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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 06-30-2014, 11:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default My outdoor 'mini-plantation' here in Kansas

Here are a few pics from my outdoor 'mini-plantation':




The residents include 30 bananas, 15 figs, and a seemingly indestructible guava tree that has been transplanted a half-dozen times and just keeps laughing it off.

The bananas are mostly Dwarf Orinoco, but with a couple of Gluay Kai, a Williams Hybrid, a Dwarf Brazilian, and 4 DC's.  It usually takes about a month for my bananas to resume growing after being transplanted outside, hence why so many of them still look so ratty.  The one with the bunch would've certainly failed to produce if I had brought it out as a stand-alone p-stem, so I brought its mat out intact; that way the other p-stems and little pups can push out new leaves to power the corm and support the blooming p-stem.

The figs are all different varieties, and have all been planted 2' deep to help them survive the winters here.  Last year I planted a 1st year LSU Purple fig that way and expected it to die, but it came roaring back in the early spring and is already a good-sized 3' tall bush.  So I'm trying out that 'deep planting' method on a number of other varieties, as well as some of the bananas out there.

The goal is for this area to look like a jungle in September
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Old 06-30-2014, 11:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: My outdoor 'mini-plantation' here in Kansas

So do these get fishy water overflow from the pipe in the 2nd pic? Or is these guys just not in the loop? :^)
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Old 07-01-2014, 12:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: My outdoor 'mini-plantation' here in Kansas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abnshrek View Post
So do these get fishy water overflow from the pipe in the 2nd pic?
You're close! The pipe in the pic is from the downspout of a big shed that gives them extra rainwater.

But I also have 4 big pools/ponds just outside of the picture, and I pump the fishy water out of the bottom of them over to these plants via a garden hose.
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Old 07-16-2015, 04:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: My outdoor 'mini-plantation' here in Kansas

Bump!
How did this turn out last year? Are you doing it again this year?
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Old 07-17-2015, 08:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: My outdoor 'mini-plantation' here in Kansas

The bunch of bananas in the pic above ripened well, but none of the other plants flowered. It took the others too long to get acclimated, and they were only just getting going when cool temps arrived. Wind was the biggest problem: that's about the most sheltered location I have for outdoor bananas, and even there they got pummeled by daily 10-20 mph winds and the occasional 50-60-80 mph severe thunderstorm.

I dug up most of those bananas last October and moved them into a trench I dug for them in my semi-pit tunnel greenhouse. A couple of them have already fruited this year, and a couple more seem like they're getting close.

This year I've converted the area to figs and sweetcorn. It's cool for me to look back at how different that area looked a year ago. I'll post some pics soon of how that area looked last fall and how it looks now.
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Old 07-20-2015, 02:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: My outdoor 'mini-plantation' here in Kansas

Here are some pics of the banana and fig orchard from last September 4th-14th (click to enlarge):





To protect the figs during the winter, I bent them over and mounded topsoil over them.  It didn't work very well, though: all of them died down to the ground except for the Hardy Chicago, which had about 18" of trunk survive.  I left a couple of Dwarf Orinoco bananas out to see what would happen, and they died all the way down to the corm, so they didn't even send out pups in the spring.




Thankfully, all of the figs have grown back.  The Hardy Chicago, Marseilles Black (MBVS), and Celeste are all carrying figlets that are on pace to start ripening in mid-September, and a couple of new additions (LSU Tiger and Vista, which is an especially vigorous strain of Violette de Bordeaux) are loaded with figs, too.  Bananas are a lost cause out there, so we're growing sweet corn in that spot instead.  Here's what the area looks like now, with the season's last planting of corn currently around 4" in height:




(the smaller/paler figs were just planted last week)
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