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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 04-20-2016, 07:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default How far from my fence should I plant?

I've read a few stories about banana plants wrecking fences, spreading into neighbor's yards, and otherwise causing neighbor wars (i.e. fruit hanging over the fence and the neighbor cutting it down). I was going to plant mine more towards the middle of the yard to avoid this, but now I'm second-guessing that and wondering if I'd rather them along the fence instead. How far from the fence would be a safe distance to plant them? I'm guessing I should also bury some sort of barrier in the ground? If so, what, and how deep? The varieties are dwarf red, dwarf brazilian, dwarf cavendish, ice cream, and mysore.

Edit: I posted an update picture on page 2. Thanks for the help!

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Old 04-20-2016, 08:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: How far from my fence should I plant?

It depends IMO. What type of fence? Is it yours or the neighbors' or jointly owned? How large is your lot? I have 1/3 acre but I have some really huge trees so banana suitable growing areas are limited.

I planted 4 mystery bananas about 1' from my fence; the former owner put up privacy sections inside of the joint chain link fence. Because I have electric lines bisecting my lot, anything I plant in the path for service is at risk. (Lucky me! I got a pole, too!) I can relocate future pups or even the mothers if needed.

The couple next door is interesting; he's a crotchety know it all who won't let his sweet wife garden because it's too messy. If fruit hung over on their side, I'd encourage them to enjoy; I don't expect that to happen. I fight the vines that grow over my fence from their side; he prunes nothing. If a pup survived that mess, Debbie would probably try to give it back; I'd encourage her to let it be.
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Old 04-20-2016, 08:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: How far from my fence should I plant?

Here's a picture:


The white fence is mine, and goes along the back and right side of the property. To the left is a wooden fence, and that belongs to my neighbor. My lot is 1/4 of an acre. My long-term plan is to have my back yard be focused on edibles and my front yard focused on wildlife (hummingbirds, butterflies, etc). But both are blank slates right now.

The neighbors behind me put up a trampoline with that ugly black net. When their kids are jumping on it they look down into our yard, stare at us, and look into our windows if the curtains aren't closed. They can also see down from the top of their swingset, and the adults can see us from their sunroom and that window. The fence is 6 feet tall, so I need something taller than that to block them out. I've been trying to figure out a privacy option that wouldn't break the bank. Then I realized if I'm buying these banana plants anyway, and I'm planting them somewhere in my yard anyway, and they're going to grow pups and spread anyway... why don't I use the banana plants for privacy and cover both bases. I was thinking maybe I could plant the dwarf varieties on the outsides where I don't have a privacy issue, then ice cream and mysore in the middle.

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Old 04-20-2016, 09:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: How far from my fence should I plant?

The picture and your explanation are very helpful; you weren't kidding about "blank slate". I think you need a couple of taller varieties; you can never have too many banana plants. I tend to crowd plants and have limited experience with musas so my suggestion of 3' from the fence could be too short. Hopefully someone with more experience will chime in.
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Old 04-20-2016, 09:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: How far from my fence should I plant?

Haha yup, very much a blank slate. We bought this house last December and I've been thinking up ideas ever since. My poor husband, he thought my thinking would stay just thinking. Then a trip to Lowe's "only to check the sales rack" found me a dwarf cavendish, and I went a little... nuts... from there. He called it my "plantsplosion." The patio's filling up with pots, and I've got blueberries and pineapples and bananas that I'm trying to figure out where to put, and yeah, he doesn't know what hit him. He thinks it's funny, though, so at least I'm not in trouble.

Looking at this picture made me think, I should double check the distance between that tree to the left and the fence. I don't remember how far back the branches (or the shade from them) go. I'll take a look at that tomorrow.

I'm open to suggestions for taller varieties to block out from the left of the sunroom to the right of the trampoline. I was just going off the wiki and saw that the ice cream can get up to 15 feet and the mysore 10-15 feet too, so I thought they might be good for it.

