How to Grow Bananas

Written by Linda Paquette

Continued from page 1

Banana Plant Growth

Because of its rapid growth,repparttar banana plant is one that you almost can sit back and watch grow. Whenrepparttar 146692 banana plant is about three-quarters grown, it produces several suckers at its base. Remove all of these, save one, by trimming them at ground level with a sharp knife. The saved shoot is called a follower. It will become your banana plant’s main stem afterrepparttar 146693 mother plant fruits.

The “trunk” ofrepparttar 146694 banana plant is actually a densely packed group of concentric leaves, a pseudostem. Afterrepparttar 146695 banana plant has grown about thirty leaves,repparttar 146696 fruit stem shoots through them fromrepparttar 146697 rhizome and emerges as a terminal inflorescence (a group of flowers atrepparttar 146698 tip ofrepparttar 146699 stem). The fruit stem matures three to four months after its emergence. Flower bracts soon coverrepparttar 146700 stem and then roll back almost daily, each exposing a “hand” of bananas. Atrepparttar 146701 beginning of their development,repparttar 146702 little hands grow downward, but as they grow, they turn their fingers towardsrepparttar 146703 sun and appear to be growing upside down. This phenomenon is called “negative geotropism”.

Banana Harvest

A banana bunch is ready to cut whenrepparttar 146704 fruit is round and plump with no obvious ribs. At this point,repparttar 146705 flower bracts will be very dry and easily break off fromrepparttar 146706 fruit tip. To harvest bananas,repparttar 146707 stalk ofrepparttar 146708 bunch should be cut well aboverepparttar 146709 top hand of bananas.

Bananas ripen by self-producing heat and ethylene gas. To maximize your banana harvest, pick individual green hands to ripen them for use. Sealrepparttar 146710 hand in a plastic bag with another ripening banana or a fruit like a red apple. The hand makes use ofrepparttar 146711 gas produced byrepparttar 146712 ripening fruit and speeds uprepparttar 146713 process. Placerepparttar 146714 bag in a cool dark place, like a cupboard (a refrigerator is too cold!). After 24 to 48 hours, removerepparttar 146715 ripening fruit. The hand of bananas should be able to finishrepparttar 146716 ripening process on its own.

After harvest, cutrepparttar 146717 mother plant down to ground level. The “follower” will take her place for next year's banana growing!

Linda is an author of Gardening Tips Tricks and Howto's  of Gardening Guides and the Lawn Care section of the Lawnmower Guide.

Garden Delights For Midsummer

Written by Marie K Fisher

Continued from page 1

Scabiosa "Ace of Spades" - This is one forrepparttar chocoholics, "Ace of Spades" is a mass of velvet and maroon with little white pins that have a pincushion effect. What a beautiful flower this is, nestle them amongrepparttar 146496 green foliage of alchemilla for comptempory color scheming. Allowrepparttar 146497 last flowers to self-sow.

Delphinium Belladonna Group - If you are looking for grace and charm then Belladonna hybrids are for you. They are ideal for summoning a romantic effect, look wonderful around cottages, and bring an English type of charm to your garden. For a full season of color grow with peonies, poppies and dahlias. Cut downrepparttar 146498 first spikes once they have flowered for a second flush of blooms.

Papaver " Lady Frederick Moore" - A charming peach poppy is much softer on repparttar 146499 eye thanrepparttar 146500 traditional pillar box red oriental, and is easier to blend withrepparttar 146501 pastels of early summer. Grow inrepparttar 146502 sun and hope for gentle weather to prolong this tissue paper like flower.

Monarda "Capricorn" - Think magenta, think hardy geranium? Why not try an unusual monarda instead with its beautiful aromatic foliage and spidery petals totally adored by bees. The stunning color and shapes make it a good contender with spikes of lythrum and veronica, best planted inrepparttar 146503 sun whererepparttar 146504 soil does not get too dry norrepparttar 146505 space too crowded.

LLathyrus latifolius - A delightful sweet pea that is everlasting but withoutrepparttar 146506 sweet scent,so you can never quite have it all. However, withrepparttar 146507 strong aromas fromrepparttar 146508 flowers above this pretty flower, I think that it is worth having in your garden. The flowers are much bigger thanrepparttar 146509 annual L.odoratus,with iridescent shells for petals and twining tendrils that obliginly twirlup small trees or wires on sunny fences. Give themrepparttar 146510 occasional folier feed and cut down last years foliage in winter.

Acunthus mallis - Most perennials have unremarkable leaves, but not this stunning bear's breeches. Acunthus makes a versatile backdrop for classic herbaceous borders or jungle style foliage. The dark glossy leaves and spikes of dusky hooded flowers will make a show all summer long. Water well in dry summers.

Achillea "Walther Funcke" - If pastels are not your bag, spice things up instead with paprika shades of "Walter Funcke"! Add a scattering of yellow day lilies and mix inrepparttar 146511 wispy blonde leaves of ponytail grass, (Stipa tenuissima), for good measure. It makes a compact drought tolerant mix for a sunny border where space is tight.

Thalictrum delavayi - Verbena bonariensis is notrepparttar 146512 only see-through plant. The tall meadow rue is wonderful airy forrepparttar 146513 front of a border, with perenial ferny foliage and clouds of tiny, fluffy flowers on skinny purple stems. Grow onrepparttar 146514 cool side ofrepparttar 146515 garden whererepparttar 146516 soil does not get too dry in summer.

These are just a few of my favorite wonderfully scented flowers and plants that I think will add a soft to dramatic color to your garden. So why not let your imagination and flair for color work magic on your garden. I can tell you that I feel like a true artist when my garden is in full bloom.

Marie K Fisher is an avid gardening enthusiast with a passion for exotic flowers and wondeful colors. She is a regular contributor to Garden Center Showplace a leading online Garden Center. For more details of the superb range of products offered, and also more Featured Articles And Tips on Gardening visit

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