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A perfect contrast

Two things happened this week that very clearly show the dichotomy of this new project of mine.

First, I received a delivery of two tiny new plants.

These are ‘Blue Java’ bananas, also known as ‘Ice Cream’ bananas. I chose this variety both because they are a little more cold-tolerant than other varieties (though not quite tolerant up to my zone) and because of their supposed flavor. To be quite honest…I’m not at all fond of bananas. But they are useful sources of nutrition as a smoothie ingredient or a healthier replacement for oil in baking, so I did want to grow at least one. And the ‘Ice Cream’ banana is supposed to have a more smooth and creamy vanilla-ice-cream flavor than your typical store-bought. So I’m hoping this variety may change my mind about bananas.

There aren’t many plants that say ‘tropical’ as much as banana plants, though, are there? The broad leaves so opposite of an evergreen’s narrow needles just screams “I don’t do snow!”

So, naturally, my yard currently looks like this:

Thankfully, the bananas arrived with no sign of damage from the cold — they were really well packaged from MyPlantsGifts on Etsy — and I was able to put them directly into a bed and under some grow lights.

I decided to put them into a large, rolling, self-watering bed because of their growing habit of spawning ‘pups’ off of the sides of their main corm. Unlike the taller but more narrow growing bags, I thought the size of the larger bed would give them the space they need to propagate. And bananas are fairly shallow-rooted, so it should be fine. (I hope.)

My only concern is the eventual weight of the adult plant, especially if it fruits for me. The shallower bed may not have enough weight to counter the weight of a full harvest of bananas, so I may need to tie it up to some sort of support as it grows to keep it from toppling over the whole bed. That may get tricky if I have it outside for the summer, but have to pull it inside — with the support — for next winter. But I suppose I’ll cross those bridges when I come to them. No sense borrowing trouble.

Other than the bananas, I have to admit, I’m not doing much gardening this week. I have someone scheduled to come this upcoming week to remove several large trees from my property (they’re giant pines that frankly make me nervous on windy days about how they loom over the house — and they’re shading my new solar panels) and I’ve been getting the outside cleared up some to allow the guys space to work.

Hopefully, I’ll have more to report soon. Until then, Happy Homesteading!

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