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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 12-22-2020, 07:30 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default A bananoob asks for companion plant advice for zone 6

I'm going to plop some musa basjoos into the ground for the next summer to see what happens. I used to grow japanese sweetcorn in the same bed and the soil kept running dry really quickly during summer. I'm currently considering nasturtiums, cucumbers, borage, wild strawberries and marigolds as groundcover to help retain moisture. What do you think of these? Is there anything more tropical-looking that would do for this climate zone?

Also I've been given a few cold-hardy yuccas. They say that yuccas are an OK plant to grow alongside bananas. But what about the different water requirements?
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Old 12-22-2020, 03:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: A bananoob asks for companion plant advice for zone 6

Instead of ground cover you may want to consider heavily mulching with grass cliippings, wood chips, straw etc. They add organic material and retain moisture, which bananas need. Bananas are extremely heavy feeders, so nutrients may be taken from other plants. Shade that the bananas put off can be another issue for companion plants. If you really want to grow a companion crop, i would focus on vining varieties like cucumber, melons, etc. They can be planted far enough away from the banana to get their own sun and nutrients, but can be trained to sprawl in the general area of your nana patch.
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Old 12-26-2020, 08:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Smile Re: A bananoob asks for companion plant advice for zone 6

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Originally Posted by landless2137 View Post
I'm going to plop some musa basjoos into the ground for the next summer to see what happens. I used to grow japanese sweetcorn in the same bed and the soil kept running dry really quickly during summer. I'm currently considering nasturtiums, cucumbers, borage, wild strawberries and marigolds as groundcover to help retain moisture. What do you think of these? Is there anything more tropical-looking that would do for this climate zone?

Also I've been given a few cold-hardy yuccas. They say that yuccas are an OK plant to grow alongside bananas. But what about the different water requirements?
Your good....I use oxalis in some spots....green or red.
Basjoo roots are near the surface so anything you plant will compete with those roots.
The banana plant does require quite a bit of water.

Do put a good layer of mulch down to conserve even more moisture.
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Old 12-29-2020, 07:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Smile Re: A bananoob asks for companion plant advice for zone 6

Like Smeash had said in Post#2 you might be hard pressed for some sunlight between the plants.
The plants you choose will be shade plants.

This is a photo under my canopy of Basjoo.

Untitled
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Old 12-30-2020, 06:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: A bananoob asks for companion plant advice for zone 6

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Originally Posted by cincinnana View Post
Like Smeash had said in Post#2 you might be hard pressed for some sunlight between the plants.
The plants you choose will be shade plants.

This is a photo under my canopy of Basjoo.

Untitled
Wow! What a thick boi!

I've got a virtually unlimited supply of grass clippings during the growing season and also I could use cuttings of Scirpus sylvaticus from my far-back yard

I'm still tempted to try Nasturtium though (only for the sake of science), it seems to do well enough in one of my shady spots. They can crawl around a lot to catch a bit of sun too.
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Old 12-31-2020, 07:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Smile Re: A bananoob asks for companion plant advice for zone 6

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Wow! What a thick boi!

I've got a virtually unlimited supply of grass clippings during the growing season and also I could use cuttings of Scirpus sylvaticus from my far-back yard

I'm still tempted to try Nasturtium though (only for the sake of science), it seems to do well enough in one of my shady spots. They can crawl around a lot to catch a bit of sun too.
These particular plants are a clumping variety and benefit with as much organics as you can apply.

While growing they need (large clumps/mats) lots of water to sustain the incredible summer growth.
Give your plan a shot and improvise as the season progresses



Happy New year!!!
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Old 01-02-2021, 10:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: A bananoob asks for companion plant advice for zone 6

[IMG][/IMG]

I've had good luck using the ornamental sweet potato plant (Margarite) with the Basjoos or other banana plants, as a ground cover. It vines and doesn't reroot unless you want it to. If you need to dig pups, just lift the vines and replace when done. Adds a nice lime green splash of color. A couple of the potato vines goes a long ways to cover the ground around basjoos. They could use as much water as the basjoos do. There are 2 sweet potato plants used here. ......

I would not suggest using Yuccas as I have Yuccas and you will never get rid of them if you decide you don't want them..they spread and are almost impossible to dig, kill, or move. I have been trying to remove a clump for 2 years and they still come up, have dug half way to China trying to remove them.

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Old 01-03-2021, 09:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: A bananoob asks for companion plant advice for zone 6

I wanted to add some lemon grass to my back yard so I placed a stock between 2 blueberry bushes and another close to one of our banana spots, the one by the Nana's is 3 stocks now but the one between the berries is huge. Was thinking of using lemon grass like hay(mulch) around strawberries. So lemon grass did not grow well for me close to nanas

Last edited by LaBananaGwr2018 : 01-03-2021 at 09:27 PM.
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Old 01-04-2021, 06:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Smile Re: A bananoob asks for companion plant advice for zone 6

Quote:
Originally Posted by mari@adams.net View Post
[IMG][/IMG]

I've had good luck using the ornamental sweet potato plant (Margarite) with the Basjoos or other banana plants, as a ground cover. It vines and doesn't reroot unless you want it to. If you need to dig pups, just lift the vines and replace when done. Adds a nice lime green splash of color. A couple of the potato vines goes a long ways to cover the ground around basjoos. They could use as much water as the basjoos do. There are 2 sweet potato plants used here. ......

I would not suggest using Yuccas as I have Yuccas and you will never get rid of them if you decide you don't want them..they spread and are almost impossible to dig, kill, or move. I have been trying to remove a clump for 2 years and they still come up, have dug half way to China trying to remove them.
Awesome looking growing space....your gardens look amazing.
The cannas have great color!
Your choice of filler plants is spot on.
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Old 01-10-2021, 08:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: A bananoob asks for companion plant advice for zone 6

Mulch will certainly help. Have you thought about installing a drip irrigation system? I have all of my bananas on a drip irrigation system and during the hot summer months, I water every other day and my bananas love it. As long as you have well drained soil, it's hard to over-water a banana.
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Old 01-24-2021, 07:29 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: A bananoob asks for companion plant advice for zone 6

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Mulch will certainly help. Have you thought about installing a drip irrigation system? I have all of my bananas on a drip irrigation system and during the hot summer months, I water every other day and my bananas love it. As long as you have well drained soil, it's hard to over-water a banana.
A drip irrigation system is something I've been considering. I'll make one if time permits. For now I think I'll go with a combination of mulch, some sort of viny ground cover, conventional watering and hydrogel maybe.
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