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maltose 02-02-2019 04:14 PM

Grow tent bananas?
 
Hi everyone,

Has anyone ever tried growing banana plants in a grow tent over the winter? I currently have a basjoo and a dwarf cavendish indoors in a grow tent that started as little TC plants in July. (also 4 ensete seedlings which are really starting to take off at 1 month from germination)

I keep the space heater and grow lights on a 16h on/8h off cycle. It's usually 80-86 degrees during the day in the tent, and bottoms out at about 70 degrees overnight.

The bananas are being fueled by ~400 watts total of LED grow lights.

This all was working exceptionally well for the last several months, especially for the basjoo. It was putting out a 4-5 foot leaf every 6 days or so up until January 14th, when I decided to chop the pseudostem at 18 inches so that it has space to continue growing until I plant it in the ground in May.

Does anyone have experience with this sort of indoor banana growing? I've repotted them recently in a soilless mixture (in fabric pots) and have switched to fertilizing with Dyna-Gro Foliage-Pro (supplemented with kelp meal), but don't believe that the recommended 1/4 tsp/gallon would be enough to sustain the growth rate I was seeing in the basjoo before I chopped the pseudostem.

I really just these plants grow as quickly as possible; even if it outgrows the tent and has to get chopped again I should have a very vigorous corm to plant in the ground in May.

Do you think it would be safe in this circumstance to up the fertilizer concentration closer to the hydroponic recommendation of 2tsp/gallon? I was feeding them tons of slow-release organic fertilizer plus regularly watering with 600 ppm potassium sulfate before repotting. They definitely got a little fertilizer burn on a few occasions but were growing like beasts - I repotted only because I suspected that the rich soil mixture was beginning to collapse and wouldn't hold up for the next 3-4 months of indoor growing.

Anyways, It's been super rewarding to garden indoors here during this brutal winter. Please share your experiences!

pjkfarm 02-02-2019 08:02 PM

Re: Grow tent bananas?
 
Where are you located? Why potassium sulfate?
LED - straight daylight white from the store, or a special wavelength? Or are these actual grow lights - and if so brand/ wavelength?
8 hrs dark is pretty short, but seems to work for you to goose the plants - anyone else have a comment on best number of hours for supplemental lights?
How big are the ensete? And where did you get the seed? We very much want to try them for our education program.
Lots of questions :-) Thanks for your time.

cincinnana 02-02-2019 09:47 PM

Re: Grow tent bananas?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by maltose (Post 321655)
Hi everyone,

Has anyone ever tried growing banana plants in a grow tent over the winter? I currently have a basjoo and a dwarf cavendish indoors in a grow tent that started as little TC plants in July. (also 4 ensete seedlings which are really starting to take off at 1 month from germination)

I keep the space heater and grow lights on a 16h on/8h off cycle. It's usually 80-86 degrees during the day in the tent, and bottoms out at about 70 degrees overnight.

The bananas are being fueled by ~400 watts total of LED grow lights.

This all was working exceptionally well for the last several months, especially for the basjoo. It was putting out a 4-5 foot leaf every 6 days or so up until January 14th, when I decided to chop the pseudostem at 18 inches so that it has space to continue growing until I plant it in the ground in May.

Does anyone have experience with this sort of indoor banana growing? I've repotted them recently in a soilless mixture (in fabric pots) and have switched to fertilizing with Dyna-Gro Foliage-Pro (supplemented with kelp meal), but don't believe that the recommended 1/4 tsp/gallon would be enough to sustain the growth rate I was seeing in the basjoo before I chopped the pseudostem.

I really just these plants grow as quickly as possible; even if it outgrows the tent and has to get chopped again I should have a very vigorous corm to plant in the ground in May.

Do you think it would be safe in this circumstance to up the fertilizer concentration closer to the hydroponic recommendation of 2tsp/gallon? I was feeding them tons of slow-release organic fertilizer plus regularly watering with 600 ppm potassium sulfate before repotting. They definitely got a little fertilizer burn on a few occasions but were growing like beasts - I repotted only because I suspected that the rich soil mixture was beginning to collapse and wouldn't hold up for the next 3-4 months of indoor growing.

Anyways, It's been super rewarding to garden indoors here during this brutal winter. Please share your experiences!

Great post....

maltose 02-02-2019 10:16 PM

Re: Grow tent bananas?
 
I'm in the Twin Cities, zone 4b.

I was adding the extra potassium sulfate to try to balance out the excess nitrogen in the fertilizer I was using, I think it's 8-2-6. Unfortunately I did not always make sure to combine them in the proper NPK ratio before every time I fertilized, so excess salts may have been building up.

I had read that banana growth is optimal at 600 ppm soluble salts, and figured straight sulfate of potash at that concentration would be a great way to supercharge growth. I didn't do this with every watering, though.

My main grow light is the 300W Roleandro Led Grow light available on Amazon. It's the pinkish blue kind of LED grow light but is supposed to provide a pretty full spectrum for what plants like, and also includes some UV LEDs.

