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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 08-11-2008, 12:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Calcium, Fert Question w/Pics

Thank you to everyone who has responded to my previous posts in regard to my banana growth problems.

It turns out that neither disease nor fertilizer were to blame for the leaf deformities and bunchy top symptoms. I have pests, sooooo many pets.

From what I have read, my ecosystem has not been established and it is said that the 'bad bugs' establish themselves much more rapidly than the good ones. To that extent I wish to ask for advise regarding their removal and prevention.

Since I began growing, I have or have had, Mealy bugs, thrips, spider mites, white flies, snails/slugs, leaf miners, and aphids. I have tried soapy water, neem oil containing products and non-poisonous pesticides. Nothing is working.

The spider mites and mealy bugs are currently the most threatening, as well as some small white colored gnats that are eating into the base of my young bananas, just below the soil line. When I water these white gnats surface and seem to jump around like fleas. I noticed their lavae in the p.stem and soil. They have already killed 2 of my bananas and I can not get rid of any of these 3 pests. The mites are getting worse, leaving webs on everything.


Calcium, fertilizer question,

Last week my ice cream grew a leaf that was nearly white. It had a burgandy colored streak running the length of the margin. Also the mid-rib was very maroon, burgandy colored. The others leaves have always had very green to light green mid-ribs. I have included pics.


Here you can see the Maroon colored mid-rib. And below, you can see the newly emerging leaf showing deformity and white color at base


From these symptoms I thought this may be a lack of Calcium/Boron. I have amended the soil with micro's including boron. Only this citrus product supposedly takes weeks to work.

Do I need Calcium/Lime or just a good citrus fertilizer? My pH is consistantly 6.5-6.8.
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Old 08-11-2008, 05:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Calcium, Fert Question w/Pics

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Originally Posted by proletariatcsp View Post
Since I began growing, I have or have had, Mealy bugs, thrips, spider mites, white flies, snails/slugs, leaf miners, and aphids. I have tried soapy water, neem oil containing products and non-poisonous pesticides. Nothing is working.
Use a systemic insecticide. The plant absorbs it which makes it last longer and works much better for sucking insects.
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Old 08-11-2008, 08:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Calcium, Fert Question w/Pics

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Use a systemic insecticide. The plant absorbs it which makes it last longer and works much better for sucking insects.
WOW I didn't know anything like this existed. It's almost kind of scary to think my plants would become toxic.

I think that planting herbs around the base of my bananas is helping like Magicgreen does. I'm now starting to notice more benificial bugs coming around but if I was having as big of a problem as you are.... I know that I'd go get some of that systemic insecticide. In fact I'm going to probably be putting it around my roses real soon. It'll be better than pumping a cloud of sevin dust on those japenese beetles.

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Old 08-12-2008, 12:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Calcium, Fert Question w/Pics

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...
Do I need Calcium/Lime or just a good citrus fertilizer? My pH is consistantly 6.5-6.8.
Great pH. Try not to change it.
A palm food would be better than a citrus food, because it is relatively lower in phosphorus (the middle number).
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Old 08-12-2008, 01:06 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Calcium, Fert Question w/Pics

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Use a systemic insecticide. The plant absorbs it which makes it last longer and works much better for sucking insects. -turtile
Thanks turtile I will look into that.

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I think that planting herbs around the base of my bananas is helping like Magicgreen does. I'm now starting to notice more benificial bugs coming around. -cookiecows
I have read that companion herbs invite benificials. I have been struggling to get the mint to grow. I have noticed that the pests don't bother with mint. I had catnip near my tomato too. Leaf miners killed the tomato but the catnip is fine.
Thanks for the advise.

Quote:
Great pH. Try not to change it. A palm food would be better than a citrus food, because it is relatively lower in phosphorus (the middle number). -richard
Richard, thank you. I had thought about using palm fert since I would be able to use it one my pineapples too.

I found this fert with, 15%N - 5%P2O5* - 20%K2O - 2%MgO - TE, only I don't think it is sold here in the US. Its called Nitrophoska Perfekt.

What do you think about Peters 15-5-25, or does it contain too much Urea?

Last edited by proletariatcsp : 08-16-2008 at 12:48 AM.
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