- Propagating Banana Plants – Growing Banana Trees From Seeds
- Can You Grow Bananas from Seed?
- Propagating Banana Plants
- Musa basjoo
- Growing Bananas (Musa Spp.)
- How To Grow Banana Plants And Keep Them Happy
- Banana Varieties
- How Do Bananas Grow?
- How To Get Started Growing Bananas
- Planting Bananas
- Maintaining Your Banana Patch
- Growing Banana Fruit
- You Might Also Like Growing These Fruits
Propagating Banana Plants – Growing Banana Trees From Seeds
Commercially grown bananas that are cultivated specifically for consumption don’t have seeds. Over time, they have been modified to have three sets of genes instead of two (triploid) and produce no seeds. In nature, however, one encounters many banana types with seeds; in fact, some seeds are so large it is difficult to get to the pulp. That said, can you grow bananas from seed? Read on to find out about growing banana trees from seeds.
Can You Grow Bananas from Seed?
As mentioned above, the banana you are eating for breakfast has been genetically tinkered with to lack seeds and are usually Cavendish bananas. There are many other banana varieties out there and they do contain seeds.
Cavendish bananas are propagated by pups or suckers, pieces of rhizome that form into miniature banana plants that can be severed from the parent and planted to become a separate plant. In the wild, bananas are propagated via seed. You, too, can grow seed grown bananas.
Propagating Banana Plants
If you want to grow seed grown bananas, be aware that the resulting fruit will not be like those you buy at the grocers. They will contain seeds and, depending upon the variety, might be so large that the fruit is difficult to get to. That said, from what I have read, many people say the flavor of wild bananas is superior to the grocery store version.
To begin germinating the banana seeds, soak the seed in warm water for 24 to 48 hours to break the seed dormancy. This softens the seed coat, enabling the embryo to sprout more easily and rapidly.
Prepare an outdoor bed in a sunny area or use a seed tray or other container and fill with potting soil enriched with plenty of organic compost in the amount of 60% sand or airy, loam to 40% organic matter. Sow the banana seeds 1/4 inch deep and backfill with compost. Water the seeds until the soil is moist, not drenched, and maintain damp conditions while growing banana trees from seeds.
When germinating banana seeds, even hardy bananas, keep the temperature at least 60 degrees F. (15 C.). Different varieties respond to temperature fluxes differently, however. Some do well with 19 hours of cool and 5 hours of warm temps. Using a heated propagator and turning it on during the day and off at night may be the easiest way to monitor temperature fluctuations.
The time that a banana seed germinates, again, depends on the variety. Some germinate in 2-3 weeks while others may take two or more months, so be patient when propagating banana plants via seed.
Musa Sikkimensis also known as MusaHookeri, Darjeeling Banana or Himalayan Banana tree is found in Darjeeling and Sikkim Himalayan region in northern India at altitudes of 4,000′ to 7,000′ sometimes with light snow. Wow! Here’s a unique chance to grow this new hardy species of Banana. This tree is an absolute novelty that shows great promise as an ornamental for the temperate as well as the cooler tropical garden. A rare, strong and vigorous grower with tough green foliage flushed with distinctive ruby-red tints, suitable for large containers or growing in the border. It is a beautiful plant that can provide an unmistakable tropical look to both tropical and temperate gardens. This little known large banana species, new to cultivation, is a vigorous grower, reaching up to 9 – 12 (3-4 m) feet in a few years that sport a massive pseudostem, up to 18 in (45 cm) in diameter. The Manipur Red is a perennial herb with stolons and many red stripes, so many sometimes that the leaves appear almost red. This robust grower dazzles with its large dark green and red leaves. The leaf sheaths are marked blackish-brown, waxy only when they are young. The petiole is 65 cm long, channeled with erect margins, narrowly blackish-scarious, forming a black line in the lower part, against the pseudostem. The spreading leaves are oblong-lanceolate blades, with a rounded or slightly cordate base, about 1.8 – 2.1 m long, and 0.6 m wide, yellow-green, shiny on both surfaces, purplish beneath with a dark red midrib. The Bracts are broadly ovate, obtuse, not reflexing, from deep purple to crimson, glaucous on the outside, with 1 – 2 male bracts opening at once. The male bud is 12 cm long, 8 cm wide and is turbinate. There are 14 male flowers per bract; they have a compound creamy-orange tepal, 3.5 cm long, and a free tepal, 1.6 cm long, translucent with the stamens equaling the compound tepal. The fruit bunch is oblique with usually 4 hands each of 7 – 9 fruits