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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 12-06-2011, 01:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default When to Harvest?

Having never grown Dwarf Brazilian previously, I don't know if they need to show a little yellow first, or leave 'em on until they start to fall off, or to cut when fruit is full, but still green...

My wife keeps bugging me asking if they are ready yet, and I don't have a clue.

Advice? (about the bananas, not the wife)
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Old 12-06-2011, 01:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: When to Harvest?

I wait to see yellow, but I do that with all my bunches.
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Old 12-06-2011, 02:08 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: When to Harvest?

I can't believe you're still up! I'm a goin' to bed... later.
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Old 12-06-2011, 11:45 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: When to Harvest?

If you can post a photo, that will help. Generally, it is best to wait until they are full sized, but not yet ripe, but doing so takes some experience in knowing about how each variety should look at maturity and how long it takes to develop. You can let it start to ripen on the plant, but you need to check it frequently, and should cut it down at the very first sign of maturity (a banana or two starting to lighten up and go yellow). If you let it ripen too much on the plant, rats and birds will get to them before you do, and when you harvest it quite easy for the ripe fingers to fall off and get smashed. Some cultivars will not fall off when ripe, but 'Dwarf Brazilian' will, so its best to harvest them green.
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Old 12-06-2011, 01:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: When to Harvest?

I'll get a photo this afternoon, but I think it has reached full size since I've not seen any change for a few weeks.
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Old 12-06-2011, 06:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: When to Harvest?

I have to be very quick to harvest the Pisang Klotek bunch and remove the hands once I see a hint of yellow. They tend to split if I don't.
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Old 12-06-2011, 07:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: When to Harvest?

Good question - lucky you - and good answers. Plumpness helps - at least some of the dwarf Brazilians should look distinctly rounded. I tend to harvest green unless the bunch is where I will look at it every day for sure. Too easy to miss. Also you might be in your dress-up-go-to-town clothes when you see it is red alert harvest time. They do get bigger of course if you wait til last minute, but not enough to notice. Flavor the same. Seem to have a little better shelf life if you harvest green.
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Old 12-07-2011, 12:18 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: When to Harvest?

I learned with a set a calipers. Measure a couple of fingers in the third hand. If the fingers are greater than 31mm in diameter you have generally filled the fruit. Anywhere between 31 and 35 I harvest, at least for desert bananas. Plantains are in the 40-50mm range
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Old 12-07-2011, 12:33 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: When to Harvest?

That sounds technical. Might not be useful for identical cultivars grown under different conditions, however.

Here are the 'nanners as of a few hours ago - no yellowing at all.







Nothing is over 5 inches.

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Old 12-07-2011, 08:29 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: When to Harvest?

Pix help. My guess is you can harvest any time you want in the next month or so. If you have visitors they sometimes enjoy getting their pictures taken with a machete harvesting bananas. Or whack 'em a week or two before visitors arrive and hope to have ripe fruit.

A harvesting trick I am trying to learn is doing it by date. Some video had it - that the pros mark the plants when they bloom, and from that date know about when to cut. (It will take me a few years to generate some data to know waht to add - I think it is about 5 mos.) A regular ballpoint pen will write if you dry off some fresh stem. Or a grease pen writes on old stuff.

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Old 12-07-2011, 10:09 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: When to Harvest?

Pitangadiego uses a permanent marker.
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Old 12-07-2011, 04:52 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: When to Harvest?

Those bananas look full to me. Banana length is a somewhat flexible characteristic, so don't worry about length so much as filling.

This spring I started tagging fruit on the farm until it got to be unmanageable. I used a different color or color combo of flagging tape each week. It helps, but eventually I just got acclimated to knowing where things were, and how far along they were just by looking at them. Of course when they were being bagged there was nothing to see.
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