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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 07-23-2006, 03:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
Location: Zone 5b INDIANA
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Default Seed Sources ????

Howdy folks, I live in Northern California in Zone 9B and have started many of my bananas from seed off the internet. A couple plants have been purchased at local nursuries BUT as usual they don't have a great variety when I want them.
I was wondering if you more experienced growers from other parts of the US could inform me of good websites or places to get seeds.
Also I see that the majority if talk on this site is TC related and I have yet to dabble in getting any TC'd plants or pups from anyone else.
I guess I get the most satisfaction watching those little seeds sprout and grow huge....my wife says that I'm crazy and they are all weeds......I guess I'm doing something right!
Thanks in advance for any good seed sites etc.

Jason
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Old 07-23-2006, 04:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Seed Sources ????

Your wife and my wife must read the same handbook.

Are you looking for just ornamental bananas or for edible bananas? Edible bananas are distributed via pups for the most part, or tc clones, since they're often seedless. The seedy bananas like musa velutina and similar are inedible, but still very pretty - so it depends on what you're looking for. I've a food-person myself so I have no seed sources for nanners - but there are a few decent sources for pups. Aside from trading with other growers, there's the likes of:

A and B Tropicals
http://www.aandbtropicals.com/

and Well Spring Gardens has a pretty good rating on Garden Watchdog:
http://www.wellspringgardens.org/

Be well,
Mike

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmilligan1976
Howdy folks, I live in Northern California in Zone 9B and have started many of my bananas from seed off the internet. A couple plants have been purchased at local nursuries BUT as usual they don't have a great variety when I want them.
I was wondering if you more experienced growers from other parts of the US could inform me of good websites or places to get seeds.
Also I see that the majority if talk on this site is TC related and I have yet to dabble in getting any TC'd plants or pups from anyone else.
I guess I get the most satisfaction watching those little seeds sprout and grow huge....my wife says that I'm crazy and they are all weeds......I guess I'm doing something right!
Thanks in advance for any good seed sites etc.

Jason
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Old 07-24-2006, 11:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Bananas Brindando Re: Seed Sources ????

Thanks Mikevan.
I haven't had a "crop" of anything edible yet but I do have some ornamentals that get fruit.
I will likely aim to try my hand at a few different edible varieties next season.
Maybe someone can also suggest which are the best for the DRY and HOT climate I currently suffer in.???
My naners are really having a tough go the last 2 weeks with temps over 100 every day and zero humidity. Even my small plants in the shade of large trees etc are wilting and scorching a little on the newest leaves.
Thanks for the sites!
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Old 07-25-2006, 12:46 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Seed Sources ????

Heh - same conditions here in Texas, tho your winters are a bit milder. If you can get your nanners thru the couple of really bad months tho, they'll have a giggling time of it the rest of the year. As to varieties - I'm building up a personal collection here of a variety of nanners - dwarf and regular brazilians, reds, orinocos, cavendishes (well - that is dwarf and super dwarf), not to mention ice-cream, rajapuri, a couple of unidentifieds and soon kru and others. Dry and hot can be dealt with much easier than freezing cold, methinks. Very thick organic compost, for instance, will promote a good crumb structure of the soil. If you have hard clay soil, over-sow some daikon radishes, then when mature, hoe their tops and sow more amongst them - a few crops of that - none of them harvested and all left to rot in the ground will create at least a foot of very rich organic soil in even the worst clay soil. Combine this with compost on top of the soil in the form of sheet composting which will put the benefits of the composting process itself into the soil as well as the final product and you'll have yourself a little parcel of soil that will act like a sponge. Around your trees, I would put soaker-hose rings under the compost layer for each grouping of nanners. This will put the water directly where you need it, and the compost will help keep it from evaporating away. Plant the nanners a little closer together, and consider interplanting companions into this as well. Peanuts for instance would add legume benefits to the soil - be sure to inoculate them with their rhizobia to boost their legume benefits. Inoculating everything in your nanner bed with mycorrhizal fungus would also be a bonus and assist in moisture take-up too. And organizing swales into your nanner beds will help capture rain water and allow it to soak in rather than running off.

Even with all that - the hottest part of the summer will still scorch some and cause some wilting in the heat of the day. Healthy nanners will shrug this off with aplomb tho - so don't fret too much. So long as the soil is sufficiently moist, I wouldn't go crazy watering even more. Morning wilting can be a symptom of dry soil, but afternoon wilting is just a normal reaction to the heat - so always check the soil itself before watering to prevent over-watering. Nanners thrive in hot areas so long as they've got plenty of moisture. Conditioning the soil as I mentioned above will help it retain water longer, as well as thick mulch so your water efficiency should increase - more bang for the drop. I really covet those who get plenty of rain! We're so dry here that I give as much thought to water efficiency as I do to winter protection! More even...

Be well,
Mike

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmilligan1976
Thanks Mikevan.
I haven't had a "crop" of anything edible yet but I do have some ornamentals that get fruit.
I will likely aim to try my hand at a few different edible varieties next season.
Maybe someone can also suggest which are the best for the DRY and HOT climate I currently suffer in.???
My naners are really having a tough go the last 2 weeks with temps over 100° every day and zero humidity. Even my small plants in the shade of large trees etc are wilting and scorching a little on the newest leaves.
Thanks for the sites!
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Old 07-25-2006, 02:05 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Seed Sources ????

Hi,

I've purchased many of my plants from the two sources that Mike suggested. I haven't tried seeding bananas yet. I guess I am too impatient. It's hard enough to wait for a year or two (or more) to see plants flower.
We've had the terrible heat here as well. It was 110 on Saturday with thunderstorms. The bananas actually seemed to thrive with those storm conditions. Well, until a very strong wind came through and did some leaf damage.
Mike, I'm going to try that sheet composting in my garden area this winter.
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Old 07-29-2006, 10:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Seed Sources ????

Some good seed sources for bananas include:

http://www.rarepalmseeds.com/small.shtml#2
http://www.europalms.be/seedlist_small.htm
http://www.seedman.com/banana.htm
http://www.jungleseeds.co.uk/SeedOrd...target=d1.html
http://www.trebrown.com/seedstore/ba...php?L=US&c=USD
http://www.banana-tree.com/catalog~S...ategory~13.cfm

There are more out there. These are well-respected sources that I know of.
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Old 08-01-2006, 01:06 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Hiya Re: Seed Sources ????

Thanks Bigdog and Anna.
I anticipate a buying some more edible/fruiting varieties seeds this year to start for next summer. I have also found a few nursuries that show they stock some good varieties I may try.

Jason
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