It’s almost December, and we have, This is our Thanksgiving tree. Do you do any presentations in your area? I have been planning to cut a couple of the pups out and transplant them nearby (there are four right now), but I haven’t done that yet. Reply. Or why to rip out more of your lawn, Gardening through winter – what worked well, Propagating cuttings in water – the lazy method. Now, you've got the know-how to grow bananas in the desert. It worked, and it grew into a plant about 10 feet tall the first year. My buddy Brian has a Saba that has about 30 fingers on it now in zone 6 but its already frosted 2 days in a row here so I doubt they will get ripe before its time to go inside. (He can be reached at 916-627-8477 or Eric George has the plants – and gigantic bunches of fruit – to prove the contrary. They can be dug and left in the garage for 3 months, watering only once per month. His name is Eric, and I told him I’m gonna call him the Banangelist. Get answers from Sacramento Bee garden writer Debbie Arrington as she joins radio host Farmer Fred Hoffman on his morning shows Sunday, March 4. Your email address will not be published. In USA, banana plants can be grown is USDA hardiness zones 9b through 11, and also in zones 8b and 9a, if the temperatures stay above freezing. Lady Finger Bananas are the second most popular banana in Australia. He has a friend growing it in Pinole. Yes bananas do grow in California. I don’t think he thought it was as funny as I did! Use a 6- or 8-inch pot with a drainage hole, since banana trees thrive in well-drained soil. I’ll respond to the email you used to enter this comment. In contrast, american goldfinger FHIA-1 under the same exact conditions and timing, had all the fingers rot away. 3) It's a true dwarf. “I usually have ripe bananas by this time (of summer), but not quite yet this year. I’m surprised you can grow dragon fruit. “They don’t require much attention. Although they need frost protection, bananas can grow in the Sacramento area. There is a strain called the Orinoco banana. Click on the gallery to learn more about our banana varieties.eaten served chilled and is frequently used in desserts. Bananas grow rapidly and are therefore are potentially heavy feeders. They churn out leaves that are “as big a park bench” he says with a laugh. Your soil should be mildly acidic soil and have a good mix of peat, perlite, and vermiculite. just have to cut it down and let it go. Still got some peppers from the garden this week. They’ll grow back.”, “That’s one of the things I really like about this plant – how they’ve adapted,” George said. Since he started growing the banana trees some 15 years ago, George has sold more than 200 trees to customers from the Sierra foothills to as far south as Watsonville and Santa Cruz. If you don’t get it, email me at steve [at] (hybrid) Related species Abyssinian Banana (Ensete ventricossum Cheesman), Musa balbisina Colla, M. ornata Roxb., M. textilisNee AdaptationBananas and plantains are today grown in every humid tropical region and constitutes the 4th largest fruit crop of the world. They need moist soil when they start out.”. An urban farmer, he grows crops on two empty lots, former home sites that now produce a large assortment of fresh food. Species: Musa acuminata Colla, M. X paradisiacaL. “They’re great for wrapping tamales.”, Debbie Arrington: 916-321-1075,, @debarrington, Seventh annual Sacramento Banana Festival, Where: Shasta Park, 7407 Shasta Ave. (at Bruceville Road), Sacramento, When: 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 21. The photo above is the plant after I transferred it to a bigger 5 gal container. Yes, those are mushrooms. Bananas are the world's favourite tropical fruit. This weekend, George will be among the folks at Sacramento’s Shasta Park admittedly going bananas. I started seeing a few here and there around Fair Oaks, and at first I thought they were giant bird of paradise. Hear Sacramento Bee garden writer Arrington on the radio, World's largest, oldest camellia show returns to Memorial Auditorium – at least once more, What’s coming in 2018? “At first, I was trying to get anybody to buy a plant and try it,” he said. :). When frost is in the forecast, George wraps his plants. Can I grow Banana’s outside of the tropics? The cooler year round area prevents the blooming and often the banana chokes out. Re: Northern Growers - Bananas you can eat! Bananas can be grown well and easily throughout most of Southern California between the mountains and the ocean, specifically Sunset Zones 24 down to 21 (find your Sunset zone here). They grow from a succession of stems (pseudostems, I think they call them), growing up through the middle of the trunk. “I grow lots of different vegetables and fruit, but I thought if I could grow one thing and really concentrate on it, it would be this,” he said. Enter George, who has been growing bananas in West Sacramento for several years. Lady Finger. Erhardt Krause Sacramento Bee file photo Can’t grow bananas in