borne on two rows. The fruits are hard and tastes almost like watermelon according to some people! But the seeds are hard so please be careful! The fruits are 11 – 15 cm long, 4 cm wide, rather lax, arising from large brown callosities on an axis. They are angled at maturity, and they narrow abruptly into a massive pedicel 2 cm long, 1 – 2 cm wide, with the apex bluntly rounded and apiculate. The pericarp is green turning brown later on. The black seeds are numerous, sharply angled, smooth, 6 – 10.5 cm long, 5 – 6 mm cm wide, and the pulp is scanty, dirty white to pale brownish-pink. Hardiness Zones : 7 – 11(-15c/ 5f, 4c/40f) Perhaps as cold hardy as Musa Basjoo when mulched. The Darjeeling Banana should be very hardy to cold coming, as it does, from Montana forests up to 2000m (6000ft) in the Himalayas of NE-India. Like all bananas, it is extremely fast growing, given rich soil, regular fertilization and an abundance of water. During summer, the plants can be stood outside or planted into the border but it will need frost protection in winter. Reduce watering and be aware that leaf ends may brown during winter, however this is perfectly normal. Best growth is attained at temperatures over 70 degrees, in a sunny position. The Sikkimensis are found throughout Sikkim on the hill slopes, and the Manipur Red is usually found specifically in Manipur or very close to it.
My musa basjoos were successfully over-wintered to about 2ft last year, and they ended up close to 14ft at the peak, but frost is imminent within the next few weeks so they will be going dormant pretty soon. Here’s the documentation of the growth all throughout the year.
21 April 2012: I successfully protected them up to around 2ft, and they are already getting up to 4ft within a week.
12 June 2012: After another 7 weeks, these guys doubled up in height reaching around 8ft.
7 July 2012: The one on the right side is starting to pull ahead by a bit, reaching the 10ft mark while the one on the right is still around 8.
28 July 2012: These guys seem to be gaining about 1ft every 3 weeks, and the pups are really starting to put on size.
19 August 2012: The one on the right is up to 12ft now while its tallest pups are getting near the 6ft mark.
23 September 2012: The bigger one is breaking the 13ft mark while the smaller one is about 2ft behind. The diameter of the pseudo-stem on the right side banana is now up to around 8.5 inches. It’s very hard to get an accurate measurement on the leaves as they aren’t always pointed up, but I believe that some of of these leaves pointed up may have gotten near the 14ft mark which is still not near the size potential of this banana. It got up to around 10 1/2ft last year, and 5ft the year before then so they will likely keep getting bigger each year. I am also starting to give the pups away.
3 October 2012: These bananas are just about done with their growth as the taller one is topped off between 13 and 14ft tall, and the other one about 2ft behind. I dug out and gave away all the larger pups as it will be very hard to over-winter all of them, and each banana plant happened to produce around a dozen pups this year starting with none.
Here are the older blog posts on the musa basjoo.
This winter, I plan on over-wintering as much corm as possible with 4ft tall 55 gallon plastic rain barrels in my setup.
Angus White’s funny and perceptive look at Musa basjoo. Reprinted from the October 1991 issue of Chamaerops, and definitely time for a re-run.
by Angus White, Architectural Plants, Sussex, UK
Chamaerops No.38, Spring Edition 2000
A preposterous idea growing bananas outside in Britain? Bananas grow in the tropics – were nearer the North Pole than the Equator. Ridiculous!
Well, yes, I must admit that of all the hardy but exotic looking plants that one CAN grow at this latitude, the hardy banana stretches even my credibility more than any of the others. I agree, it is ridiculous. Every time I glance out of our office window at that great pile of paddle-shaped leaves, something seems to tell me, no, it cant be true, they cant be bananas, not BANANAS. Its probably just some ghastly misunderstanding. Bananas grow in Colombia, Java, Fatu Hiva. Places like that. Not Sussex. Not English gardens.
Then the frost descends into this dreadful frost-pocket of ours in November and this wonderful (by now) mountain of monster leaves looks like a pile of boiled spinach. Then January comes, and February with severe ice and snow (last February we recorded -17°C) and by now theres nothing left, just bare earth, and its so cold that if you were on a skiing holiday youd probably decide to stay indoors and play racing demon, and yes it was all a ghastly misunderstanding, and theyll never come back because theyre totally dead, and youve been telling everyone that you can grow them outside and now youre really going to have egg on your face arent you? You twit, you fool, you poltroon!
