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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 06-10-2009, 03:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default We all have a story about how we got started, I'd love to hear yours!

How did you get started?
The details of my life are quite inconsequential... very well, where do I begin? (Dr. Evil line, sorry, I had to do it.)

In 2006 my wife and I were living in Melbourne, Florida and it was great! I loved the weather but we lived in an apartment. I was still living banana free but I was introduced to subtropical plants and weather.

In 2007, my job brought us to Cedar Rapids, IA. We bought a house and the back yard was a basically a clean canvas. Not a single tree, only grass. I was excited about updating the concrete patio that was already in place but my wife pushed for the deck. We built a deck and put up two privacy fences. Spring brought the excitement of starting the landscaping. I made the decision that if I can't live in Florida right now, I will try to bring the subtropical feel to Iowa! I've planted lots of Yucca, Elephant Ear, Cannas, ornamental grasses and Mexican Sunflowers. I needed to find something that would really nail down the tropical feel and my last purchase is what got me hooked, an Ensete Maurelii. At the time I didn't realize what had happened or what would soon follow. I thought one was enough. At this time I also was introduced to bananas.org..

After planting the Maurelii I soon noticed other areas in my yard that would be perfect locations for some Musa Basjoo's. Soon after the Basjoo's I come across some Musa Sikkimensis seeds for sale. The story is now to the present and tonight I will prep an area for a Basjoo I bought from Sandy.

Why?
I think of it as a healthy addiction. I look forward to seeing how the bananas are doing after work, I'll be honest, I check them in the morning too. The plants have an amazing ability to change almost daily and in my head it's a race against time as summers are short in Iowa. I love the fact that in this hobby you can ever say, "I'm finished with my yard, everything is in place." There's always a bed to weed, something to water or that next rare banana that germinated on the International Space Station. Although no such banana exists, it sure feels that way sometimes.

Goals or Projects for this year/summer?
I want to make it through the summer without killing any banana plants. I also want to learn more and become more knowledgable with banana care. At this time I don't think I'll be purchasing any more bananas, but we all know that's not true.
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Old 06-10-2009, 04:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: We all have a story about how we got started, I'd love to hear yours!

I'm a survivalist trying to figure out how to live without relying on others. I experiment with all kinds of edible plants. Those are the only types of plants I will plant. ETA about 5 years before having over 10 acres and hopefully earth sheltered home. I'm thinking of the main living area having a good amount of light coming in so there can be food growing inside the house all year long as well. Also ~3000sf greenhouse.

Bannanas spread like weeds for me. They are very easy to multiply.
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Old 06-10-2009, 05:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: We all have a story about how we got started, I'd love to hear yours!

I saw some bananas on my honeymoon in cozumel. I liked them. I'd seen bananas when I lived in Gulfport, but I had little kids them and didn't think much about them at that time.
We went to vacation in Gulf Shores Al and I bought a little one for $7 and carried it home.
That started this whole mess!
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Old 06-10-2009, 10:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: We all have a story about how we got started, I'd love to hear yours!

I have to say it was my wife's idea to get a banana. She was searching the internet one night, and suggested we get one. She picked a dwarf red (and I chose companions of Ice Cream, Goldfinger, dwarf Orinoco, and Zebrina). I searched for ways to care for them, and found this excellent forum!

Thanks Jarred!!

The dwarf red and Zebrina died that winter, but the other three are still going strong. I just kept buying and trading for more, 'til last count 20 different kinds.

I have to credit my wife's mother for kick starting my farmer gene. My wife and I moved into her mom's condo shortly after we first met, and then something wonderful happened. All her mom's perennials started coming to life that spring. I started caring for them and before I knew it, I was a regular gardener. After we moved to our own place, I planted hundereds of plants, trees, bulbs and seeds.

Farmer gene fully active!
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There is no excuse for still having grass. I haven't mowed in 20 years. With all that space, I could plant another 100 bananas.
My new hero...
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Old 06-10-2009, 11:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: We all have a story about how we got started, I'd love to hear yours!

In my case, I have Lorax to blame!!!

: O

I am in the process of germinating my very first musa dasycarpa seeds. This will be my first experience with growing a banana plant, but so glad I have joined the insanity!!! All the pictures have me drooling, and I can't wait to get a sprout.



Thanks for all the help on this forum, in getting me started. Tog and Lorax - you two are great.