Sacramento? Although bananas do not suffer frost damages, there is simply no bloom in most cases, this is the major complaint of banana growers aroung the vicinity of the cooler areas in the SF Bay. When looking for a location to plant your banana, choose one that has a rich, well-drained soil, receives full sun and is protected from strong winds. We bought two “snow bananas” from a nursery this spring — they looked bad from winter die-back, but that’s just normal for bananas. Commercial banana production in the United States is relatively limited in scale and economic impact. Growing Papaya in a Container in Northern California The other day, while shopping at our local garden store my eyes bulged with excitement when I saw a Hawaiian papaya( Solo variety) on sale. After finding Eric the Banangelist, Santia and I bought one of his plants about a year and a half ago for our wedding anniversary (we’re goofy, romantic gardeners like that). I did try transplanting one of the pups last year, and it didn’t work – digging it out caused too much damage to its roots. I’ve been shy to try since the one experience didn’t work, so the clump is just spreading from the root crown, close together. This is where it’s a suitable combination of humidity and winter warmth. “I hope I have some bananas, too,” he said last week. If you’re in Southern California and are serious about growing bananas, I highly recommend you schedule a visit with Jon (by appointment only). If there is a cold winter that goes below -15 degrees, the plant will not survive as an herbaceous perennial and will need to be replanted. Every year, I’ve had beautiful bananas for the festival.”. Jon also has some shipping options available if you’re outside the area. Highlights: Banana parade, 11 a.m. Saturday; banana pancake breakfast, 9-11 a.m. both days. Bananas are grown in the warm, tropical corners of the US, namely Hawaii and Florida. Arrington will appear from 9 to 10 a.m. on “The KFBK Garden Show” (Channel 93.1 FM and 1530 AM) and from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on “Get Growing” on KSTE (Talk 650 AM). Usually if you are closer to the Bay, the harder it is for bananas to bloom. How to Grow Bananas __ "Because it takes nine months or more to reach maturity, some northern gardeners grow the banana plant only for its spectacular ornamental foliage. I’ve read there are two different kinds of pups, and I should choose one with more sword-like foliage, as they have more roots of their own. Crazy good tomatoes and sunflowers, If you’re a fan of Christmas, you’ll love this year’s theme by a distinctive decorator. This past winter didn’t freeze very hard. But in our green-thumbed farm-to-fork capital, someone had to take the banana fest to the next level with some home-grown local produce. If you live in a state like Hawaii or Florida, or in other locations such as the south of Texas or California, you should be able to grow some kinds of edible bananas without much trouble. Banana trees offer lush, tropical foliage and delicious fruit! The reason I say "can be" is because a banana doesn't have to be heavily fertilized, but it can be if you want rapid growth. I hope they hurry up. I’ve learned how to care for it, really nurturing it to be its best. For the first winter, we wrapped Christmas lights around it and put a little tent of canvas over it on freezing nights. To grow a banana tree in a container, you’ll need to use a dwarf variety, since regular banana trees can grow too large for pots. Thank you. However, in the hobby greenhouse, even northern growers can achieve a fruit harvest and reap the added benefit of seeing the amazing way in which fruit is produced." So far, no one has returned one. Reply. We carry numerous banana varieties, especially in the summer months. Got garden questions? It’s usually at i. Find things to do, from music to movies to arts and theater. “Now, I typically sell 50 to 75 plants a year.”, George sells his banana plants, starting at $25, with a guarantee they’ll grow. Think of the areas that the marine layer consistently rolls over each summer night. Most of these exotic fruits won’t tolerate cold weather or frost, but some of them can still be grown in containers. The fruits are rich in fibre, potassium, vitamins A, B6 and C. But it's also about flavour - and you just can't beat the taste of a home grown banana. When they’re young, you’ve got to baby them a little. Check it out! But a little googling, and I found a website about a guy in West Sacramento who sells banana plants and kind of “evangelizes” about growing them around here. George got hooked on bananas while living in Florida. But around the plant, smaller “pups” have been growing out of the root mass, and one or two of those will become main stems after the largest one dies down. "But to get it to produce fruit regularly and thrive — that's the big challenge in our climate." There is a variety called “California Gold” that is probably OK for cooler areas. Winter temperatures here regularly dip below freezing for extended periods. Although it might not seem like it would show up on a list of exotic fruits, avocados were, once upon a time, new to the average American consumer. There are plenty of self-fruiting varieties to choose from. That’s why I’m quoting a huge portion of the info sheet he graciously provided to me back in 2006. 