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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 12-09-2008, 03:51 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default My winterizing method

So it's December 9th, and that time of year when it can potentially reach 32F. Although it has yet to frost this season (or let alone dip below the mid 30s), I wanted to be prepared just in case... It only takes ONE night to fry them

Another reason for my method is that I wanted to keep the cold damp water off the leaves and keep the plants looking as best as possible. (less black mold spots perhaps?)

Also I must mention I am a banana newbie (only had a couple DCs at my previous residence in a colder zone so I had to bring them over the winter !)

First, I went to www.americannettings.com And ordered about 3x300 ft and 6x100 ft of crop cover for all my stuff. It's pretty reasonable and very high quality material.

Then took some tie and bound them up like a cigar to make them easy to wrap. (being very gentle and careful not to damage any leaves) On the tender d. cavendish I put C7 lights just in case we get an arctic blast this season.



Then took my cover and wrapped them up and tied them off.





I'll report on what happens after it's time to unwrap them in February!
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Old 12-09-2008, 08:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: My winterizing method

Ehm, do you have any idea what species this is?
It looks a little like Ensete glaucum...
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Old 12-10-2008, 11:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: My winterizing method

Which one? The first two are Dwarf Cavendish, last is M. Blue Java (Ice cream)
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Old 12-11-2008, 04:06 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: My winterizing method

Ah ok, my eye is only trained (a little) on wild species, not on cultivars like cavendish and Ice Cream.
Good luck getting 'em through!
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Old 12-11-2008, 09:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: My winterizing method

That's a wrap! Good job! I wish you luck! Last year I just covered mine with a big trash bag but no lights, and mulched the corms. I had a Dw. Orinoco, Ice Cream, and CA Gold make it through the winter and fruit (CA Gold choked), and the rest of my plants rotted the p-stems to the ground, but the corms survived, and threw up a few pups (except poor Valery...).

This year, I mulched all the corms, and spread black plastic over the ground to repel the rain (if we ever get any...). For my most cold sensitive in the patio plat, I covered them with a tarp and strung lights throughout, and it is several degrees warmer even with one open side. I even put some lights under the plastic to heat the corms. I just threw the tarp over them temporarily, but will attach it permanently to the panels, so that as I put up each panel, it has the tarp already there.



The white poles are the supports for my hops in the summer, and now for the cage for the winter. They are removable. I'll add another level of wire above, so it is a total of 12 feet tall, surrounded and covered with wire and tarp also. Kinda like a temporary greenhouse. I should have it done by this weekend, and will post pics. I will to cover one side with clear plastic so I can view my nanners even in the dead of winter.

I find that the large size Christmas lights put out much more heat than the small bulbs, but the small ones can also be used in an enclosure to boost the temp considerably.

Great post! Thanks!
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Old 12-11-2008, 10:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: My winterizing method

microfarmer, looks like you got a much better setup this year.. hopefully they will make it through. I'm also concerned about my goldfinger. If it ever drops below 30, I am going to bring it in I think...

I heard that us in NorCal will be getting an arctic blast early next week from Alaska/Canada I'm going to be paying close attention to the forecasts... Hope we don't drop below 30ish
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Old 12-12-2008, 12:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: My winterizing method

I don't think you have much to worry about with your setup. As a suggestion, you may want to protect the exposed lower stem/corms with some mulch or maybe some plastic ground cover. You may find that you even have some growth over the winter.

My Gfinger rotted last year, but the heavily mulched corm lived, and it threw up 4 pups, so now I have it in 2 locations. My Gfinger is not one of the ones under the 'structure', and will spend the winter in the open again. All my exposed bananas are already fried from the last few nights down into the mid 30's (except the E Maurelli, and the Chinese yellow). The caged bananas are still nicely green, and several have new growth.

Last year, I did not cover the ground with plastic, and I watered later in the year, pushing ground moisture up. This year, I gave them drought conditions late in the season, and will restrict rainwater from the corm area.

I also like the stacked bag idea (Thanks Bigdog!). I'll use this idea for some of my exposed plants. All my leaves are gone, but the neighbors still have some. I'm sure they wouldn't mind me raking them up and bagging them.

I'll experiment with something different each year, but this is only my 2nd winter in the ground. I have an idea for more supports and a cover, but not like the 'structure' I have now. More along the lines of a frost blanket with no sides, and Christmas lights around the stems similar to yours. It should work wonders for my cold hardy types. The cold sensitive bananas will always be located in the 'structure'.

Good luck to you this winter.
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Old 12-15-2008, 05:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: My winterizing method

Ah great. Arctic Blast is here and freeze event is going to occur on 12/16. Temps are expected to be around 29F !! This will also be the year's first freeze event. Is it time to bring in the Goldfinger?

EDIT.. Looks like it will get to only 31-32F so much better than 29. Still our first freeze event though
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Old 12-17-2008, 05:54 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: My winterizing method

Morning of 12/17. Arctic blast is hitting HARD. only 3AM and it's 30F.. good thing I took my gold finger in. Some places in the valley got a dusting of snow yesterday. While not impossible, this is something that only happens a couple of times per century ! Global warming? I don't think so Looking at he news we might have a couple more nights of bad weather before this air moves out

Update. Hit 27.3F..... canna/gingers are black today. But all the palms look good, cat palm, areca plam etc. Bananas got a little damage but I won't know until they are unwrapped.. Perhaps I will take a peek later to see how they did as an experiment

Another update. Checked out the damage under the wraps. Looks ugly but I do have some green in there still! I doubt we will get another night this cold this winter season too. (Last night was a 2 year low) Pups are still green! I can call this a success!
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Old 12-17-2008, 07:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: My winterizing method

So here's the complete findings from last night's 27.3 F freeze. Since this is the first time I have tried this, I wanted to take a look under the covers to see how it went. And this this is probably the coldest it will get this winter, I couldn't wait to see

Dwarf Cavendish... Protected by C7 lights, 25 lights per plant. And wrapped.
-- Results: Still green with minor damage. Pups are still alive

Ice Cream .. Protected with just cloth no lights.
-- Results: Still green although some darkening was notice. One plant was not wrapped as thick and took a beating a lot harder. But even it still has a little green inside. If you do this method, make sure you wrap them WELL. Several times around until you can't see through the cloth at all. My mistake on one plant. Pups took no damage

Basjoo: Not inspected

M. Goldfinger: Took inside, didn't want to risk such a young plant
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Old 01-12-2009, 04:15 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: My winterizing method

OK, So here in Northern Cali it's near 80 degrees today so I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to check and photo document the damage. For the record, last December was the COLDEST in 15 years. burrrr. So I don't feel sorry for those back east :P I'm happy that they are alive through all of that. We had a max low of 27.3 but was the only event under 30F. However, we had several events at 30-32F. (5 days in December)

First, the M. Ice Cream



Now the dwarf cavendish


M Basjoo
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Old 01-12-2009, 04:34 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: My winterizing method

It's in the high 60's here in Vegas, but I hope we see your temps here soon.
It doesn't look like your had too much damage.
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Old 01-12-2009, 04:55 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: My winterizing method

Well, I did lose the leafs on the outside, and the inner few are very healthy and that's all I wanted. I was hoping that when it was hot again, that it would have a couple healthy leafs to speed up the photosynthesis process. (instead of just putting out one leaf a month when burned back to the p-stem)
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