Bananas are great for muffins, cakes, smoothies and fruit salads.
Bananas are great for muffins, cakes, smoothies and fruit salads. Bebenjy

Go troppo with bananas

The Australian Banana Growers' Council say Aussies eat more than five million bananas each day. More bananas are sold than any other supermarket item.

They are one of Mother Nature's best pre-packaged lunch box fillers, great for muffins, cakes, smoothies and fruit salads, and they're packed with vitamins and fibre. It's time to grow your own.

Growing up to four-metres tall (less for dwarf varieties), banana plants are lush and leafy and can add a tropical feel to a home garden.

Growing bananas in some areas of NSW is restricted and a permit may be required. It is also important to only buy banana plants from reputable nurseries and not to move plants from one area to another. This will help to stop the spread of serious banana diseases.

Backyard banana growing tips:

Find a warm, frost free wind protected spot with well-drained soil that receives at least six hours of sunshine a day.

Mulch well around the banana plants to keep the soil consistently moist.

Banana plants are nutrient hungry. Apply a potassium enriched plant food around the root zone every eight weeks from spring to early autumn to promote healthy leaf growth and encourage lots of fruit.

You can harvest individual hands of bananas before they're ripe and ripen them indoors. This will help to spread out the harvest season.

Once a banana plant has fruited it will die, however there should be multiple suckers to take its place. Remove all but two or three of the strongest suckers

To help keep the plant looking tidy, cut off any dead or damaged foliage.