Now what am I doing? Or not doing? These are Dwarf Ducasse in their first fruiting season. Two are almost on the ground and the other is perched precariously on a dodgy wood fence.
Sucker-removal has not been what it should have been nor has trash-removal and I'm thinking that the plants are supporting what looks like quite big bunches and all those suckers. The suckers are gone now but too late, perhaps?
The one leaning on the fence is the subject of this blog; it's the oldest plant being about 6 months in age ahead of the other 3.
So to the growers of Dwarf Ducasse on BLF ... anyone had similar experiences with bent stems? I might say, the Ladyfingers of earlier times might have bent a bit and I did prop the stem up to an extent but then I de-suckered more often too.
Quite a big bunch around 12 rows - is this normal for Dwarf Ducasse?
The oldest stem, smallest bunch - we hope to get it onto the ground before the fence collapses ;-) This bunch is the subject of the earlier blog.
Very impressed with the banana bunches, Elaine!. We've only got Lady fingers - the hand we just picked does not compare. May have to try that variety, even if it does need to be staked, it looks like it will be well worth any effort!
If there's a secret to it, it's to chop up all the trash and use it as fertiliser. Worked a treat with the Lady Fingers years ago and works well with the Asparagus too - in fact better using the Asparagus put through the mulcher than chopping that and adding Organic Xtra. The Banana - and the Paw Paw - look solid but are not really and break down quite quickly - around 3-6 months depending on the size of the heap. Stick with your Fingers and try out my 'secret recipe' ;-)
Just a bit of an update: we are two old ducks, 70 and 78 and past our use-by date especially with strength. The Bananas are really beyond us. So reluctantly we've decided to kill the 3 stools and put all the trash into our 'not-Banana-Circle' (thank goodness we have somewhere useful to put it!). We've left one sucker and will see how that goes, we've now got an X-shaped prop which I reckon we could use under the bunch stem right from when the bunch first turns downward. The non-Banana-Circle won't go to waste, think of the fantastic compost we'll get in a year or two! We've Queensland Arrowroot to grow on the berm plus Paw Paws plus some Sweet Potatoes. Happy days - we hope. We love those Bananas and are just a bit p***d off that there was no instructions on keeping them supported. Nor indeed how high a 'dwarf' Ducasse grows - seems it's between 2 and 3 metres at the 'throat' being the place from which the stem arises.
There's several varieties available. Go to Blue Sky in Tully for info. Then you need to contact today's equivilent of the DPI for a permit application. The permit is to transport the plants through some zone they have restrictions on (don't ask me!). The only legal way to obtain plants is to buy the tissue culture ones from Blue Sky; they are $33 each posted.
sorry - way too late to help you, but what I say might help others
My dwarf ducasse needs support for the trunk and the bunch - - the bunches weigh between 40 and 45kg and will pull the tree over. other than that it is a very nice banana to eat, the only big problem is the size of the bunches - over 140 bananas on my latest and they all seem to ripen on the same day. I hang mine under a pergola in a plastic bag to finish off the ripening and unlike lady fingers they hall go yellow on the same day. Your friends appreciate it and they freeze pretty well - I take a few out of the freezer to put into milk shakes or cakes once they are thawed
They dry wonderfully and keep for months without refrigeration. They will keep a couple of weeks in specialised 'banana keeping bags'.
Luckily my current Dwf Ducasse bunch is leaning against the fence. Hopefully it won't do too much damage to the actual bananas.
Yep, I dehydrate most of my banana bunches. They keep for ages and make a lovely sweet treat.
try taking a few hands from the top of your next bunch (if you can reach them), leave them in a warm spot with some other ripe fruit, you may find they ripen before the rest of the bunch (depending on the weather)
The fruit at the bottom of the bunch is the oldest though. For me it is very tricky to take fruit from the bunch while the bunch is on the plant. I managed it with some difficulty with a pruning saw and it was simpler to cut through the main bunch stem than try and get the hands off.
Looks like that's a downside with dwarf Ducasse - the stem's inability to support its own bunch. At least I can reach them unlike Lady Fingers which I grew 30 years ago and could shinny up a ladder without blinking ;-)
dwarf ducasse have bunches up near the 40kg mark - or all mine have been so far - with over 130 bananas on each bunch. they are so tightly packed on the bunch that taking a hand off is nigh on impossible - even when they are hanging head high under my pergola where I put them to finish ripening. you have gluts and eat a lot or freeze them
From the pictures I see the oldest bananas at the top of the bunch, near the stalk, not at the bottom near the bell?