Fixing the soil for planting bananas

Brookeville, MD(Zone 7a)

The area I picked to plant my nanners this year has clay soil, but it's light, not heavy. I don't know how that's possible but that's the case.

I need to amend the soil and I want to know what people do to their soil. I read somewhere to use compost. I have a bag of compost and I have a bag of manure and compost combined. How do I use this, mix it in with the soil? What should I add to the soil to fluff it up? I have some crystals that I'm going to mix in and when they get wet, they expand and loosen up the soil but I'm pretty sure it won't be enough to make it light enough.

Citra, FL

I dont know much about soil at all, but I would think that as long as it drains well, it will be okay. I dont know about these crystals, Ive heard of them, but I like to keep organic as much as possible. My problem here is just the opposite, being very sandy. When I plant my bananas, I add a lot of organic matter, compost that I have that Ive made from horse manure and sawdust. I then mulch with pine bark fines, which I also add to the soil. I wonder if adding some sawdust would loosen up your soil organically?

Blyth, ON(Zone 5b)

Maybe peat moss would do the trick for you? I know that anytime I've had to amend clay soils I have always added both peat moss and either compost or manure or a combination of both.

Cedar Key, FL(Zone 9a)

I was told to use compost & peat moss and sand
But the trick with the sand is to use it half and half
In other words what ever cubic foot of clay soil you are ammending you have to add that same amount of sand........
otherwise you make concrete

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

The bed by my deck where I put my bananas in this year started as heavy clay, but it's had 5-6 inches of compost tilled into it 3 times now, so the soil is reasonably light and rich-looking now. Drainage is very good, which I think is important for most plants. This is the first year for "tropicals" in this bed, but both the bananas and the amaryllis plants seem to be enjoying it. My 2 brugs are another matter, they still look pretty puny. But the petunias I planted as "filler" have really taken off!

I've got 2 'Ice Cream' and 2 'Apple' bananas, and one Dwarf Orinocco that I plan to pot up and keep in the morning room this winter.

I'm not quite sure how I will overwinter the other bananas.... either dig and try to keep them completely dormant out in the garage, or rig a light over some big pots and keep them semi-dormant... I have a couple of months to try to figure it out, and I may try one thing with 2 of them and something else with the other 2!

Fayetteville, NC(Zone 8a)

The compost is a must peat is a welcome help but to keep from holding to much moisture most people recommend sand but a better option to drainage and aeration is course perilite, a good garden center will have it in 3 - 4 cubic foot bags for 10 - 12 $ it goes a long ways and is a much better option for you and the course will keep your soil loose for a much longer time and lasts forever.

Brookeville, MD(Zone 7a)

Critter, I dig my nanans up and pot them just the way they are and keep them in the sunniest window I can find. I spray them at first and gradually stop. They'll look a bit ratty but what can you expect unless you have a greenhouse or a house like a greenhouse? Or if you're lucky and live where you can leave them outside allll year.

I was told that the bigger you leave them, the faster they'll take off in the growing season.

I need to pick up a tiller. But what happens if you have rocky soil?

I dug large holes and filled them with a mixture of manure, compost and manure (I'm not sure what's the difference or if any one is better than the other), dry peat moss that has some kind of fertilizer in it and mulch. I find that the mulch really loosens up the soil and always seems to decompose relatively fast.

I had a planted a banana with a small rootball away from the house in the same ammended soil and left it there for about two weeks. I moved it to plant infront of the deck with the others and the rootball more than tripled in just that short time. I think I found the right soil recipe!

I have two bananas left to plant but the other ones look good. Last year I kept getting the advice not to plant in full sun but this year, I keep getting just the opposite advice. I was worried that they would shrivel up but all I get is some crispy parts on the older leaves.

What ever I can do to make them fruit faster is what I'm going for.

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