Lately we’ve raised many an eyebrow with our impressive bunches of homegrown bananas. Most people are really surprised to discover that bananas grow in Wollongong. In our subtropical frost free climate they can really thrive with a bit of care and strategic placement.
We grow mainly Cavendish bananas, which are the same kind you’ll find in the fruit market. Wollongong is not commercial banana growing country so there are no restrictions on growing bananas in your backyard like there are in areas of Queensland (see http://www2.dpi.qld.gov.au/horticulture/5201.html for details).
We planted our first bananas in December 2007...
And in just over two years, in March this year, we enjoyed our first crop of organic bananas. Compared to store bought bananas, our bananas were much sweeter and more yellow on the inside. The photo below shows a store bought banana on the left, and ours on the right - of course we have no bias here!
Off our first bunch of bananas we got about 150 bananas! As well as sharing the banana love with family and friends, and making lots of banana cake, our freezer is full of trays of bananas, which are just divine when blended up in fruit smoothies.
Once established bananas will keep producing fruit forever (well for a really long time!), so we reckon they’re a must for every subtropical backyard. Its no surprise that our best banana bunches at our place come from the ones that are getting fed our greywater and greenwaste from the vegie beds so keep this in mind if you are growing your own.