My banana / beans experiment

19 Feb

Beans and snow peas planted around my dwarf banana

I recently planted a dwarf Cavendish banana in the north-east corner of the yard. I planted it in soil broken down from my bokashi bucket, which should be full of nitrogen and organic matter. Since planting it we have had a huge number of really hot and humid February days, and the banana is loving it. It is putting out a new leaf every 3-5 days, and looking very very healthy.

Being the amateur gardener that I am, I slavishly follow things I read in books and on the web. I read that bananas like nitrogen. I also read that legumes capture nitrogen from the air and fix it into the soil. This lead me to think – why don’t I plant beans under my banana? So I did.

I have planted dwarf bush beans at the front and sides of the tree, and a row of climbing snow peas around the back, which I’ll train up some wire that I plan to mount along the back fence. I was worried that the seeds would rot in the ground before they germinated because the banana needs so much water, but the germination rate has been amazing. My experiment so far is a success.

4 Responses to “My banana / beans experiment”

  1. Trevor September 3, 2011 at 4:08 pm #

    I’ve got a pretty big banana tree growing out here in Phoenix, AZ and was considering doing the same thing with nitrogen fixing beans around it for the the same reason.

    How’d your banana tree do? Are the beans doing the trick of giving the banana tree all the nitrogen it needs, or are you needing to supplement it?

    • L September 21, 2011 at 12:18 am #

      Hi Trevor,

      I just posted an update on my banana tree today. The beans did well, but I guess it’s hard to measure how the tree would have gone anyway.


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