1) In Northern California, early spring blooms can produce mature bananas! “I don’t keep them covered during the day; they need to breathe. Once established, banana trees are relatively easy care – except in winter. Common Names:Banana, Bananier Nain, Canbur, Curro, Plantain Origin:Edible bananas originated in the Indo-Malaysian region reaching to northern Australia. "You can grow bananas almost anywhere as long as it doesn't freeze," Sheaffer tells the Times. Did you know you can grow bananas in northern California Zone 9? “The plant itself is a beautiful thing. If there is a retailer you are more familiar with, then you may find that they can do a special order for you to get the varieties that you are most interested in. You can see them every summer, flourishing in his front yard on Southwood Dr. People also grow bananas in other warm, non-tropical areas like California, Louisiana, Arizona, Texas. Here is a list of exotic fruits you can grow in your backyard. Bananas are a plant that can be grown quite successfully here in Southern California if they are given proper soil conditions and are protected from temperatures that venture below freezing. Yes, you can grow bananas in Southern California. It’s definitely possible to grow banana’s in non-tropical areas of the world, as long as your climate stays fairly warm. I’m hoping that inside that thick trunk right now is the fruiting stem that will flower and produce a bunch of bananas this year. “I use big sheets of burlap. David The Good August 1, 2016 - 10:08 am. George plans to bring at least 40 plants to sell at the Banana Festival. Virginia August 1, 2016 - 9:34 am. Expect 6-8 feet tall. I am in zone 9b on the south end of Silicon Valley, not exactly the “banana belt” but not the coldest part of the SF Bay Area either. joehewitt 2016-08-03 19:47:10 UTC #1. - From - This winter, we just let it freeze, and I cut off the dead leaves a few weeks ago, when it looked like the freezing nights were over. Can’t grow bananas in Sacramento? Eric had told us to just cut off the frozen parts in the spring, but we wanted to keep it as green as possible for its first several months in the ground, just to be sure it had transplanted well. “They’re very popular for cooking,” he said. Banana plants produce offshoots or pups, similar to succulents, he said. Some gardeners use large pots and move them indoors for winter. Eric said they usually take two years to produce fruit. Otherwise, it would require a greenhouse to protect them from cold winters. How close to the ocean are you? After the fruit, the main stem dies back and needs to be cut down. Get unlimited digital access at our lowest price of the year, “Absolutely, you’ve got to protect them from frost,” George said. “I’ve got banana plants that are 12 to 16 feet tall and a foot around at the base,” he said. It was only a few feet tall, and we planted it in October. Once your banana plants arrive, you will need to ensure that they have the right type of growing conditions in order to see them grow taller, produce flowers, and produce those gorgeous bunches of bananas. Real-time updates and all local stories you want right in the palm of your hand. Banana plants are almost all water; they will freeze and die.”. But a little googling, and I found a website about a guy in West Sacramento who sells banana plants and kind of “evangelizes” about growing them around here. There may be restrictions as banana growing in Australia specifically in Northern NSW and Queensland, needs a permit to plant or transplant a banana plant. I’m sure, here’s a link to a page about him, his work, and the Sacramento Banana Festival, cut a couple of the pups out and transplant them, Another huge flowerbed! So, it looks like hell right now, but it’s starting to grow back. Hey Chris, I do have his phone number. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. 7 exotic fruits you can grow in the United States. During the growing season, a banana can be fertilized every one to two months using a high nitrogen fertilizer. I had some brown leaves and stems to cut out, but not as much as before. The plant needs 10 – 15 months of frost-fr… It’s only appropriate at the seventh annual Sacramento Banana Festival. But he loves his bananas best. It comes from south america, and it evolved to grow on their mountain tops. ), Besides the fruit and plants, George also sells the leaves. Some banana varieties are more cold hardy than others (such as Lady Finger and Japanese Fiber Banana), so if you live somewhere that is a bit cold, you may be able to grow bananas, especially if you’re prepared to wrap the tree during the cooler months. That’s pretty cool.”