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DIY - Gardening Do It Yourself Do you know a good gardening DIY plan? Are you in need for some good DIY ideas? This is the forum to discuss all Do It Yourself plans and questions. For example, learn about: The pipe work to support banana bunches, making pots out of newspaper, using plastic cups as pots, tips for building coverings for plants during winter, etc. If you know a good DIY plan, please share it here, and if you need one, please ask away!


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Old 07-23-2009, 07:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How to Prepare a Bed for nanners & other Tropicals.

Hey!

Bare with me Im still a noobie when it comes to gardening but thanks to the org Im learning.

Im going to start working on laying out the beds where the nanners going to be this weekend. I wanted to know what I need to do, what kind of organic matter should lay down the soil is clay, any time I've had to plant something I usually dig a hole then amend it with compost and topsoil then mulch and they seem to do ok.

Right now the nanners are surrounded by just grass. I was going to start by laying out some newspaper then throw some bags of grass that I've started to collect from the neighborbood then lay out some compost and till the ground, how deep should i go? I've hear mixed reviews of 4-5' and other that say only 3'.

What kind of organic matter should add?

Any other tips or suggestions will be appreciated.
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Old 07-23-2009, 08:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Thumbs up Re: How to Prepare a Bed for nanners & other Tropicals.

Just keep in mind that banana plants like plenty of water and good drainage, and you won't go wrong when preparing the planting sites. I planted a Hua Moa today in some sandy loam after clearing a 6' diameter area. Later on I will get some stable sweeps and load the entire 6' area to about 4" high and apply some K-mag for feed in a few weeks.
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Old 07-24-2009, 02:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to Prepare a Bed for nanners & other Tropicals.

Just one advice, be sure to make the hole large enough, otherwise you will have to make it larger each year damaging the roots. Also mowing is a problem, if you put nanas too close to something and they are surrounded by grass.
Just some minor observations.
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Old 07-24-2009, 07:12 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to Prepare a Bed for nanners & other Tropicals.

Digging a hole in clay soil and filling it with organic matter can become a pot full of water that will rot your bananas. If you have a slope, and can design the bed so that the bottom of the hole is able to drain out the side through soil amended with organic matter you will have a great spot for your naners! Otherwise you will have to use a raised bed or mound so that you get the necessary drainage. Clay soil is rich in minerals but drainage is a must for many plants.

I killed a lot of plants from drowning in NC where I had a garden and my yard was clay that could be turned directly into bricks. But then, I dug a trench across the back of my yard about 18" deep and filled the bottom with ground corn cobs and mixed organic matter with the clay that I added back to the trench--but the end of the trench was lower than the bottom and drained well. It was the most incredible garden I have ever had--much better than this sandy soil in NW FL.

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Old 07-24-2009, 02:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to Prepare a Bed for nanners & other Tropicals.

Im sorry but I must have confused you guys. I want to layout the whole bed I have a shape in mind and I plan to till the area around the nanners, and amend it with organic matter.

Because it is a pain to mow the grass around the nanners, once the bed is ready then I'm going to put some other tropicals around them.
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Old 07-24-2009, 08:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to Prepare a Bed for nanners & other Tropicals.

What I said still applies, if you have a slope to the ground and can design the bed so that you supply good draining soil in the bed with the bottom sloped to allow water to drain out at the lowest point then do that and go as deep as you want with the mixed clay and organic matter (as long as you do not go below the drain point).

If your terrain is relatively flat, then I would suggest a raised bed with minimal disturbance of the clay base--maybe tilling just an inch or two, otherwise you will just have a large shallow pot without a drainhole.

As for the organic matter, almost anything will do, as long as it has been composted or has started to break down (ie old sawdust). If you use fresh material, it will use up fertilizer and may cause problems. As far as commercial organic matter, peat moss will last better than most other material.

I do often add a shallow layer (an inch or so) of good clean grass clippings (yard with no weeds) to the top of my beds without composting first--I have not had any problems.
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