The growing of bananas does not take much effort, but there are things that should be got right before planting them. Bananas come with some good benefits. Some of them are that they are good windbreakers, a good source of shade to your house especially on the Western side. Bananas will utilize the wastewater in the drains and the nutrients in it. The banana leaves can be fed to the cows, horses or any other animals and mats and baskets can be weaved using the dried remains.
There are some things that bananas need for them to be grow well and they are:
- Fertile soils that are dark and rich
- A lot of organic matter and mulch
- A temperature that is neither too hot or too cold
- Moisture in both the ground and in the air
- And shelter from the other banana plants.
The banana plants will not prosper.
- Very strong winds
- Extreme temperatures; hot or cold
- Being hungry or thirsty
- They hate exposure and being alone
Bananas come with varieties that are Cavendish- this is the banana in most shops and is stout that has heavy bunch. Lady finger- they are the sweet and slender plants. The plantains- these are the cooking bananas. They are cooked while still green and are a staple food in many countries. To start growing bananas you will need to have a conducive climate mostly tropical or subtropical because the banana plant will only handle heat if there is water. Banana plants require a lot of water to grow because the leaves evaporate a lot and water and humidity will keep them healthy. Having a lot of rich soil is good for the bananas. This can be done by incorporating a lot of compost with chicken manure and a bit of wood ash will not hurt because of the potassium in it. You will also need room to plant them together so as to help with the strong winds and the humidity of the closeness will help in their growth. Plant them in blocks or chimps and not in rows because this will not provide any protection.
You cannot plant them from seeds because bananas do not produce seeds. So you will need suckers to plant and this can be borrowed from a banana plantation. They are readily available and take them from the vigorous banana plants. Using a shovel, cut the sucker from the mother plant making sure you get a good chunk with roots in it. Leave it to evaporate a bit then plant it. Planting using corm is also possible but it will take longer than when you are using the suckers. The spacing will depend on your layout of the way you want to plant them, but remember to keep them moist or they will die.
Death is very common for bananas because of lack or water. However, other than that they will not need much maintenance. In about six months, you will see the first flower emerge and it will be better to leave the leaves around it to protect the stalk from the sun. Then take of the ‘bell’ – this is the purple flower petals. You will then have to wait another two months then the bananas will be ready for picking when they are rounded with ribs. You can leave them to ripen on the bunch. When you pick the ripe bananas, the plant will die, cut it off and then let the sucker grow again.
This article touched the basics of the topic. I have 2 more resources related to the above. They are how to grow bananas and how to plant bananas. Do consider reading them.