Does this make me a grandmother?

20 Sep

My little baby dwarf banana tree had a pup. It’s very cute, and it has had a growth spurt over the past few weeks.

The accepted wisdom is to leave one of these pups in place to take the place of the main stem, because once the tree fruits you cut it down. But they supposedly send out a few suckers/pups per year, and I’d like to expand my banana operation.

So today I decided to set the little baby free into the big wide world, and just hope the tree sends out another sucker before it fruits.

To divide the sucker from the main stem, I just placed my square ended shovel between the two and cut downwards. The angle was awkward and I’m a 100 pound weakling, but it was remarkably easy.

The resulting division didn’t have any roots like I was expecting, so I hope that isn’t a problem.

The another half of the banana bed was filled with concrete until this past weekend. P graciously pulled out the sledgehammer and broke it all up for me, and the kids had a great time lugging lumps of concrete into the wheelbarrow.

The problem was that the bed was now empty, and I was having problems finding enough soil to fill it up. To make things more complicated, bananas are notoriously hungry, so not just any soil was going to do the trick.

Thankfully, I’d recently filled up my compost tumbler, and although not completely broken down, the contents should be nitrogen-rich and at least fill up the space. If I go crazy with the mulch over summer as it breaks down further, I should be right.

Now after filling the bed and planting the pup I did something quite uncharacteristic of me.

I planted flowers.

I recently ordered some oriental lilium bulbs from Tesselaar. I really adore them as cut flowers, and I’d love them in my house over Christmas time. They tolerate partial shade, so I thought that they would go really nicely under the banana baby.

The bulbs were already sprouting when I pulled them out of their bag, so they should be bursting out of the ground shortly after all this warm weather. Hopefully I haven’t planted them too late to get flowers for Christmas.

So after planting the bulbs I thought I’d get a bit more nitrogen into the soil for the banana’s sake. I sprinked half a bag of cow manure and a quarter bucket of dynamic lifter over the bed and watered it in.

It certainly looks impressive, and I’m secretly hoping for a bunch of bananas every year. That would have been slightly optimistic with one tree in Sydney, but I’m hoping that with two, we should have some success.

6 Responses to “Does this make me a grandmother?”

  1. Leanne Cole September 21, 2011 at 2:56 pm #

    When I first read the post I thought I was going to read a post about crocheted cardies and you running around in the garden in you dressing gown and slippers. So glad it was just about bananas. I hope you have a lot of success with them. Bananas would never grow down here.

    • L September 25, 2011 at 12:45 pm #

      Hehe. There are some minor details about my gardening attire that I prefer to keep private ;P

  2. Barbara Good September 22, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

    L I’m in complete amazement that you can grow bananas in Sydney, no hope here in Melbourne. I have learnt so many surprising things about hoe bananas grow from reading blogs, so I’ll be watching for your updates on this one with great anticipation.

    I too am growing some flowers this year, though still looking for some to pick for inside. So far I have sunflowers, nasturtiums and marigolds and my precious fuchsia – I love these and a dear friend gave me a cutting back in July, can’t wait til it flowers.

    • L September 25, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

      I think it’s possible in Melbourne – I’ve read that they just take longer to fruit. Tino in Tasmania is growing them in Gardening Australia’s veggie patch.

  3. Liz September 24, 2011 at 4:07 pm #

    Hmmm if a sapling makes you a grandmother what about the seed I’ve saved from the plants produced from seed I’ve saved produced from plants produced from seed I’ve saved and so on – a great, great, great grandmother – suddenly I feel very old – and excited for you that you may soon have two bananas.

    • L September 25, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

      Well perhaps my musing was completely ridiculous 🙂
      I just hope the little one pulls through – I’ve since read that it really should have roots to survive. Eek!

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