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Darkman 10-24-2011 06:22 PM

NEW (to me) Winter protection plan
 
I had a plan (I hadn’t even been drinking) for over wintering my Bananas. I’m sure there are some here with enough brain cells to show me the folly of my plan. Here goes!

1. After the first frost burns the leaves, trim them back to the Pstem

2. Wrap the Pstem with two strands of mini incandescent Christmas lights

3. Plug the lights into a thermostatic outlet. On at 35 Off at 45 Greenhouse Controls - Thermostat Controllers from ACF Greenhouses

4. Plug the outlet into an extension cord and secure to Pstem one foot off the ground

5. Sleeve the Pstem with HVAC round duct work and seal at top. EDIT HVAC is insulated and internally wrapped tp protect it from humidity

6. Wrap everything in visqueen sealing the top and bottom.

7. Place several bags of leaves around base to stabilize

8. Plug in extension cord and wait for spring

OK that’s it. Go ahead and fire away. I’d really appreciate the brutality and bluntness of your comments since this isn’t exactly cheap.

The duct work comes in 20’ lengths and diameters of 8”, 10” and 12”. Maybe bigger but that should get most Pstems.

You could daisy chain the lights to protect multiple Pstems just be sure the thermostat is on the smallest one your protecting.

Why am I doing this? I want the fastest regrowth possible which should result in earlier bloom development. I mainly want to do this on my larger ones (Pstems of seven foot and up). I believe that I can have fruit every year by doing this.

sunfish 10-24-2011 07:15 PM

Re: NEW (to me) Winter protection plan
 
I wonder if HDPE corrugated pipe would be less expensive and work better

Redirect Notice

Darkman 10-24-2011 08:42 PM

Re: NEW (to me) Winter protection plan
 
The HVAC is insulated. The insulation is wrapped internally so it is not exposed to the humidity the plant will give off.

pitangadiego 10-24-2011 10:29 PM

Re: NEW (to me) Winter protection plan
 
Just move to San Diego. Makes everything simpler.

bananimal 10-25-2011 12:08 AM

Re: NEW (to me) Winter protection plan
 
Charles,

Can't comment on the insulation/heating method.

However -------- what you select to protect is very important.

I would not bother with pstems that are 60 to 70% close to fruiting size.

The pstem has to be young enough to produce at least 10 or so leaves to support fruit development next year. Having a naner pop 4 leaves next year, and then the flower, won't work. And keeping the big guy will inhibit the biggest pup from taking over quickly.

What I do - if a frost is sure to come -- I cover up the biggest 2 pups and leave the pstem intact. Remove some of the pups older leaves and pull the rest together secured with Home Despot green velcro tape. The outer leaves will still get fried but they protect the cigar leaf. Frost protection cloth top to bottom secured with black binder clips from Office Despot.

When danger of frost is over I cut down the big frost bitten pstem and unwrap next years take over pups. For me that is late Feb. I'm starting to get more fruit now this year.

Dan

stevelau1911 10-25-2011 07:13 PM

Re: NEW (to me) Winter protection plan
 
On youtube, I've seen videos where people in warmer zones can over-winter bananas by simply wrapping a few layers of bubble wrap around the psuedo-stem, but I'm not sure what species or climate zone they are in.

Randy4ut 10-25-2011 07:37 PM

Re: NEW (to me) Winter protection plan
 
I have tried the HVAC insulated wrap before on a saba, but it held way too much moisture inside that the pstem simply rotted away! I honestly think you would have to somehow keep the moisture out and away from the pstem for it to work. That is just my opinion based on what I tried in the past...

scottu 10-25-2011 08:11 PM

Re: NEW (to me) Winter protection plan
 
You need to contact OSHA and make sure you are compliant if you go that route!You could hurt yourself or your banana!

bananimal 10-26-2011 09:07 AM

Re: NEW (to me) Winter protection plan
 
Nonporus barriers, like HVAC round duct work, would work for me cause I can protect the pstem from rot by removing the barrier in a few days - when frost is over.

Our So Fla frosts are usually a one or two night event.

Darkman 10-27-2011 10:13 PM

Re: NEW (to me) Winter protection plan
 
Last year when I wrapped a cage that I stuffed with leaves or pine straw I saw some sloughing off of the outer leaf bases but the P-stem itself remained intact. The HVAC, not having as much contact as the stuffing I used last year, should promote humidity condensating on the inner wrap and draining to the bottom where it could dissipate into the ground. At least that is what I was hoping for.

Darkman 10-27-2011 10:22 PM

Re: NEW (to me) Winter protection plan
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bananimal (Post 176593)
Charles,

Can't comment on the insulation/heating method.

However -------- what you select to protect is very important.

I would not bother with pstems that are 60 to 70% close to fruiting size.

The pstem has to be young enough to produce at least 10 or so leaves to support fruit development next year. Having a naner pop 4 leaves next year, and then the flower, won't work. And keeping the big guy will inhibit the biggest pup from taking over quickly.

What I do - if a frost is sure to come -- I cover up the biggest 2 pups and leave the pstem intact. Remove some of the pups older leaves and pull the rest together secured with Home Despot green velcro tape. The outer leaves will still get fried but they protect the cigar leaf. Frost protection cloth top to bottom secured with black binder clips from Office Despot.

When danger of frost is over I cut down the big frost bitten pstem and unwrap next years take over pups. For me that is late Feb. I'm starting to get more fruit now this year.

Dan

Dan that is one of my dilemmas. I have several really nice P-Stems 10 - 15 feet but I think I should sacrifice them and maybe keep an 8 - 10 footer at least on the Orinoco variety.

A Palm nurseryman told me today that he has heard from other professionals that we are going to have a mild winter. I hope they are right.

I'm hoping that as the corm develops larger and larger each year that the pups will grow faster so that a 8 footer can reach 15 feeet and bloom by May 15 or earlier. My first bloom this year was June 1 but it only produced three small hands. A second bloom October 1 produced 6 hands but it is too late for me to expect that they will all fill out.

hydroid 10-28-2011 01:13 AM

Re: NEW (to me) Winter protection plan
 
Hey Charlie, that sounds like a plan to me. I don't know what I'll find when I make it back home, the only thing warm will be me.
Bo

Darkman 10-28-2011 07:55 AM

Re: NEW (to me) Winter protection plan
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hydroid (Post 176895)
Hey Charlie, that sounds like a plan to me. I don't know what I'll find when I make it back home, the only thing warm will be me.
Bo

With the size of your mats I doubt that you will loose many. I'm quite sure your corms are the size of elephant heads. At any rate so far I haven't lost anything I got from you so we can replant your plantation! LOL I'm getting a dwarf cavendish that was donated to me tomorrow. Not sure if it will make the final cut in years to come but I'll give it a fair shake. Eventually I may end up with DN, PK, Ornamentals and Orinocos (can't leave your first sweetheart). We are going to have to start on Papayas when you return. Victor is getting fruit every year here in Pensacola. I also researching Avocodos for our climate.

How's that compost pile coming?


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