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nph 10-14-2017 11:15 PM

Bananas grow smaller each year...
 
I have had bananas now for several years and it started out with 5-6 of them producing bananas, once I have wintered them in my garage.
But lately they grow shorter and shorter and despite a good year I only got one stock this year.

I fertilize with Banana fuel which i know is good. I tried a few different soil bags from different nurseries and the best so far has been Costco's Miracle grow with compost. Two of my bananas got a little of manure this year since a friend had some to spare but not sure if it was enough.

However something is missing since my Sweetheart and Nam Wah grow shorter each year even though they had a long growing season.
Any idea of what I should do/add or soil to use? I have them around my pool and even though I replace some soil they don't grow as high as they used to.
Btw, I live in Dallas, TX so I need to dig up my bananas and have them in the garage over the winter. However in the past they still grew quite tall despite this interruption. Lately they don't look that good.
What soil (readily available) do you recommend for bananas?

Thanks in advance!

aruzinsky 10-15-2017 09:26 AM

Re: Bananas grow smaller each year...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by nph (Post 310311)

However something is missing since my Sweetheart and Nam Wah grow shorter each year even though they had a long growing season.
Any idea of what I should do/add or soil to use? I have them around my pool and even though I replace some soil they don't grow as high as they used to.

Since some of your soil is old, you should be aware that it has been empirically proven that it is best to rotate crops because crop productivity declines for a particular crop in the same soil. The exact reasons for this are theoretical. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crop_rotation .

The "nutrient deficiency" theory is not the only theory. In my experience with tomato plants, there is nothing you can add to soil to replenish the productivity of virgin soil. And, this explains "beginners luck" in gardening.

I suggest that you grow something else in the same spot each year.

Botanical_Bryce 10-15-2017 12:06 PM

Re: Bananas grow smaller each year...
 
Bananas fertilize the soil in my experience. They support detrivores like no other plants I have ever seen. The soil becomes so rich and full of life I use it as potting soil. Bananas are not tomatoes. I supplement with ash, charcoal, and other potassium sources. I maintain heavy layers of forest mulch and fungus. Isopods, millipedes, and earthworms do the rest. If your bananas are producing fewer and fewer this is common as mats get thicker. Maintain only 3 or 4 plants per mat and keep them mulched and you should return to the good days.

Botanical_Bryce 10-15-2017 12:09 PM

Re: Bananas grow smaller each year...
 
Also root knot nematodes can also cause what you described.fertilizer is useless if you are infested.

aruzinsky 10-15-2017 12:38 PM

Re: Bananas grow smaller each year...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Botanical_Bryce (Post 310322)
The soil becomes so rich and full of life I use it as potting soil.

Crop rotation with bananas is widely recommended. See

https://www.google.com/search?source...2crop+rotation

Botanical_Bryce 10-15-2017 01:59 PM

Re: Bananas grow smaller each year...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by aruzinsky (Post 310324)
Crop rotation with bananas is widely recommended. See

https://www.google.com/search?source...2crop+rotation

Total bunch of nonsense. I don't care how effective rotation is with bananas. They are not annual so that makes it hard. They are not small and weigh so much. They have to start over every time you move them. For the common person with a yard they only have one or 2 spots for a patch of bananas. Nobody is going to dig up manicured landscape and move bananas. Banana rotation is nonsense for one reason only if anything. Nobody would ever grow them. In fact I would be the first person to haul them all to the dump. I have 300 banana plants. If you want to come rotate them for me for free then be my guest. Just practically speaking no person will rotate bananas. So many people don't have the strength to pick them up and don't have the space so come down to earth a little bit and if something else far more realistic can be done then do it instead. Farms can rotate with tractors and equipment that is wonderful. Otherwise you know most people can't rotate bananas. I have eaten bananas from 40 year old stands and have gathered plants from 100 year old stands. They are not dead and thriving wonderful. Each individual needs to do what works and only practical practices will ever be used by 99 percent of the population.

aruzinsky 10-15-2017 02:17 PM

Re: Bananas grow smaller each year...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Botanical_Bryce (Post 310325)
Total bunch of nonsense. I don't care how effective rotation is with bananas. They are not annual so that makes it hard. They are not small and weigh so much. They have to start over every time you move them.

You also don't care that the OP is treating bananas as annuals:

Quote:

Originally Posted by nph (Post 310311)
Btw, I live in Dallas, TX so I need to dig up my bananas and have them in the garage over the winter.


edwmax 10-15-2017 03:27 PM

Re: Bananas grow smaller each year...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by aruzinsky (Post 310326)
You also don't care that the OP is treating bananas as annuals:


Not so! The OP leaves the corm & plant in the ground to come back the next spring. ... As long as fertilizer and nutrient requirement are met, crop rotation is not required. 'Crop rotation' is an economic tool for a farmer to replenish some nutrients into the soil from decaying vegetable material as well as reducing crop specific diseases; but this usually don't meet the total nutrient demand for the following year's crop.

Botanical_Bryce 10-15-2017 04:18 PM

Re: Bananas grow smaller each year...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by aruzinsky (Post 310326)
You also don't care that the OP is treating bananas as annuals:

Actually I don't care if she is not growing them as a crop plant.

pitangadiego 10-15-2017 11:47 PM

Re: Bananas grow smaller each year...
 
I have never grown them, and then stored them over the winter.

However, in my experience, if you want good output, you have to have good input. There is no substitute. That means sun, water, fertilizer (nutrition) and rich organic soil (lots of compost). Other issues are maximizing leaves (regardless of "looks") and thinning aggressive pupping varieties.

One or more of those things is lacking.

Tytaylor77 10-16-2017 04:41 AM

Re: Bananas grow smaller each year...
 
I would like to see someone come rotate my sweetheart and tall namwa. And I donít even grow in ďmatsĒ. I keep 1-2 plants per spot. There are studies in India that show after 5 years micronutrients can become depleted. This could be your problem.

If you just make it a point that everytime you dig a pup fill the hole with compost or manure. Also remember bananas have 99% of their roots in the top 1í foot of soil! So lots of mulch and lots of topfill! Keep pups numbers down as low as possible and fertilize with heavy nitrogen and potash.

The tropical areas your talking about where they rotate bananas is not by choice! They do this to leave farrow ground because of nematodes! Nematode problems can cause major issues. I have a friend in zone 7a dealing with root rot nematode problems. So dont think nematodes canít touch you in your sub tropical zone! Be very vigilant who and where you get your corms from. A 1:4 bleach soak is cheap and easy! Make it a habit! It doesnít harm the corm at all!

Rootless corms are best! Iíve received rooted corms in the past. Knowing what I know now I will never again! Bare root only! Everything in/out gets a bleach soak and roots thinned. Make sure roots are cut back and thinned out so the bleach can get to all areas of the corm. If your still buying rooted corms from the tropics, you are playing Russian roulette with your bananas and whole garden! I donít care if itís a soilless mix! Those roots came from the ground!! It is almost impossible to rid yourself of harmful nematodes once you get them! Be safe about it! Itís not worth the risk!!


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