Saturday, August 29, 2009
BANANA BLOOM UPDATE
HELLO GARDENING FRIENDS! Back from a short hiatus this week and ready to "dig" in again here at the garden home. I am showing you an update on the banana bloom saga. I finally got the tree tied up and stabilized for the time being. And a good thing as the bloom is over four feet (4') long at this time and not even half way there yet judging by the size of the pod that remains.
As you can see, the fruit is really making a statement now. It has finally dried up here in my area of the Mid-south but really at the wrong time for this to help these trees keep blooming. Each banana tree drinks approximately 5-gallons of water every single day. So this tree is mostly making blooms and NOT fruit due to the dry conditions we are now experiencing. I have some fruiting but mostly blooms only. I am waiting to see what else is in the pod that remains. I have had a bloom pod only one other time in 3-years and at that time I did not secure the tree and the sheer weight and length of the bloom broke the tree off at ground level before the pod finished its production. So I do not know what else is to come but hopefully I have it secure enough at this time to prevent that from happening again.
Also, here is a new photo of some elephant ear plants on the back deck. This specimen is huge and truly the size of an African Elephant's ear. I have never seen such a plant. Of course my very rich compost this is planted in and fed with did not hurt this I am sure and the right location for this helped as well.
I am still getting a very strong harvest of tomatoes now. I have picked twice this week thus far and need to be outside even now for today's gathering. My cucumbers are almost finished as I have mentioned they were damaged by some vehicle traffic that got off the pavement and onto my planting area and the dry weather. The summer crooked neck squash as well are going through a drop off due to the dryer conditions. I did end up watering the lawns and garden yesterday, Friday, afternoon but I feel the cukes and squash will not recover enough to be over producing again. We are many days away from fore casted rain and I am restraining myself from over using my utilities for garden watering at this time. I hope that in the future I can get some plastic 55-gallon barrels to harvest rain water and use this for garden watering. Here is a link for barrel harvesting of rain water that might help those of you interested in your own system. Remember though, barrel harvesting is NOT the same as "rain water harvesting" by any means. Harvesting is more the use of a cistern-type system that might also include filtration, etc., of the water. Here is a link to someone who I think did a pretty good job for a home/self installed system: http://www.rain-barrel.net/
When I return to work this next week I will again be working on the garden homestead, the historic A.E. Estes home, in preparation for the upcoming home tour. I am also very excited...... did I say VERY EXCITED.....about starting my internship with the University of Tennessee Master Gardener program beginning this next Thursday, Sept. 03, 2009. And then making my plans over this winter for a revamping of the garden area in the back yard. I will NOT be raking my leaves and pine straw to the street this fall for city pick-up but will be putting it over the garden area to help smother out the existing grasses I want to eliminate from the future gardening area(s). And also adding it into my compost bays in the rear of my property for making new dirt. Again, in doing all this, I hope to have the best garden one can have and basically for free. Not purchasing any soils, compost, etc., other than the needed lime and any other minor chemicals needed for feeding this garden.
I leave you then today my dirt diggers with this, our ongoing gardening affirmation: "GARDENING: ONE YARD AT A TIME!"