Bananas in New Jersey

Judy Glattstein
Wed, 11 Feb 2009 10:50:26 PST
I've been growing Musa basjoo outdoors year-round in my Hunterdon 
County, New Jersey garden for about 8 years. Started with one, which has 
been pupping  freely. They're close to the house. Late each autumn I cut 
them down to garbage can height. Fill each can with pine needles, and 
upend over stump. Each summer the bananas reach much higher than the 
first story roof, with immense leaves. Last year one culm flowered and 
set fruit. Research indicated this cultivar's fruits are not especially 
edible / tasty so I didn't sample any, merely felt smug about cropping 
bananas when my neighbors crop soybeans, hay, wheat, and oats.

A friend in Sergentsville NJ who believes bigger is definitely much, 
much better when it comes to plants in his garden puts fencing about 8 
foot tall around his M. basjoo, fills with oak leaves, and covers with 
plastic. His bananas easily reach 14 feet tall. No flowers / fruit. He 
has also wintered Musiella lasiocarpa over the winter.

Another friend in Willingboro NJ also grows M. basjoo.

Global warming?

Judy in New Jersey where today's temperatures have edged over 60 degrees 
Fahrenheit, and I've opened those few windows where I never took the 
screens down last fall

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