Do you like eating banana like myself? or you have a backyard that you are not using? lol You will understand that having your own access to healthy bananas can be wonderful if you’re prepared for an extensive growing period. If you read on to learn about the yearlong journey of banana plant gardening. This piece is long o o o; so, I have decided to divide it into two. Here is the link to the completing part.
Selecting A Planting Site
1. Look up your area’s temperature and humidity. Humidity should be at least 50% and as constant as possible. Ideal daytime temperatures are between 26–30ºC (78–86ºF), with night temperatures no lower than 20ºC(67ºF). Acceptable temperatures are warm and very rarely reach lower than 14ºC(57ºF) or higher than 34ºC(93ºF).
• Bananas can take up to a year to produce fruit, so it’s important to know what range of temperatures it will experience throughout the year.
2. Find the sunniest area in your yard. Banana plants grow best with 12 hours of direct, bright sunlight each day. They can still grow with less (more slowly), but you should determine where in your yard receives the most sun.
1.3 Choose an area with good drainage. Bananas require a lot of water, but are prone to rotting if the water does not drain adequately.
• To test drainage, dig a hole 0.3m (1 ft.) deep, fill with water, and allow to drain. Refill once empty, then measure how much water is left after 1 hour. Approximately 7-15 cm water drainage per hour is ideal for banana plants.
• A raised garden bed or adding 20% perlite to the soil assists drainage.
• This is especially important if you are using a banana plant that does not yet have leaves, or had the leaves removed for shipping. Leaves help evaporate excess water.
4. Allow sufficient space. While banana plants are technically herbs, they are often mistaken for trees for a reason. Some varieties and individuals can reach 7.6 m (25ft.) in height, although you should check the source of your banana plant or local banana growers for a more accurate estimate for your locale and variety.
• Each banana plant requires a hole at least 30cm(1ft.) wide and 30cm (1ft.) deep. Larger holes should be used in areas of high wind (but will require more soil).
• Keep banana plants at least 4.5m(15ft) from trees and shrubs (not other banana plants) with large root systems that may compete with the bananas’ water.
• Multiple banana plants help each other maintain beneficial humidity and temperature levels, as long as they are planted at the correct distance. If you can, plant several plants in a clump with 2–3m(6.5–10ft.) between each one, or a large number of banana plants 3–5m(10–16ft.) from each other.
• Dwarf varieties require less space.
5. Consider growing it indoors. If your outdoors environment is inadequate, you’ll need an indoor location with similar requirements (12 hours bright light and constant warm temperature and humidity).
• You’ll need a large planting container sufficient for its adult size, or be willing to transplant the banana into a larger pot whenever necessary.
• Always use a pot with a drainage hole in a location where water can drain well.
• Consider a dwarf variety if you don’t have sufficient indoor space.
• Use half the amount of fertilizer when growing a plant indoors, or cease entirely if you don’t have room for a larger plant. (This may be suitable for a houseplant you don’t intend to harvest fruit from.)
Planting The Banana Plant
1. Select your planting material. You can acquire a banana sucker (small shoot from the base of a banana plant) from another grower or plant nursery, or buy one online. A banana rhizome or corm is the base from which suckers grow. Tissue cultures are produced in laboratories to create higher fruit yield. If you’re transplanting a mature plant, prepare a hole appropriate to its size and have an assistant help you.
• The best suckers to use are 1.8-2.1m (6–7ft) in height and have thin, sword-shaped leaves, although smaller suckers should work well if the mother plant is healthy. Big, round leaves are a sign that the sucker is trying to make up for a lack of adequate nutrition from the mother plant.
• If the sucker is still attached to a mother plant, remove it by cutting forcefully downward with a clean shovel. Include a significant portion of the underground base (corm) and its attached roots.
• A rhizome (corm) without notable suckers can be chopped into pieces. Each piece with a bud (proto-sucker) will grow into a banana plant, but this will take longer than using a sucker.
2. Trim the plant. Cut off any dead, insect-eaten, rotting or discolored sections of the plant. If most of the plant is affected, dispose of it away from other plants and find another planting material.
• If using a sucker, remove all but a few centimeters (1–2 inches) of the roots. This will limit the chance of disease. You can also remove any leaves in excess of five and/or cut the top of the plant off with a slanting cut to increase the amount of sunlight that warms the soil for root growth and rot prevention.
3. Dig a hole for each plant. Remove any plants or weeds that are growing on the planting site, then dig a circular hole 30cm wide and 30 cm deep (1ft. x 1 ft.) A larger hole will provide greater support for the plant but require more soil.
• If planting indoors, instead use a planting pot this size or larger.
4. Mostly fill the hole with loose, rich soil. Leave several centimeters (a few inches) of space at the top to encourage drainage.
• Do not use potting soil, nor your regular garden soil unless you are sure it is suitable. Soil mixes intended for cacti can produce good results, or ask other growers of the same banana variety.
• The ideal soil acidity for bananas is between pH 5.5 and 7. Acidity pH 7.5 or higher can kill the plant.
5 • Place the plant upright in the new soil. The leaves should be pointing upward and the soil should cover the roots and 1.5–2.5cm (0.5–1 inches) of the base. Tamp the soil down to keep it in place but don’t pack too firmly.
Click Here to Part Two