant material has higher nutritional values than composted manure.

Most large banana plantations rely on chemical fertilizers because it is less labor intensive,

their loss in production although significant, is acceptable.


Benefits of using Composted Organics

Loose Soil
More Roots
Healthier Roots
Faster Plant Growth
Faster to Bloom
Faster to Ripen
Larger Bunches
Larger Fruit
Better Tasting Fruit


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Old 02-22-2014, 01:37 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some Short Naners From PSL Nursery

I agree that relying only on dehydrated mineral fertilizers is a poor idea. Certainly there are composted organics in all my soil mixes. There is also sand-to-dust size igneous rock as both a host for some soil bacteria and a catalytic surface for many biochemical reactions important to plants. This kind of soil activity improves both plant processing of nutrients and generates auxins that boost plant performance. A healthy soil is definitely necessary for healthy plants. It is also possible for the soil to be too healthy - too many organisms that out-compete the plant for resources. Further, it is simply not tractable to meet the nutrient capacity of fruit trees by organic matter alone. To do so would require adding over 200 pounds per year per plant to obtain production level harvests. This is why I use dehydrated mineral fertilizers to feed my plants. I'm very picky about this as well -- I do not just broadcast raw N, P, and K as do some commercial operations. Instead, I provide it in a balanced fashion along with a full array of minor- and micro-nutrients. There is a myth circulating on the internet and in organic lifestyle magazines that dehydrated mineral fertilizers kill beneficial organisms in the soil. The reality is that if you follow the given dosage for a water-soluble plant food, the concentration of nutrients you will deliver will be far less than the concentration achieved by stacking a soil with "organic" nutrients (i.e., 300ppm vs 100ppm).
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Old 02-23-2014, 12:13 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some Short Naners From PSL Nursery

I'm a simple plantain farmer and don't know much about the organic lifestyle. It might not have reached our Island yet, but I can say that I've never noticed a fruit or vegetable being labeled as organic. As far as the organic lifestyle magazine goes, if it's well written & you enjoy most of the articles then try to just ignore the myths.

Farming is a business and everything is based on a cost to benefit analysis. Organic material is basically free, with the real cost being based on the labor of collecting and applying it. Another benefit is that there is practically no limit to how much could be used. The amounts that you believe are "not tractable" appear to me to be embarrassingly low.

After doing my initial experiments 20 years ago, I made the decision to use grass clippings, banana compost, and bio char, although I did save the unused chemical fertilizer just in case it is needed in the future.

If you look through the Members' Galleries it's apparent that the members using copious amounts of organic material all seem to have the most incredibly beautiful plants.



Quote:
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I agree that relying only on dehydrated mineral fertilizers is a poor idea. Certainly there are composted organics in all my soil mixes. There is also sand-to-dust size igneous rock as both a host for some soil bacteria and a catalytic surface for many biochemical reactions important to plants. This kind of soil activity improves both plant processing of nutrients and generates auxins that boost plant performance. A healthy soil is definitely necessary for healthy plants. It is also possible for the soil to be too healthy - too many organisms that out-compete the plant for resources. Further, it is simply not tractable to meet the nutrient capacity of fruit trees by organic matter alone. To do so would require adding over 200 pounds per year per plant to obtain production level harvests. This is why I use dehydrated mineral fertilizers to feed my plants. I'm very picky about this as well -- I do not just broadcast raw N, P, and K as do some commercial operations. Instead, I provide it in a balanced fashion along with a full array of minor- and micro-nutrients. There is a myth circulating on the internet and in organic lifestyle magazines that dehydrated mineral fertilizers kill beneficial organisms in the soil. The reality is that if you follow the given dosage for a water-soluble plant food, the concentration of nutrients you will deliver will be far less than the concentration achieved by stacking a soil with "organic" nutrients (i.e., 300ppm vs 100ppm).
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