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Old 07-26-2008, 04:47 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Overwintering

Well, it's almost August and I'm already thinking about the winter. Currently have 2 Dwarf Cavendish (+8 pups), a musa basjoo(+3 pups) and 4 Blue Java Ice cream... of course everything is doing well now, but the cold will be here in December. I'm living in the Sacramento area, and last winter it got down to 28F at my house! Typically we have 2-4 nights in the 28-31 range per year. Maybe a handful of 32 nights. We've been lucky to have two COLD+dry arctic blast winters in a row!

My question for all you experts out there, is there anything I can do to save the leaves in the winter? Will a frost blanket be enough if the temp reaches 30F? If I need to do something extraordinary, I'm will doing to do so

Would lights, fans, or frost blankets help? I don't want to overdo it... my wife already thinks I am crazy lol
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Old 07-26-2008, 05:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Overwintering

Going back in history, a warm winter was 2002-2003 where it only froze twice at 30F. But two times or 20 times, I need to protect my precious bananas
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Old 07-26-2008, 12:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Overwintering

is potting them and bringing them inside an option?
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Old 07-26-2008, 02:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Overwintering

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is potting them and bringing them inside an option?
if that is not an option...build a gh around them.
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Old 07-26-2008, 02:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Overwintering

Hi! I am new to banana plants just in the last 6 weeks but I have been researching some ways to overwinter my new Musa Basjoo also. I live in SW Michigan. One thing I read that I have been pondering is someone said they use the large C-9 size Christmas tree light strings and wrap the trunks before covering the tree in a cold snap. I do not know if that would burn the leaves or not without seeing an actual picture but it would produce some sort of heat source. Just thought I would pass that along.
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Old 07-26-2008, 05:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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if that is not an option...build a gh around them.
gh? What is a gh? I know the trunks will be fine even without protection because it just doesn't get that cold here usually. But I hate to have the bananas start over on leafing every year...
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Old 07-26-2008, 05:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
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is potting them and bringing them inside an option?


My wife would kill me if I tried that haha
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Old 07-26-2008, 06:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Overwintering

gh means greenhouse. She probably means a miniature, temporary greenhouse. Just to get them through a cold night or two.
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Old 07-26-2008, 07:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Overwintering

I would write off the leaves for the winter. Wrapping the leaves will likely break them any way or cause rot. I have best results letting the frost do as it may and start back in the spring. I have seen no adverse affects to 20F nights other than an occasional March/April bloom with not enough leaves.

I can only speak from experience with Basjoo and Ice Cream in your case, both are well able to withstand low 20's for a few nights over the winter. They recover fast in the spring.
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Old 07-26-2008, 09:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Overwintering

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gh means greenhouse. She probably means a miniature, temporary greenhouse. Just to get them through a cold night or two.
thank you bananaman88, thats exactly what i ment. sorry for the lack of information.
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Old 07-26-2008, 11:38 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Overwintering

What about setting a portable heater near it? Just enough to keep it above 32. Because here in the winter, 95% of the nights are above freezing, and a frost blanket would be enough to keep the leaves from getting damage. But for the few nights it freezes, what about setting out a portable heater near them. also what about fans? I know out here they use giant fans in the crops to keep plants from freezing.
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Old 07-27-2008, 01:57 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Overwintering

I would just chop the leaves when they get burnt and let it go to it's semi-dormant state for winter unless you build a GH around them. Keep in mind that once the temps go below 57 the nana stops growing. I think your fighting a loosing battle. Maybe you should pot em up and just bring them in when it's cold. My opinion.
Quote:
One thing I read that I have been pondering is someone said they use the large C-9 size Christmas tree light strings and wrap the trunks before covering the tree in a cold snap. I do not know if that would burn the leaves or not without seeing an actual picture but it would produce some sort of heat source.
Buzz. You're in Z5. The leaves are a lost cause, chop em. Cut the stem at 18" (or however much you wanna save) Build a cage around it, fill it with leaves, and then cover with DOUBLE plastic. It's that easy. Basjoo's are VERY HARDY.
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Old 07-27-2008, 02:18 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Overwintering

Yeah, I know the leaves are goners here in Michigan for the winter but I was just suggesting the C-9 lights for enigma 99 with the tree in California for a cold snap just to give it some warmth until it passed.

