Our Dwarf Ducasse banana tree has produced its second bunch of bananas. It went in ground November 2011, so its about three and a bit years old.
We cut the bananas from the tree when still green, and ripen them inside (in this case, the laundry floor). We have another bunch producing on another tree, which is even smaller than this bunch!
It has been proven, bananas don't like being starved or made thirsty. So we either improve these conditions for the bananas, or we live with such tiny hands of bananas.
This variety of banana is not meant to be long, like Cavendish, but it should be at least double its present size. Neglecting bananas reduces cropping, but we also allowed too many suckers to grow from the mother plant. You're only meant to allow two suckers per mother to grow, but we allowed four! Only because growing season is also snake season, and we get nervous around the long grass that grows near the bananas!
Neglecting proper maintenance, will always lead to smaller fruit production though. Some fruit is better than none at all. We have found with this variety (Dwarf Ducasse) we have to wait a good while before the bitterness leaves them. So the skin is covered in dark splotches and would look unappealing if you were going to buy them at the shops.
For home use and consumption however, aesthetics doesn't really matter. Its the taste we're after.
They're pretty darn tasty for tiny, neglected hands of bananas though. They're also the perfect toddler size. When they're ready, they should taste creamy, not bitter or gummy on the lips.
The Lady finger variety we planted at the same time as "Ducca", has yet to produce anything! It struggled right from the start, and hasn't really improved when we relocated it. I'll keep it so long as it lives, in hope it might produce something, but its three (and a bit) years old now, and has only managed to throw one sucker from the mother plant. Maybe next year it will surprise us?
We certainly have to consider the system we have around these bananas, if we want a more reliable harvest. It's been nice not having to buy bananas, and I like having them in my backyard.