And then you forget about it. Best thing really – silly idea anyway. Hope nobody mentions it.
Then April comes and things start moving. Very busy in the nursery business, masses to do. Hardy bananas? Oh yes well of course theyre not hardy everywhere – you dont happen to live well west of Penzance do you? Theyre quite good in conservatories actually.
And then someone says, What are those great fleshy green things sticking out of the ground behind your office? And you go off to have a look at some horrid new weed where your beloved bananas used to live.
YIKES!! Theyre back! Outrageous! Theyve done it again! I still cant believe it and yet, every year, without fail, those mad plants come – WHOOOMPH – up again.
The plant under discussion is called MUSA BASJOO (formerly M. japonica). Its a native of the Ryukyu archipelago – a string of islands (part of Japan) between southern Japan and northern Taiwan, and has long been cultivated in Japan both as an ornamental and a provider of strong fibre. Botanically speaking its not a tree, but a giant herb. It was first introduced into this country by Charles Maries in 1881.
Weve already acknowledged the frost-tenderness of the above-ground parts of this plant but the Japanese have never stopped minor details like that from getting in the way of them growing what they like, where they like. Clearly Musa basjoo is cultivated as an ornamental even in the colder northern regions, and in order to preserve its size, the leaves are cut off following the first bad frost, and the stem (often 25/30cm in diameter at the base and 2.5m tall) is beautifully wrapped in rice straw to protect it during the winter.
The following spring the plant carries on, flowering, fruiting, and dying in the normal way as with any other banana. To answer the question that everyone asks: No, they are not edible, theyre only 8 or 10cm long, but in conjunction with the flower itself, are an appropriately exotic-looking excrescence. The dead plant is, of course, replaced by one or more suckers from the base. In order to get Musa basjoo to reach flowering size, it must be protected if the winter is very cold, even in very mild areas (even in S.W. Cornwall they were flattened in February 91) and probably every winter in colder areas (ie. frost pockets in Sussex). The resourceful exoticist will find a way; theres someone down the road in Horsham who (much to my astonishment and nothing to do with us) grows Musa basjoo and protects it every winter by slipping what looks like a grey 25cm plastic drainpipe over it. Very effective and much easier to get hold of than rice straw, though not a pretty sight. So far, here at Cooks Farm, weve never used any winter protection, BUT we do observe certain golden rules about positioning, and soil conditions.
Where & How
Number one priority is to grow it where its very, very well protected from the wind in the summer. The winter will only matter if it retains its leaves, and that will only happen if the temperature doesnt drop below about -2°C. A combination of such mildness and lack of damaging wind will probably only happen during a mild winter in central London, or deep in a wood on the Atlantic Seaboard.
Next thing is to choose somewhere quite shady, as too much sun will cause the leaves to take on a slightly yellow look, whereas some shade will cause the leaves to be a lush, dark green. They also need to be hidden during the winter when theyre rarely a pretty sight – behind something low and evergreen. A position so that youll only see those wonderful big leaves sticking up from behind something when theyre worth looking at – and not when theyre not.
Next thing is to make sure theyre going to grow at the fastest rate possible – the faster they grow, the bigger and better theyll look. As with all gross feeders (and these are definitely gross feeders) they need to go into very deep and very rich soil, given frequent top dressings of a high-nitrogen feed (we use blood, fish & bone) and have all competition from other plants kept to an absolute minimum. Oh, and plenty of water in summer.
Right little fuss-pots. The wind is the most important; they really look a terrible mess when ripped to pieces.
The first encounter with a plant you didnt know existed is memorable.Very memorable. June 1985, Ventnor Botanic garden, Isle of Wight. A huge clump of something that looked absurdly like a banana plant, some trunks 4m or more high, some of which had great rude dangly things hanging off them and little fruits that looked like bananas. But this was England. Impossible.
