Cool Climate Bananas
Growing bananas in the Limestone Coast I hear you say …? Well, yes the cool climate varieties do extremely well, many tolerating frosty areas.
We stock the following varieties from around November, depending on the season and they sell fast so make sure you pre-order so you don’t miss out;
Cavendish, Ducasse, Dwarf Red Dacca, Goldfinger, Pisang (really dwarf), Rajapuri, Valery, and Williams.
Bananas love rich, deep fertile soil that is well drained , in a position that gets full sun. This means that a north or west facing wall would be ideal and some of the smaller varieties could be grown in very large pots under a warm pergola, patio or terrace. They dislike cold winds. Before planting dig over the soil incorporating old manure/ compost and a complete organic fertiliser. After planting water in well and apply a thick layer of mulch as bananas are suckering plants, but keep away from the stem of the young plant. Bananas are gross feeders, so liberally apply a complete or fruit and citrus fertiliser every 6 weeks to the surface and the odd handful of lime.
Suckers will appear near the base of the main stem. Select one to be the next main stem and remove the others completely. It may take 2 or 3 seasons for the first fruit to be produced and after that fruit has been harvested the main stem should be cut down to ground level, allowing the others to be the next fruiters. This process is continued indefinitely.
The fruit is ready to be harvested once the bananas lose their ridges, become more rounded and the black, withered remains of the flowers are dry and crumbly, as you would get when buying them. The whole bunch or just one ‘hand’ can be harvested as required and ripened indoors as normal.