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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 04-26-2018, 12:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Soil drainage

I'm trying to see if my 18 year old raised planters with palms is ok for my young banana plants.

I dug a hole 12" x12" although it was in an existing small palm root so to get to 12" deep I had to move over another 12" so it was 12" deep and partially 24"" in width.

I had filled this hole with water twice in the preceding days and yesterday filled it again and did timed drainage (MPI) which seemed to go well at 15-30 min. Per inch.

This am there was still 1-2" of water in the bottom.

Should I dig and fill another 12"-20" deeper with pumice or the like?
Add a 24" wide wood box 12" high over it to raise the root ball or just keep it in a huge pot?

My goal is to get them to fruit.

Any tips?

Thanks

Scott
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Old 04-26-2018, 03:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Soil drainage

Overall that's not too bad. But the 2" of water after 12 hr might be. We don't know how wet or dry the ground was when you did the test; nor if your yard tend to flood or hold water when it rains.

So an easy and safe answer is to build a slightly raised bed. Take a close look at how HMelendez did his bed for each nana plant. The tops of these corms appear to be about 6 to 10" above the ground. An Update Of My Latest Nana Plants 2018!
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Old 04-26-2018, 03:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Soil drainage

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Originally Posted by edwmax View Post
Overall that's not too bad. But the 2" of water after 12 hr might be. We don't know how wet or dry the ground was when you did the test; nor if your yard tend to flood or hold water when it rains.

So an easy and safe answer is to build a slightly raised bed. Take a close look at how HMelendez did his bed for each nana plant. The tops of these corms appear to be about 6 to 10" above the ground. An Update Of My Latest Nana Plants 2018!
Well I pulled out a small palm about a week ago and the hole was 24" x6" deep,filled with water that day and the next.

Then 5 days later I filled it again and yesterday it was just a muddy bottom,tried digging it 12"x12" for the test and needed to move that deeper hole over about 12".

I'll look at the raised bed thread,this is already raised but can go a few more inches,and a deeper pilot hole under the plant can also be dug and filled with a good draining media as well as a framed upper form so the corm is always above ground level for safety.

My only issue is the far reaching roots which if too dense could succumb to rot.

These beds also have good 3 or 4" drains which work well for heavy rains.

Thanx

Scott
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Old 04-26-2018, 05:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Soil drainage

You said: "... a deeper pilot hole under the plant can also be dug and filled with a good draining media..."

The problem with that is, the planting hole will hold water like a bowl drowning the roots. I wouldn't dig more than 6 or 8" inch and re-fill with a well draining soil. If water can't drain though the soil it will be forced to drain to the ground surface. ... Banana roots only grow to about 14" to 16" deep then spread out.
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Old 04-26-2018, 06:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Soil drainage

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Originally Posted by edwmax View Post
You said: "... a deeper pilot hole under the plant can also be dug and filled with a good draining media..."

The problem with that is, the planting hole will hold water like a bowl drowning the roots. I wouldn't dig more than 6 or 8" inch and re-fill with a well draining soil. If water can't drain though the soil it will be forced to drain to the ground surface. ... Banana roots only grow to about 14" to 16" deep then spread out.
Well my thought is any water which could stand would just go through into this pilot hole during all normal watering,drenching rain would be another story.

Also another drain test could be done into this pilot hole,most land plots have levels of top soil which changes with depth,some get better some not.

This hole would be 6" wide and 20" deep to draw as a safety reservoir,also it would start below the 16" root ball you speak of so in theory most roots beyond the main corm would go laterally and I plan to back fill two feet around the corm with well draining soil.

Peat 50%
Pumice 50%
And some course sand
Ferts and mulch on top
And I will add a custom raised section.

Options are limited because pulling out 18 year old palms is not an option.
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Old 04-26-2018, 06:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Soil drainage

But I am up to any other thoughts,I have one 15" DB in a pot from a pup growing now and two BJ TC's any day now.
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Old 04-26-2018, 07:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Soil drainage

I know at this point the soil is quite saturated but I'm going to add just two gallons which is my guess more than I would be using on my plants for months and see if it holds standing water later tonight and more importantly tomorrow.

Then tomorrow a post hole "pilot" hole will be dug and another drainage test should answer more questions.

Last edited by Blacksmoke : 04-26-2018 at 07:03 PM.
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Old 04-26-2018, 07:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Soil drainage

This planter area is prolly only 30 sq. Ft. with drains so it'd can't hold water as it sheds well and this hole was filled 3-4 times in a weeks period so it was more saturated than it's been in many months.
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Old 04-28-2018, 09:35 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Soil drainage

I wouldn’t put any peat! It holds a lot of water! If you have slow draining dirt I recommend coarse sand. You can buy it at Home Depot for $4 a bag or so. Don’t get the play sand! Get the quickcrete pool filter sand if they have it! It’s the best thing you can do! 95% of Musa roots grow in the top 1 foot of soil! So under the plants put coarse sand and around the plants in the top 6” or so put organic material! Compost or composted manure is awesome and low cost! Composted leaves/leaf fungus is the best thing you could put if available! Then on top of that put a few inches of mulch.

Pure coarse sand is by far better than anything else for under the plants/corms.
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Old 04-30-2018, 09:51 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Soil drainage

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Originally Posted by Tytaylor77 View Post
I wouldnít put any peat! It holds a lot of water! If you have slow draining dirt I recommend coarse sand. You can buy it at Home Depot for $4 a bag or so. Donít get the play sand! Get the quickcrete pool filter sand if they have it! Itís the best thing you can do! 95% of Musa roots grow in the top 1 foot of soil! So under the plants put coarse sand and around the plants in the top 6Ē or so put organic material! Compost or composted manure is awesome and low cost! Composted leaves/leaf fungus is the best thing you could put if available! Then on top of that put a few inches of mulch.

Pure coarse sand is by far better than anything else for under the plants/corms.
After watching several online soil toutorials which is from a VERY reparable local Luguna nursery which is now in Santa Ana Calif. and their online site I have learned a lot about temperary vs permanent soils.

He explains very well the mistakes which his father who started the buisness in the 50's has seen through the decades,many that also emulated as all nurseries did until national studies showed otherwise.

The sandy loam soil was the Best Soil for healthy roots for a permanant plant given ferts.

The composted "black" so called good stuff with enough draining medium can grow rather well but only for 5-6 months vs a sandy loam which can sustain plants for a much longer term.

So yes,courses sand is a great backfill to my high clay soil,maybe 10% of my native and another medium?

Waiting for my TC's to double in growth to TX in the ground and should have this soil thing down by then.

Thank you
Scott
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