5 Comments

  1. Liesel

    Our bananas are a year old and nearly 3 metres high – they seem to like manure on their feet and the humidifying company of pawpaw trees 🙂 You mentioned in an earlier Pig-Post that there are Jamberoo farmers who sell beef direct – could you provide contact details please? I’d prefer to buy grass-fed beef direct from a farm. cheers.

    • @Liesel: Wow, that’s huge! Pawpaws are another great idea for planting on the swale – thanks. I’ll email you some contacts for buying beef later.

  2. Hey Darren

    Nice swale and banana pit combination. 🙂

    A few pointers about the bananas… You will find that the distance between your plants is far to close. They should be a couple of metres apart. As bananas grow and sucker, they increase in size below the ground. So in a couple of years, your plants will be growing on top of each other. This will reduce the health, yield, and vigour of your plants.

    On a related note, keep your bananas plants sucker habits with a small an area as possible. Many permaculture related recommendations have the bananas moving around the circle as they manage the mother, daughter, grand daughter relationships. This is a big mistake as eventually the bananas will be growing on top of each other. As well, the sucker management will get more intensive.

    In the bottom of your banana pit, you should put some alkaline material such as wood ash, lime, or similar higher pH substances. The reason is that if water is trapped with lots of organic matter, it tends to become acidic. This is not an idea environment for bananas so the lime etc will help prevent any acidic environments. Palms fronds and wood shavings are also great alkaline material.

    Another tip is keep your sweet potato away from the bananas. They generally prefer acidic environments and will compete with the bananas. Their tuber production around the root base of the bananas can be a problem (e.g. how do you harvest them without damaging the banana’s root system).

    Also, I would not waste the swale space with a loquat. These plants are very tough and seem to produce better under harder conditions. They are also great wind breaks. So if you have a section with poorer soil that could provide a wind break to other plants, then a loquat is one of the top fruit tree choices.

    If you haven’t got a Blue Java banana planted, then you really should try to acquire one. They are top desert/smoothie banana (not really an eating plain banana as they taste best when smooshy). Dwarf Ducasse is another top choice for a very very tasty eating banana.

    • @Jason: Awesome tips! Thanks!

      The bananas haven’t been in for very long, so it shouldn’t be a problem to transplant some further along the swale to thin them out. I need to read up on sucker management. Sounds like I should move the loquats, too. The sweet potato isn’t near the bananas at this stage, so I’ll keep it that way. We get wood ash from our fireplace through winter, so I’ll add that to the banana circle to keep the acidity down.

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