|Typical banana circle image with compost area in the center and some suggestions for companion planting|
Wanting to add bananas to my list of foods to grow I did some research on their growth needs and behavior so I could get an idea of where and how to plant them to give them the optimum chance of surviving and producing the fruit I'd so like to have here in my zone 9b area. I saw a lot of information on planting banana circles to accommodate the heavy feeding needs of bananas and the fact that they die after producing fruit, so having a continuous set of new plants moving in a circular growth area provides for continuous fruiting once the plants are established.
To get these started I chose to cover the grass with layers of newspaper and cardboard and build up with the nutrients that would be needed. I already had some mushroom compost, peat moss and a few bags of Miracle grow potting soil, but when they only provided a few inches of cover to my newspaper base, I went to a local supplier to purchase a truckload of mushroom compost to add to this and prepare for planting the bananas I had ordered online and the couple of cavendish I bought at Lowes.
|Choosing my spot and laying down newspaper and cardboard|
|Spraying with water to hold it in place until I can cover with dirt|
|I put a couple of logs in the center for air flow and added compost from my pile|
|With this in place it's time to start building my planting soil|
|What I had on hand didn't cover much, so it's off to the local dirt and mulch supplier|
|My banana order along with a dragon fruit plant|
|First bananas in place|
|First banana circle with bananas and pineapples planted|
|Hannah and Lauren adding mulch to my second banana circle|
|First 2 circles done|
I've been amazed and pleased at how well things are taking off. We're now in Florida's rainy season which is a real benefit to the growth of all the plants and trees I currently have in the ground. I'll keep updating as I make progress. I'm also making plans on having materials on hand to protect these during the colder months, until I can create enough of a microclimate through my planting area to give them year round protection as they mature.
|Circle 1 with more mulch and a squash that seeded itself from my mulch pile in the center and I let grow|
|2cd banana circle with a couple small trees added and a cranberry hibiscus. A squash also self seeded in the center here too.|
|I then began adding other planting beds|
|Here's an update after a couple months growth|
|My "nursery" area for plants and trees that still need to find a place around the yard|
I'm still in a learning process for growing here in Central Florida, so for any who have experience comments or suggestions all are welcome, and I'll post my results to benefit others who may need the information as things continue to grow, mature and hopefully produce the results I'm seeking.