As for mine, I am leaving mine in the ground and mulching with straw and then filling trash bags with dry leaves and placing them around the trunk, weighing them down with a brick and filling the space around the trunk with more leaves and THEN covering the whole thing with a tarp to keep it dry. We have plenty of leaves. What do you think? Thanx in advance for your input! Any other Michiganders out there with experience?
I have lots to learn. ;-)
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Old 07-27-2008, 02:55 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Overwintering

Oh I got ya. Sounds like you got a good plan for winter. Should work great. My dad never even got around to putting plasic over his and they survived with a foot of oak leaves on top. They made it through the ice storm and are now 8'! They are an amazing nana!!
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Old 07-27-2008, 03:06 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Overwintering

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Yeah, I know the leaves are goners here in Michigan for the winter but I was just suggesting the C-9 lights for enigma 99 with the tree in California for a cold snap just to give it some warmth until it passed.

As for mine, I am leaving mine in the ground and mulching with straw and then filling trash bags with dry leaves and placing them around the trunk, weighing them down with a brick and filling the space around the trunk with more leaves and THEN covering the whole thing with a tarp to keep it dry. We have plenty of leaves. What do you think? Thanx in advance for your input! Any other Michiganders out there with experience?
I have lots to learn. ;-)
Hmm Christmas lights.. i've heard of doing that but wasn't sure what size, but now you said C9 Is it a fire hazard/dangerous to use C9 lights in combination with a frost blanket or cover? or if C9 lights are in use, there is no need for a frost cover?
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Old 07-27-2008, 03:20 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Overwintering

things that make you say hmmmmmmm........I am not sure either about the blanket. I guess it is just a trial and error thing unless someone has experience with it but then again if it could be a fire hazzard you want to be cautious with that too. Growing bananas or (going bananas is all new to me! One good thing about raising them in more tempid climates I would think is that even if you make a mistake you probably won't lose the plant. Might make it ugly for a while but it most likely will recover? I will see if I can find out where I read about the C9 lights and find any more info.

Can someone tell me how to get my state and zone to appear by my signature? How did I miss entering that?
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Old 07-27-2008, 03:55 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Overwintering

Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzybee View Post
things that make you say hmmmmmmm........I am not sure either about the blanket. I guess it is just a trial and error thing unless someone has experience with it but then again if it could be a fire hazzard you want to be cautious with that too. Growing bananas or (going bananas is all new to me! One good thing about raising them in more tempid climates I would think is that even if you make a mistake you probably won't lose the plant. Might make it ugly for a while but it most likely will recover? I will see if I can find out where I read about the C9 lights and find any more info.

Can someone tell me how to get my state and zone to appear by my signature? How did I miss entering that?
Thanks Oh and you can go to http://www.bananas.org/profile.php?do=editprofile and enter your info there. If that link doesn't work, go to User CP on the top left, and then edit profile.

Yah that is the good thing about growing in more tempid climates, you don't lose the plants. In fact, in my area, LOTS of people are growing bananas in my neighborhood and they are very popular throughout the city. The worst that happens to an unprotected banana here (any variety) is that the leaves fall off and the plant resumes from the top of the P Stem again.. but still.. it takes them a couple months to really get growing quick again.

I am going to try the C9 lights as you mentioned and if it is a mild winter this year, I predict I can keep the leaves. (I will probably fail though That's what makes growing bananas so fun... trying to keep them alive much as possible and hopefully get fruit in the summer :P
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Old 07-27-2008, 04:52 PM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Overwintering

thanks enigma 99a on the heads up on how to enter zone, etc. I got it.

I guess I better sign off and get outside while the sun is till shining this afternoon. It is beauuuuutiful here. It will be gone all too soon and back to gray sunless days. ;-(
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Old 07-28-2008, 07:42 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Overwintering

Buzz- Are you sure about the C9 lights? It would seem to me that they would get too hot. I'm not positive, but it seems that what I've heard is to use the mini lights. However, you would have to make sure that they are the regular, or older type, not the new LEDs. They don't get warm.
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Old 07-28-2008, 08:35 AM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Overwintering

Good Morning, John ny

Thanks for the input. Ya know, last night I tried to find the site I saw that info about the C-9 lites and I could not locate it......yet. But I will keep on looking. You might be right. I have not used C-9 lites for a long time and they might be too hot. I wonder if placing them on the ground in a circle around the trunk but giving it some space so it would not touch and burn the plant would be a better thing to do as heat rises. Hmmmmmm again......Like I said trial and error I guess unless you know someone who has first hand experience. That's what's so fun about these boards. You can find out oh so much info. It's grrrrrreat!
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