What is your opinion/experience on the best time release fertilizer?
Bananas literally go bananas for Milorganite and it can be found in the lawn fertilizer section of Home Depot or Lowes. You can not burn a banana plant or any other plant with this stuff and the more you use the better the results with bananas, elephant ears and other plants in general. It is cheap, about $10.00 for a 35 or 40 pound bag.
What are some other choices? It seems like we don't have 1/2 the choice of fertlizers up here in Canada that you all have in the US of A.
Right now, I'm only using some compost; 15-30-15 and/or 20-20-20 powdered ferts and pretty much anything else I can find.
Suggestions of more "common" things that might be available up here?
Yes, what about 15-30-15? I have some I need to use up plus my bananas are surronded by flowers and they would love that fertilizer.
If you can get your hands on some composted chicken manure, your bananas will blow up. Just dump half a bag per mat.
Steve, I'll look for some.
Each spring when I dig the holes for my bananas, I dump whatever yard waste I have into the holes, composted or not. I add some Osmocote plus with micronutrients, then the corms go right on top and away they go.
When I have nothing else to do, which is almost never, I add some all-purpose soluble fertilizer as a boost.
I've tried them all and the best by far has been Milorganite which is a mild 6-2-0 and I add some phosphorus with a 10-10-10 in the beginning of the season and then it is nothing but Milorganite and water. The results speak for themselves 15-20 foot Musa Basjoos, 18 foot Red Abyssians and 12 foot Red Blood Bananas. I have also had great luck using it with my cannas like Giant Peach that grows 14 feet high and looks like a Bird of Paradise and Canna Intrigue that has brilliant bold red foiliage that grows 10 feet in height. Try some, believe me you won't be sorry and will feel like you planted a "Jack and the Beanstalk" bananas.
I use Osmocote vegetable/flower slow release and some Lesco or Vigro 10-10-10 all purpose($8-10/ 40lb) I started using Milgorite last year and plan on using a heavier amount this yr but - be warned - I think it smells like sh!t...so if you mulch, put it under the mulch. I also use Miracle grow about once a week. Some people also add epsom salt, urea and root simulator to their Miracle grow (Uni-bomber/Mcveigh tea).
True, Milorganite if it gets wet can smell a bit, but the smell goes away after a few days. Putting it under the mulch as you point out,around your bananas eliminates the problem. The supplement of Miracle Gro and urea with some epsom salts also gives an extra boost I will have to try this year. Milorganite is so cheap and effective it is hard to believe it isn't more popular with banana growers. A friend from Eucador told me they fertilzed bananas with aged outhouse contents and pig manure which made the bananas grow to epic proportions.
virginain, I'm curious how much Milorganite you are using? Per elephant ear and per banana? How many applications in a season? And just sprinkled on the surface or mixed in? Thx
Daryljurassic: If I am planting for the first time and the plant is smallish, I mix into the soil for the planting hole about 1 cup and then after the plant is in the ground I put about a half cup around it and then mulch on top with a good watering in. If it is an established plant like a Musa Basjoo, I take about 6 cups and spread it around the base and then mulch. As the season progresses I will put it on heavy around the base, a shovel full on the larger plants and a quarter to a half shovel on the smaller and medium ones. I will do this 2-3 times per season with super results. Keeping the watering up really helps too.
Wow, holy she ite. Looks like one bag isn't going to do it for me then. I have a lot of plants...(too many)
Okay so say you have your Musa and Ee's in a 15" pot. how much Milorganite do you use? And, how often? I just reciently lost my Black Magic Ee.. it was a baby and the cold in the NE killed it.. maybe it will come back up.
I like the Sta-Green brand. I find it as good as Osmocote abd lots cheaper. http://www.sta-green.com/ProductCategories/GardenFertilizer/SlowReleaseAllPurposePlantFood/