When to pick bananas?

mboston_gwSeptember 11, 2007

My neighbor (whose house is empty) has a banana tree that hangs over into my yard. A nice big bunch of bananas are also hanging over into my yard. The purple "thingy" is hanging down now and the bananas are still green but not the dark green they were two weeks ago. They guy who watches over her yard usually cuts the bananas down long before now since he doesn't want them,just throws them away to keep her yard tidy. but since these are over the fence, I guess he doesn't feel he should cut them down. The house is empty and the owner has told me if I ever want them to go ahead and take them.

When should I cut them off and bring them in the house?

If I pick them now, will they ripen? Seems like the stores have them so green alot of the time anyways.

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fawnridge(10A)

You can probably start picking them now. But don't take the whole bunch at once! They will ripen at the same time and unless you've a bunch of friends to give them to, they will probably rot before you eat them. Of course, you can freeze them and the bananas in daquiris and smoothies, but only pick as many as you can eat in a few days each time.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 1:46PM
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gcmastiffs(z10 Florida)

Bananas in Florida take from 4-6 months to ripen, after blooming. When they look plump, when the ridges on the fruits smooth out, or when the tree falls over, you can cut down the fruit. The tree dies, but sends up new pups. It only fruits once.

The fruit ripens from oldest first, so as they hang on the tree, that makes it impossible to cut down hands as they ripen. Unless you cut off each fruit individually.

I've tried hanging them both ways after cutting off the stalk, and I prefer hanging them as they grew, with the 'Nanas pointing up. Other folks hang them upside down, with good results. That way, you can remove hands from the bottom. But I've found that they are more fragile when hung upside down (newest growth/bloom upwards). They say to hang them in a cool, shaded spot. I hang mine in full sun, from my arbor, and they ripen just fine!

Here is a picture of a ripening bunch.

Lisa

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 8:34PM
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Tarvus(z10FL)

I have a number of different banana cultivars growing in my yard (at one time 24 different varieties, but less than that now). Best rule of thumb is cut the whole bunch when you see the first banana in the bunch start to yellow and hang it in the shade to ripen. They will split and dry if you leave them on the tree. Hang them in the shade and consume as they ripen. Most will ripen hand by hand but many will ripen at the same time, so give them away or dry them in a food dehydrator as they turn yellow. Or freeze them for later consumption.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 9:35PM
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