. Do you happen to have contact info for Eric I cannot find any. Growing pineapples in Northern California Share this: ... Pineapples can grow where you might not think they can. Bananas can definitely be grown as an annual or an herbaceous perennial in the Midwest or northern states – most particularly down to zone 5. Avocados. The oldest stem is probably 13-15 feet tall now, and we are hoping to see a fruiting stem come out of it this summer! 2) relatively higher cold tolerance. Bananas are not growing during the winter, and are very drought tolerant during this time. This could be because they are slightly sweeter than common bananas or because they do not turn brown when cut, therefore making them perfect for fresh applications. Native to the tropics, banana trees are extremely frost-tender, an obstacle to growing these plants in the greater Sacramento area. All my neighbors love them.”. When properly fertilized, the Ice Cream Banana tree can grow to 10 feet in height. I have planted 2 kinds of bananas which are Banana (Musa acuminata) and Saba (Musa acuminata x balbisiana) 11 years ago, and they are still around and bearing fruit. Here are some more pics: While I’m here, I ought to provide an update. The banana clump is vigorous and growing very well. Bananas Indoors. I used to give regular presentations; however, I now live in the tropical rainforest far from Florida. “For instance, their leaves are perforated, so in the wind, the leaves tear apart and the whole tree won’t be blown over. I need to more regularly fertilize them, I think. “I get racks of 100 bananas, six feet long,” he said. Did you know you can grow bananas in northern California Zone 9? Almost everything I learned about how to grow bananas came from Jon. By Joan Morris | | Bay Area News … No, don’t eat them. So many people don’t even think about (growing bananas), it’s kind of educational, too.”. Among the topics will be tomato planting amid unpredictable weather, camellias and a gardeners’ view of Oscar night. It’s possible to grow bananas outdoors down to Zone 8, but getting them to fruit in those zones will be a challenge. “I cut the leaves off and cover the rest of the plant with burlap,” he explained. This community party started by celebrating bananas and banana-loving cultures, not growing this tropical fruit. However, the nursery sold them to us at a 75% discount because nobody wanted to risk buying them. “They’re totally edible and sweet. I’ve been waiting 3 years for this - a banana flower! “I water my trees twice a month,” George said. Gardeners in USDA Zones 9 to 11 can usually grow good bananas with a little extra attention to cold protection. Bananas can also be grown in such states as Texas, Arizona and California. Required fields are marked *. In return, they’ve rewarded me with so much good fruit.”. In his garden, George grows two kinds of bananas: a short Mexican plantain variety and a longer dessert banana similar to the Cavendish variety sold in supermarkets. One bunch can go a long way. Your email address will not be published. This large bunch grew in Folsom. this may be due to the fact that it's slower growing? A: You have chosen an anniversary gift that, planted where it is, is likely, as marriages often are, to suffer some adversity. Yup! Each banana plant will produce six to 15 offshoots a year. This is the best banana article I’ve read yet, thank you! Cross our fingers! Growing tips and more. The price was not cheap. They’ve greened up but haven’t grown a lot in two months. That allows George to spread banana love to other local gardeners. He specializes in hard-to-find vegetables such as Afghani pumpkins for ethnic markets and buyers. The fan of bananas that grow on the tree are called a "hand", and you should only pick one at a time to make sure that you don't over-ripen too many fruit. General Fruit Growing . Bananas can turn yellow on the "vine", but you can also hang your bounty in in a dark spot at a time. “I love the tropical look. George doesn’t know why the conventional wisdom says you can’t grow bananas in Sacramento–he only knows the results he–and scores of happy customers–have had! This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Even the little one wants a little attention this, When we bought this house, we didn’t know how am, Two lucky acquisitions this year - the neighbor as, What is this strange feeling? Bananas in Northern California. I started seeing a few here and there around Fair Oaks, and at first I thought they were giant bird of paradise. George is not the first gardener to successfully grow bananas in the greater Sacramento area, but he has concentrated on mastering this tropical fruit. :) Anyway, here’s a link to a page about him, his work, and the Sacramento Banana Festival. I paid $14.95 for a 2.5 gal ( see photo above). Even if they do get frost damage, the root stays alive. Admission: $10; children age 5 and younger admitted free.

can you grow bananas in northern california

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