Banana Leaf Mulch
Relevance[edit | edit source]
In many tropical areas of the world such as South America or some parts of Asia bananas are a huge cash crop. For example, Ecuador's second top export is bananas. There's a massive abundance of banana trees that can be used for mulching. Mulching lowers cost for the farmer and utilizing this technique could also improve harvests thus improving livelihoods for farmers.
How to[edit | edit source]
Growth[edit | edit source]
The banana tree grows up by wrapping its leaf stalks around itself continuously until it reaches its max height.It then takes about 10-15 months to produce its fruit. After that the plant dies leaving behind baby stalks to grow after it. 
Cuttings[edit | edit source]
Once the plant dies then you can cut down the entire stalk. It is best to break it into smaller pieces to facilitate its use. Then you can scatter it in the area you want to be mulched. The leaves and stalk of the banana tree retain water extremely well. After a rain they will likely hold the moisture for a week or more depending on the humidity. Below are photos of how Chirapa Manta used their banana mulch. They placed it directly under another banana tree that was growing.
- Growing Bananas (Musa Spp.) How To Grow Banana Plants And Keep Them Happy (n.d.). In tropicalpermaculture.com. Retrieved from https://www.tropicalpermaculture.com/growing-bananas.html