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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 06-14-2009, 12:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Putting the chickens to work

Hey everyone, new here to the Banana forum.
I have 2 banana trees( Ice Cream and Goldfinger) that are about 2 1/2 ft tall. I bought em from a nursery in south phoenix in april, and since then, they're put out new leaves, but have only grown half a foot. The guy at the nursery that they grow so fast you can hear them grow, lol. I've seen some of the pics of your guys' growth in 2 months and its amazing.

Maybe its because I haven't been fertilizing them? I water them every two days in the scorching Phoenix sun, and have them on the east side of the house to give them some shade during the hottest part of the day after 2:30pm. Either way, I have 10 chickens, and instead of just throwing their poop away every week, maybe I could apply it to my bananas? Or should I hold off on giving them fertilizer because they are too young and might burn the roots? I also heard that making compost is good, but have no clue about it.

Any help would be great, and i'll try to get some pics.
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Old 06-14-2009, 01:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Putting the chickens to work

Welcome to the org. It sounds like your new plants may have been set back a bit when you transplanted ad I would guess that they will soon start growing faster. Hopefully some of the growers in the southwest will be of more help with growing techniques in your region. I would definitely compost the chicken manure so as not to burn your plants. Just mix the fresh manure with dried leaves , hay or any "brown" dried plant material and keep the pile moist, not soaking and turn once in a while for aeration. In warm weather you'll have finished compost in no time. A great and inexpensive composting book is "Let it Rot" by Stewart Duncan Campbell.
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Old 06-14-2009, 01:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Putting the chickens to work

Yeah, uncomposted fertilizer can be used, if sparingly. But to prevent the risk of burning your plants, I'd stick to composting it. Just start a pile somewhere with the chicken dung, some leaves, maybe grass clippings from your lawn, straw, kitchen scraps and whatever else you have that's organic to throw in. Just let that kinda sit for a while, turning every once in a while and let the microbes go to work. Soon enough, you'll have some excellent organic nutrients to give your bananas without having to worry about negative effects.
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Old 06-14-2009, 01:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Putting the chickens to work

Cause of your weather and banana water reqiurements please change the watering schedule from every 2 days to 2 times a day. Ten AM and three PM are good. This is what I'm doing right now with a programmable sprinkler controller and four 5 gal per hour emitters per mat. Adjust the times for single small plants till you have multi-pstem mats.

My time duration is set for 30 mins per watering. This puts down approx 20 gals per mat per day. Only way to keep the plants going thru the dry spells so you can expect more and better fruit later.

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Old 06-14-2009, 01:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Putting the chickens to work

Welcome to the group, Rich. Check out the thread about growing bananas in high temperature locations by our member Damaclese. He is in Las Vegas and has some good insight into this topic.
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Old 06-14-2009, 01:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Joy Re: Putting the chickens to work

Here's a little something to think about;

Before I teamed up with my nursery partner, he used to have chicken manure collected from the nearby farms for the Jackfruit trees. Now, being in the tropics and especially here in M'sia, the humidity is high, fungus set in and got most of the trees diseased. There were 300+ trees and 90% were screwed cos of this.

I find that unprocessed chicken manure tends to attract more fungi in the tropics than cow's or goat's manure. I don't know it's lethality in the temperate areas. Just food for thought.
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Old 06-14-2009, 02:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Putting the chickens to work

Great! Thanks for the info guys. I'll just throw the chicken manure into a large bucket of some sort and mix in some grass clippings, straw, old and drying plants, and the pile of leaves I have from my lemon tree. Also, I'll slowly adjust my watering schedule to every day, and if needed, 2 times a day.

One more thing, to the compost pile, should I add some type of soil amendment, or leave it as is with all the organic garden leaves, etc.?
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Old 06-14-2009, 03:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Putting the chickens to work

Since the best way to use finished compost is as a top dressing or just lightly worked in to the soil, I would use any ammendments directly in the ground before planting and use the compost as is. You can "spike " your compost with fertilzer though since compost on its own isn't generally nutritionally complete.
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Old 06-14-2009, 10:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Putting the chickens to work

Welcome to the forum! I have chickens and I DONT put straight poop on any of my plants. You will burn your plants. All the advice regarding composting is correct. I have shavings in my coop so I don't compost but make a pile that I till over and over. Since my mixture has shavings, I apply it after a short time. Good luck with your plants and enjoy those chickens!
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