Sunday, January 9, 2011

Cool bananas

Last february we got some banana plants from Queensland. I couldn't find the type I wanted in WA, so we got some in vitro plantlets (because soil can't be sent inter state). They came in test tubes and were about 2 cms long! We weren't sure if they would strike so we got 4 and grew them on in a misting house we have at work. They have all grown really well, so we planted 2 out in September when they were about 30 cms tall. I jokingly said that we'd get fruit before Tino (Carnivale, from Gardening Australia), who planted some in Tasmania a year before us. Not that I'm competitive or anything, but I think we're a good chance looking at their growth to date.

This is a pic of the test tube babies, February 2010:

Here's me planting them in September 2010:

They are now 2 m tall and suckers are coming up for the next clonal generation. I'm hoping for fruit in spring or summer 2011, 9-12 months off. We have planted them in a North facing spot with a favourable micro-climate. In winter they will get plenty of sunlight and radiated heat from the nearby brick wall. They are also protected from the southerly winds and get extra water from a DIY grey water system off our washing mashine. Quarterly feeds of homemade compost, sheep poo and blood and bone keep them pumping along. The variety is 'Dwarf Ducasse', which grow to 2.5m, perfect for a suburban garden. They're a bit tricky to strike, but if you want a go get in touch with Blue Sky Backyard Bananas.

This is them now:

And the first of the next generation:
Cool eh?

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