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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 03-29-2021, 10:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Newbie questions - planting design and types for 9a

I recently moved into a new house and I am trying to add a small banana “grove” to my yard. I just had some questions about how I plan to layout the plants and advice on where to find pups.

My first question is about the placement of my bananas. I am planning on putting them in a spot that gets sun from about 11:30a – sunset now, and as we move into summer the 11:30 time will get progressively earlier. The yard is a slight down-slope and this location is downstream from my compost bin. I was thinking that any nutrient runoff would flow into the bananas and help keep them fed. My main concern is that right now this area is exposed to a fair amount of wind. We are on the top of a hill along a street, and there is a fairly consistent breeze through the area. When it gets a little bit stormy the area gets a strong wind. We are planting hedges that will eventually buffer some of the wind, but they are too small to be any benefit yet. I am planning on dwarf cavendish, dwarf Orinoco and ice cream (dwarf if there is one) which the wiki says are all wind resistant. Please let me know if this will not work out. The picture below is what I am thinking right now. Since the cavendish is easy to find and replace (and I already have one) I am planning for it to take the brunt of the wind and spare the harder to find types. I could also build a temporary windbreak, if necessary (bamboo screen maybe?).




My second question is where to find varieties? I bought a dwarf cavendish from a local nursery, 2 double Mahoi dwarf cavendish from Baker Creek and 2 truly tiny (to be containered) from Baker Creek. I would like to get dwarf Orinoco because I really like plantains (more than sweet bananas) and blue java/ice cream because it sounds interesting. If there is a dwarf cultivar of ice cream that would be my preference.

My last question is if there are any plantain types that would do well in San Antonio, Texas (zone 9a). I have some power lines 15-20 feet overhead (offset a bit to the outside of my fence line) so I will need shorter varieties or something that wont mind if I am chopping the tops of the leaves off it regularly.

Thank you for taking the time to read all of that, and for any help you can provide.

-Matt
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Old 03-29-2021, 11:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Newbie questions - planting design and types for 9a

The best position is south facing and about 6' apart. More sun the better. I think getting early sun on the cold winter mornings is critical to get them through the winter in marginal 9 and 8 zones. If you are concerned about wind and are in a marginal zone then I suggest Raja Puri, Dwarf Brazilian, Dwarf Namwa, and Dwarf Orinoco. You will have a much better chance of successs with the varieties I listed than Cavendish and all its varents including Double Mahoi in my opinion.

Many of the members on this site offer varieties for sale and you might find a member near you. There is also TyTaylor in E. Texas at bananapups.com. He has a ton of varieties. Ya'll had a pretty tough winter so many of the usual suppliers in your area may have been wiped out or are in recovery.

Good luck!
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Old 03-29-2021, 05:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Newbie questions - planting design and types for 9a

I would get Dwarf Namwah and maybe goldfinger rather than the double or “ice cream” which likely won’t be real anyway.

Excellent results with plants from here, owners a member. https://www.bananatreesforsale.com/shop/
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Old 03-30-2021, 09:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Newbie questions - planting design and types for 9a

Thank you for the replies. After I posted this yesterday morning I was looking at the Dwarf Namwah on bananatreesforsale. After 2 votes for the namwah I went ahead and ordered one - and added a goldfinger as well. Dwarf plants are a huge plus for me right now and I think those 2 will have interesting flavors. I already have the cavendish/and 2 double mahoi so I will just see how they fair. Still need to find a dwarf orinoco so I will email TyTaylor and see if he might have any.

The way my property is laid out that spot will have the best morning sun due to structures and my next door neighbor's travel trailer. If I have to rig up a temporary greenhouse with some PVC pipe and poly sheeting, well at least there isn't an HOA here.

Thanks again for the advice, I appreciate it.
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Old 03-31-2021, 07:44 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Newbie questions - planting design and types for 9a

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brahmus View Post
....

My last question is if there are any plantain types that would do well in San Antonio, Texas (zone 9a). I have some power lines 15-20 feet overhead (offset a bit to the outside of my fence line) so I will need shorter varieties or something that wont mind if I am chopping the tops of the leaves off it regularly.

Thank you for taking the time to read all of that, and for any help you can provide.

-Matt
You best check with the power company for minimum line clearance required. Likely it is 10 ft under the line and 15 ft to the each side. This is to maintain 8ft to 10ft minimum clearance at all times. It varies a little with different Power Companies. They will cut or spray herbicide on vegetation (without notice to you) if the plants grow into the safety zone.


Also locating your plant so they will get some shading from the blistering afternoon sun helps.
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Old 03-31-2021, 09:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Newbie questions - planting design and types for 9a

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You best check with the power company for minimum line clearance required. Likely it is 10 ft under the line and 15 ft to the each side.
Thank you, that never occured to me. I checked and it looks like I am OK. "Utility friendly" under-story trees can be planted within 5 feet of a power line. Since I have switched from trying to get a blue java to all dwarf varieties my plants are short enough to plant here.

Quote:
Also locating your plant so they will get some shading from the blistering afternoon sun helps.
I have an oak tree that should cast shade on the area in the afternoon, hopefully it will help.

Thank you again!
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Old 03-31-2021, 10:56 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Newbie questions - planting design and types for 9a

Under-story trees & bushes within 10ft of each side of the Line would be limited to a maximum height of 5ft to 10ft (15ft to 20ft line height). Dwarf banana plants are 8ft to 9 ft at the pstem crown plus 4ft to 6 ft of leaves for a total height of 12ft to 15ft. ... Are you saying the Power Company is OK with 3ft to 5 ft safety clearance of the power line? .... If they are, get it in WRITING. .... My Power Company paid me $4500 damages for spraying 30 plus mature banana trees in 2016 which were not within 10ft of the line. Mature banana plants are worth $200 each. .... Oh, the minimum height of a power line is 18ft at the lowest point. Usually lines are 20ft to 22ft above ground.
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Old 03-31-2021, 11:35 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Newbie questions - planting design and types for 9a

Also, just something people in general are over zealous about planting stuff and don't consider how large a tree/ shrub or plant can get, make sure with its future size it won't present problems for you / your neighbors later.
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Old 03-31-2021, 01:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Newbie questions - planting design and types for 9a

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Originally Posted by edwmax View Post
Under-story trees & bushes within 10ft of each side of the Line would be limited to a maximum height of 5ft to 10ft (15ft to 20ft line height). Dwarf banana plants are 8ft to 9 ft at the pstem crown plus 4ft to 6 ft of leaves for a total height of 12ft to 15ft. ... Are you saying the Power Company is OK with 3ft to 5 ft safety clearance of the power line?
The power company website says the lines are 25 feet high, so 15 foot height should be ok. I thought the line was lower but I went out and looked again and I think its around 22-25' so I should be good.


Quote:
Originally Posted by amiart View Post
Also, just something people in general are over zealous about planting stuff and don't consider how large a tree/ shrub or plant can get, make sure with its future size it won't present problems for you / your neighbors later.
Thank you for this advice. We are planning the yard around the canopy size for mature trees so we will (hopefully) be ok. I only have a neighbor on one side and there are lower hanging power lines from the easement to the houses on that side so I am putting grapes and other smaller plants on that side.

Thank you both.
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