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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 09-08-2005, 05:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default New (?) way to overwinter banana pseudostems

Here's a different thought on overwintering bananas in our cooler climates. I've never tried this but my dad used this method every year to overwinter his sugarcane stalks that would be planted the following spring. After he cut the sugarcane stalks, he would take the stalks, strip the leaves and lay them on top of a pretty heavy bed of pine straw on the ground. He would then cover it with more pine straw and finally cover the whole thing with a good layer of dirt. Keep in mind this is southeast coastal GA but we still get temps in the low 20's (and sometimes upper to middle teens) during the winter. You could modify this approach and incorporate some plastic (or better yet Tyvek) in between the upper layer of straw and dirt to keep the rain from soaking the plants as they lay asleep during the winter. When spring comes dig them up and drop the corm in the ground and let it grow. I don't know how much of a problem rotting of the stems would be but it might work. It would surely be easier than storing them in crawl space. Granted that sugarcane stalks are not bananas but he never lost a stalk of cane overwintered using this method. I am thinking about giving it a try this year with a pseudostem or 2. You could also build you "bank" (my dad's word for this approach to storage) under a shelter of some sort to even further protect it. What does the group think?
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Old 09-08-2005, 09:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: New (?) way to overwinter banana pseudostems

I know of someone in Canada that has overwintered cordylines this way - bareroot, under bags of leaves - and they were potted up in the Spring and amazingly were still green. They rerooted in the pots and did great. I have thought of this also. I till my garden space up every Fall, and usually bury some pots with trees in them in the garden. You would have to lay plastic on the ground, and somehow make sure that moisture couldn't get into the pile. Hmmm... Still not sure if that's feasible in a zone 7a. That would be one huge pile of straw and bananas !! I may try that with one pseudostem this year and see how it works. Thanks for the thoughts!

I am digging a long trench in the garden, and putting some hardy palms in pots in it. I'll fill it with pine straw, then cover with plastic. Just running out of space inside for stuff, and don't have a greenhouse (but I can still dream).
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Old 09-09-2005, 09:23 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: New (?) way to overwinter banana pseudostems

hmm heard about this before..

but i figured by the time i dug the trench and covered, it would been
just as simple for me to dig and throw under house..

but i'm lucky this year as i only have 1 plant to dig and store in gh..

but for folks with no storage i believe that it would be a alternative..
Happy Growing,


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Old 09-09-2005, 09:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: New (?) way to overwinter banana pseudostems

Well, I am in GA too and seems to me it will work. I will be interested to hear how this goes for you.
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