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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 04-03-2008, 01:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default HELP!! Best Cavendish Type For Sarasota, Florida (9A/9B)

Hey Group

I am an experienced gardener, but am just getting started with bananas. I have read everything I can find and still have two questions:

1. If you only had room for one which is the best Cavendish type to plant in Sarasota, Florida (9A/9B)? I'm interested primarily in grocery store taste/size, reliable fruiting & cold hardiness. I have already been told that the commercial standards Gran Nain/Gros Michel do not fruit or do well here.

I think I have narrowed down to Williams, Vallery or Giant Cavendish which should be slightly more hardy than Gran Nain/Gros Michel. I realize the differences beteen these Cavendish types may be slight or non-existent, but I still need some help in choosing one. Other Cavendish/Grocery Store type bananas suggestions/recommendations are welcome. I tend to like Full-Flavored Banana's with old fashioned fresh banana taste. Moist, creamy, slightly firm, with "normal/traditional" sweetness. Some lady fingers are a little sweeter/softer than I prefer.

2. Of all the different FHIA varieties which comes closest to a Cavendish/Grocery Store/Commercial Bananas in size & taste that should do well in Sarasota, Florida (9A/9B)? I live in a sub-division about 10 miles from the Gulf of Mexico if that helps. We get one or more light night frosts about every 1-2 years and hard freezes about every 5-10 years (aproximately).

Thanks for reading & for your help.


Steve
Sarasota, Florida
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Old 04-03-2008, 01:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: HELP!! Best Cavendish Type For Sarasota, Florida (9A/9B)

Hi and Welcome,

We are new to this too, so sorry no help. Their are several in your area that can help!
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Old 04-03-2008, 03:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: HELP!! Best Cavendish Type For Sarasota, Florida (9A/9B)

welcome to the org! im new here too and i just got my first dc. so i cant help you with your questions but the senior members can. welcome, welcome, welcome.
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Old 04-03-2008, 03:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: HELP!! Best Cavendish Type For Sarasota, Florida (9A/9B)

Hi Steve, welcome to the forum. I live on the opposite coast line of FL as you (In Brevard County, so a little further south than you). I have dwarf cavendish that grows very well here. I've yet to have any suffer from any light freezing and I get GREAT fruit production on them every year. Your best bet would probably be a giant cavendish to get as close to the store bought variety in size. Would you consider an Ice Cream as they are cold tollerant, very tasty (much better than what's at the store), and most important: WIND TOLLERANT, very important here in Florida! Click this to go to it's description in the wiki: Musa Ice Cream (Blue Java) - Bananas Wiki I've been told by many if they could only grow one, this would be it. I cannot answer on any of the FHIA varieties though. Wish you luck on your search to the right variety. Josh

PS: Love how all the newbies are answer this one as I'm pretty new still as well! LOL
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Old 04-03-2008, 03:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: HELP!! Best Cavendish Type For Sarasota, Florida (9A/9B)

Welcome Capt Steve.
Musa cavendish 'Williams Hybrid' is supposed to be the most cold hardy cavendish type.
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Old 04-03-2008, 04:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: HELP!! Best Cavendish Type For Sarasota, Florida (9A/9B)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tropicallvr View Post
Welcome Capt Steve.
Musa cavendish 'Williams Hybrid' is supposed to be the most cold hardy cavendish type.
Hey Kyle, would Steve really need to worry too much about cold hariness in zone 9 as it is very rarely gets a freeze at all? Just curious. Me personally I pot all of my pups and put them into my garage if it drops below 40, just to be sure I am on the safe side, but I am very curious to hear thoughts on that as this is a very warm climate area. I've yet to have any issue with a light freeze and my adult bananas, but I'm in zone 9b/10a.

Thanks, Josh
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Old 04-03-2008, 04:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: HELP!! Best Cavendish Type For Sarasota, Florida (9A/9B)

He said that the local commercial stands of Gran nain/gross michael do badly, so a little more cold tolerance couldn't hurt Capt Steve's chances of growing a good fruiting Cavendish. In my former zone 9 in California there's no way you could get away with any Cavendish variety. Maybe there's another that would be a better substitute, that has Cavendish like fruit. Maybe one of the FHIA's would work?
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Old 04-03-2008, 05:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: HELP!! Best Cavendish Type For Sarasota, Florida (9A/9B)

I guess I'm lucky to be in zone ten then!
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Old 04-04-2008, 12:11 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: HELP!! Best Cavendish Type For Sarasota, Florida (9A/9B)

Capt.,
I grew the Fhia 17 which is the cavendish type of this variety last year.The bunch was good sized and they taste WAY better than the standard williams and other cavendish types in my opinion.This may vary in different soil conditions,nutrients etc.... A Very vigorous,disease resistant plant and did excellent in cold weather.I have seen the other cavendish types fall victim to the cold fairly easy.Good luck in your search!
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Old 04-04-2008, 09:40 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: HELP!! Best Cavendish Type For Sarasota, Florida (9A/9B)

I grew sh-3640 this year and it is very much like a Cavendish in size, texture,and taste, only better! Good size bunches too. The plant is very vigorous,and was unaffected by the few cold nights we had. Check out my gallery for a picture.
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Old 04-05-2008, 10:58 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: HELP!! Best Cavendish Type For Sarasota, Florida (9A/9B)

Try Goldfinger.
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Old 04-08-2008, 09:27 AM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: HELP!! Best Cavendish Type For Sarasota, Florida (9A/9B)

Good morning Capt. Steve,

I am south of your position (two counties)and a couple hundred meters from the mangroves.

I have 13 ft Williams and 11 ft Williams that went through the light freeze we had here Jan 2nd or 3rd. The larger was not harmed by the 31 degree F temps that persisted for 4 hours. The smaller one had slight damage to the leaves. The Musas that did better in the freeze were the FHIA-1, FHIA-2, FHIA-3, FHIA-23, FHIA-25, Ice Cream, Raja Puri, and Dwarf Namwa. With the exception of the Ice Creams and Williams, all of them were small (less than 2 ft) and had been planted in November and early December. My 6-7 ft Mahois were damaged the most in the freeze.

I like the Williams for their cold tolerance but the FHIA-23 might be worth considering.

Best wishes

Last edited by Caloosamusa : 04-08-2008 at 09:36 AM. Reason: add info
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