Friday, 27 March 2009

Tropical Tasmania?


Well no, it isn't - but I'm growing a tropical fruit - banana in my greenhouse. According to the label in the nursery it's capable of fruiting in a Temperate climate, given that you find a nice frost free and wind free area. Both of which are a challenge in untame Tassie. It only grows to 2 metres - the dwarf red dacca. I figure it's worth a go. So far it's steaming ahead - this photo was a month or so ago and it's doubled in size. It'll be a couple of years before I find out whether it was worth it. But I love trying to push things that bit further. Bananas are a real delicacy not normally eaten around here (our house) because they don't grow locally - maybe give mangoes a go next?

16 comments:

Em said...

Cant wait to see what else you manage to grow there! We are planning on moving to Cooma later this year and while it is a perfect place for us for a number of reasons, the one downside is the cooler climate therefore no mangoes and tropical fruit. I figure if you can grow it in Tassie, they shouldn't have any issues in Cooma!!! I plan to plant in groves, Jackie French style. Have you considered this option?

Linda Cockburn said...

They're too sensitive while young to get a chance to establish - me thinks.
But on the plus side - of the tropical fruits you thought you left behind you can also grow avocadoes - I've got a Bacon variety that handles to -8 degrees, of which it never gets here, it's going well so far.

Also, passionfruit grows here too. Mine all quickly reverted to rootstock when the goats chewed them back, so have needed to replant - but know the neighbours have very prolific vines.

Mandarins are a challenge, but I've heard of a guy further south who's managed it - the two in the greenhouse struggled to establish but seem to have come away this year, still pulling flowers off to give them the best chance, but next year I'm going to let them keep a few fruit - Caleb really misses his days of camping out under the mandarin trees and making towers of peel as he guzzles them all down.

Best of luck in Cooma. Temperate berries and stone fruit ... worth the mango loss.

molly said...

Wow, this one I'm going to try, we are in a temperate zone here. If we can grow mangoes here surely we can get these going! Nothing like trying out all sorts of new foods, Thanks!

Bungy said...

If they can grow mangos in North Wales (albeit in a "conservatory or greenhouse"), you surely can in Tassie...

http://carreglefn-nurseries.co.uk/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=8&products_id=242

I wish you all the very best with that!

daharja said...

Never believe the writing on the tag or seed packet.

We're down in Dunedin, and growing dark leaved lettuce out in the open in pots on our north facing deck through winter :-)

According to the seed packet, there's no way in heck that lettuce should be able to grow in the open this far south through winter - yet the proof is out there in a pot, currently soaking up a few rays!

The green leaved varieties didn't make it - the frost killed them - but the darker varieties were just hardy enough to cope with frost, snow, and everything else winter has tossed at them so far.

Seeing my super tough lettuce cope this year has made me reconsider what to plant. From now on, I'll give anything a go, and if it fails, it fails. But I won't be surprised to see things flourish that shouldn't!

So good luck with the bananas and mangoes! Yum! I reckon I'll give citrus a go down here, and see what happens!

Anonymous said...

How is your Red Dacca banana going down there is Tassi?

Linda Cockburn said...

Nope, didn't handle the winter, the greenhouse being ripped apart by the wind and a frost or two finished it off. My Bacon avocado, though it doing very well.

Ben said...

I've been growing bananas for 20 years in temperate NZ (39.5S). They can do ok, if you get the right cv. Which you didn't. Try to get Dwarf orinoco for GH, it is very cold tolerant, but also likes extreme heat. Perfect for a limited-ventilation GH tunnel in a cool temperate climate. Only grows max. of 2m pseudostem, so easy to control. the fruit is plantain like, good for cooking, but also ripens up to a large 3-sided angular sweet desert banana.

Andrew said...

Hi there. Ive been growing lady finger bananas in Hobart for number of years. I grow them out side with no shelter other than the house wall or back fence. I get them to fruit and they will ripen if they start to fruit in spring. I started with just 2 plants now from them I have over 30 plants. They do look ratty after a winter but spring soon brings on new growth. They are the fastest growing plant I have ever seen. I also grow about 5 other sorts of palms again outside in the garden. If you want to know more or see some pix I can email them if u have an address.

cHine said...

Hi Andrew

I am trying to source some ladyfinger suckers. I am in southern Tas and a homesick old northern nsw lad. I would appreciate any help getting some bananas up and growing!

Cheers
Dave

Janet Stephens said...

Have been given a banana tree as a present. It is outgrowing our large bedroom- any ideas

Janet Stephens said...

have been given a banana tree as a present and it has o
utgrown our upstairs room. Want to put it outside and we are near the sea. Any ideas
Janet

Rosie Stapleton said...

sculagWhen we came to Tassie in 1980 there was a banana growing in Ulverstone outside, but it was against a brick wall and facing north. We used to grow rockmelons near Devonport. They were smaller, but very tasty.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's a healthy looking banana tree. I came across banana trees recently at the local Bunnings, went back to get one and they were gone. I personally like to grow from seed but I figure in Tasmania, there's no way to come across banana seeds ever. I'd be interested in seeing how a mango tree goes, definitely worth a go (isn't anything!) I have one that's sprouted at the moment that I put outside recently. I figure just throw it outside and if it's tough it'll acclimatise to the weird Tassie weather. I'm in Southern Tas.

Anonymous said...

Hi Andrew . I am in the Northwest of tassie. And would love someone to give me a few hints and tips of growing bananas in my backyard . If you would like to help, you could send me an email. RaRachelrouse16@yahoo.com.au .. Thank you .

Anonymous said...

Hi Andrew Very interested in the types of palms you've had success with outdoors in Hobart, am looking for just this information, if you can assist my email is eibhni@outlook.com
thanks