You might think it’s impossible to grow your own bananas but we have a guide here so you can give it a try!
Contrary to popular belief, bananas do not grow on trees, they actually grow on plants closely related to herbs and you can grow them outside of the tropics.
Banana plants are unusual plants to have in your garden. While they do need a lot of water to grow, they make up for this by providing many benefits. Firstly, they produce plenty of bananas. So if you want fresh and free bananas to eat, you should definitely grow them in your garden.
Secondly, they break the wind. This makes banana plants perfect for protecting weaker plants and garden structures. Third, their leaves can be given to grazers such as cows, goats, sheep, and horses. This will could reduce your animal rearing costs.
Lastly, when the banana plants die, their trunks can be dried and used to make Eco-friendly mats and baskets.
In this article, we will share with you exactly how to grow bananas in your own back garden to reap all the of aforementioned benefits.
How to Plant Bananas
If planting outside you should choose a site that is sheltered from the wind and protect it from the threat of frost. This will give them the best chance of survival.
The banana plants should be planted in late spring, in a well-drained soil, that is organically rich. Once they have germinated they should be watered generously.
If you are planting your bananas indoors in pots or containers then they should be planted in loam-based compost. Plants that are indoors will need more regular watering and feeding during the spring and summer months.
How to Care For Banana Trees
Bananas are delicate plants. Therefore, they need proper care. The one thing you should do to ensure your banana plants are always healthy is to water them regularly.
If you do this, they will produce good fruit for you fairly often. You should also give the plants the nutrients they need to thrive. So add the recommended amounts of organic fertiliser around their roots every now and then. Potassium fertilisers are highly recommended.
Once the plants develop big leaves, you should be prepared to water them regularly. This is because their big leaves evaporate plenty of water especially during summer or in places with hot climates.
Banana plants can act as windbreakers but not when they are small and weak. Therefore, when they are still small, you will need to protect them from strong winds.
Other than what we have mentioned above, you simply need to cut off any dead leaves, and your banana plants should be healthy for a long time.
How to Harvest Bananas
The size of bananas is not the best indicator for harvesting as it depends on the variety. The best time to harvest bananas is when the upper hands on the bunch start changing to light green and yellowish from dark green.
To confirm if your bananas are ready for harvesting, squeeze them gently. If they are plump, then they are ready. If they are hard, give them more time. To harvest a banana, get a sharp knife to cut the hands-off.
Please note that all hands do not mature at the same time. Therefore, only harvest those that are ready and do this with caution.
Unsure what to do with your huge crop of bananas? Try some of these recipes that are sure to make your taste buds pop.
Tips and Common Problems
While bananas can grow in many regions across the planet, they particularly do well in warm subtropical climates and tropical climates. So if you are in the UK growing bananas is very challenging. It is also hard to grow them for many regions in the United States.
However, if you have a greenhouse or another way to regulate temperature and humidity then there’s no reason you shouldn’t give it a try if you’re an advanced gardener.
To grow bananas, you need to supply them with plenty of water. Therefore, if you want to grow them prepare to water them several times during the day, especially when the weather is hotter than usual.
A common pest of banana plants is the red spider mite, you will find them all over your banana plants. You will need to be vigilant as they can breed rapidly and infected plants should be taken away from others.