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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 05-24-2012, 12:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Best Banana Type for Santa Cruz, CA

Hi Everyone,

I was wondering if anyone local to Santa Cruz has a favorite type that fruits well.

Thanks!

Kelcey
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Old 05-24-2012, 05:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Best Banana Type for Santa Cruz, CA

Up here in Sac the Blue Java & Orinoco fruit well but usually need frost protection; you probably have way less frost mischief by you, right?
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Old 05-24-2012, 06:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Best Banana Type for Santa Cruz, CA

The frost was bad this year, but usually less so. Sac has a lot more heat in Summer. Do Blue Java and Orinoco need 80's+?
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Old 05-24-2012, 06:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Banana Type for Santa Cruz, CA

Orinoco does a good job taking the cold, but if you have issues with Santa Ana winds like we do here in SoCal, Dwarf Namwah might be a better choice.

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Old 05-24-2012, 06:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Best Banana Type for Santa Cruz, CA

Quote:
Sac has a lot more heat in Summer. Do Blue Java and Orinoco need 80's+?
They don't do much growth-wise 'till they get into the 70s, warmer better (80s-90s ideal) but they seem to be happier getting some partial shade up here when we start breaking 100 on a daily basis.

The original plants we started off with came from a Bay area wholesaler (Monterey Bay Nursery) so you shouldn't have much trouble in your location, they're almost in your back yard.

If you have a south facing wall, it is a great micro-climate location to winter-over the bananas that like to blossom towards fall (the annoying little buggers!)
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Old 05-24-2012, 11:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Best Banana Type for Santa Cruz, CA

In my yard, Dwarf Namwah does better in winter than Orinoco or "Blue Java / Ice Cream", and I would think that would be the same for Santa Cruz.
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Old 05-25-2012, 11:37 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Best Banana Type for Santa Cruz, CA

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coastwind View Post
Hi Everyone,

I was wondering if anyone local to Santa Cruz has a favorite type that fruits well.

Thanks!

Kelcey
Which section of Santa Cruz are you in? The climate varies greatly depending on your location. The flat lands and the ridges of the hills of Santa Cruz get little frost and depending on where you are, lots of fog. The valleys around town though can get really cold in winter and won't get enough heat to fruit bananas. People have fruited bananas in Santa Cruz, it just isn't easy due to lack of heat, you'll need a nice hot wall to grow it against.
I have Blue Java / Ice Cream and it grows well but is really tall and hard to protect from the few annual freezing nights. Shorter bananas are easier to protect. I've seen Cardaba for sale around here, haven't fruited mine yet.
Misi Luki, Dwarf Namwah and Viente Cohol have all been recommended for our area as possibly good producers.
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Old 05-25-2012, 11:49 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Best Banana Type for Santa Cruz, CA

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Misi Luki, Dwarf Namwah and Viente Cohol have all been recommended for our area as possibly good producers.
Don't go for Viente Cohol -- it needs heat. It is a "fast-cycle" banana, and so could produce edible bananas before a cold winter, but only in places that have lots of summer heat, i.e., not Santa Cruz.
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Old 05-25-2012, 11:58 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Best Banana Type for Santa Cruz, CA

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Originally Posted by venturabananas View Post
Don't go for Viente Cohol -- it needs heat. It is a "fast-cycle" banana, and so could produce edible bananas before a cold winter, but only in places that have lots of summer heat, i.e., not Santa Cruz.
I wouldn't go for the Viente Cohol even with summer heat. I wasn't impressed.

Santa Cruz has very nice mild (A/C) weather. I've been their before ...maybe a Raja Puri.
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Old 05-25-2012, 01:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Banana Type for Santa Cruz, CA

You won't be disappointed with Dwarf Namwah
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Old 05-25-2012, 05:09 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Best Banana Type for Santa Cruz, CA

Raja Puri could be good, too, as Dean says. It isn't as tough as Dwarf Namwah in my yard, but I can't complain about it. I'd get both. They are a nice manageable height and could be protected from the cold as a result. If you want something taller, tall Namwah, "Misi Luki", and "Ice Cream" are all basically the same thing, various or the same Pisang Awak cultivars (at least the ones sold at most nurseries). They all handle the cold well and are reliable fruit producers.
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Old 05-25-2012, 05:11 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Banana Type for Santa Cruz, CA

I would suggest Dwarf Namwah as well also, though I've been impressed with the growth of my so-called "Texas Star" which gave the most growth during cool conditions earlier this year. It has yet to fruit for me but I'm hoping a couple of the plants in my mat will flower this year (assuming it is a dwarf).
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Old 05-30-2012, 12:11 AM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Best Banana Type for Santa Cruz, CA

Thanks for all the great replies on good recommendations for Santa Cruz. I live about 3 blocks from the beach but it is pretty well protected from the wind in my yard. I have a Dwarf Namwah and that is doing the best after a pretty cold past Winter, so that was a great recommendation. I also have a Dwarf Giant that over Wintered alright. I will have to check out the Raja Puri too.

I saw some some people posting today about a Dwarf Super Plantain. Is there any chance that a plantain like that would grow here too?

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Old 05-30-2012, 11:30 AM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Best Banana Type for Santa Cruz, CA

I would listen to all the veterans. I just visited Harvey's farm and his texas star was about 10' I would say, so they seem to do pretty well.

Between my two bananas in the ground Pisang Raja started to grow before my Goldfinger, but the GF seems to grow faster. You will get more fog than Harvey or myself though so I can't say much about that.
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