Monday, November 14, 2011

How to Remove a Banana Grove

Last week I started my first renovation of my poor mangled garden. Our grove of bananas is poorly placed, so it was time to chop the bigger trees down and move the suckers (the babies) to a better spot. I had about eight trees to remove: 

Before you start, there are a couple of things to know. The first is that bananas are pretty easy to chop down by just shoving a spade into the trunk repeatedly. More importantly, they are full of sap which stains your clothes irretrievably. Never wear clothes you care about when either harvesting or felling bananas! Look at the copious sap here:

Leave the felled banana plants somewhere out of the way to dry out. I'm planning to use the dry leaves on my potato bed later.

Bananas produce suckers rather like succulents produce pups, so you just have to split them off from the parent with your spade and try not to pull off all the roots when you dig them up.

Try not to plant them too deeply; you'll see a bulge where the soil level ought to be.

As with any transplants, water them in well but do not fertilise. I gave them some seaweed tea this morning; it's thought to reduce transplant shock. Time will tell whether the 35-degree day has beaten the seaweed tea. Fortunately, our next few days should be more comfortable.

I'll probably remove the tea-tree and a bottle-brush a bit later.   At right is a curry-leaf tree, Murraya koenigii, which will probably stay put.  Behind is my potato bed, part of my new vegetable garden.

1 comment:

Darius Adlam said...

Hm, indeed, it looks like a lot of good can be done with the re-organization and removal of a few banana trees. Even if the banana trees are easier to chop down (compared to other trees), it's still a pretty messy business. All that sap and leaves take some time to clean up, no?