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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 09-14-2006, 10:37 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Cool Re: what are you using for potting soil?

BUT, isn't miraclegro potting mix organic? It contains compost, sphagnum peat moss, and perlite. Except for the chemical fertilizer, the other ingredients seem to be what others are recommending, except for the wood chips,which you use or don't use. I just find it dries too quickly in hot weather.
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Old 09-14-2006, 10:48 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Default Re: what are you using for potting soil?

I think the OMRI would laugh themselves to tears if MG tried to register their mix as "Organic". The imbedded fertilizer is the big downer for me, personally. Everything else is... well - comodity. Every mix contains pretty much the same stuff - peat and perlite and sometimes bark compost and the differences are the ferts they add to it. Peat isn't sustainable, perlite amounts must be matched to the desired drainage, and nowadays they seem to label shredded bark as compost - every bag I've purchased - be it "mushroom compost" "manure compost" or "organic compost" from the likes of Lowe's and Walfart has come out basically the same - shredded bark. I remember when a bag of manure was actually a bag of manure! There was a time when I saw decent stuff coming out of the bags - but nowadays, nothing beats DIY for me and I get my manure from local dairies. But that's just me. My home-made soil retains moisture pretty strongly in hot weather - I actually have to mix in a little more perlite.

Be well,
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Originally Posted by nucci60 View Post
BUT, isn't miraclegro potting mix organic? It contains compost, sphagnum peat moss, and perlite. Except for the chemical fertilizer, the other ingredients seem to be what others are recommending, except for the wood chips,which you use or don't use. I just find it dries too quickly in hot weather.
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Old 09-15-2006, 01:52 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Default Re: what are you using for potting soil?

I've had good luck with the jungle growth mix from Lowes.
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Old 07-18-2007, 11:59 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Default Re: what are you using for potting soil?

Sheesh! I'm a first time banana grower and I just got my 2 banana plants today. Of course, the first thing I did was repot them into large pots full of Miracle-Gro Potting Soil! After reading all these posts, I'm scared to crap that I'm going to kill my banana plants! (or severely inhibit their growth) Maybe tomorrow I'll remove the Miracle-Gro and do it the old fashioned way. EEK! I've actually never done it the old fashioned way. I have a quick compost question though. Whenever I mow the lawn, I put all the grass clippings into a mound on the ground in the back. Would that pile of this seasons grass be considered compost? Should I mix that stuff into the soil or just put it on top? Do the clippings have to be completely broken down before I use them? We don't use fertilizer in our yard. Sorry for the 20 questions :-) I guess it's typical though for a new banana plant owner. I just don't want to mess it up! Thanks in advance for anyone who could help.
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Old 07-19-2007, 11:11 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Default Re: what are you using for potting soil?

I have grown palms ,bananas, and brugmansia in miracle gro without any bad results. After about three months the feed part wears out, so you can use a fertilizer. My main tool is a cheap moisture probe so you will know if the plant needs watering. In the sun miracle gro can dry out on top and still be moist where the roots are.
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Old 12-27-2007, 12:10 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Default Re: what are you using for potting soil?

I potted my two new pups in a pot with a bag of miracle grow. No perlite and I put the fertilizer sticks that they came with into the dirt also. After reading this thread I'm a little concerned that maybe I should dig the fertilzer sticks out? With fertilizer already in the Miracle grow could I be harming the plants with over fertilizing? I'm going to make a trip down to Lowes and see if I can find a cheap soil moisture tester to keep an eye on that though.
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Old 12-27-2007, 07:20 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Default Re: what are you using for potting soil?

Pro-mix with med. size pine bark.

Like others have mentioned, Miracle Gro is both poorly drained and aerated. Banana roots don't do well in it (too much watering will rot the roots).

Osmocote Plus is a good fertilizer for potted bananas.
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Old 12-27-2007, 08:00 PM   #28 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: what are you using for potting soil?

