We believe the most important fruit grown here at Tullamore Farm is Bananas. Once well-established they grow and produce for an indefinite period of time. An established banana should produce 3 or 4 bunches every 2 years.

Bananas have been tampered with for so long they can no longer be grown from seeds. Interestingly, although they do flower they don’t require pollination. Some believe the pollination does improve the quality and flavour. This is a huge plus with bees and other pollinators under pressure for survival.

One of the common reasons for not growing bananas is the concern they will attract pests. That can be true of most productive fruit trees. Let’s consider some simple steps to minimise or even remove the pest issue. Don’t allow all the leaves to remain, because as time goes by they become a mass of moulding, rotting plant material around the base of the banana clump. That can attract pests. We regularly cut off the older leaves leaving  5 of the youngest healthiest leaves per plant.  Chop the removed leaves up for the compost or for around the base of other trees as fertilizer or mulch. This keeps the banana patch very tidy.

The other concern for many is bats, possums etc. We have never had this problem because we follow some simple steps. When the fruit emerges and you see the bananas beginning to form wait till you have a good quantity and then remove the purple flower or bell. For a first time fruiting plant, don’t wait for too many bananas to emerge from the flower. Accept bigger harvests when the plant establishes. When you have removed the bell/ flower, it is time to bag the bunch. When bagged, you make it very difficult for the wildlife to access your future harvest. Ensure you purchase bags of a reasonable length. This ensures that the wildlife find it difficult to access the fruit.

If height is an issue there are many dwarf varieties which make harvesting and maintenance very easy. The photo is of one of our Banana Clumps.

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