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Old 09-10-2018, 11:06 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Winter protection?

With the cooler nights starting to set in, I had a couple of questions how people are protecting their bananas that will not ripen before the cold weather arrives.

We normally get a couple of good freezes that will kill all the leaves mid-late winter, and I was wondering if my bananas will start putting out new leaves next spring to finish filling the bananas in?

I assumed since it's already flowered it will not put out anymore leaves to produce the energy the plant needs to finish filling them in?
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Old 09-11-2018, 12:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Winter protection?

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Old 09-11-2018, 02:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Winter protection?

No more leaves after the flower emerges.

Meizzwang has a great deal of experience in your area getting fruit through winter so maybe search/check some of his excellent threads. He is in North California and has a cooler climate.

Based on what I have gleamed from members on this site this is my winter plan:

1. Apply 100 grams of muriate of potash mixed with water every two weeks. No nitrogen other than what's already loaded in the soil and grass clippings;
2. Cut the bell six inches below the last female flower after the male flowers start to emerge;
3. Prune the lower half of the bunch. Leaving the lowest two fingers. Probably remove half the bananas;
4. Cover the bananas with a giant white trash bag to help keep the bananas warm and prevent predators such as squirrels eating them. Not sure if the bag should have holes in it or whether the end of the bag should be open for drainage. Still working on this one.
5. Cover the whole plant with frost cloth before the first freeze. Usually this is a light one and can occur anywhere from early December to early January. Hopefully the later.
6. Remove the bunch before the second freeze which is usually a harder one. No way I can get it through that one.
7. Let bunch finish ripening in the garage or laundry room.
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Old 09-12-2018, 11:19 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Winter protection?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Akula View Post
No more leaves after the flower emerges.

Meizzwang has a great deal of experience in your area getting fruit through winter so maybe search/check some of his excellent threads. He is in North California and has a cooler climate.

Based on what I have gleamed from members on this site this is my winter plan:

1. Apply 100 grams of muriate of potash mixed with water every two weeks. No nitrogen other than what's already loaded in the soil and grass clippings;
2. Cut the bell six inches below the last female flower after the male flowers start to emerge;
3. Prune the lower half of the bunch. Leaving the lowest two fingers. Probably remove half the bananas;
4. Cover the bananas with a giant white trash bag to help keep the bananas warm and prevent predators such as squirrels eating them. Not sure if the bag should have holes in it or whether the end of the bag should be open for drainage. Still working on this one.
5. Cover the whole plant with frost cloth before the first freeze. Usually this is a light one and can occur anywhere from early December to early January. Hopefully the later.
6. Remove the bunch before the second freeze which is usually a harder one. No way I can get it through that one.
7. Let bunch finish ripening in the garage or laundry room.
Thanks Akula!
This is going to be challenge.
Sure wish this thing flowered 1 month earlier.
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Old 09-12-2018, 11:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Winter protection?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 37.667910 View Post
Thanks Akula!
This is going to be challenge.
Sure wish this thing flowered 1 month earlier.
Me too! An extra month and I think the fruit would be fine. Gonna need a heavy dose of luck with the weather this year for sure.

This year's fruiting trees emerged in July of 2017. I adjusted this year and allowed emerging June 2018 pups to go forward after getting some advice from Darkman who is a more experienced grower in my area. I should pick up an extra month of growth and next year they will fruit earlier.
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Old 09-12-2018, 09:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Winter protection?

I don't know about protecting any fruit already on your plant this year. But when I lived in Dallas, zone 8a, I would cut off the pseudostem about six feet tall before the first freeze (approx Nov. 15). Then I boxed it in with plywood and filled it with grass clippings and covered the whole thing to keep it dry. In the spring as soon as there were no more temperatures below 40 (approx. March 15) I would unbox it and the pseudostem would start growing and ripen the fruit before the first frost that fall. It protected the bananas from short term overnight temperatures as low as 13' F. In a mild winter (lows above 20) I had a friend who used heavy canvas and Christmas lights and produced bananas. This was a shorter banana 'Raja Puri'. If you could protect 8 feet of pseudostem it would be even better. In 9b I would think that you should be able to reliably have bananas every year.
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Old 09-14-2018, 02:11 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Winter protection?

[IMG][/IMG]


Akula has some very good suggestions. Instead of a regular plastic bag though, I like to use banana bunch solar covers pictured with the solar (silver side) facing the sun. I have been using solar bags for several years now to protect the bunches from cold and weather damage as well as damage caused by birds or rats with great success.
These bunch cover bags are like sleeves, open on both ends, so they can be pulled over a developing fruit bunch and tied to the peduncle.
They measure about 47" by 28", one side (silver) is the solar side which is supposed to face the sun, while the other side is green or blue plastic similar to a heavy duty trash bag. Those definitely help to speed up the process of filling in and ripening.

Last edited by crazy banana : 09-14-2018 at 02:18 AM.
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Old 09-14-2018, 10:26 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Winter protection?

Crazy Banana thank you for describing your banana bunch covers and how they are used.

By any chance do you have a supplier or seller link for the two sided (solar) banana bunch covers? I found a supplier in Australia but I don't think they ship to the US. You know I had to ask!
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Old 09-14-2018, 07:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Winter protection?

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazy banana View Post
[IMG][/IMG]


Akula has some very good suggestions. Instead of a regular plastic bag though, I like to use banana bunch solar covers pictured with the solar (silver side) facing the sun. I have been using solar bags for several years now to protect the bunches from cold and weather damage as well as damage caused by birds or rats with great success.
These bunch cover bags are like sleeves, open on both ends, so they can be pulled over a developing fruit bunch and tied to the peduncle.
They measure about 47" by 28", one side (silver) is the solar side which is supposed to face the sun, while the other side is green or blue plastic similar to a heavy duty trash bag. Those definitely help to speed up the process of filling in and ripening.
I have these already (bought from you ). I was just curious about how the plant gets energy with no more leaves?
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Old 09-15-2018, 12:59 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Winter protection?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Akula View Post
Crazy Banana thank you for describing your banana bunch covers and how they are used.

By any chance do you have a supplier or seller link for the two sided (solar) banana bunch covers? I found a supplier in Australia but I don't think they ship to the US. You know I had to ask!
Banana solar bags for bunch protection
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Old 09-15-2018, 01:10 AM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Winter protection?

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Originally Posted by 37.667910 View Post
I have these already (bought from you ). I was just curious about how the plant gets energy with no more leaves?
I remember and sure hope you like them. There are different opinions on how the plants gets energy without leaves. I have no proof, but believe that as long as you have an intact p-stem, the plant and bunch will receive energy through it. My main goal with these bunch covers is to have the bunch fill in as much as possible before cooler temperatures will destroy the leaves of the plant.
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