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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 08-28-2008, 07:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Bananas in the sandy soil?

Hi,

today I experienced that my housekeeper dug 6 feet deep into my soil in my yard in Brazil to set one internet aerial mast. He saw only sand to the depth of 6 feet and said, this is not good to grow bananas for me. And he said, that notbody grows bananas in my area. But my Japanese neighbour is growing bananas! The plants are not so bad. And I found 7 bananas in my yard by the garden examination for new plantation plans. Two look still okay, but the other 4 are not so well because my sugar cane takes too much power from the bananas, the bananas are too close to the sugar cane. But it is not the best time to plant or transplant bananas, because it is here drought, the winters are here dry and warm and the summers are here very humid and hot, and rainy season. I plan to enlarge the banana row to my cottage and transplant the bananas away from the sugar cane into the new row. Also pups from the old neighbour with 4 banana varieties and more than 20 species and cultivares from Helton of Frutas Raras. I sent him seeds of 11 species successfully.

Who has experiences with growing bananas in sandy soil in a tropical climate with drought in the winter and rainy season in the summer, too?

Best wishes from Brazil
Joachim
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Old 08-28-2008, 08:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bananas in the sandy soil?

I have two properties with in a mile of each other in Florida.
One has sandy soil the other has darker more top soil, with organic materials.
The sandy soil does not grow bananas very well. Even with fertilizer on the sandy plants the bananas are not as vigorous as the the ones with composted material. I recently dug up part of the sand and replaced it with some more organic compost. Hopefully they will produce next year.
My Plants in compost, topsoil produce bananas on a regular basis.
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Old 05-16-2016, 08:42 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bananas in the sandy soil?

In Sumbawa and Lombok islands of indonesia we have very similar conditions

The hardiest banana is Pisang Saba

It's drought hardy and has no problem growing in sandy areas.

However, as you say, locals says sandy soil not good for bananas

But.. They are fine with enough fertiliser and lots of mulch and wastewater
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Old 05-16-2016, 11:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bananas in the sandy soil?

I don't see it as a problem. Fertilize and water and it should be fine.
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Old 05-16-2016, 09:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bananas in the sandy soil?

Most of Florida, USA is sandy soil with dry winters and hot, humid rainy summers. Many members here are from Florida, so once the gurus have time to answer questions, you will get some help. Must be the busy season as answers to questions raised in posts are slow in coming right now.
I can tell you to water shallow and often when dry, mulch, and fertilize regularly. "deep watering" seems to just wash all your nutrients away, below root level, too quickly.
I hope that helps.
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Varieties I supposedly bought: Manzano, Cavendish, Blue Java, Sweetheart, and Gros Michel.
What it seems I actually have: Brazilian, Cavendish, Namwah, Dwarf Red, Gros Michel, Pisang Ceylon, Veinte Cohol and SH 3640, and American Goldfinger. FHIA 1, Paggi and FHIA 17... Always room for one more.
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Old 05-16-2016, 10:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bananas in the sandy soil?

Dig a big hole and fill it with organic matter (which can be whole rotted veggies, leaves, etc. ) before setting your plant. (Ideally your plant is actively growing in a huge pot filled with not sand only.) Top dress with more organic materials. Most of us here in the states use compost or mulch; compost is often preferred because it's already broken down but mulch helps standardize soil temps plus assists in preventing evaporation so both are good. Check out lasagna and hugelkultur gardening as other options.

Once planted, fertilize as needed.

I gardened for years in clay and then for a couple of years in perfect loam. Now I have sand. It's different but doable. Well, maybe not for tomatoes but I do have bananas growing fine here.
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Old 05-17-2016, 05:31 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bananas in the sandy soil?

Kat has it right, even though my sandy / loamy soil is ok, I still amend the soil a bit when I plant.
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Old 05-17-2016, 07:34 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bananas in the sandy soil?

I back fill my holes with biochar. It's a more stable structure in the soil and helps keep the organic material in place. Nematodes thrive in sand. Brazil has some of the poorest soil on earth and only lives from forest recycling. For this reason I plant beneficial trees to maintain organic material. Moringa and strawberry tree are good ones.
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Old 05-17-2016, 07:59 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bananas in the sandy soil?

Thanks, you guys for adding that. I was thinking of stuff already in the soil, er... sand. Never thought of biochar.... I know that compost and such are gone in about 6 months and you are left with sand, but I add them before planting, anyway. Thus the need for lots of stuff on top.
Kat, if you find a way to grow decent tomatoes down here, I would sure like to hear it. MAYBE in containers? Great tomatoes were so easy in Illinois. Even bad ones are near impossible here.
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Varieties I supposedly bought: Manzano, Cavendish, Blue Java, Sweetheart, and Gros Michel.
What it seems I actually have: Brazilian, Cavendish, Namwah, Dwarf Red, Gros Michel, Pisang Ceylon, Veinte Cohol and SH 3640, and American Goldfinger. FHIA 1, Paggi and FHIA 17... Always room for one more.
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Old 05-17-2016, 08:13 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bananas in the sandy soil?

Tomatoes are easy to grow in Florida. There are nany wonderful varieties that thrive here. Mine are doing awesome.
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Old 05-17-2016, 08:31 AM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bananas in the sandy soil?

People tell me the cherry or grape ones do ok, but I prefer real ones I can slice on a burger. Last year I got some beefsteak, dug in lots of compost, watered regularly and the plant was spindly, made two small tomatoes that split, then a fungus killed it. Trying again this year with a supposedly heat tolerant variety. Did same with it, and it's just sitting there. Been in the ground over a month and has hardly grown.
SOOOO..... What are you doing?
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https://sputinc7.wixsite.com/covwc

Varieties I supposedly bought: Manzano, Cavendish, Blue Java, Sweetheart, and Gros Michel.
What it seems I actually have: Brazilian, Cavendish, Namwah, Dwarf Red, Gros Michel, Pisang Ceylon, Veinte Cohol and SH 3640, and American Goldfinger. FHIA 1, Paggi and FHIA 17... Always room for one more.
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Old 05-17-2016, 08:49 AM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bananas in the sandy soil?

I'm growing in biochar and using plants meant to grow in Florida. Calcium is an important additive.
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Old 05-17-2016, 08:58 AM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bananas in the sandy soil?

I also use Mykos WP from Xtreme gardening. Expensive but works wonders reducind disease and stress.
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