That’s what my backyard banana plants are doing at the moment – blooming.
Last year was the first time our two banana plants flowered. We had two huge bunches of bananas – they were about 1 m long! I was delighted given that I was sceptical they would fruit so well this far south. We had a freezer full of bananas for months – banana bread, banana smoothies, banana muffins, and Little Eco’s favourite – just simple chopped frozen bananas.
This year I’m determined to do a better job of ripening the fruit so that we can actually eat more than a few fresh bananas. I had too many ripen at once and had to freeze most of them. This year I will try cutting a small hand off every few days and place it in a paper bag inside.
Bananas love a sunny position and lots and lots of water. So ours were planted in a spot that is often waterlogged to help dry the soil out quicker – so the fruit is really just a bonus. As are the banana leaves we have used a few times to wrap a whole fish in prior to baking.
Another unexpected bonus is the worm food! Banana plants sucker, with new plants appearing at the base of trunks. Once plants are older than two years, it is recommended that you maintain only three suckers on each plant to ensure a good crop. So we regularly prune away extra suckers. Also, each stem only fruits once, so once a stem has fruited it needs to be removed. All these banana prunings are much loved by our backyard worms. Banana stems are very fleshy and easy to chop and we place chunks in the compost. The worms then move in – hundreds of them. They love banana stems! The result is a wonderful rich compost.