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Main Banana Discussion This is where we discuss our banana collections; tips on growing bananas, tips on harvesting bananas, sharing our banana photos and stories.


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Old 03-23-2015, 05:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Exclamation Any tips for 1st time banana grower...

First timer here, love the forum and happy to be a member!

I just planted 10 bananas - 6 in pots and 4 in-ground. See my pics attached.





Planted in containers with a mix of 1/3 aerating potting soil, 1/3 cow manurecompost, and 1/3 perlite with a top coating of peat humus and mulch covering that.

Planted in ground with a 1/4 mix of flower vegatable aerating soil, 1/4 clay topsoil from the hole, and 1/4 mix of cow manure/compost with about 1/4 perlite and with a top coating of cowmanure compost. Thanks to the forum for all the tips.

My first question is watering. Day 1 I gave them all a thorough deep watering. Temperature so far this week is ranging from 65-80F during day with tons of sun and at night around 50-60F.

It is day 2 today and I was not planning on watering. Temp today was in the mid 70s F.

Would tomorrow Day 3 or Day 4 be better to give it another throrough deep watering?

Also it is gonna dip into the 40's around Day 6 thru Day 7. I plant to cover the plants with some blankets tented up over the little dudes, so hopefully they survive.

Any tips and tricks would be appreciated. They came with 2 little fertilizer sticks from GreenEarth farms in Florida where I got them. Those are in ground now.

When would be a good time to do some additional fertilizer?

Also what is your recommendation for a normal watering schedule? This is zone 8 in Texas and it gets hot here pretty quick.

Sorry for all the questions! Thanks so much!

Last edited by fwtexasmusic : 03-23-2015 at 05:22 PM. Reason: edit
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Old 03-24-2015, 02:06 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Any tips for 1st time banana grower...

Here's a guide I wrote awhile back:
Guide To Growing Fruiting Bananas In Temperate Climates
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Old 03-24-2015, 09:55 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Any tips for 1st time banana grower...

Richard- Thanks for your article. I will be following it daily until these little dudes get going. Right now a few of them look really sad. Leaning like the potted one in the picture above and some of the leaves are brownish and floppy, especially my Red Iholena pups.

My best guess is they are distressed from their 3 day trip from florida in a box and then getting put into pots and getting soaked and then in 78F sun is quite a shock. Hopefully they will root quickly and start growing correctly. I probably should have put them in the house in a small pot at first??? I dont know. Trial and error for my first growing season!
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Old 03-25-2015, 09:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Any tips for 1st time banana grower...

The tissue cultured banana plants are usually grown under 60% shade cloth (or thereabouts) so it's imperative you slowly acclimate new arrivals before leaving them out in direct sun.

When I first started growing bananas, I lost most of my TCs due to overwatering and leaving them in the full-suffering Florida sun. I learned my lesson from there and now make sure to let TCs acclimate to full sun over the course of two weeks.

Until they reached 18 inches in height, I kept their fertilizer limited to some Osmocote slow release and diluted low ratio fertilizer.

Good luck!
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Old 03-25-2015, 10:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Any tips for 1st time banana grower...

I guess I missed those tips searching the forum some how. I haven't watered them at all after the initial watering as the soil seems still somewhat moist. Their leaves have shrunken and gone somewhat brown green and two of the red iholenas are leaning somewhat.

I will move them in the shade area and just pray. Its fixing to have a good rainstorm here tonight with sunny skies and low 80s over the next five days.

Hope they can hang on!!!! If the soil is moist just right will the corms be good. I am hoping they will root and start absorbing the manure compost and peat hummus that is dispersed through the soil mix. I am definitely not gonna water again till four days after this storm. Can the pups survive?
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Old 03-25-2015, 10:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Any tips for 1st time banana grower...

Let me offer you some harsh advice, just for the sake of saving your plants.

1. Repot all plants in small containers: 2-6 inches would be best

-You have more control over what the plants are subjected to food/water wise.

2. Rely on a simple potting mix.

- Don't rely on manures, composts or anything else just yet. All you want is a simple substrate those hair-thin roots can grow through.

3. Feed them regularly

- A corm is a refrigerator full of leftovers for a banana plant. Currently, your little babies have no refrigerator, so they're living hand-to-mouth through those tiny little roots.


Some folk might argue I'm being overly cautious, but young TCs are very delicate, and as a first time grower, you'll want to err on the side of caution.

Your goal for the first month or two is to nourish these little guys and prep them for the real world. TC plants are totally viable, but when they enter your world, they have A LOT of catching up to do compared to their naturally born brethren. They may seem a bit slow to start, but once that have some corm and the first hints of thick roots, these plants will be skyward-bound.

With warm weather, these TCs should be happy to be consistently moist. Follow a 4 day schedule to start: Monday, water them. Wednesday, feed them a diluted fertilizer. I used Dyna-grow 9-3-6 (at half-strength). Wait 2 days, and water again, wait two days and lightly fertilize again.

Once they're exploding in size, it's time to either up-pot them, or plant them in the soil. I've reached the point where I won't plant a banana in soil until it could (theoretically) survive a weed-whacker. It's a completely arbitrary judgment, but until you have, say, a 3 inch diameter, it's easier to directly feed the plants than broadcasting fertilizer around them.
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Old 03-26-2015, 11:19 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Any tips for 1st time banana grower...

I start my tc's on a northern covered porch up against the house. By the end of 2-3 weeks I have them on the edge of the porch. After that they go to the west side uncovered for a week. After that I plant them. I also highly recommend Richards Banana Fuel. This stuff is crack for your bananas.
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