I have been using Hyponex brand & earth's finest (lowes) & it seem to do OK. I have'nt had a problem yet!
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Old 12-27-2007, 08:17 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Default Re: what are you using for potting soil?

ok thanks ... I guess I'll keep an eye on the dirt with the soil moisture tester and if it doesn't start to dry out soon I'll pull it out and re-pot
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Old 12-27-2007, 08:33 PM   #30 (permalink)
 
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Cold Re: what are you using for potting soil?

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Originally Posted by sandy0225 View Post
ProMix HP is the best one I've found so far. It already has the increased perlite levels in it, so it drains well and doesn't hold too much moisture. It's balanced, doesn't compact easily over time, and it has a small starter charge of fertilizer, and ph balanced. The only complaint I have with it is that it's lightweight, so plants tend to get top heavy and tip easily.

Even with it, be careful how much you water a potted banana in the winter! and don't overpot, keep the roots crowded for winter so they dry out faster.

I agree that Miracle gro soil is worthless for aeration of roots. Once you wet it out, if you live in a humid climate, or have it in a humid greenhouse, it takes FOREVER to dry out. It's fine here for mid-summer potting of containers that are in full sun, but don't even think about using it in the fall or winter in Indiana unless you cut it 50/50 with perlite. Don't cut it with bark and then pot it up for a long term plant, because that changes the ph of your mix over time as the bark decomposes, it ties up the nitrogen and you'll end up with very light green, spindly thin weak growth, unless you change the ph of your watering/fertilizing water. If you have a lot of plants, unless you mixed all the soil at the same ratio with bark, then you have a lot of different ph levels to adjust. Too much work!

And I would love to go organic in my greenhouse. Just give me the name of a fertilizer that won't run off the customers with the smell, that I can apply in a convenient way (and that I can actually afford-that would be a nice bonus!), a soil that drains properly for long term production, and some pesticides that actually kill more bugs than leaves.

My 2 cents worth!
Sandy @ Northern Tropics
yes I would have to agree with the people that did not like miracle gro ,in my opion its crap soil if you even want to call it that ,I call it fake soil. If you have to buy a soil that is avalible almost anywhere i would buy fertilome it has no built in fertilizers so you can add what you need ,not all plants like the same N P K so why give them all the same by buying miracle gro ,I only use fertilome and sometimes mix my own soil mixture ,but my base that i use for my soil mixture always starts out with a bag of fertilome in the equation. Jason .Grower of many different tropicals!!!!
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Old 12-27-2007, 08:51 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Default Re: what are you using for potting soil?

I think it should be undersood that there is MirGro potting soil -------- and there is MirGro Potting Mix. Potting Mix is sterile. This is why plants of any kind survive much better with it. And to take it up another knotch, we here in Fla have "Bushel Stop"; they have a special potting mix that allows max drainage and the right nutrients to keep the pups moving well along past the sword stage. I have tried Mg soil, Mg mix, native dirt (lots of sand and muckage), all peat moss - but let me tell ya -- the Bush Stop mix of sand, peatmoss, manure, bark chips, "secret dirt" tops them all. Max drainage; and in hot weather all you have to do is water more often. The plants don't die -- period.

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Old 12-27-2007, 08:52 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Default Re: what are you using for potting soil?

1-bag (2 cubic ft) miricle gro potting MIX
1-bag (8 qt.) cactus/ citrus potting mix
1 to 1 and 1/2 bags (8 qt.) perilite

mix together in a large lidded tote. i keep mine in the house so it dosent get bugs from outside in it.
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Old 12-27-2007, 09:06 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Default Re: what are you using for potting soil?

to give me an idea of how fast the soil should drain ... how often do you water your indoor, wintering nanas? Should the soil become dry and then drench them? These are growing and in front of a south facing window in the bathroom
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Old 12-27-2007, 09:28 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Default Re: what are you using for potting soil?

i have pulled 2 nanas out of dormancy and i water when the soil is dry 2 inches down in the dirt. and i feed them 1 time every week.
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Old 12-27-2007, 09:38 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Default Re: what are you using for potting soil?

