Brisbane Local Food
I would really like a banana
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Paul, I had 2 types of banana's, bought about 5 years ago, the lady finger and the gold finger. I fully recommend the gold fingers. Massive bunches (I'm talking around 90 banana's per bunch) and while the trees are tall, the bunches are SO heavy that they conveniently bend down so that the bunch is head height by the time we are ready to harvest. This has a two fold bonus. 1) You can harvest hand by hand so instead of getting those 90 banana's in one hit, you can have them ripening up for a period of about 6-8 weeks by weekly harvest of an unripe hand, bringing inside and letting it ripen on the bench. 2) because they bend down and the bunches are low, there is NO problem with bat damage. I don't ever cover my bunches as I never seem to have a problem with this type.
My second type, the lady fingers, were a very tall plant and very prolific but unlike the goldfingers, their bunches remained up high, completely out of reach. You would need a ladder to harvest and so I would harvest the whole bunch (also a two person job because while there may be far less on the bunch (30 banana's on average), it was still too heavy for me to cut off and grab, especially balancing precariously on a 6ft ladder). The bats would frequently get into my bunches because I would leave it too late and the little buggers would sniff out the slightest hint of ripeness and because up high, would not be scared of my dog or cat which helps to keep them off the lower bunches.
In light of that, I ended up digging up all my lady fingers and replacing with a dwarf ducasse this year so I'll have a while to wait before I can give you a report on those but I strongly recommend the Goldfingers. Picture below shows an almost ready bunch to start harvesting - it will drop a little more as the banana's fill out. At the moment, the top bunch is level with my eyes.
Bunnings sell them every so often as well.
yes we always use the feed bags - not see through and cut the bottoms . my grandfather won prizes in the 50s 60s and Dad in the 60s for their bananas at the Brisbane exhibition - they were grown on our property at the back of Laceys Creek on such steep mountain that we had a flying fox ( now known as ziplines ) to take the bunches down the mountain and they always used feed bags - hessian and later woven plastic - be very careful snakes dont get in them !
I just ordered direct online. The dwarf red dacca would be ideal for a smaller garden. Bagging should be fine, just make sure you use proper banana bags. If the bag is a semi-transparent type and the bunch is in the sun, you can spray a little paint on the outside to stop sunburn. Throwing a handful of Diatomaceous earth on the bunch is also a simple way of reducing crawlies.
Simplest is to order from Blue Sky and they will post out the plants when they are ready. Go direct to the supplier.
If you check the Blue Sky website there are a number of different varieties available with varying stem heights and bunch weights. If the bunches are high enough for the bats to access easily, there'd be no minimum size, the bats eat anything ripeish not nailed down. Covering the bunch would be the only defence. I used to wait for the bats to take a chomp and use that as a signal of maturity and cut the bunch down then; I never used bunch covers.
there are miniature bananas - dwarf varieties to be more precise - we just bag the bunches as soon as the bell falls off _ Good to eat ...not sure where you are but look at Blue sky backyard banans and look for a local stockist ours apparently is
so do I but worried about the bats here in margate is there a minature form of bananas small enough not to attract them
Ok, thanks Elene
Paul to be legal, you MUST buy a tissue culture plant from Blue Sky Backyard Bananas. Although we no longer need a permit to plant, it is not legal to buy or swap Banana plants or crowns.
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