41 Arboriculture | Banana Day Dreamin’

From metal to trees? Sure, whatever you say, gurus!

41 Arboriculture, the Care of Trees
For the house or garden

(and for those who are paying attention and think we skipped 40, we didn’t–I just forgot to mention it was being combined with #38, I’ve since fixed that)

Folks, I might have it going on with the crafty things, but I pretty much suck at growing things. Black thumb of Calcutta level of death and destruction to houseplants and herb gardens. Seriously, I’ve killed Rosemary. Three times! And those of you who garden know just how bad you have to be to do that.

Still, I have a hunch that if I put my mind to it (and, by that, I mean my obsessive streak that has me researching anything and everything to do with a subject  to the exclusion of a lot else) I could manage not to kill everything green within a half-mile radius. But since I don’t have that much space in my head to spare at the moment, hows about I start with just one thing for now?

Last fall, while chatting with our new neighbors about the very prolific lemon tree that came along with the home they’d purchased they mentioned we’d soon have to start trading lemons for bananas.

jwalker_bananas1

Well I’ll be! We actually had bananas on our tree! (and, yes, I first shared this over on Nibbles back in October)

See, I thought I’d read (or maybe heard on NPR or some such) that banana trees in the US didn’t do so hot and couldn’t be pollinated. Guess I was very wrong, huh?

So that was late-September or so and I took to watching the bananas to see when they’d be ready to harvest. A few quick searches hadn’t yielded much info on North Florida banana-growing, but I did find that once the bananas filled out and lightened in color a bit, they could be brought in and let ripen in a warmish, dry place. Like the garage (didn’t want to bring them inside in case of bugs) or some such.

But then things too a turn for the weird. We had an usually cold spell in mid-to-late October (for our Halloween party it didn’t even get into the 50s!) and then a freak heat wave in January.

Still, we took in a hand or two of bananas in November, I think, to see what would happen. Not much, as it turns out, since that cold snap stunted the bananas growth (I found out later that if temperatures drop below 30F the bananas will stall). That said, we sort of forgot about the bunch we’d brought in and left it hanging in the garage well after we’d written them off.

Bananas!
Bananas!

Apparently that heat wave in January that coincided with our outdoor engagement shoot was just what 2 of our bitty bananas needed to ripen! How nice that Mother Nature gave us one apiece to try. They were delicious, too, and makes me more determined to make sure this year’s crop (if we get one) yields even more.

We’ve got quite a copse of trees in our side yard so even though we had 5 flower this year (and they only flower once in their life), we stand a good chance of some of the newer shoots producing some fruit. If so, I plan to watch the weather a bit more carefully than before and make sure we bring in any likely bunches sooner rather than later. Maybe even bring them inside if it gets that cold.

Maybe even string them up in the shower of our spare bathroom!

How are you with growing things? Trees especially?

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