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Home Grown Gardening With The Tim's Garden Team THE PIRATE PLANT I have always owned a banana plant. I think it's the enormous leaves that I love. It's not often you find a plant with leaves several metres long that makes you feel you are in the tropical jungle every time you glance at it! Rain or shine. Monkeys or no monkeys. Mine lived in a pot for a decade and then I moved house and I decided it was time to set it free. I chose a warm spot where it could spiral heavenwards to its heart's content and I could marvel at it from my kitchen window. It really doesn't like a lot of wind, so a sheltered spot is best, the leaves shred and it takes on that tatty desert-island-pirate look. It is the hero of any view and rightly so. It needs space to really show off its impressive paddle-like leaves, to look truly magnificent, whether its in a border or in a pot in a courtyard. Let it wave its arms about like a football fan at a final! You can grow bananas in most temperate climates. When it starts getting seriously chilly though, you need to either bring the banana inside, if it's small enough, or protect it in position in the garden. Firstly, lop off all the leaves with a serrated knife… I know this will make you wince, it makes me wince too, but honestly, it's for the best. It's done its summer dash and needs some downtime. The huge, ridged leaves can be used as mulch round other garden plants or pop them in the compost. Buy a plastic or metal bin, (I have used old chimney pots in the past and that works well) cut out the base, pop it over the banana and stuff it with straw, placing a cover on the top. 60

Issue #8 | The Inspired Guide | February 1st 2020

This is my tried and tested hibernation method that will withstand severe frosty nights! Come Spring, remove the bin, letting the straw fall around the base of the banana as mulch, and watch your old friend make an appearance as the weather gets warmer. Banana plants are incredibly greedy and grow surprisingly fast! You really can't overfeed a banana, it will gobble up any fertilizers and feeds you give it.  Collecting a bag of fresh seaweed from a beach is an economic and tasty meal.  Chop it up and dig it in around the base of the plant; it will love the potassium and trace elements that seaweed provides. Why not try an Abyssinian Red banana or a Musa Bajoo…. both will cope with some chilly temperatures if in the ground.    Bananas cope well in pots too; by restricting the roots you will keep a giant to a manageable size for a courtyard or deck. And I know what you are wanting to ask…."Does your plant have bananas?"  Well, no…..not yet anyway but I'll be keeping a close eye on it in the years to come! Clare Smith Stevens Tim’s Garden

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The Inspired Guide - Issue #8  

Read Issue #8 of The Inspired Guide - FREE Conscious Living and Holistic Wellbeing eMagazine! Filled with inspiring and informative article...

The Inspired Guide - Issue #8  

Read Issue #8 of The Inspired Guide - FREE Conscious Living and Holistic Wellbeing eMagazine! Filled with inspiring and informative article...

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