: )
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Old 06-11-2009, 06:33 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: We all have a story about how we got started, I'd love to hear yours!

[quote=revensen;79430]How did you get started?
The details of my life are quite inconsequential... very well, where do I begin? (Dr. Evil line, sorry, I had to do it.)

I hope there was no ritualistic shaving involved! (Another tidbit for those of you who have seen Austin Powers.)
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Old 06-11-2009, 03:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Joy Re: We all have a story about how we got started, I'd love to hear yours!

I come from a place where there are 'naners everywhere.... I use to hate the messy sight of them when they clump like crazy. I saw a pix of the Ensete superbum aka Bird Nest Banana and fell in love with it. Went on the net and ended up being addicted here!

After I got my Ensete superbum germinated, I did more research and became aware of how lucky I am to have 'naners all round me! Now I have a project called Ladang Musaceae which is dedicated to the preservation of the heirloom cultivars of Malaysia. It also houses as many of the 'naner species I can get my greasy paws on.....

'Nuff said!!!
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Old 06-11-2009, 04:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: We all have a story about how we got started, I'd love to hear yours!

Well
whan I was like 12 years old I started with smoking my first cigarets, than after..... OH MY GOD, WRONG STORY, UPS...
Nevermind Im just slightly addicted banana grower
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Old 06-11-2009, 04:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: We all have a story about how we got started, I'd love to hear yours!

I think it started for me about 15 or so years ago when during the mid -winter , cabin fever, longing for sunshine state of mind I was busy browsing the endless seed catologs and actually had winters off to do whatever(wish I did now). I bought 2 plants labeled "musa banana" from a cheap-o nursery , I believe they were zebrinas' and kept them for 5 years till I moved in to this house and immediatley got my first basjoos. At this point I was getting tired of waiting for the fruits that never came and they ended up as anuals in the garden. Wish I knew what I do now. The bases were ridiculously swollen and I bet with a little more time and care would have flowered. Live and learn.
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Old 06-11-2009, 05:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: We all have a story about how we got started, I'd love to hear yours!

I had manaaged a nursery/garden center in NY, then had to move down to Maryland to help take care of my Mom.I first got in to growing plants beyond my zone in 2005 when I planted a needle palm from Plant Delights and it did well, survived the winter as dieback but put up a new spear, then my lawn service mowed it! Never recovered. In 2007 I started over with a needle palm, a T. fortunei, a sabal McCurtain, and a musa basjoo. The palms did OK, but VERY slow growing. The musa is still going great guns. I then discovered a local "zone benders" group called DCTropics. and with a bunch of like minded gardeners I went crazy. I discovered this site, and my banana psychopathy has increased tenfold.

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Old 06-11-2009, 05:45 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: We all have a story about how we got started, I'd love to hear yours!

One time in Band camp.....Oh, sorry wrong group.

It all started for me about 15 years also. My parents had a huge mat of nanners which fruited everyyear. back then I never really paid any attention.. when I finally moved out and out of state I saw one in a big box store and bought it.... it gave a little piece of home.... so I have been addicted since. I never knew there were so many types of nanners. I plan to try to collect all edibles that I can grow here in houston.
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Old 06-11-2009, 06:44 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: We all have a story about how we got started, I'd love to hear yours!

A member on a citrus forum posted pics of his Ice Cream banana ready to flower in his front yard in SC. I decided I wanted one esp when I read they are about the best tasting. He said he would give me a pup but time went on so I think it was him who sent me a link to IC for sale on Ebay. I bought 2 - 2inch tc IC's. That was in June '06. He also told me I'd never get it to fruit here. It's now the big one I'm hoping will flower this year.
Through trading, I also got a dbl Mahoi & Truly Tiny that summer. Then, Joe Real posted the link for this forum on the citrus forum & I joined (06). Didn't post much the first year, but the more I read, I became addicted and learned a lot. I now added tc's Siam Ruby, Raja Puri, & the Misi Luki pup I won from Mitchel to my small collection. I am still learning
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Old 06-11-2009, 09:30 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: We all have a story about how we got started, I'd love to hear yours!

