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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 11-23-2009, 11:25 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Will Bananas Grow In Wood Chips?

I have heard a few people talk about planting bananas directly in piles of wood chips. Has anybody tried this and gotten good results? In my area any potential wood chips would be mostly oak and a little pine if that makes a difference.
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Old 11-23-2009, 11:39 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Will Bananas Grow In Wood Chips?

If the chips have not been composted or aged (not "green"), then the corm will be sitting in a pile of composting material and under attack.

The second issue is that wood chips that remain wet tend to rot. To be successful, you need to be careful with the moisture level in the wood chips.
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Old 11-24-2009, 07:43 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Will Bananas Grow In Wood Chips?

They are testing some new pine wood chip substrates (potting soils) that aren't composted yet and showing some promising results. One of the southern pine area universities holds the patent on the process. Sorry I can't remember which one. It was in an article in GPN or one of those free trade publication magazines recently. I think it'll be out in the next few years.

update: i found it! link below:
Grinding Pine Logs To Use As A Container Substrate
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:02 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Will Bananas Grow In Wood Chips?

My son and I over the summer helped a couple dig up a bunch of banana plants they wanted to get rid of since they thought they were a weed and didn't want them. They would dig them up and throw them in the woods behind their house. We got a few plants that were growing just fine in almost thing air, the root ball was sitting on top of a bunch of sticks and other yard debris the roots growing down to the ground and they seemed healthy. So I would say if they had what they needed or it was within reach they are probably gonna grow. Not as well as if you had a good quality soil mix I would think.
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Old 11-24-2009, 10:32 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Will Bananas Grow In Wood Chips?

I think a better use for those oak wood chips is a 4-inch layer of mulch on top of all your garden beds.
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Old 11-24-2009, 12:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Will Bananas Grow In Wood Chips?

New wood chips will also pull alot of nitrogen from the surrounding soil as they decompose as well, which would likely result in very chlorotic looking plants. You'd have to topdress with some nitrogen and probably other nutrients as well. I'd at least mix the wood chips into the soil.
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Old 11-24-2009, 01:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Will Bananas Grow In Wood Chips?

I put them fresh from being shreaded around my banana's. I was putting on more than a leaf a week (which was the average) up until it got cooler. African rhino and Ice cream didn't take off like the rest.. but another ice cream was much better.. all locations have different soil so who knows :^)
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Old 11-28-2009, 12:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Will Bananas Grow In Wood Chips?

I mixed pine wood chips with my potting soil one year for my container plumerias, which need very good drainage. It was my attempt to save money on potting mix. I eventually found that the wood chips decomposed and caused the soil to remain too wet, which resulted in rot in some cases where the root system was fairly weak to begin with. As a mulch, I have the wood bark chips all over my back yard, and it is fine.
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