I just raked up some leaves from neighbors house to use as mulch, (Thanks for the leaves George!)
I put a layer beneath the Bananas to keep the bases warmer, right night nighttime temps are in the upper 40's
Since this banana gave off 6 pups this year and they all are about 6-7ft tall, I'm going to need chicken wire to make a frame around them...(more on that later)
No... onto "Cold Hardy" Palms!
I have a few Palms in our gardens, Date Palms and Windmill Palms,
They will also die if you don't protect from the cold, I'm preparing for a cold, long winter, since we haven't had one for awhile in the Seattle area.
You want to protect the bases and roots of them, most of mine are in pots so they will get cold really fast.
I start by digging out my old burlap coffee bags and some sticks, posts or small fencing.
I cut the top off the burlap to make a tube, put it over the pot and add the sticks, since its not so cold yet, I leave the palms uncovered and as is, once temps reach into the 30's I will add mulch and cover, I do this now just in case we get a surprise cold spell I can at least pull the burlap over them temporarily.
you still want them to get water (rain) so be sure to leave the tops open like this
on the taller pots I pulled the burlap down over the pots for now to keep the soil and roots warmer.
the small palm in the green pot, above, will move to the covered front deck with just a small burlap bag covering the pot, it will have enough protection on the deck. The other pots are just to heavy and large to move. I will post more on these as the temps drop!
I'm in a confusing area, slightly south of Seattle, however I've created some what of a microclimate in my backyard so I can grow a few tropical and exotic plants.
I planted my Banana trees August 19th 2015, I bought them from my local nursery on clearance and didn't know if they would make it through the winter since I was planting them so late in the season. They were pretty much done for already, but I always like a garden challenge and the challenge of bringing plants on the brink of death back to life....
When I planted them they were all about a foot tall.
This is what it looked like Aug 2015
and what it looks like now....
It had many pups (new shoots from the base) now there is about 5-7 banana trees total from the one, the mom stands about 6-8ft tall. I winterized them last year and obviously they survived so I'm going to do it the same way as I did and hope for the best, that they make it until next spring.
So today is Oct 17th 2016, lets get started preparing for the next couple weeks.
First any dead or yellowed leaves I cut and lay at the base of the stalks, (also save any other leaves in your yard you might have, I collect my neighbors maple tree leaves to use for mulch, as long as they aren't diseased or have fungus/mold on them,they will come in handy later)
this will help keep the bases and soil protected from the upcoming freeze.
I will not do anything else until the first frost happens, usually around Oct 31st in my area, wait until you get the frost first.
Looking forward we will be cutting all the leaves off, so in the meantime enjoy the beauty of these plants while you can.
The following photos are where we will be cutting the leaves off at the stalk:
Here is the stock with the leaves
this is where we will be cutting
You will cut at an angle to let the stock "weep" the moisture out.
This is it for now, DO NOT CUT THEM YET! Wait until the first frost happens!
In the mean time, gather up:
clean leaves (no fungus or mold on them, they can be wet)
old blankets/sheets or burlap bags ( I use burlap coffee bags, its Seattle, they're everywhere)
a bail of straw (local feed or home improvement store,keep it dry, don't buy it until the day you cut the trees, we need it dry)
and depending on how tall your trees are either tomato cages or chicken wire.
Now sit back and enjoy them for the next few weeks and I will post the how to cut/mulch and winterize these Bananas!
Contemporary artist Kim McCarthy aka Urban Soule has been featured in many Design/Home Decor Magazines, Books and Television for her paintings. Her work can be found in residential, private and corporate collections throughout the United States and Abroad. Her work as a visual artist has taken her art on a number of extraordinary adventures around the world, from Art Basel to the BAM, the United Kingdom to Hollywood and back to Seattle where she currently resides with her family, a Bunny, two Dogs and two Peacocks. She is a member of numerous art and environmental groups that are dedicated to the preservation of Wildlife Conservation and Natural Habitats. Using mainly spray paint, stencils, ink and collage as mediums she creates images on almost any printable surface, preferably canvas or wood panels .She incorporates the old traditions of paper cutting with a newer urban approach to painting. She uses her own photography and turns the photos into multi layered paper stencils, over the years Flora and Fauna have became a personal favorite. She's constantly trying new techniques and mediums to fine tune her work.