The ensetes are about a foot now, with 4-5 beautiful perfect vibrant green leaves. The first sign of germination was on Christmas, and the oldest was a just a little nub on new year's day.

I got the seeds from Ebay, and 4 out of the 7 seeds germinated. The first took only a week, while the other 3 took roughly 2 weeks. I first soaked them in tap water at room temperature for about 2 days, then just plopped them in little individual plastic pots with 100% Burpee Seed Starting mix.

They sat together on a tray, in the grow tent, loosely covered with a plastic bag. I would check them every day and moisten the soil if needed.

I repotted them into 1 or 2 gallon fabric pots, or medium-size black plastic nursery pots with extra drainage holes when they were 2-3 inches tall. They seem to be thriving on the foliage-pro at the 1/4-1/2tsp/gallon rate.

The soilless mixture for the ensetes is maybe 30-40% perlite 70% coco coir, with a little azomite and generous scoop of diatomaceous earth (as a silica source) mixed in. Later, I top dressed with a solid amount of kelp meal to provide a slow-release potassium source to balance out the nitrogen-heavy Foliage-Pro (also for the plant hormone/vitamin and trace mineral benefits of kelp). I've started misting everything with liquid kelp every day now, too.

I'm excited to see how far they've come in just over a month, if all goes well I should have a 4 by 4 foot jungle in here by April.

cincinnana 02-02-2019 10:21 PM

Re: Grow tent bananas?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by maltose (Post 321667)
I'm in the Twin Cities, zone 4b.

I was adding the extra potassium sulfate to try to balance out the excess nitrogen in the fertilizer I was using, I think it's 8-2-6. Unfortunately I did not always make sure to combine them in the proper NPK ratio before every time I fertilized, so excess salts may have been building up.

I had read that banana growth is optimal at 600 ppm soluble salts, and figured straight sulfate of potash at that concentration would be a great way to supercharge growth. I didn't do this with every watering, though.

My main grow light is the 300W Roleandro Led Grow light available on Amazon. It's the pinkish blue kind of LED grow light but is supposed to provide a pretty full spectrum for what plants like, and also includes some UV LEDs.

The ensetes are about a foot now, with 4-5 beautiful perfect vibrant green leaves. The first sign of germination was on Christmas, and the oldest was a just a little nub on new year's day.

I got the seeds from Ebay, and 4 out of the 7 seeds germinated. The first took only a week, while the other 3 took roughly 2 weeks. I first soaked them in tap water at room temperature for about 2 days, then just plopped them in little individual plastic pots with 100% Burpee Seed Starting mix.

They sat together on a tray, in the grow tent, loosely covered with a plastic bag. I would check them every day and moisten the soil if needed.

I repotted them into 1 or 2 gallon fabric pots, or medium-size black plastic nursery pots with extra drainage holes when they were 2-3 inches tall. They seem to be thriving on the foliage-pro at the 1/4-1/2tsp/gallon rate.

The soilless mixture for the ensetes is maybe 30-40% perlite 70% coco coir, with a little azomite and generous scoop of diatomaceous earth (as a silica source) mixed in. Later, I top dressed with a solid amount of kelp meal to provide a slow-release potassium source to balance out the nitrogen-heavy Foliage-Pro (also for the plant hormone/vitamin and trace mineral benefits of kelp). I've started misting everything with liquid kelp every day now, too.

I'm excited to see how far they've come in just over a month, if all goes well I should have a 4 by 4 foot jungle in here by April.

Plants are fun...
Sounds great.

maltose 02-02-2019 10:26 PM

Re: Grow tent bananas?
 
I'm trying to upload photos but for some reason after uploading them they just aren't showing up in my member gallery.....

cincinnana 02-02-2019 10:37 PM

Re: Grow tent bananas?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by maltose (Post 321669)
I'm trying to upload photos but for some reason after uploading them they just aren't showing up in my member gallery.....

Yep.....You will get it..
At first it is a learning expierience.

I use Flikr to house my photos

speakeasy 02-03-2019 12:48 AM

Re: Grow tent bananas?
 
I had been growing my bananas in a tent with LEDs, but they're too large at this point, so I'm just growing them out in the open in my living room.

maltose 02-03-2019 08:32 AM

Re: Grow tent bananas?
 
I would have moved mine out before chopping the pstem, I was just concerned about my house developing mold issues from all the transpiration. Also, conditions in here are just too dry and cool for these bananas to grow optimally.

I guess I look at it like as long as the corm continues growing Iíll have a bigger plant in the end, even if I have to keep cutting them down.

Iowa 02-03-2019 09:26 AM

Re: Grow tent bananas?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by maltose (Post 321669)
I'm trying to upload photos but for some reason after uploading them they just aren't showing up in my member gallery.....

I think pic's need to be 2MB or smaller, your pic's may be too large.


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