Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Well it has been a long journey but at long last MY BANANA'S ARE FRUITING!!! Ali beat me to the punch as her flower appeared about a week before mine.. but I have two (in your face Ali lol) and one with a short leaf so soon to be three! I am also almost expecting up to another four as there are plants very similar in size - seven in total at (approx) 35kg ea flower - 245kg of bananas!


Here is a blog about my banana plantations if you're interested/ missed it. I first planted these four in June 2008, nearly 2 1/2 years to produce fruit - not sure if that's a record or not but it felt like it with well meaning onlookers advising that it takes 9 months for banana's to fruit.

http://brisbanelocalfood.ning.com/profiles/blogs/my-banana-plantations

Check out some of the angles, they will need supported for sure as the bananas grow bigger! The two at the back are fruiting already despite having full size suckers, the one at the front on the left has a flag leaf on one despite having full size sucker, and the one at the front on the right doesn't have a full size sucker but the 'correct' teenager yet it doesn't have even a short leaf yet!



When the flower first appeared I thought it looked a bit rude - now it is a lot nicer! Not all the petals have opened yet but already I counted 70 bananas on just one of the flowers, bring on January! The plants are looking very dodgy, we will have to rig up some sort of support as the bunch grows or we might end up with the whole plant falling over.


The Infrastructure Manager has been very busy creating two more gardens down the other side of the back yard - didn't give him much choice when six more banana pups turned up. They are two of each Lady Finger, dwarf Lady Finger and dwarf Blue Java - hopefully we get one of each to survive... although at the moment looks like we'll get 100%!


To create the beds, Ash concreted the edge then I used the yellow pages to create a barrier on the grass, covered with a generous sprinkling of blood & bone, some cut up banana fronds and comfrey leaves then covered with lucerne - here's hoping the grass dies!


The tamarillos are struggling on gamely (think they get too much sun) and there is a lot of fruit and flowers, hopefully I will be able to get either seeds or cuttings going this year and I will plant some more in the new banana bed. I have both a red and an orange variety, if anyone has a different one I'd love a cutting or seeds. [Edit, my blog 'My Fruit Tree Obsession' says I have a yellow and a red... but the fruit looked orange last year?]



One of my guava is fruiting not sure which one - china pear or thai white (think it is the thai white based on my blog 14/06/10 but time will tell). These have both done really well, and that part of the garden is looking decidedly forest like with 2 x citrus, avocado and these two competing for space! I will have to give them a good haircut this year to keep them in their place.




The passion fruit have all gone crazy, Ashley has fruit already (grafted purple ones from the green shed) but mine (red and yellow panama) are finally starting to flower - lets hope this year I get some fruit! I carefully didn't fertilise them but gave a good shot of potassium and boron for good measure after last years disaster.







Most of my veggie beds are empty, slack with the succession *again*. I got out last weekend and planted a huge amount of seeds, but looks like a lot didn't come up... will have to replant corn and beans at least. The red okra came up and a few others likely cucumber, pumpkin, melons (didn't label very well either *again* - you'd think I learn my lesson but nooo lol.)





My sweet potato is out of control, it loves the rain and produces heaps of vines, but needs encouragement to put forth roots and therefore create tubers. Every so often I go and bury them by chucking a shovel load of dirt onto the vines.



Didn't realise that I planted the new stuff amongst the stuff I missed last year woops. This might get a bit crowded with tumeric, ginger, comfrey and a plant that tastes like asparagus - Scarlett can you please remind me the name?



Yesterday I got out and dug all the marigolds into the big bed (a bit early but I got sick of waiting) and finally put the irrigation system into that bed - just have to connect it to the rest - and covered all with a layer of lucerne. In general I am trying not to dig but I seem to get nematodes all the time and this is the best way to combat them, if it doesn't work I will have to do a molasses drench but that does kill all the good bugs too. I'll chuck a couple of shovels of fresh compost in there next weekend.


There are two beds out the back to clean up, they have some tomatoes that severely outgrew the tubes that I was trialling, the green zebra has grown up and then over the side and now the fruit are all hanging down the side! I am waiting for the broccoli and radish seeds to ripen and the tomatoes to finish (or another tomato elsewhere to start) before cleaning them up and putting the irrigation in.




Well during writing this blog I have searched through and found information in four of my previous blogs, it is a great relief to know that I don't have to reply on my sketchy memory!

If you want to see full size photos, they are in my November 2010 album.

http://brisbanelocalfood.ning.com/photo/albums/november-2010









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Comment by Donna on November 22, 2010 at 15:15
Sounds great, I will be trying paw paw and also tamarillo in one of the new ones :)

Joanne we found concrete edging the easiest and cheapest by a long shot.
Comment by Joanne Chung on November 22, 2010 at 14:30
I think I read it somewhere.. it can be a banana and pawpaw ring... maybe I can plant more papaya and banana to form a ring.. do some sort of edging around it and use the middle as compost heaps...
Comment by Florence on November 22, 2010 at 12:40
I am green with envy ~ So much bananas!!! And more plants going in ~~!!! I so want a banana circle but have no space for it unless I put it in the main chook run..
Hope you'll get your passionfruits soon too ~
Comment by Donna on November 21, 2010 at 14:51
Joanne, if you go to the blog page and search for banana plantation it will come up.
Comment by Joanne Chung on November 21, 2010 at 13:26
I did try the link to get to your banana blog... no success :(
Comment by Donna on November 21, 2010 at 12:16
Ali, Annette McFarlane (garden author and guru) told me at the BOGI fair that they would flower in November and be ripe in January - she was right about the flower so I am hoping that she is right about the fruit too!
Comment by Donna on November 21, 2010 at 12:14
Elaine that's a good tip, will keep my eyes open for one, otherwise will be on the lookout to borrow (I can pay in bananas lol) for sure.
Comment by Donna on November 21, 2010 at 12:13
Joanne, check out my original blog about bananas - it took mine 2 1/2 years from that size but that's because I didn't look after them.

Firstly I would suggest you get rid of that grass to at least a metre around it (we tried a heap of things and in the end concrete edges were the cheapest/ easiest although the wooden boxes were okay as well) and then start feeding it up with lots of chicken poo enriched compost. Mine sulked for the first year but as soon as I did that they bolted and doubled in size in months.
Comment by Joanne Chung on November 21, 2010 at 12:03
congratulation on your bananas... so exciting.. I think I have to be very patient with my baby plant.. I will try to look after it as best as I can without any expectation, hope I get rewarded next summer...


look.. so tiny :(
Comment by Elaine de Saxe on November 21, 2010 at 11:31
And when they do ripen, you have virtually the whole bunch ripe in the space of about a week. A drier is a good thing to have/beg/borrow ... an electric one is simple to control but a solar one is heartwarming if a tad fussy since it likes the sun to be out. There are el cheepo driers about and reference to eBay or Trading Post, local paper, garage sales can be useful. And dried bananas, like that cucumber soup, are to die for ;-)

And once the fruit bats take a couple of chomps, you know they are ready to be picked. But since they might be entombed in a plastic case, then having a look now and then towards ripening time will have to do.

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