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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 04-18-2019, 06:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Planting Advice

Hello everyone! I am new to the forum, I have already received loads of good information from here just lurking. I live near Tampa FL right in the Zone 9a/9b boundary. I have been getting into growing some food crops this year. I am an avid native gardener and have my entire landscape front/back yard densely planted In a habitat garden with almost 60+ species native to my area. My native soils are very sandy, droughty, and low in fertility.

I want to share my banana plan with some of the accomplished people on here for some feedback.

I am planning on planting a Goldfinger or Namwa variety. I want to plant on the south side of my house. There is a multiple layers to this plan. First, this side of my house receives the best light early in the spring. It is sheltered from the strongest NW colder winds that happen in the winter after cold fronts. This area of the house is also one of the spots that gets the winter sun more. Second part of the logic is that this is where I have been composting with multiple bins and burying scraps for a couple years. See photo showing planting location and where I plan on moving my compost pile. My largest concern with the planting location is wind. Though I am protected from the harshest cold winds during the winter fronts, before fronts and usually in the afternoons during the summer winds are strongest from the W/SW. Because itís a Florida tradition to destroy all tree canopy in residential areas, there isnít much windbreak. This is perhaps the biggest issue I have fought in converting my lawn/landscape into a native habitat is the convective drying from wind. However, planting behind the fence in this way will be the best I can do. I also have another problem specific to me in that I will not plant anything non native in the back yard or anywhere else outside my veggie area (I am a bit nuerotic about this).

I am a bit conflicted on the soil amendment process ( if any ). My gut tells me I should do SOME kind of amendment to help retain moisture and add organic matter. I have read a lot of information about how you should NOT amend soil, however, when you are planting in basically grey sand......I think I will do an minor amendment to try and hit the 5-10% organic matter. I want to also dig a kind of swale around the tree to and back fill with charged bio char in the bottom and oak leaf mulch ( which I have COPIUS amounts of). I am planning on intsalling two 6Ē worm towers on either side of the plant(s) to give me a way to recycle waste stream and feed it directly to the bananas. I will also most likely install some soaking drippers to my irrigation.

Let me know what you guys think. Again I want to try and do a Namwa or Goldfinger. I am leaning towards the Goldfinger after doing research on it due to its supposed disease and cold resistance. When I was in Thailand a few years back I think I had Namwa (they were the common bananas there) and I dream about them to this day. They were not really comparable to store bought bananas at all. I was thinking about ice cream but I would rather have a shorter plant due to wind protection.

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Old 04-18-2019, 06:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Planting Advice

Last edited by Graycat : 04-18-2019 at 06:36 PM.
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Old 04-18-2019, 09:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
Location: Pensacola, Florida
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Default Re: Planting Advice

Sounds like a pretty good plan.

I like a lot of organic material in the soil and planting in a spot with maximum sun exposure preferably on the south side. I don't know anything about worm towers but I have a ton of worms in my patch so not really necessary for me.

Based on your satellite photo I would probably plant closer to the house and not on the fence line. Soil closer to the house would be warmer during the winter and would be heated by the sun. Banana plants might provide a bit of shade and cool your house during the summer. The plants will lean toward the sun and the flower will most likely fall on that side i.e. onto your neighbor's property if that is the south side so propping might be difficult if necessary.

Good luck!
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Old 04-19-2019, 01:19 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Planting Advice

I agree with the plan also and agree with planting them closer to the house. Adding all the organic matter is great but personally I like to keep pure sand under and within a foot of the corm in all directions. This helps drainage which is a big deal to the corm! Especially in the cooler months when the plant is dormant.

Remember this!!! Roots love water. But corms love to be dry!
You will do great!! This is pretty close to what I do. I backfill with leaves! Just Forrest floor leaf mound or old half rotten leaves. I have done many tests and they are always best by far vs other organic material. You will do great!!
150+ Varieties!!. See profile for list. Help me add more!
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Old 04-19-2019, 06:25 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: Southwest Ohio U.S.A
Zone: HZ 6/5 Microclimate - Elevation 750 feet- 228.60 meters
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Smile Re: Planting Advice

Great plan.
I agree with the other forum members too.

Many forum members in your area use lots of organics tilled in deep to fortify that super fine sandy soil. Adding organics is a continuous process because your plants and soil will make good use of it fast. Some of the fellas on the Atlantic side practically plant in their compost piles.
The charcoal can be mixed in the soil as well instead of a ring around the plant. I think it will serve your plant better in the root zone area.

Here is another example of small square foot gardening which you may get some additional ideas to grow the many plants you want in a compact area.
Youtube offers some good takeaways also ....keyword banana circle.
Banana Circle Critique
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