How to Prepare Banana Trees for Winter

Now that winter is just around the corner, people are trying to figure out how to prepare banana trees for winter. You’re probably aware that the punishing cold weather can cause serious damage to your precious tropical trees. Bananas are known to be the most traded fruit across the world and the most exported type of which is the cavendish variety.

Bananas are grown in tropical regions that include Asia, Latin America, and Africa. However, the biggest banana exporters are Ecuador, the Philippines, and Colombia. In case you’re not aware, around 20.2 million tons of banana were exported last year – the highest record so far!

There are 1,000 varieties of bananas found in 150 countries all over the world. The banana trees can grow up to 20-40 feet with more or less 240 bananas, depending on the type of banana.

If there’s one thing you need to know about bananas, it’s the fact that they are both fruit and not a fruit. Although people call it a banana tree, it’s actually an herb that’s a distant relative of the ginger. Furthermore, it has a succulent tree stem like that of a ginger’s stem.

 

What You Need to Know About Bananas

Banana is one of the most popular fruits included in the American diet. There are many nutrients found in a banana. It contains potassium, vitamins B6 and C, fiber, and many more. Bananas also offer health benefits such as manage blood pressure, prevent asthma, prevent cancer, and more.

Surprisingly, bananas are berries. Wait, what?! Botanically speaking, a berry is a flower with one ovary and produces many seeds. Bananas fall into this group while strawberries and raspberries aren’t.

 

Do’s You Need to Remember to Keep your Banana Trees Happy During Winter

Bananas can be grown in your backyard, too! Growing bananas takes time and patience. Banana plants take 9 months to fully grow and produce fruits.

As we all know, banana plants usually grow in warm, humid weather conditions. Banana leaves won’t grow any longer if the temperature drops around 55°F. Moreover, the leaf will be damaged at 32°F and underground rhizomes die at 22°F and below.

However, there are other varieties of bananas that grow in cold weather. The leaves might be damaged due to the cold weather but the roots will still survive and grow. Unfortunately, these cold-hardy banana plants aren’t edible.

However, banana trees make good house plants. Cold-hardy bananas need to be protected from the freezing weather as well. If you are growing small banana plants, here are the steps you need to consider in growing and protecting your plant during the winter.

 

DO: Take them indoors

If your plant is small enough, put your banana plant in a container and transfer them indoors. Bananas survive more on soil with reliable moisture. Spray the leaves with a little water to provide humidity.

Remember to place it in a spot where they can still get enough sunlight. Not only do you protect the plant, but you can also have an aesthetic plant decoration inside your house.

 

DO: Give them plenty of wrapping

If it is impossible to transfer indoors, you can provide a wrapping to protect the plant from the freezing weather. Before wrapping it, make sure to remove any leaves that are dying. Then, cut the plant 6m above ground.

Wrap the remaining using leaves, straw, or other mulching materials. Wrapping it keeps the corm – the rhizome at the pseudostem. When the weather starts to become warm, you can remove the covering and let the plant grow.

There are areas with heavy snow. If you happen to live in those areas, you can dig the root up and transfer it in a container and place them in your basement or any covered place to keep it from frost. This way, the plant will go dormant.

The plant won’t need light thought but make sure to apply just a little amount of water to prevent the soil from drying. When the weather becomes better, cut the plant about 4 inches and start replanting it again.

 

Why Give Greenhouse Gardening a Try?

Winter is coming! How do we keep our plants alive and happy?

In the olden days, farmers cannot grow plants during cold seasons. However, due to technological advancement, even in the coldest season of the year, planting is still possible. Plants that grow in warm, humid weather can stay happy even in the winter if they’re grown inside a hobby greenhouse.

A hobby greenhouse makes it possible for you to provide a home for the plants where you can create an environment that caters to their unique needs. Aside from this, it also keeps your plants safe from harmful insects and animals that could cause considerable damage to your gardening efforts. Lastly, a hobby greenhouse can also serve as a protective barrier against harsh weather conditions such as excessive rains, strong winds, blizzards, hail, and snow.

 

Final Thoughts on How to Prepare Banana Trees for Winter

Just like any other plant, bananas also need special care during the winter in order to live through it. Now that you know how to prepare banana trees for winter, consider growing them in your very own hobby greenhouse and experience the benefits of greenhouse gardening.

