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Harvesting Bananas

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by GreenThumbelina27 on September 14, 2006 02:07 PM
We have had our banana plants (recently read that they are not considered trees) in the ground for about 4 years. To our surprise, they actually started producing fruit this year (around July)... When should I cut the bananas from the stalks? And where do I cut them without harming the shoots. I would love for my plants to grow fruit next season. Any info would be helpful. [grin]
by Longy on September 14, 2006 02:32 PM
Banana plants only grow one bunch, then that particular stalk/trunk whatever, will die. There should be suckers forming at the base of the plant. Allow one of these to grow and it will be your next seasons' crop. The idea is to have one producing, one half grown and one little sucker just forming at the base of the stool.

Once the fruit have set, you can cut off the purple flower bit from the end of the bunch. It is just taking nutrient and generally doesn't continue setting fruit. So snip it off.
You should cut the whole bunch down when the fruit have fattened fully and maybe just starting to colour. Then you can hang in the shed, (not you, the bananas,) and 'hand' them off as they ripen with a sharp knife..
As i said, that 'trunk' will then be finished. Some people cut it off at ground level but i prefer to cut it off at about 6' high and let the water in it slowly drip into the rest of the developing stool.

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The secret is the soil.
by Patty S on September 14, 2006 05:37 PM
Wow, Longy! That's pretty interesting!  - I saw bananas growing when I went to Hawaii, years ago, but never even wondered about how the plants worked! GreenThumbelina mentioned that she's had her banana plant for 4 years... Does she have to wait that long for the next "sucker" to produce? (Are those new plants, or banana stalks?)  -

All your profile says is that you're on the East Coast... I'm wondering how you know all that stuff about bananas! [dunno] Where are you, on the E. Coast?

GreenThumbelina, I didn't even know that bananas grew in South Carolina! [shocked]
(They don't let me out much!) [grin]
quote:
Then you can hang in the shed, (not you, the bananas,)....
 - You're a NUT! [Big Grin]

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by Longy on September 15, 2006 12:00 AM
Hey Patty, if you'd like to hang in the shed then that's cool. Just dunno if it'll help your bananas:-0 I dunno if GT will have to wait for another 4 years to get another bunch of bananas. Depends on how healthy her bananas are and where she lives.
The suckers are new plants from the original stool.
I get a bunch per stool per year. Pretty much. They are a tropical plant. Sub tropical it won't happen overnight, but it will happen. (Like expensive hair soap. Apparently!) Temperate climate: well you may be pushing your luck. Cold climate. You're struggling to keep them alive thru winter. (You should be growing something else i reckon).
Yeah i'm on the East coast. Just north of wheelabarraback near kickatinalong. Turn left at the whykickamoocow turnoff and go until you reach freakthedogsout. I'm third house on the left ;-)

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The secret is the soil.
by Patty S on September 15, 2006 01:50 AM
Good gravy, you just can't help yourself, can you?! [Big Grin]

Hey, I think I've been through your town! [shocked] Isn't that the one they built that funny farm right in the middle of... has a big sign that says "Welcome to Notinmybackyard"? (I didn't know you lived in the 3rd house on the left, or I might have stopped & offered you a Lude... & asked you to share your bananas!) [Big Grin]

Anywaaayy.... I'm in a 'microclimate' here, & until last winter, I was told that it never freezes here (so I repeated that here on the forum time after time... & it the temperature plummeted to 27* for a week!) [Embarrassed] I have a friend here, who built her soil up with compost from her bin that she'd always dumped kitchen scraps in, & she ended up with an huge Avacado tree in her yard! [shocked] (It got bit last winter when it froze, of course, but has since rejuvenated & is growing back!)

I'm wondering if I can grow a banana tree here. [dunno] Do you know what the lowest temp is, that they'll tolerate? We "normally" don't get much colder than the low 40's. (What about mulching them heavily in the winter?)

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by Longy on September 15, 2006 06:12 PM
Do you know what the lowest temp is, that they'll tolerate?
+++++++++++++++++++
I get a few light frosts here and they get knocked around but the stools don't die. The leaves burn off though and if there is a bunch on there over winter then i cover it with a bag to keep the frost off the fruit. I think they will grow but won't fruit of they get too cold.

I wouldv'e enjoyed the lude had you dropped it in. I could've put it with my piecost.

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The secret is the soil.

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