Utterly intrigued by this sight, I soon scoured the botanical reference books to satisfy my curiosity. At the time, my main source of interesting plants was the plants sales area at Wisley. I approached the man in charge and taxed him on the subject of this implausible sounding hardy banana. Oh yes, theres a clump of them growing up behind the glass houses. He didnt sound too interested in them, and I thought Id mis-heard him. You mean growing IN the glasshouses? I said. No, I hadnt mis-heard, there they were, a great mass of broken leaves, in a windy, southfacing narrow border by a glass house miles from anywhere, where no-one ever went. Been there for years, he said. Ten miles from Guildford. A great clump of bananas. Outrageous. And nobody cared. Except me.
Later, he kindly let me have a division. This eventually became our stock plant from which we now produce hundreds of babies in a laboratory, by micro-propogation. Bananas for the people.
Other places where well-established clumps of Musa basjoo can be seen: Trebah gardens, Mawnan Smith, near Falmouth in Cornwall, and Fox Rosehill Garden, a public garden in Falmouth. Undoubtedly there are masses of others. Ive only mentioned the ones Ive seen. On trips to northern Italy, Ive seen them not infrequently in Venice and quite a long way north of there in the foothills of the Dolomites – also in an area of Tuscany not far from Florence. Both of these areas suffer from frequent severe frosts in winter but, it should also be remembered, hot summers, for rapid banana growth. Because these specimens have been observed from a car window, they are highly visible, and as with anything thats highly visible, they are also extremely exposed. Thus they often present a pretty forlorn aspect, their enormous leaves smashed to pieces by the wind. So its interesting to know that they survive (indeed, grow up to 5m very often) in these cold districts, but they also serve as a reminder that theyre only worth growing if theyre extremely well protected from damaging wind. In winter they look even worse with their dead, frosted brown leaves hanging down by the stems – possibly affording protection to the trunk itself.
Further proof, I hope, that its worth observing some of the suggestions made earlier for successful Musa basjoo cultivation.
Growing Bananas (Musa Spp.)
How To Grow Banana Plants And Keep Them Happy
Growing bananas does not take much effort, but it does require that you get a few things right when you first get started…
Banana plants can offer many benefits:
- They make great windbreaks or screens,
- they can keep the sun of the hot western side of your house,
- they utilize the water and nutrients in waste drains (think washing water or outdoor shower),
- the leaves can be fed to horses, cows and other grazers,
- the dried remains of the trunks can be used for weaving baskets and mats.
Oh, and they give you bananas. Lots of bananas!
25 kg of bananas in the making.
But when I look around friends’ gardens then I see some pretty sad looking banana plants growing there. It helps to understand what bananas like and dislike if you want them to be happy!
Banana plants like:
- Rich, dark, fertile soils.
- Lots of mulch and organic matter. LOTS. Just keep piling it on.
- Lot of nitrogen and potassium. (Chicken manure!)
- Steady warmth, not too hot and not too cold. (Bananas are sissies when it comes to temperatures…)
- Steady moisture, in the ground and in the air.
- The shelter of other bananas! That’s the most overlooked aspect by home growers…
Banana plants dislike:
- Strong winds.
- Extreme heat or cold.
- Being hungry or thirsty.
- Being alone and exposed.
More detail on all that below.
Cavendish is the variety that you know from the supermarket. If you live near a banana growing region, this is the variety you see in the plantations. It is a stout plant that produces large heavy bunches.
Lady Fingers are very tall and slender plants and have smaller, sweeter fruit. They are often grown by gardeners as ornamental plants with the small fruit being a bonus.
Plantains are cooking bananas. They are drier and more starchy. You use them green like you would use potatoes, and they taste similar.
80% of all bananas grown in the world are plantain varieties! They are an important staple food in many tropical countries.
There are many other exotic varieties, but those above are the most popular and most commonly grown.
What I describe below and most of the pictures on this page refer to Cavendish bananas but the advice applies to all other varieties as well.
How Do Bananas Grow?
Bananas are not real trees, not even palm trees, even though they are often called banana palms. Bananas are perennial herbs.
(Gingers, heliconias and bird-of-paradise flowers are distant relatives of bananas. They are in the same order, Zingiberales.)
Banana trunks consists of all the leaf stalks wrapped around each other. New leaves start growing inside, below the ground. They push up through the middle and emerge from the centre of the crown. So does the flower, which finally turns into a bunch of bananas.
Here is a picture series showing how the flower looks at first, and how the bananas appear and curl up towards the light.
Those pictures were taken over the course of a few days. You can pretty much watch this happen. But now it will take another two months or so, depending on the temperature, for the fruit to fill out and finally ripen.