 

 

 

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How To Prevent Root Rot In Hydroponics: 3 Useful Tips

If you’re a newbie gardener who’s looking to find ways to hone your skills, you’d want to learn how to prevent root rot in hydroponics even before this problem affects your plants.

Hydroponics can be advantageous to crops in more ways than one. However, it also comes with risks of diseases, such as root rot, which can be destructive or even lethal to your plants.

Unfortunately, there are no effective methods to recover the wilted parts that were affected by the root rot once it hits your plants. The only thing you can do if you do not want this catastrophe to befall your crops is to prevent it before it happens. Read on to learn more about this subject.

 

What is Root Rot?

Root rot is a disease that attacks the plant roots and causes them to suffer decay. This usually happens when a lack of oxygen supply occurs in the substrate.

To give you an idea, think about plant roots that are submerged in water that only has a little oxygen in it. Over time, the plant suffocates and dies.

Aside from rot and decay, this disease also leads to the proliferation of fungi that are naturally present in the soil. These include Rhizoctonia, Alternaria, Pythium, Botrytis, Fusarium, or Phytophthora. As soon as fungi colonies start to grow, they tend to target the weakened roots and infect your precious plant babies.

Once the plant becomes infected, they won’t be able to take in what they need to grow – water, oxygen, and other nutrients. When this happens, it won’t be long before the plant dies.

 

What is Hydroponics?

In case you’re not aware, the term hydroponic is derived from a Latin word that means “working water”. To put it simply, hydroponics is an art that involves growing various types of plants without soil. If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind when somebody talks about hydroponics would be a picture of plants with roots suspended into the water without using any type of growing medium.

 

Avoiding Root Rot in Hydroponic Systems

Detecting and identifying root rot can be tricky. When your plants get infected, their leaves and roots gradually wither until the whole crop itself dies from the lack of nutrients, which is a common symptom of many diseases.

 

What causes root rot in hydroponics?

One of the requirements in hydroponics systems is oxygen. Without it, your plants are basically on the road to death. On the other hand, lack of such is one of the major triggers for root rot, and it must be avoided at all costs.

Just like when planting in soil, you loosen up the ground so that your plants’ roots can have their required intake of oxygen. That is the case for crops grown in aqueous solutions as well. If they cannot breathe, they would not be able to grow.

Another agent for root rot is the temperature. The last thing you would want in your system are parasites that leech nutrients intended for your plants and infect the water during the process. In common terms, these fungi are called molds.

One of the best breeding grounds for these is warm and moist areas. For this reason, if the water temperature inside your reservoir is high, then you are susceptible to it. Something as minor as letting the solutions exposed to sunlight can already be a risk factor.

 

3 Useful Tips on How to prevent root rot in hydroponics

There is good news! Root rot in hydroponics can be prevented! Just follow these tips:

Tip#1: Use the right air pump

If you do not want root rot to affect your plants, you merely have to avoid its causes. If you need oxygen, keep the water bubbling by providing an air pump of appropriate size, and also give importance to proper ventilation in the room.

 

Tip #2: Maintain the temperature

The temperature should be maintained within the 70 to 80 degrees F range. Get rid of any materials that can make your system vulnerable to infections, and make sure not to disturb your crops while they are trying to grow.

 

Tip #3: Get rid of the rotten parts

However, if you failed in preventing the disease, then the rotten parts should be removed immediately. Cut them off as there is no chance of reviving them, and focus on the potential new growth instead. Fix your hydroponics system and eliminate the risks.

 

Why Give Greenhouse Gardening a Try?

Greenhouse gardening offers numerous benefits to greens aficionados who dare to take their gardening experience to the next level. Aside from acting as a shield against the effects of inclement weather, a mini, hobby, or semi-pro greenhouse can also serve as a protective layer that keeps harmful bugs and critters at bay.

What’s more, its enclosed structure allows you to control your plants’ growing conditions including the temperature, light, moisture, and ventilation of the greenhouse’s internal environment. With a controlled environment, you’ll be able to extend growing seasons and grow plants that aren’t native to your area.

 

Conclusion

No matter how well-informed you are about how to prevent root rot in hydroponics, you cannot completely eradicate the risks. Therefore, to avoid the worst-case scenario, you should be prepared to sacrifice the infected for the sake of others. While you’re at it, consider trying your hand at greenhouse gardening as well.

 

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