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Old 12-04-2007, 07:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Winter storage parameters!?!?!

Ok, need some info. I am currently monitoring my crawlspace as far as temps go. I am thinking about attempting to store some less hardy varieties of bananas under there next winter. Our tmeperatures so far have been mild and the worst is yet to come. Our lowest night has been 28F a couple of times so far. The temps under the house are averaging between 60-65F around the clock.
The question I have is this, what is the ideal temps that dormant bananas should be stored? Is there a maximum and minimum temp that would suit them best? Any of you that store bananas under the house or in basements, your experiences would be greatly appreciated. Humidity input would also be of value also, I would think...

Thanks in advance for any help with this....
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Old 12-04-2007, 07:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Winter storage parameters!?!?!

From what i hear, about 55F to 60F is right. maybe a little cooler.
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Old 12-04-2007, 07:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Winter storage parameters!?!?!

well... I'd risk it, for a biscuit...maybe

as long as you can keep stuff clear of frost you should (and its a big should) be OK.
(says he with his nanas in a frost protected poly tunnel)
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Old 12-04-2007, 10:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Cool Re: Winter storage parameters!?!?!

Anything Orinoco and hardier should winter under the house easy. They're tougher than you think. I checked mine last week and all was well except for the Maurellii's. They are pretty mushy but we'll see, this is the first year trying Ensete's. Randy, You need a greenhouse, I've seen the beasts you grow. $700 for a 10x12 from Harbor Freight. Just a thought.
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Old 12-05-2007, 08:01 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Winter storage parameters!?!?!

nate,
orinocos and hardier stay out in their places year round. I am mainly considering less hardy varieties (ie, laterita, ornata, violacea, Bordelon, etc.) I may consider a couple of my larger orinoco to try and coax a nanner out.
As far as a greenhouse goes, I have been considering it, but with the Holidays upon us and kid fixing to go off to school, followed by 4 more in the future, I have to put my priorities somewhere else. Gotta save every penny I can!!!
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Old 12-06-2007, 12:32 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Re: Winter storage parameters!?!?!

Randy, Glad to hear your puttin the kids first. Two thumbs up!!!
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Old 12-06-2007, 12:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Thumbs up Re: Winter storage parameters!?!?!

See............ another perfect example for a Banana Lovers convention. We can have scholarships, whatever whatever. The business people can work that out! Hey we'll probably be on Oprah and the Today show , shoot lets shoot for the moon and maybe Gardeners Journal on HGTV will do a whole dag gone week of us!!!!!!!!!!!! We could have a convention where we dont tell each other who we are until the toasting time or something. Or shoot let Oprahs people work that out! Anybody Game? MG
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Old 12-06-2007, 02:25 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Winter storage parameters!?!?!

I understand you want hard data on this, but this is what I believe from discussions and some of my own observations.
Depending on variety: 35 to 55 degrees F seems to be the perfect temperature for this type of overwintering. Any higher and they will start to grow, wich is not good.

Musa basjoo will start to grow even at 45-50 degrees F, and are therefore not reccomended for this type of overwintering. The cavendish-line needs temperatures above 45 to avoid blackening and browning. Dwarf Brazilian and Orinocos are somewhere inbetween.

Hope that helps a little bit as a guideline.
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Old 12-06-2007, 07:49 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Winter storage parameters!?!?!

Erlend,
From what you said, my crawlspace would not be an option, in your opinion, would it? I want to find a place to store less hardy varieties. I would love to save my garage for the purpose it is intended for. I know my wife would like to park her vehicle in there, especially in the winter. Any suggestions!?!?!
Thanks for your input...
Randy


Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbungalow View Post
I understand you want hard data on this, but this is what I believe from discussions and some of my own observations.
Depending on variety: 35 to 55 degrees F seems to be the perfect temperature for this type of overwintering. Any higher and they will start to grow, wich is not good.

Musa basjoo will start to grow even at 45-50 degrees F, and are therefore not reccomended for this type of overwintering. The cavendish-line needs temperatures above 45 to avoid blackening and browning. Dwarf Brazilian and Orinocos are somewhere inbetween.

Hope that helps a little bit as a guideline.
Erl
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Old 12-06-2007, 04:02 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Winter storage parameters!?!?!