I was also thinking, it might be handy to have enough space between the plants and the fence for me to be able to walk, in case I need to be able to get back there for anything. So yeah, 3 or 4 or 5 or whatever feet from the fence would be fine for me. I'm just having trouble visualizing the size of a mature plant because I've never seen one in-person before. I've never been very good at taking online measurements and converting them to a mental image.

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Old 04-20-2016, 09:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: How far from my fence should I plant?

I'd say maybe 5 feet... I would plant Saba right in the middle and mysore next to it. If that doesn't block the view...
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Old 04-20-2016, 09:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: How far from my fence should I plant?

The wiki says saba gets 17-25 feet tall? How would I get the fruit down without knocking myself out? I've gotta admit, though, the thought of a banana plant that tall is intriguing...
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Old 04-20-2016, 09:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: How far from my fence should I plant?

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The wiki says saba gets 17-25 feet tall? How would I get the fruit down without knocking myself out? I've gotta admit, though, the thought of a banana plant that tall is intriguing...
If you can't lick 'em, join 'em: get your own trampoline.
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Old 04-20-2016, 09:48 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: How far from my fence should I plant?

I'd break so many bones, but I'd have the time of my life doing it!

I was just googling how to harvest tall bananas and was watching this video. Oh my goodness. That's one way to block a view, alright. Either I break my leg on a trampoline, or I break my skull when the whole thing falls down on top of me doing it this way.
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Old 04-20-2016, 09:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: How far from my fence should I plant?

Not sure how tall the tallest stepladder is...I'm hoping all of my mystery bananas are dwarfs.
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Old 04-20-2016, 10:09 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: How far from my fence should I plant?

Careful, they'll hear you and turn out to be giants. This is bringing back memories of trying to change the light bulbs in our vaulted kitchen ceiling.
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Old 04-20-2016, 10:16 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: How far from my fence should I plant?

Quote:
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I'd break so many bones, but I'd have the time of my life doing it!

I was just googling how to harvest tall bananas and was watching this video. Oh my goodness. That's one way to block a view, alright. Either I break my leg on a trampoline, or I break my skull when the whole thing falls down on top of me doing it this way.
I would have done similar to the video. The dancing was Nice too! Lol!
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Old 04-20-2016, 11:55 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: How far from my fence should I plant?

+1 what JP said. I would plant off the fence a bit and put some Saba there, maybe some Tall Namwah. If it were me I would want to be able to get a lawn mower and weedeater close to the fence. Maybe a nice clumping bamboo or two like Bambusa Kanapaha. Bye Bye neighbors
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Old 04-21-2016, 12:06 AM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: How far from my fence should I plant?

Good idea to put clumping bamboo behind the bananas! I plan to get rid of as much grass as I can, so I don't necessarily need to fit a lawnmower. But the more I think about it, I do want to be able to easily access the fence and walk around behind the bananas, for weeding and such. Will 5 feet be far enough for the Saba? I read that its - what's the word for the trunk part, pseudostem? - can get to be 2 feet thick.
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Old 04-21-2016, 03:57 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: How far from my fence should I plant?

I would not put closer than 5 ft. for sure. A good size Saba could possibly take that fence out if it falls. I had one fall outside my house and shook the whole house, I thought it was a big pine falling. It's the water weight in those pseudostems, I've seen them bigger dia. than a 5 gal. bucket. You can also prune the pups as it gets closer towards the fence. I've never had a problem getting rid of extra Saba, everyone wants them.
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Old 04-21-2016, 06:08 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: How far from my fence should I plant?

You could even plant it 10-15 feet from the fence and plant some smaller variety behind it.
It would break the fall if it does happen...
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Old 04-21-2016, 09:07 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Smile Re: How far from my fence should I plant?

Just my observation ...Many yards in Florida have privacy fences in wide yet short backyards because of the setback of the home.

