This section is from the book "The Gardener V2", by William Thomson. Also available from Amazon: The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener.
Last April I had two very fine suckers of Bananas in 10-inch pots, and being unwilling to throw them away, yet not knowing very well what to do with them, being scarce of room, I resolved to act upon a hint I got from a gardener of very high standing - viz., Mr Johnston of Glamis Castle Gardens. I planted them in the back-bed of the Pine-pit, the height from top of bed to glass being not more than 5 feet. They were turned out of the pots and planted into the bed, made up of nothing else but leaves, on the 27th of April. The bed is bottom-heated by two 4-inch pipes. The plants grew very rapidly and soon got crushed up against the glass, the long half-opened leaves bending in a number of curious ways, and some of them lifting a pane and bolting out altogether. The evil, however, was easily cured by going up on a ladder and pushing them in again and replacing the pane. They showed fruit on the 30th September, just five months after planting; and had the season been an ordinarily good one, I have no doubt they would have fruited sooner. The clusters of fruit are very good considering the material they were grown in, also the somewhat. unnatural circumstances.
I would, however, recommend planting two or three months sooner, in order to get the fruit ripened the same season. "When a plant shows fruit late in the season, it seldom or never ripens through the winter - at least that is my experience. The plants by being crushed up against the glass go quickly into fruit. J. Heath.