“It was reported today that a Canadian Farmer has triumphantly grown over 2000 banana trees with great success!”
The full story should read that the Canadian Farmer stood around watching as some banana tree starts were planted in Ethiopia, producing large bunches of bananas about 7 months later.
The bananas were started in a greenhouse, grown to 3-4 inches and then transplanted to a “milk jug” size pot for 3 months. When they were 40 centimeters tall, with 2 broad leaves, they were transplanted again into the ground. Banana roots need porous soil, so a red ash was added to the hole to provide drainage. The stock or trunk will grow to about 2 meters tall, 3-4 large broad leaves, producing one large stalk or two smaller stalks that die and fall and are replaced with a new “trunk” coming from the roots. The total life span of a banana root is about 6-7 years, producing about 10-12 stalks of bananas each weighing in at approximately 25 kg. The fallen “trunk” can be chopped and fed to animals or removed to a composting pile.
This fast growing highly productive plant has a huge appetite for water, nitrogen, phosphate and minerals. The root system is immense. Our banana trees will be flood irrigated, with fertilizers in the water.
Come to Ethiopia, and I will let you taste a fresh banana!