Well I was trying to figure out if you have a time frame so I know what the dry out time would be with the proper soil mix but I forgot that I bought the soil moisture tester today and can check with that to know what's going on below the top 2" and know if it's draining good all the way down.

I appreciate everyone's advice
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Old 12-27-2007, 09:43 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Default Re: what are you using for potting soil?

i dont use a time frame for watering my nanas. they have temps in the nana room of 70-75 *f day and nite. i have a humidifier going 24/7 and i just use the stick a finger in the dirt method.( it works well with my non- tropicals) if it aint broke dont fix it kind of thing. however i am sure that the more experienced growers have better was to do this, all i can tell you is what works for me.
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Old 12-27-2007, 11:04 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Default Re: what are you using for potting soil?

O.K. you guys . . . you are going to get in trouble with Logos !!

Retail potting mixes in small bags are all formulated for "bedding plants" like Begonias, Impacience, etc., to be used in small containers: 4", 6" max. In larger pots these mixes all decompose into a mess of emulsified goop ! And they are all too expensive to use in big pots.

Newly forming roots on cuttings and transplants need a relatively acid soil. Adding Pine Bark is not good 'cause it decomposes to goop if the pot contains too much. Commercial mixes in nurseries often have Pine bark but it is usually "charcoaled" to discourage emulsification.

Ever notice that the lable on potting mix and "cow manure" give the weight of the bag ? How is that possible if the contents are supposed to be organic. We all know if you shovel 20 lbs. of manure or organic soil into a pot, in a few months it will weigh much less. In other words, commercial mixes are all treated with decomposition inhibiting chemicals. Bad for plant, especially bad for roots.

Roots . . . Rooting cuttings and new forming roots start growing with tiney micro roots which can be damaged by heavy fertilizer and other chemicals. Also, if your soil mix contains too much Pearlite and just granular soil "it moves" which tears micro roots, stopping or slowing down groth. Consider this: with a grainy soil (with Pearlite) every time thunder strikes or a big truck come down your road the slightest vibration kills micro roots.

If your soil contains ""Fiber"" it becomes stable. Also new roots like to "follow" the lengths of fibers which gives the roots stability from damage.

This is why I have the reputation for growing the most healthy beautiful plants in all of Puerto Rico (same previously in Florida). I use Cypress mulch as at least 50% of soil content with river sand and a small content of Peat Moss. It is on the acid side of neutral, it drains fast and decomposes slower than root advancement avoiding emulsification. Its also cheap! If water drains fast, you need no moisture testing. If the contents are natural Cypress and Peat moss, it is naturally acid and you need no PH testing.

To test this method . . . put three inches of Cypress mulch in the bottom of a 3 gallon pot (10" pot) and fill the pot with Miricle Grow. Plant in this a fast growing plant like a Banana pup. In 2 to 3 months turn over and look. You will see all the roots in the bottom and none in the retail mix.

"If you try to do everything perfectly, your likely to do everything wrong"
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Old 12-27-2007, 11:08 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Default Re: what are you using for potting soil?

have to try the cypress mulch. the only time we get it in cookvegas is in the summer. so i guess ill have to wait after all to cut my dogwoods.ha ha(didnt want to cut them anyway)


who uses small bags of anything????? lol
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Old 12-27-2007, 11:16 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Default Re: what are you using for potting soil?

That makes so much sense. You explain things so clearly!! As soon as I post this I'll look on the web to see if I can buy cyprus mulch locally.

Thank you!
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Old 12-27-2007, 11:20 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Default Re: what are you using for potting soil?

kitty if you go over to the rootings and cuttings thread you'll see Logo's first comment on that with putting the cuttings into the spahgum moss .. I used that today. Couldn't get the Canadian brand so am hoping that any brand will do.
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