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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 09-23-2009, 05:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default S. OH Banana Garden Before Winter + Red Abyssinian Question

Hello,

Well, it's getting that depressing time of year when I know I must get ready to dismantle my private tropical retreat here in southern Ohio. Just wanted to share it with others before that happened. The EEs are starting to yellow a bit sensing the cooler temps. I have Blue Javas, Ornatas, Velutinas, Dwarf Cavendish, a miniature DC (Truly Tiny?), Red Abyssinians, Basjoos & a small Siam Ruby. I only fed 1/4 of what I should have (once a month vs. week) when I saw how fast everything was taking off this year -- was afraid I wouldn't be able to get them inside for winter!

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Along that line, you may notice my largest Red Abyssinian. It HAS gotten too large to easily take in (grown from a 1 ft. plant in one season here w/minimal feeding!). I've read in posts about trimming the leaves to overwinter indoors. This is my first year with RAs whose leaves all grow from the bottom, so do I trim all the leaves from the very bottom except the center similar to what I've done in the past with Velutinas & Ornatas, etc. or do I literally guillotine at a height that I can get indoors? They just don't have the traditional "stalk" I've been used to. I may lose it anyway, but I'd like to at least try to overwinter such a large beauty.

Thanks in advance for any assistance,
Annie
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Old 09-23-2009, 05:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: S. OH Banana Garden Before Winter + Red Abyssinian Question

Good luck on everything...Im from southern ohio too. You should post pictures of what you do to get all your plants inside. This is my first year(more like months) with Bananas and i would like to get more. I have a basjoo and i can just leave it in the ground but i am amazed that people can bring the whole plant inside and store it till spring.
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Old 09-24-2009, 10:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: S. OH Banana Garden Before Winter + Red Abyssinian Question

I didn't trim mine last year, I just dug it up, stuck it on a hand truck and bounced it into the basement. I plunked it bare rooted on a plastic pallet, and watered it with a hose from time to time. I guess I didn't water it as much as it seemed to want over the winter,because it shriveled up a lot, but I put it out this spring and it's about 10 feet tall now. A dramatic recovery for sure!
What you do depends on how desperate you are. If you can't get it inside any other way, chop it dramatically. It's better for the plant to chop it than to leave it outside, for sure!
As long as you don't literally dig out the center part of the pseudostem with a knife, it'll telescope new growth out from the center, kind of like an antenna you pull out on a cd player. It will just not look as good for a while. And if you do destroy the inside stem in the center, it'll induce the plant to make pups.
But you gotta do what you gotta do to bring them in, when you live up North!
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Old 09-24-2009, 12:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: S. OH Banana Garden Before Winter + Red Abyssinian Question

I was messing around on youtube last night and found this video i hope it helps you out also....

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Old 09-28-2009, 07:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: S. OH Banana Garden Before Winter + Red Abyssinian Question

Thanks SO much for the information Nate & Sandy ... I'm very grateful. I am truly dreading seeing my yard go from my 'tropical oasis' to bare in the next few weeks & months.

Nate, this is my 3rd year growing and it is certainly addicting. Each year, I add another variety or two, so I'm always nervous about winter, as they all seem to have their own overwintering quirks. In the past, I've potted up & brought in all my bananas, using a back bedroom with 2 small windows & adding a little extra light from a grow light that I run overnight every 2-3 days -- just enough to keep them alive without costing too much money. I think I'll run it a little more this winter, as I didn't notice a big spike in my bill & I know they'd love the extra since our outdoor light is so gloomy during the winter.

I've had one VERY large Dwarf Cavendish that was just too big, so it's gone in the basement ea. yr. with surprisingly great luck. It flowered and started to produce bananas this year on it's 3rd year out, but if you look at my post from the beginning of the season, you'll see I had a bad timing issue for that to pan out all the way to maturity. First 2 years, I used progressively bigger pots -- last year, I had to use a Roughneck trashcan that I put a large pot upside down in the bottom to cut down on the amt. of soil needed. I filled it in the basement & then had a friend bring the plant down (after cutting back all leaves but the center) with a dolly and finished potting it up. Had to lean it in a corner last winter, as it was too tall. My basement is actually around 70 deg. with the furnace being down there, plus it never gets dark because of several windows (one right by it) & the fluorescents being on since my laundry is down there, yet it didn't seem to bother it a bit. When the days started getting longer in spring, it sensed it being by a window & the leaf would start pushing out and away we'd go. Even the pups would survive and start sprouting at the same time. I'd give them a month or so outside and then remove them to be on their own.

This year, I have so many plants, I think I'm going to have to brave trying to overwinter a few more down there & am nervous to see what will happen, as my "big mama" DC was so sturdy, I didn't have much worry. Guess we just have to try things when we live "up nawth".

Thanks again, all.
Annie
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