Garden Diary - November 2019

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Winterizing Bananas
Saturday, 2 November & Thursday, 7 November, 2019

Winter is coming.

The wind has been blowing. The bananas are getting rather tattered.

Last night was rather chilly, 27.5 degrees Fahrenheit according to the rooftop
weather station. Looked out this morning and there was hoarfrost on the hillside

and a skin of frost on the birdbath. It's time to prepare the bananas for winter.

The first part is easy. Cut them down to somewhere between knee and ankle high.

Easy enough to do. Tall as they are, bananas are herbaceous. A small handsaw will
do the job. Then drag the debris off into the woods and pile it up on a brush heap.

Rake leaves and cover the cut off stumps with tubs filled with oak leaves. I do
tuck moth balls, the smelly kind, around the stumps to deter voles and chipmunks.

Now comes the more difficult part. I had been hoping to hire someone to assist me.
Never came, didn't call to tell me so. Tomorrow night is supposed to be bitter cold.

Paul made wonderful wooden covers. There are three, stored under the deck
for the summer. In the garage were: the three pieces of foam pipe insulation,
several screws, 4 long nails bent into an "L" shape, and 4 long nails, not bent.

Step one. Rake leaves. Lots of leaves. It takes seven full tarps for this step.

Leaves get heaped over the tubs, against the house wall, just above the foundation.

Next, install the covers. The first one is the most difficult as it want to sag on its free edge. There's half of a hinged bracket permanently on the house wall. The other half is fastened flat to the underside of the cover. After fitting a section of pipe insulation on the house side edge of the cover, the 3 loops of the two hinge pieces need to line up, perfectly, so I can fit a bent nail through them. Then the leg can drop down into place and be pinned to the ground with a straight nail. After which there are a couple of screws to fasten the trim piece that covers the join between adjacent covers. The second and third covers are easier, as Paul said they would be.

The bananas have been happily pupping and spreading, so there are some that no longer fit under the covers. I need to rake more leaves - not to worry, there's an ample supply - pile them up and cobble something together with fencing, tarps, and pallets. After the rain stops. But today's efforts were a good start.

UPDATE Friday, 8 November 2019: Mission accomplished.

Three metal fence posts, hammered in using post driver. Fencing. Pallet sections tied on using (mostly) baler twine. Filled with leaves. Topped with a piece of tarp, tucked down along the vertical edges. What you don't see are three slats of wood laid on top of the tarp which was billowing, what with the wind. If my energy holds out and I cut a pallet apart I may run two sections along the front of the white roofing covers.

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