How much mulch is needed for established Musa basjoo?
I planted a three-foot tall basjoo in late summer of 2011, and it did very poorly. It grew only two new leaves that season, and in November, before first freeze, I chopped it down and put three straw bales over it and covered it in a tarp.
We had a mild winter without much snow and come April, it pushed through the straw all by itself, so I uncovered it and it really took off. By this November, it had gotten 8 feet tall with six or seven trunks all about the same size. Again, I cut it back to the ground before first freeze, again in late November. But this year I was not able to get any straw bales and only have a small mound of wood shavings over the plant so far maybe a foot tall, with a tarp over it to keep it dry. I don't think this is adequate mulch, but since the plant is so well-established now I wasn't sure. Does it still need a lot of protection, or is this minimal amount adequate now?
I don't know whether I could find any straw bales this long after halloween.