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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 11-20-2009, 02:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default My Banana Farm

Hello everyone,

First of all I finally found how to post!

Anyway, I've uploaded some pictures (Gallery under "holadebob") of my place and have a few comments. When I was getting the photos ready to upload, I filled in the comments sections, but they showed up as "no comment" when they were finally accepted and put into the Gallery. Also the uploading process reverted my portrait oriented photo to landscape. Sorry - just clunk your monitor over on it's side.

We bought this acre in Panama about 1 1/2 year ago and immediately went to work clearing brush, old cane, etc., and planted a bunch of banana plants, using niños from established plants that we have. I had no idea what I was planting but my wife and I love plantains and bananas, so it really wasn't important. We've now got some 250 large plants and about another 100 niños. Could be more - I counted them once, but that was a while back.

We have three kinds of bananas - Guineos Manzanas, Guineos Patriotas, and Guineos Primitivos. (Names are local - have no idea what they really are, except for Guineos Manzanas being apple bananas) I have pictures of Guineos Patriotas in my Gallery entry holadebob. The Guineos Patriotas are very sweet and creamy. Excellent quality. The Guineos Primitivos are very short (3") and are as creamy as ice cream, with a skin that is very thin.

The plantains we have two kinds. One is just called Plátano (Plantain), and the other is called Plátano Chino, which is the short fat one, that is much sweeter when ripe.


We live at about 1500 feet on the NE slope of a 4000 foot hill. Our temps go from 70 at night to 85 during the day. We have rain six months out of the year, but during the dry season I think the banana plants hang on with the heavy dew. There are a few banana plants around houses out here, and no one knows any their names other than the ones I gave previously. We are now wrapping up our rainy season which will end in December. Before then I hope to have all the plants hilled up and ready for the dry season, and most of the niños cut out, except for 1 medium and 1 small one per plant.

So if you folks out there have an idea what banana plants I have, would be cool. I am totally new to this banana farm thing, but always wanted a tropical garden and am having a lot of fun learning.

I'm also building a house, so time is kinda tight. I want to spend a lot more time on the board, and will as time gets on.

Thanks,
Bob
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Old 11-20-2009, 02:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: My Banana Farm

Welcome Bob and thanks for sharing the pictures. Are you having to deal with the banana diseases like Bunchy Top and Panama?
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Old 11-20-2009, 03:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: My Banana Farm

Hello Momoese,
Well, I scrambled to research and identify Panama disease and Bunchy Top Disease. Definitely don't have Bunch Top disease, all the leaves coming out of all my plants are healthy and strong.
Panama Disease I am not 100% sure of. Looking at some of the photos to identify it, I have leaves like they show, but the plants are healthy, have large bunches, and are sparkly white inside. As many of the leaves die off, they turn shades of yellow and black, which appears to be an indicator, but have no other symtoms. I thought that was normal. I cut the leaves off as soon as they start to die, as well as the plants themselves when harvesting them and chop them all up for compost.
Bob
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Old 11-20-2009, 04:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: My Banana Farm

Bob, check out Scot's video.

A new DVD about growing bananas is available
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Old 11-20-2009, 05:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: My Banana Farm

Your farm is looking very nice!

There is no bunchy top disease down there, so nothing to worry about. If you had Panama disease you would know because many of your plants would likely already be dead, however be careful about bringing new plants and soil (even a very small amount) onto your farm as it only takes a very small amount to cause a huge problem.

As far as your bananas go and their well known American common names, the Guineo Patriotas appear to be 'Gros Michel', the bunches are rather small but it could be due to conditions. The Platano Chino appears to be an 'Orinoco' type. I didn't see any photos of the Guineo Primitivos, but they sound like they could be a 'Sucrier' type perhaps.

The plantain is a type of French Plantain, that's not a specific variety but a whole group as distinguished from other plantains, but the form you have is a very common one.
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Old 11-20-2009, 06:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: My Banana Farm

Hello,

Thanks again Momoese, I downloaded that video and it is great! I learned a lot. I've got to watch it again - we have one of those bugs, I forget the name, but I'm going to try to trap them with the stem halves.

Gabe, thank you thank you. I don't have any Primativo's budding, we just ate them and I think I only have the one family (Excuse my terms, haven't got that under control, yet, I'm working on it.

Last year I had much larger bunches, but this past dry season was unusually dry and I think that's why all my bananas are a bit small. The new bunches coming in are getting bigger though and with more sun at the beginnning of the upcoming dry season, we may just get a good crop.

Check on the importing - won't do it - we're happy with what we have. It's enough to keep our little community in bananas for a few months, and keeps me off the streets (roads?)

Now that you've identified my bananas, I have homework to do.
Thank you,
Bob
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Old 11-21-2009, 09:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: My Banana Farm

Welcome to the org! It looks like you have yourself a nice little place down there.
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