A banana plant takes about 9 months to grow up and produce a bunch of bananas. Then the mother plant dies. But around the base of it are many suckers or pups, little baby plants.
At the base of a banana plant, under the ground, is a big rhizome called the corm.
The rhizome has many growing points and those turn into new suckers/pups. The suckers can be taken off and transplanted, and one or two can be left in position to replace the mother plant.
Great, so now you know what to do once you have bananas growing in your garden, but how do you start?
How To Get Started Growing Bananas
First you need to make sure that you can in fact grow bananas where you are.
You need a tropical or warm subtropical climate. Bananas can handle extreme heat (if they have enough water), but they don’t like it. They can handle cool weather for a short while, but they don’t like that either. Below 14°C (57°F) they just stop growing.
If the temperatures drop any lower the fruit suffers, the skin turns greyish and the leaves can turn yellow. Frost kills the plant above ground, but the corm can survive and may re-shoot.
The ideal temperature range for banana growing is around 26-30°C (78-86°F).
You need a lot of water to grow bananas. The huge soft leaves evaporate a lot and you have to keep up the supply. Bananas also need high humidity to be happy.
Where I live the commercial banana growers water their plants two or three times a day with sprinklers to keep up the humidity in the banana plantation!
You need very rich soil. If you don’t have good soil to start with, make some. Incorporate lots and lots of compost and plenty of chicken manure before you plant your bananas. Wood ash for extra potassium doesn’t hurt either. Then mulch them very thickly. And keep mulching and feeding them!
And you need room so you can plant enough of them together. Bananas need shelter from wind. Growing many banana plants together increases the humidity in the middle, evens out temperature changes a bit, and it shades and cools the trunks. You don’t want to cook the flower that’s forming in the middle…
If you get a chance, look at a commercial banana plantation somewhere. The outside rows, especially the western side, always look sad. The best bananas grow on the inside.
You should plant bananas in blocks or clumps, not single rows and definitely not single plants. If you have very little room you can grow a few banana plants together and grow something else on the outside to protect them. But you do need to give them that sheltered jungle environment if you want them to be happy.
(Now, please don’t send me any more emails letting me know that you are successfully growing a solitary banana plant in a tub on your patio or in your greenhouse or wherever. This is a permaculture site. We are not talking about keeping plants alive outside their natural growing conditions. We are growing food.
Having said that, understanding what makes a banana plant happy will help you grow it just for fun and under sub-optimal conditions as well.)
You can not grow the usual bananas from seeds. These banana plants don’t produce viable seeds like wild bananas do.
The best way is to start with the above mentioned suckers or pups. Know someone who grows bananas? Talk to them. Every banana plant produces a lot more suckers than you need, so people usually have plenty to give away.
Only take suckers from vigorous banana plants. The suckers should have small, spear shaped leaves and ideally be about four feet high. Smaller suckers will take longer to fruit and the first banana bunch will be smaller.
Cut the sucker from the main banana plant with a sharp shovel. Cut downwards between the mature plant and the sucker. You have to cut through the corm. It’s not easy.
Make sure you get a good chunk of corm and many roots with it. Chop the top off the sucker to reduce evaporation while you move it and while it settles into its new home.
Remember, the growing point is at the bottom of a banana plant. You can decapitate the sucker. It will grow back.
Another option is to dig up a bit of the rhizome and chop it into bits. Every bit that has an eye can be planted and will grow into a banana plant. But it takes longer than growing banana suckers.
Plant your bits or suckers in your well prepared banana patch, keeping two to five metres between them.
The spacing depends on your layout. My bananas grow in a block of several double rows. Within the double rows the spacing is two to three metres, now with two plants in each position, suckers of the initial plant. My double rows are four to five metres apart.
I also have a banana circle around an outdoor shower with two metres at the most between individual plants, and they are growing in a haphazard way.
If you have just a single clump of a few banana plants you can put them even closer together.
Keep your banana plants moist but not too wet in the early days or they may rot. They don’t have leaves yet to evaporate water, so they don’t need a lot of it.
Maintaining Your Banana Patch
The most common cause of death for bananas is lack of water.
The most common cause for not getting fruit is starvation.
Banana plants blow over in strong winds.
Protect them and feed them and water them and all will be well. Other than that bananas don’t need much maintenance.
Just remove any dead leaves and cut down the dead plants every now and then.
