Over this last summer I have had some extra time up my sleeve to work on a few projects at home. Some of these I had the foresight to document with photos, and one of these was the banana planter box.
For those who aren’t familiar with the banana tree (OK, so it’s technically a herb, but it looks like a tree to me!) you would know that it grows from what seems to be one huge ‘bulb’ which expands in size under the ground and where the furthest and newest parts of the bulb are new shoots pop out. Left unchecked, the tree was encroaching on my lawn which left ugly dead spots of grass and threatened to take up too much room.
Removing the tree was not an option, so the next best thing was to put in place definite boundaries, so that the lawn and the tree could co-exist and it would look nice. This was around the time I was building the chicken enclosure and the shed, so I had some treated pine sleepers lying around I could use. I put something together fairly quickly and it made a world of difference.
Trying to visualise what it would look like before cutting. You can see how terrible the lawn looked here before I started work. Preparation involved digging down which was harder than you would think. So much of the banana tree underground had to be removed.
Cut the sleepers 90 degree to form the box.
Fits quite nicely.
The box sides which meet the existing retaining wall would be too tall, so cutting the corners down for a nicer look.
Chickens came to help but all they did was kick around all the dirt.
You can see the edges which meet with the retaining wall are too high and dangerous.
Those edges were cut back here. Leveling up the box as best as I could given the land I was working with.
The retaining wall cap was warped so the box had to be cut back a little more to fit properly.
Using long bugle galvenised screws with a hex head the box was secured to the retaining wall. Because the other side of the box is left floating I ended up securing it from the top and bottom on the retaining wall side. I just hope a new banana shoot doesn’t push it out of the ground. It’s been almost 6 months since this project and so far it is fine.
Back-filling the box.
Some new dirt. I also filled the inside of the box with plenty of wood chip so prevent weeds popping up between banana shoots.
Plenty of worms for Chick
Some new turf to finish it off and some watering.
It has been 6 months since I completed this project and in that time I have had 5 bunches of bananas grow on this tree. As a comparison, I normally get about 2-3 bunches per year. So I like to think that the tree likes its new home 🙂