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Monday, October 31, 2011

Adding a layer of leaf mulch to all the bamboos to overwinter

In zone 6 and cooler, a good way to help protect plants over winter is to add leaves so I ended up collecting over 100 bags to get the job done. This helps protect shoot buds and rhizomes that are close to the surface since it provides extra insulation, and also allows snow to cling to it. I believe this helps to reduce the chance that the plant dessicates over winter when it gets extremely cold and the moisture is sucked out of the plant. Tarping is the next step, but that can happen in late December when the temperatures can drop below 0F, and I will likely do it to the marginally hardy species.

Phyllostachys atrovaginata

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fall update on the banana plants #2

It's almost time to cover up all these bananas once the frost hits, and there's not much chance of a late warmup. To start out, with the musa mekong giant seedlings that I got about 4 weeks ago, each of them have put out a new leaf and seem to be thriving after having been planted in the ground for over a week. I always try to plant them at least a foot in the ground so that they automatically have winter protection, and I usually add more protection to ensure they come back strong the next year.

Here's how they looked when they were first potted up.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Update on the tree peonies seedlings and grafted plants

If you've seen some of my earlier blogs, you know that I really like tree peonies, perhaps second to bamboos just because of their cold hardiness and relative ease of growth once they get established. They also look very pretty once they turn into a 3-4ft tall shrub after 5 years or so.

I have been growing them from seed in many batches. I only started out with a few the first time around back in summer of last year where I got a few to germinate, and then I planted more this spring as well as this fall in random locations around my flower beds.

Here's how they look when they germinate. It usually takes a warm period to swell up the seeds followed with a cooler period to germinate them, and then another dormancy cycle over winter to cause them to sprout their initial leaf in the spring.

Friday, October 7, 2011

New banana plants Musa Mekong Giant( Musa itinerans) arrives and gets potted up

Since Musa Mekong Giant is considered to be as hardy as Musa Basjoo, and it also looks different with the potential to reach 40 feet in a warmer climate, and still grow at a faster rate then basjoo, I decided to try it out. This banana is characterized by very tall purple stems and more spaced out as opposed to basjoo's clumped together appearance.

As I got them, as expected, they were already perhaps 18 inch tall plants and looking pretty good. I got these off of eBay.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Fall update on the Banana plants

The first banana plants I purchased was back in fall of 2009, 2 musa basjoos which survived until I tried to bring them indoors and over-winter however the lighting was not adequate enough and those ended up rotting.

I then bought a couple more in spring of 2010, small 2 inch pt musa basjoos, and these grew to 4-5feet in the season even after being planted 1 foot deeper than soil level. Here's the result of last fall.