YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Multiple farmers have said the growing season has been fantastic and crop prices are good. Backyard growers are also noticing a bountiful crop.
One yard on Youngstown’s west side has to be seen to be believed.
There’s a green thumb paradise on North Brockway Avenue — bright, colorful zinnias; huge caladium, worthy of the name elephant ears; and musa basjoo, reaching to the sky, banana trees.
“I would say two-foot taller right now than they was last year,” said Norm Cappitte, the owner of the property.
The banana trees are four times taller than Cappitte, approaching 24-feet tall. The plants have all benefited from soaking in the sun from multiple strings of 90° days.
There’s one thing that makes these plants grow big, and it’s water.
The banana trees can grow six inches a day. They’re Cappitte’s favorite because they’re interesting and almost maintenance-free.
He experimented this year, putting a plastic bag over them and forcing them to grow.
“It forced the bananas to come out. I actually succeeded in getting bananas,” he said.
This is the first time he’s gotten a cluster. Normally, the growing season is too short for bananas. Growing is a big part of the Cappitte family.
“I love everything because it’s nature. I love the dirt,” Cappitte said.
Cappitte started the growing with three bulbs he orders in the mail. It’s grown for 15 years and has become a key place on the west side that people love to see.
“And I’m quite proud of it to be honest with you. It just encourages me to keep going and do more because it’s making other people happy, especially these days with everything going on,” Cappitte said.
Cappitte has multiple blue ribbons from the Canfield Fair in a pepper category.
He started growing banana trees because he liked how they looked in the background on Rambo movies.