I have a cool, dry, dark spot in the basement under the stairs. The temperature is about 60*F and one dwarf cavendish has started to regrow. The raja puris and other DCs are okay so far. They have been in place since mid October.

What do I do with the regrowing DC? I have no place cooler and above freezing.

Will it survive if I bring it upstairs into the light and 70*F?

Allen
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Old 12-06-2007, 04:36 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Winter storage parameters!?!?!

Allen,
I have a DC growing in my den. It is beside a south facing set of French Doors and the temps in the room are running about 70-75F. Currently I have no humidifier running, but hope to have it up and going within the week. I also have Ice Cream, violacea, balbisiana, manii, and a bordelon all doing well in here!!! Add the couple of potted palms I brought in here, it is kinda a "jungle". Wife and kids gotta love me, huh!?!?! LOL Anyway, I personally think it would do fine for you where you are talking about putting it. I only water about once every 4 weeks or so, and then, only slightly. Not trying to grow, just maintain til spring!!!
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Old 12-08-2007, 08:30 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Winter storage parameters!?!?!

Well, I agree with Erlend. As long as you're holding to 35F min. you'll be fine. as the day temp increases they grow again depending on species.
If one starts to grow , just leave it it'll be fine its only what happens if there's a cold snap in the weather.
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Old 12-09-2007, 11:18 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Winter storage parameters!?!?!

Randy, here's my observations:

Orinoco and Musella lasiocarpa tolerate just about any temperature you can throw at them, as long as it isn't below freezing.

Anything else that I've tried, including Brazilian, Raja Puri, Sweetheart, Goldfinger, Ice Cream, Hua Moa, Kandrian, Super Dwarf Cavendish, etc., etc., don't do as well as Orinoco under MY crawl space. I've never killed a corm of any of those varieties, but getting the pseudostem to hold up is another story. Kandrian actually did hold up last year, barely.

I did try to store some corms of a couple different species under the house a couple of years ago, and failed miserably. They included M. velutina, M. mannii, and M. coccinea. M. 'African Red' corms store great. All of the others dried up and died. I am trying again with M velutina, but leaving them in a pot with soil. I have had very good luck with Ensete ventricosum also.

I've never monitored the temperature under my house, so I can't help you there. The humidity should be low, and there should be no water on the floor. Temps in the 50s Fahrenheit are ideal for the cultivars. I did overwinter M. basjoo under the house once, but it suffered a lot of dessication. I know you're not worried about storing that one though! Your crawl space will be fine.
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Old 12-09-2007, 12:57 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Winter storage parameters!?!?!

I have my bananas stored in a cabin which I keep around 57 - 61 degrees. Mind you all my bananas are small enough, I could bring them in without cutting them back so I put a light on them about 12 hours a day and they are slowly putting out new leaves even though I'm not watering.
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Old 12-09-2007, 02:09 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Winter storage parameters!?!?!

Revisiting the greenhouse suggestion--

When I compare prices of the least expensive design of commercial greenhouses (modified quonset style, which is a quonset top with short vertical sidewalls), I wonder why anyone in a low to moderate snow-load region would buy a prefab if they have the room for a quonset. Anyone with a love for bananas will quickly run out of space in a 10 x 12.
For about $700, in Oregon we can buy a 20' x 48' (half length modified quonset). The height is only about 8 or 9 feet, but you can increase height another foot by buying posts 1' longer; taller than that and you might lose too much in stability without extra bracing. heating and venting are other issues. Being in a moderate climate, we use a trick in our unheated greenhouses with plants who can't afford to freeze--we put up overhead irrigation using 1/2" irrigation hose and some small sprinkler heads, and run it off our well pump. The water keeps the air temps above freezing at night during cold snaps, but you might need to fashion shower caps for the banana pots to keep soil on the dry side (we grow aquatic plants, so it isn't much of an issue!). If you can't afford inexpensive roll-up side kits for ventilation (we've found pretty inexpensive designs), just take off the plastic on the ends for the summer.
Of course, some of our solutions might not fit your situation (room, snow load, etc), but it's food for thought.
Regarding expense, how about a small, informal business plan to pay for the materials and maintenance with enough sales thru ebay, Craig's list, or local nurseries? It wouldn't take many sales to cover costs. If you could get your family involved, it would be a great learning experience for your kids.
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