You get bigger fruit if you remove all unwanted suckers, only keeping the best one.
After the initial planting you can leave two on healthy, vigorous plants. Beyond that it is better to keep one sucker per plant on average. Otherwise your patch will become too crowded.
The best suckers are the ones with the small, spear shaped leaves, NOT the pretty ones with the big round leaves!
Why? A sucker that is still fed by the mother plant does not need to do much photosynthesis, so it doesn’t need to produce big leaves.
And a sucker that is well looked after by the mother plant will produce better fruit and be stronger than one that had to struggle on its own.
A mature plantation is pretty much self mulching. Just throw all the leaves and old trunks etc. back under the plants. You can also grow other plants in the understory to produce more mulch. (I use cassava, sweet potato and crotolaria).
You just need to sprinkle on some fertiliser every now and then, to replace what you took out of the system when you took the bananas. Bananas are high in potassium, so ideally the fertiliser should be, too. Keep the fertiliser close to the trunk as bananas don’t have big root systems.
Growing Banana Fruit
You may see your first flower emerge after about six months, depending on the weather. Leave the leaves around it, especially the one protecting the top bend of the stalk from sunburn!
As the purple flower petals curl back and drop off they reveal a “hand” of bananas under each. Each banana is a “finger”.
You may get anything between four to a dozen or more full hands. Then, under the next petal, you’ll see a hand of teeny weeny excuses for bananas. Those are the male fingers.
The male fingers just dry and drop off. Only the stalk remains. If you let it grow it will eventually reach the ground.
Some people break off the “bell” (the bunch of purple flower petals at the end) about 15 cm below the last female hand. That way the banana plant puts its energy and reserves into growing big bananas, and not into growing a long stalk. Commercial banana growers also remove some of the bottom female hands, so the remaining bananas grow bigger.
Not everyone thinks that way, though. This is a comment from one of my readers:
“I never cut the flower off the bananas. The hummers (Ed: hummingbirds) love them too much. As you said, there are always enough bananas around and though I sell them I have to keep my hummers happy.”
Well, and then you patiently wait for at least another two months.
If your banana plant is not very strong or not very straight you may have to prop your banana bunch, because it becomes very heavy, and a bunch can snap off or pull the whole plant over.
A good prop would be a long stick with a u-shaped hook at the end. But a long enough plank or pole can do the job, too. I leave that to your ingenuity.
Bananas are ready to be picked when they look well rounded with ribs, and the little flowers at the end are dry and rub off easily. You can pick them now, green, and they will start ripening as soon as you pick them, no matter their size.
They will eventually ripen on the bunch, too, and those bananas taste the best. But once they start they ripen very quickly, faster than you can eat or use them. So you may as well cut the top hands off a bit earlier and ripen them on the kitchen bench.
You can also cut the whole bunch and hang it somewhere if you need to protect it from possums or birds or other thieves. But then all bananas will ripen at once! So be prepared.
You can preserve bananas for use in cooking and baking by peeling and freezing them. Or, to preserve them for eating, peel, split in half lengthwise and dry them.
Once the bunch is picked the rest of the plant will die quickly. Cut it to the ground, throw on some chook poo, and let the next sucker grow while you process all the bananas.
The mystery of the missing banana bunch
by reader Glenn Baxter
“We grow some Cavendish bananas in a small area in the back garden and the biggest plant eventually produced a good-sized bunch of bananas.
The bunch was nearly ready to pick when all the hands disappeared off the main stalk. There were no skins or any bits of fruit left on the ground.
We suspected that someone had stolen them until we looked closer on the ground under the bare stalk…
There was a small mound of kanagaroo poo!
We didn’t believe that the roos would eat bananas, until my wife was approached by one while she was eating a banana. She offered some to the roo who eagerly ate it and was looking for more. So there you go.”
The banana thief! © Photo: Glenn Baxter
Commercial banana growers use bunch covers (plastic bags open at both ends that they slip over the bunch and tie at the top) to protect bananas from diseases, insects, sunburn and marauders. You can try to buy those bags at a rural supplies store, or beg some of a grower.
I used to bag my bananas (hard to get out of habits after four years of working on commercial plantations) but I don’t bother any more. Even if the birds get a few, there are still more than enough left for me and the chickens and the dog and all friends and their families and freezing and drying… So why not let the wild birds (or kangaroos) partake of the bounty as well!
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