Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Cold Hardy Bananas: It's time!

With the change of weather here in Seattle, from 50's to 40's to a drop in the low 30's coming, 
you never know whats going to happen in the weather.
I was going to do this Saturday but now it says its going to rain and today is somewhat nice.
So Lets get started with winterizing the Banana trees!


First you'll need:
Bubble Wrap
knife/scissors
packaging tape

This is the small grove I'm starting with.. and the first steps of the process,
 
 Start by cutting off the leaves of each plant, DON'T cut the stock and DON'T throw away the leaves.
Next year the Banana leaves will start growing from the top, you want to keep the height of the tree, 
when you get all the leaves cut off, just make a clean cut across the top as seen in this picture below,
Vinnie our dog was helping me.
 
Next... make a bubble wrap "cap" for the top of the stalk, this prevents water getting down inside the stalk, make sure the bubbles of the bubble wrap are facing inward on the stalk, you still want a little air circulation
tape around the wrap so its tight. 
 I use two pcs of the wrap for the "cap"  and fold them over
.next start wrapping the stalk making sure the bubbles are on the inside...
go all the way to the base and start on the other stalks...
 Once I finish wrapping the stalking, wrap tape around the whole stalk to make sure the bubble wrap is secure.
Take the leaves you cut off and lay them, top side up, along the bases of the trees, I lay mine above the bubble wrap edge at the bottom and weave them through all the tree bases. 
This creates an extra layer of "mulch" that will keep the heat in and frost out, make sure the bases of the stalks/trees are fully covered, if they freeze they turn to mush and .....die....
Here's my next grove I finished today, the bigger trees, about 7-8ft tall.
Same process, cut off all the leaves and lay them at the bases.

Close up

 Stalks all wrapped and leaves are protecting the bases and the ground from cold.
In the next day or two I will be finishing them up. 
In the meantime gather your leaves/mulch/straw and your chicken wire, we are going to be making a ring around them and filling them up solid to the top!

Have questions?
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