Does anyone know where I can buy a California Gold? I am interested in trying it in 8b.
They are sometimes available on Ebay, but probably not till spring time, now. Sometimes someone here has one available. I bought two from Jeff (the "creator" of Ca Gold) and sold one of them to a friend, but they have not pupped yet, so somethimes these things take time.
Hi Ed --
I bought a genuine CalGold from Jeff almost two years ago, and it's by far the most vigorous "pupper" of the six varieties I have. It fruited this fall with a massive bunch, but there wasn't enough time for it to fully develop before we had a killing frost earlier in December. (My attempts at winter-protecting failed.) All the foliage and fruit are gone, of course, but the trunks are still green and when we have a stretch of warmer days they push out a bit of green at the top.
I don't know what the rest of the winter is going to bring, as this is our first winter in this zone trying to grow bananas. But as of now they show every sign of coming back. I was actually considering tossing some pups in the compost as there are too many. I know that sounds reckless, but I wouldn't feel right sending someone a fresh separation. I'd want to pot it up first and get new roots before sending it somewhere in the mail, and I'm not sure I'll have the extra time to do all that.
But, if I manage to get a couple good pups that are established, I'll post here. My other varieties are getting a good "acid test" as well, so if they survive too, I'll have proof that CalGold isn't the only dessert-type that can withstand sub-freezing temps. That will maybe expand your range of choices.
P.S. They're definitely a "compact" type -- trunk height about five feet to fruit. If you're looking for a bigger banana, this isn't the one. Fruit is almost the length of a grocery banana, but twice the diameter.
Bruce, I've received pups in the mail before that were just cut and had zero roots. He just wrapped it in wet newspapers and shipped it out to me. Took off in a matter of a few weeks. I know it's still a pain but it would save you time from potting them up! I wouldn't mind a pup come spring. We're having some weather in the 30's and I don't know how well that would go over. Can you post any pics of your plant? Thanks! J
Sorry about the lousy pic. Took it on November 27th -- angle of the sun was too low, and the leaves had already been shredded by high winds. For reference, the top of the hoop frame is eight feet. From left: SDC, CalGold, dwarf namwah, dwarf Brazilian, ice cream, and pisang raja.
I had tried covering everything with giant tarps to preserve the fruit, as the CalGold, dwarf namwah, and ice cream were developing. But a brutal Canadian front blew the tarps off (despite being staked and lashed), collapsing the frame and zapping everything with sub-freezing temps. I could take a pic now, but there's not much to see except a mess of brown, shriveled leaves.
The growth you see is from April of 2006, and all plants were single trunks when planted. The CalGold now has two main trunks and five pups from five inches to three feet. The little ones may not make it, but the mat is now pretty large so I'm anticipating a lot of them in the spring.
By comparison, this pic was taken the first of August:
Nice pics. Didn't realize it got that cold down there. The contrast in the pics of your yard looks like something here in Ohio!
I am a recent transplant to NW Florida (Pensacola) & based on what I have read, I would drive a reasonable distance in order to save some of those Cal Gold pups from the compost heap. I would even try and root a few extra to share with some other garden web'ers. I can also to offer to trade rooted pups (dwarf cav & SD cav) as I have 1 extra of each available for trade. Let me know if you are interested.
This won't work with your large plants, but I just achieved a 10 deg temperature difference by putting a large black construction type(from Home Depot) plastic bag over a 4 foot banana in a container. I wrapped burlap around the base of the trunk, and also wrapped plastic shade cloth around the 15 gal container. The black plastic bag reached down to the hand holds on the container so I could hold it down with wooden clothespins. This would work with the smaller offspring bananas you had growing next to the large ones. Probably two of these bags could be rigged to cover a larger plant (or three, etc...). They aren't as wide as a normal garbage bag, but long and the plastic is thick.
I put a Taylor indoor/outdoor min/max thermometer right next to the trunk, under the burlap, and the outdoor sensor outside the wrappings in the cold air. The min temps were 18.5 outside and 28.5 inside. This banana had already been zapped by 29 deg weather a month ago, but still had a partially green trunk. The trunk is now all brown but I'll wait until spring to see if it's dead. Imagine what 18 deg would have done to it!
BTW, I too would like to have a Calif. Gold pup is you have any in the spring. Normally, 28 deg is as low as the temperature gets around where I live, upper Topanga Canyon near Los Angeles.
I would be very interested to procure a california gold pup. my area is zone 8a. Though the damp winters mean that most bananas would rot if not killed by the cold. I grow dwarf cavendish in my conservatory and musa basjoo outside. I am keen to try california gold and raka puri here with over wintering in a virtually unheated green house.
We used to have boughts of days with -10c frosts when i was a child and days when the temperature did not make it above 0c (32F). these days a frost of just below freezing is more the norm maybe -5C at the coldest.
So id any one can source a california gold pup i would be very happy to pay for the plant and p and p; and take the gamle of trans atlantic transport
This was a good thread on the California Gold:
You can contact Jeff Earl from there, his username is jearl
Here is a link that might be useful: California Gold
Bump. Who has these?? I want one