I have seen a few banana mats planted too close to the fence and some about 12-15 feet away.
If I had the extra room I would opt to plant farther from the fence

When a plant is heavy with fruit it will also lean. Which way? Over the fence will give your neighbor kids a banana piñata .

Some mature plants have a large leaf footprint with leaves 12+ feet long....these will overhang your back fence for sure ,will your neighbors mind?

I have seen where a neighbor had taken his weed trimmer and zapped a few leaves that were encroaching over his fence.

JP is not too far off on his idea plant shorter ones closer to the fence and taller ones farther away where they will not become an encroachment issue, and if you stagger them they would make a nice block.

A clean slate is nice to have....let er rip.
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Old 04-21-2016, 11:09 AM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: How far from my fence should I plant?

Okay, I'm going to say no to the Saba idea. It's a cool plant, but overkill for property. I don't have room for it, and I don't want the risk of it falling on something.

Two new questions...
- Does cutting the leaf hurt the plant? If say I planted 10 feet from the fence and it grew a 12 foot leaf, how badly would losing 2 feet of its leaf affect it?
- Can I control which way the fruit hangs? Tugging it in my direction and tying it to something, maybe?

I took a few pictures this morning. My apologies for the mess. I need to mow as badly as I need to clean the fence, heh. My thoughts now are on this tree - both its shade, and height issues with bananas growing too near it and running out of vertical room to grow.



This is looking from the right of my yard towards the left. To give you a bit better of an idea of distances, the dwarf cavendish in the bottom right is planted about 13-14-ish feet from the fence. I'd like to move it somewhere else.


I'd like to cut back the lower branches that are getting close to the fence. Maybe sort of like this:


You can see the neighbor's swingset, their sunroom is behind it. The trampoline is to the right of where I'm standing.


Oh and, in case it helps any to see what direction all of this is facing, here's a screenshot from google maps. Up is north, down is south.


I'm thinking... the 12-16 foot varieties can go in front of the trampoline, away from the tree. I'll plant them 12 feet from the fence to try to avoid neighbor wars. Then the shorter 6-10 foot varieties I'll plant in a row behind it, 5-6 feet from the fence. Then behind that, I'll put some clumping bamboo in large containers. How does this sound?

Thank you for all of this, by the way. I appreciate it!
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Old 04-21-2016, 03:07 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: How far from my fence should I plant?

I believe I see a DC! What new to FL transplant doesn't have one?

I'd love advice based on an overhead of my property but, as you can see, that's not very practical with my Waldo house.
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Old 04-23-2016, 12:22 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: How far from my fence should I plant?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alastria View Post
Here's a picture:


The white fence is mine, and goes along the back and right side of the property. To the left is a wooden fence, and that belongs to my neighbor. My lot is 1/4 of an acre. My long-term plan is to have my back yard be focused on edibles and my front yard focused on wildlife (hummingbirds, butterflies, etc). But both are blank slates right now.

The neighbors behind me put up a trampoline with that ugly black net. When their kids are jumping on it they look down into our yard, stare at us, and look into our windows if the curtains aren't closed. They can also see down from the top of their swingset, and the adults can see us from their sunroom and that window. The fence is 6 feet tall, so I need something taller than that to block them out. I've been trying to figure out a privacy option that wouldn't break the bank. Then I realized if I'm buying these banana plants anyway, and I'm planting them somewhere in my yard anyway, and they're going to grow pups and spread anyway... why don't I use the banana plants for privacy and cover both bases. I was thinking maybe I could plant the dwarf varieties on the outsides where I don't have a privacy issue, then ice cream and mysore in the middle.
Awesome potential!!

First thing is to enrich all of the sandy soil you have!

Convert this:
Before forest floor December 2005
Side Yard Dec 2005


to

After August 2008 (32 months later)
Side Yard Aug 08


Create the Forrest Floor!
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We add about 5 tons of leaves a year

5 tons of tree mulch

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and that is the bulk of it
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