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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 11-17-2012, 08:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Good news and bad news

I just got home today and saw my plants for the first time in a month, and boy was I in for some big surprises. The first surprise, and not a really good one, is that my plants had been absolutely NAILED by the Santa Ana winds. It looks like a tornado came through it's so bad. Here are some pictures of the devastation:

Mysore:





Unknown (not too much damage on this one):



Ice Cream (probably not):





All three:





Good thing that only the leaves have taken damage, they should come back just fine next spring. And now, if you'll look at the plant on the right on the last photo, you'll see the other surprise. It was an even BIGGER surprise. My unknown plant which was sold to me as Ice Cream, that I had planted back in July of 2011, has just thrown a bud. A very BIG bud. And the p-stem is only 5 feet tall.







It hasn't even fully emerged yet, and it's already 21 inches out.



This completely caught me off guard. I thought that it wouldn't flower until next year. Although, when I was here a month ago, I did notice a smaller leaf emerging from that plant. Since the plant only had 5 feet of p-stem, I thought that it was just the result of some sort of nutrient deficiency, but it turns out that it's a flower. So far, the best guess for this plant is Dwarf Brazilian.

So now, for the questions. The extensive amount of damage done to my plants by just a month of winds has really been a wake up call. My dad told me that wind speeds reached up to 60 mph while I was gone! Thankfully, the plants are still small, so I probably won't need to worry about any toppling or snapping this year. But what about next year, when the plants are larger? Is there anything I can do to make sure that they don't topple or snap from these high winds? Also, do I need to do anything special to guarantee that the flower I got from my unknown plant survives to make fruit for me? Wind is much more of an issue than cold. This plant has already proven that it can survive winter conditions in my area. Some help would really be appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 11-18-2012, 12:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Good news and bad news

Yes, tall banana plants + high winds = ugly mess. It's a good argument for growing dwarf varieties.

But you are right, they should all look great next spring when they've put out new leaves.
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Old 11-18-2012, 01:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Good news and bad news

I never found a way to keep the talls from being either shredded or broken in half by the winds which is why I switched to shorter plants.
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Old 11-18-2012, 06:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Good news and bad news

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Originally Posted by momoese View Post
I never found a way to keep the talls from being either shredded or broken in half by the winds which is why I switched to shorter plants.
Just so Andreas and others know, when Mitchel says "talls", he really means it. If I recall correctly, his tall Red and tall Hawaiian Apple (Brazilian) both got over 16' of p-stem and maybe 20+ for the HA? The HA were monsters for sure. He still grows some that get 10-13' or so, unless he got rid of his Pisang Klotek -- and we know that won't happen!
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Old 11-18-2012, 07:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Good news and bad news

The one I'm really concerned about is Mysore. It's already taller than my Ice Cream, and it's really slender compared to it. And it will get MUCH taller than it is already, as of now it maybe has around 6 and a half to 7 feet of p-stem (that's 1 season's growth!). I'm thinking that if I let my taller plants clump that they'll stand up a lot better to the wind.
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:32 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Good news and bad news

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Originally Posted by caliboy1994 View Post
The one I'm really concerned about is Mysore. It's already taller than my Ice Cream, and it's really slender compared to it. And it will get MUCH taller than it is already, as of now it maybe has around 6 and a half to 7 feet of p-stem (that's 1 season's growth!). I'm thinking that if I let my taller plants clump that they'll stand up a lot better to the wind.
You can stake banana plants the same way you stake any tree
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:57 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Good news and bad news

Quote:
Originally Posted by venturabananas View Post
Just so Andreas and others know, when Mitchel says "talls", he really means it. If I recall correctly, his tall Red and tall Hawaiian Apple (Brazilian) both got over 16' of p-stem and maybe 20+ for the HA? The HA were monsters for sure. He still grows some that get 10-13' or so, unless he got rid of his Pisang Klotek -- and we know that won't happen!
Yeah some of the HA were over 20' of pseudo stem. The PK are in fact my tallest plants now although none are mature enough to be that tall yet. I think they are about 9-10' right now. I've never had a PK blow down in the winds so I'll let them stay for now.
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:22 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Good news and bad news

My PK mat has a bunch that is abour 70% filled in and the follow on pup is at 8 ft. The main trunk is tied left and right to marine cleats mounted at the top of the fence 4x4's. Works great for wind support. When the bunch is harvested the ropes get transferred.

Using cleats with a cleat hitch knot makes it easy to add slack as the pstem gets taller.


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