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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 03-04-2013, 12:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Simple and Effective, but not Elegant.

This is a simple and effective way to grow bananas.

My plants produce larger bunches and do it more quickly using this system.

No fertilizer was used, only grass clippings and water were added to the barrel.

With the roots being so concentrated it was relatively easy to maintain proper moisture levels, even during a severe drought.

I've experimented with banana leaves and pseudostem pieces, but the root development was not nearly as good.





The container was lifted for the next two photos

dec 11




These bananas were all planted around this same barrel of grass.

dec 13 - Harvested feb 1



Harvested feb 24


A 50 oz & 51 oz - Bloom to harvest 59 days.



mar 3


mar 3


mar 4


mar 4


mar 3


mar 8 - The Bloom directly above
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Old 03-04-2013, 01:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Simple and Effective, but not Elegant.

Did you anchor the barrel somehow or did you place it in the ground? I would be a little concerned with it tipping over, but I think that this pretty impressive with grass only. Did you see any symptoms of nutrient deficiency? Are you going to go for a second crop with the same barrel? And one more dumb question - any effect on the taste? Thanks.
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Old 03-04-2013, 09:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Simple and Effective, but not Elegant.

Very cool! Please give more of a recipe ... how do you start, do you keep adding grass clippings, etc.
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Old 03-04-2013, 10:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Simple and Effective, but not Elegant.

Awesome! I need to know more about this. Do you use only dried grasses? What else goes in the mix? Would you be so kind as to post more pics? Have you grown other plants this way?

Thanks!
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Old 03-05-2013, 07:29 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Simple and Effective, but not Elegant.

hay that is great keep up the good work and let us know what happens ok
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Old 03-05-2013, 07:30 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Simple and Effective, but not Elegant.

I have been told that if you grow bananas that you have to smoke them for them to be eaten is this true or is the person full of him self??????????
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:32 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Simple and Effective, but not Elegant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagniappe View Post
Awesome! I need to know more about this. Do you use only dried grasses? What else goes in the mix? Would you be so kind as to post more pics? Have you grown other plants this way?

Thanks!
Welcome back man!

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Old 03-05-2013, 11:49 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Simple and Effective, but not Elegant.

They're whoppers! What variety are they?
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Old 03-05-2013, 06:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Simple and Effective, but not Elegant.

Those are african rhino horns, a very large plantain.

Keith do u just grow out pups in the pots and then plant in the ground? What would happen if u dug a huge hole filled it full of grass clipping and planted the mat-to-be in that? There could be epic yields from those ARHs!
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Old 03-05-2013, 07:06 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Simple and Effective, but not Elegant.

Well named. Although a better name might be elephant tusks!
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Old 03-05-2013, 07:10 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Simple and Effective, but not Elegant.

I bet we hear that "huge hole filled it full of grass " would collapse, as the grass would shrink to 10% of its original size. I think the vision we are about to have explained for us is a way to get around that problem, by letting the trash can provide the support, and a way to keep packing more grass in, while the banana matt has a stable environment to live in. When we see the whole picture I think the brilliance of the method will be clear.
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Old 03-05-2013, 07:51 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Simple and Effective, but not Elegant.

From what I understand the banana plants are not grown IN the grass compost. The covered grass compost pile sits next to the banana plants. The roots search for nutrients, moister etc and once they find the grass they grow up into the pile (can) where they feed.
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Old 03-05-2013, 07:54 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Simple and Effective, but not Elegant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PR-Giants View Post

Notice the p-stem at the top right. That plants roots have grown over to the grass pile and made their way up into it. After removing the can you can see the roots growing in the grass.

Last edited by momoese : 03-05-2013 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:13 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Simple and Effective, but not Elegant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by servatusprime View Post
Did you anchor the barrel somehow or did you place it in the ground? I would be a little concerned with it tipping over, but I think that this pretty impressive with grass only. Did you see any symptoms of nutrient deficiency? Are you going to go for a second crop with the same barrel? And one more dumb question - any effect on the taste? Thanks.
The barrel is held in place by gravity and will not tip over.

There is more than enough nutrients in the grass to feed 8 large plants.

My best guess would be well over 20 lbs of N & over 10 lbs of K.

I have never noticed a problem with excess nutrients, and have been using this for over 14 years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by raygrogan View Post
Very cool! Please give more of a recipe ... how do you start, do you keep adding grass clippings, etc.
It really is as simple as it appears.

A barrel with 2 open ends, placed in the center of 8 plants.

If you were to look at it as a grid, the barrel would be in the center section or where the ninth plant would be.

The pot of dirt on top is used to compress the grass and lower the oxygen content, in order to reduce the

temperature, more grass is added when space is available.
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:20 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Simple and Effective, but not Elegant.

Mitchel, I think you've hit the nail on the head. It all becomes clear now.
I tried a similar thing a few years ago to grow pumpkins, except I used comfrey leaves and horse manure instead of grass. I can see that it works a lot better with bananas as their roots are longer and stronger.
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:31 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Simple and Effective, but not Elegant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PR-Giants View Post
I've only used green grass and try to maintain a high moisture level.

Grass and water only, I suppose fertilizer could be used but I have not seen a need.

There are more photos here, but they are all basically the same.

What Is Better ? & More Importantly Why ?
Well it's certainly effective. I'm very impressed.
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:47 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Simple and Effective, but not Elegant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammocked Banana View Post
Those are african rhino horns, a very large plantain.

Keith do u just grow out pups in the pots and then plant in the ground? What would happen if u dug a huge hole filled it full of grass clipping and planted the mat-to-be in that? There could be epic yields from those ARHs!
I can grow a banana in only grass, but the first month or so is slow.

I can also grow a banana in only coffee grounds, but it is very slow.

It is best to keep the corm surrounded by coarse sand and only allow the roots to grow in your preferred medium.

I believe the corm should be dry and the roots very wet.

Digging a hole in the center and filling it with grass will work, but the roots will enter from the top of the sides

and will be damaged as more grass is added and compressed.

With the barrel, the roots enter from the bottom and are only compressed not stretched or broken when more grass is added.
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:44 PM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Simple and Effective, but not Elegant.

This has the ol wheels turning once again. I'm thinking one could have a nice composting keyhole bed without all of the work of building up a bed around the composting hole.
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:13 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Simple and Effective, but not Elegant.

I wonder if the high moisture levels would lead to root rot in the winter?
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Old 03-06-2013, 03:04 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Simple and Effective, but not Elegant.

Ahhh ok makes more sense now. Maybe I will try this this season to see if it can speen up growth a bit
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