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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 08-26-2005, 01:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Frost damage prevention

I know it sounds odd but last winter we had a few weeks where the grass in the backyard where my Bananas are located now was frozen slightly every morning. My Bananas were in plastic containers at the time with no greenhouse protection and suffered some leaf damage. My question is this: what can I do help stop the frost damage should we have another bad winter? Misters, fans, smudge pots, some kind of heaters, large stones that warm up during the daylight and release the warmth at night? Do you guys have any experience with this issue?
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Old 08-26-2005, 01:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Frost damage prevention

It depends which part of the plants you want protected. If you want to protect the leaves, it would be a big job. For us here in the colder north california, it is acceptable for me to accept banana leaves completely destroyed each winter, as long as the pseudostem remains alive, it will have a chance of fruiting. If the cultivar's pseudostem dies down to the ground level it will have little chance of fruiting and so will sell those varieties almost for free when they sprung up the next warm period.

In the case, most of your frost are caused by radiative heat loss, and it can damage the leaves of tropical plants. Here are ways to protect your plants:

1) use a wide jute sack or the u-haul blankets to cover only the top of your plants. you simply drape them over, of course you will have to secure these cover against wind. when draping over, plastic sheets are not recommended, as if the sun rises up before you remove them, it could scorch the leaves where the moisture collected and contacted with the leaves. You only place the drape over them when there is a forecast of frost in your area. Remove the cover the next day.

2) a simple wooden frame to support plastic sheet on the top would be very effective. it is strong against the wind. Make the frame so that the plastic will have clearance from the leaves. You do not need to cover the sides, only the top part of the frame. Transparent plastic sheets with UV resistant coating are a little bit expensive, but they can stay on the frame the whole winter.

The frost caused by radiative heat loss is interfered by setting up a barrier like blankets or plastic sheets. It is a different scenario for us here in the north and we would need a cold frame and cover all sides because of lateral heat loss due to convective and sensible heat transfer from movement of cold air.


Last edited by JoeReal : 08-26-2005 at 04:33 PM.
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