11 Reasons to Use Banana Peels in Your Garden
Gardeners who have a slant towards natural methods are already familiar with composting. Using decomposing food as fertilizer provides necessary nutrients to the soil.
But it can help to know which fertilizing foods do what specifically, because it can help you fine tune your foodie formula. One fruit that does your body and garden good is the banana. Its peel is great for more than slipping and can work wonders in your yard.
Before we jump into the pool of uses for banana peels, let’s explore the nutrients they contain that nurture your plants:
- Calcium: Fresh banana peels contain roughly 19 mg of calcium, supporting the breakdown of nitrogen in the soil and the movement of nutrients throughout the plant.
- Potassium: Any form of the banana peel contains potassium. However, in the dried peels you’ll find over 40% of potassium, which helps with water distribution in the plant, protection from disease, and the regulation of enzymes.
- Phosphorus: Peels contain the mineral phosphorus, which strengthens roots, assists with seed germination, and helps with flowering.
- Sodium: With over 20 mg of sodium, banana peels are like an electrolyte boost for a plant’s cells. Sodium aids with chlorophyll, water, and enzyme activity in the plant.
So now you’re thinking, “How exactly do I use banana peels for my garden?” Well, check out some of the ways below.
For a large batch, place peels into a container that is 2 quarts or bigger. Fill ¾ of it with water and place it in the fridge for 5 to 7 days. You can keep adding empty peels during this time. Strain the peels out and dilute the tea with a gallon of water for use.
A smaller version can be made in a mason jar; allow the mixture to set for 2 days at room temperature. Dilute with a quart of water and use it as a liquid compost/fertilizer.
Compost ComponentBen_Kerckx via Pixabay
Dump some chopped peels into the compost pile with other materials or your worm bin. Cutting them up enables them to break down faster. Some people like to put the peels in a blender first to make a slurry, and then apply the compost to soil or mulch.
To shine up the leaves on your large indoor or outdoor plants, rub the inner part of the peel on the leaves. You’re feeding and cleaning them at the same time!
Send Bugs Off
To repel pests like fleas or aphids, you can bury some cut peels in the soil under the plant. Small pieces of dehydrated peel laid out on a platter will kill fleas with their enzymes. You may also turn the diluted tea recipe above into a spray and spritz your plants with it.
Make your own dry fertilizer! Dehydrate the peels with a dehydrator, in the sun, or in the oven, then grind them into a powdered fertilizer. Sprinkle some into the soil before planting or around the base of the plant.
Used either as a spray or whole, peels help indoor and outdoor plants grow. To prevent plant burning, place the peels at the plant’s base, or mix them into the soil, away from the root. When they break down, your flowers, foods and/or plants will still get nutrients from the peels.
To make a power-packed spray, you can follow a recipe from Little House Living. Mix banana tea or ground, dried banana peels + 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt + 3 – 4 crushed eggshells in 32 ounces of water. Shake and spray.
Feed the AnimalsPixabay
Dried, cut peels can be used to feed rabbits, chickens, or your other animal friends.
Feed the Seeds
Give seedlings a boost with a nice spread of banana peel. There are two things you can do. Plant an entire peel, fleshy side up, with seeds on top of it. Cover the hole with soil and water. Your other option is to dig a hole and place chopped or blended slurry in the bottom. Cover the peels with soil, compost, or other elements. Plant your seeds, cover the hole, and then water it.
Nourish Grown Flowers and Plants
Roses, orchids, tomatoes, and other plants respond well to having bananas at their roots. Cut peels up and toss them around the base of your flowers. If planting transplants, put peels in the holes, cover with soil, and then plant. Repeat every 3 – 4 weeks.
During the autumn or winter months, you can prep your soil bed by burying banana peels in the dirt in between planting seasons. Nutrients will be released into the dirt before you plant in the springtime.
Air Plant TLC
Plants that don’t grow in soil can also benefit from banana peel action. Air plants like staghorn can be given a nice soak or spritz with banana peel water to help them grow and repel pests. Depending on the plant, a soak can be anywhere from 1 to 24 hours.
Some folks prefer to use organic bananas to avoid the possibility of pesticides mixing in with their plants. Your choice! If you’re not eating bunches of bananas at a time, you can just freeze the peels until you’re ready to use them!
When making banana water, distilled water is ideal because it won’t interfere with a healthy fermentation process of the peels. Drop your peels in, cover it tightly, and let it sit unbothered for at least a week!
Have you tried banana peels in your garden? Would you add them to your gardener’s bag of tricks?