Don’t they say it takes 14 months to get fruit from a banana? Well apparently my Aquaponics system and my banana plant didn’t read that book.
I was lately going through my pictures from this past year and discovered that I didn’t even set up the grow bed with the big banana in it till May! This is the banana that was Flowering in September and we finally cut the Fruit bunch off the end of November.
The unfortunate thing about bananas in Aquaponics is that the force of the root mass pushing out with the assistance of gravel is very strong and may be able to damage a grow bed. The power of plant roots can be rather amazing, especially in perennial plants. There are vines and trees that knock down buildings, crack foundations, topple walls so it should not come as a shock that a banana plant growing in aquaponics could crack a plastic tub. Luckily the crack is up near the top so after removing the banana I was able to seal it up with aquarium silicone on the inside of the grow bed. I should be able to re-fill and re-plant this grow bed without much issue. However, we have decided that stock tanks and straight sided grow beds are probably not appropriate for large banana plants since aquaponics seems to super charge them.
We do still have several bananas growing in half barrel (cut the long ways) like grow beds as we will see how those do long term. The problem isn’t just with the possible cracking of the grow beds but also the extreme amount of roots the banana puts out clogging the beds.