I found this site by accident looking for plants
Then after signing up & looking more I realized it was not just a funny name for a web-site. So now I have 4 banana plants - 2 are dwarfs. I had very little gardens, trees, perennials, flowers or bushes anywhere - now they are all over

Why? I grow or try to grow everything. I have a 1/2 acre & over 100 trees planted. Including Dawn Redwood & Sequioa (yes the ones that grow 300' tall). I planted around 6,000 fall bulbs. I love the tropics & would like to transform my pool area into a tropical resort for the summer months

Goals - just grow some bananas. Make my pool area look nice for my Staycations
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Old 06-12-2009, 12:51 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Joy Re: We all have a story about how we got started, I'd love to hear yours!

This post is running great....
All we need is a couple more boys and girls to join in and with the staccated speech, body trembles, cold sweat and then we can have the Hello xxx, Welcome to the group xxx and finally a Group Hug....
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Old 06-12-2009, 02:28 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: We all have a story about how we got started, I'd love to hear yours!

Hohoho
that would be some hug!!!
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Old 06-12-2009, 05:31 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: We all have a story about how we got started, I'd love to hear yours!

How?
I moved from frigid northern Canada to tropical Southern Ecuador. The place I was living at had 200 banana plants, mostly Cavendishes and Giant Plantains, on it, and I had to learn really fast or risk killing them.

Why?
I really really really didn't want to tell my friend, whose house it was, that I'd killed all his bananas and that I had to plant new ones... Then, once I got the idea of plantation maintenance, it just got more and more interesting.

Goals/Projects
Find pups for all of the Gros Michel variants grown here - from the big, Panama-resistant plantain crosses to the original strains. I also aim to find pups for the Kichua traditional Chirsqui-huaqui plantains, which intrigue me.
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Old 06-12-2009, 08:07 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Joy Re: We all have a story about how we got started, I'd love to hear yours!

There you go again Beth...sounding dead serious like a school teacher! Good? Now you feel better after letting it out?

Okay boys and girls say Thank You Lorax...and Group Hugggg.....
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Old 06-12-2009, 11:38 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I can't be unserious all the time.
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Old 06-12-2009, 12:09 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: We all have a story about how we got started, I'd love to hear yours!

OK, so I got started one night when my Mom and Dad were in their bedroom- what?? Oh, not that far back! OK, I see, just how we got started with the plant craze. Sorry about that.

Well, I grew up on a farm in KY (yes, let the jokes commence). We had hogs, cattle, sheep, etc,. and all sorts of crops including a huge veggie garden. My Mom and one of my aunts always grew flowers and as I got older I starting taking an interest. I remember sprouting acorns from the oaks in our yard. In high school I took a landscape design course and a greenhouse production course. I had intended to go into Wildlife Biology to study whitetail deer, as I really love the outdoors, hunting, and fishing. However, I decided to study horticulture instead.

When my wife and I moved to St. Louis, I got hired at the Missouri Botanical Garden and worked there from 1998-2003 before we moved to TX. We grew some bananas out in our flower beds there one year and that's when all the madness started. Seems to get worse as time goes by!
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Old 06-12-2009, 03:42 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: We all have a story about how we got started, I'd love to hear yours!

I had an aquarium fish import business, and we sold a few plants also. I traveled a lot, and would bring fish and plants back from all over. My wife is a hospital operating room supervisor. Many years ago, her chief of surgery, and his wife, invited us to come with them to a vacation home that they had, in St. Lucia. A close friend of theirs, down there, had built several of the hotels on the island. He got me permission to take cuttings from the hotel plantings. I also made several trecks out into the jungle, and collected many things from the wild. There were bananas everwhere. This was when the island was still British - before they became independent, so almost everything they used came from the U. K. ( a bottle of catsup, in a restaurant, said on it, "H. J. Heinz & Co., Ltd., London) Conversly, almost everything they produced was shipped to the U. K. When I asked about the bananas, it was arranged for me to get a few corms to bring back. I was also told that they were Gros Michelle, not what we were getting in the U. S. because, it was explained, the Britis, "preferred a slightly smaller banana than Americans."
The bananas were potted, and brought to my store, for sale. This is when I learned about sunburn and gradual aclimatization. Some charity was holding a flea market, in a shopping center parking lot. It was in full sun, with no protection, I took some of my plants there and, within a matter of hours, the bananas had turned completely white, from sunburn.
We had been down to the island, on several subsequent visits, and I brought more back each time. When we moved into this house, we had a pair of glass patio doors, in a finished basement. I put a couple of potted naners next to the doors and, pretty soon, they were pushing the tiles out of the suspended ceiling. Some time after that, I started dealing with Agri-Starts and have, since, brought up many more varieties, along with countless other plants.
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