Banana Peels For Our Garden? Yes, you better believe it. Bananas are not just good for us, their peels contain valuable nutrients, Potassium in particular, that can be extracted and used in our garden as a water-soluble, organic source of nourishment. In this article, I show you 3 easy ways to prepare and use banana peel to use in your garden as a fertilizer to get maximum growth and maximum vigor for your favorite crops. Much better than chemical fertilizers and safe for all outdoor crops, indoor plants, and even microgreens!
Effectiveness of Banana peels as fertilizer
First up what’s in a banana peel that makes it so special? Why this one fruit and not the hundreds of other fruit skins that we discard every day? We have to actually look at the biology of plants themselves.
We know that plants require dozens of elements compounds and nutrients to function and thrive, let alone produce viable crops for us. But there are three specific elements that are required in larger amounts than any other and that’s your NPK.
NPK: Your nitrogen, your phosphorus, and your potassium.
Banana skins while having moderate amounts of calcium, phosphorus, manganese, and even trace nitrogen are known to be disproportionately higher in potassium. But unlike its two sister macronutrients, nitrogen and phosphorus, organic sources of potassium are not as readily available to the backyard gardener, cue the banana peels.
Potassium is used by plants to sustain growth and specifically aids our crops by increasing root structure, improving drought tolerance, increasing disease resistance and it’s necessary by photosynthesis itself.
Important right, so let’s see how we can turn this into a free organic potassium boost for our plants.
3 Easy Ways to Use Banana Peel as Fertilizer in the Garden
1. Potted plants
The first way to use a banana peel in our gardens is only one incremental step above cruelly throwing the skin in our compost and that’s to use it at the bottom of our pots and containers when potting up new plants.
It’s best to chop it up into pieces so we can decompose faster, but really this is as crude as it gets anyways. I find this solution less than ideal and really at this point I’d rather just put the peel on the compost and let the entire garden benefit.
2. Powdered Fertilizer
The second way that I use banana peel is to make powdered fertilizer from them. It’s really easy. You basically just want to dehydrate the skins to the point of them being completely hard and crumbly.
You can use a dehydrator, your oven, or even just set them outside in the sun for a couple of days if your climate is warm enough. Once your peels are dry crush them using a mortar and pestle into a fine powder.
This Banana peel powder fertilizer can then be used as a fantastic organic potassium soil amendment.
I apply mine at a ratio of one tablespoon per gallon of soil and I do that once per crop cycle. You can mix the powder in with your favorite potting soil or you can add it to the topsoil of existing pots or crop rows, amazing!
And one thing I absolutely love to do with this powder is to mix it with rock dust at a one-to-one ratio and amend my microgreen soil with it. The plants go absolutely nuts over it I’m not joking.
3. Banana Peel Liquid Fertilizer
The final way that I use banana peels in the garden is to make a banana peel liquid fertilizer. This one is even easier than the powder as it requires no extra machinery, heat, or even manpower.
You simply soak the skins, completely submerged at room temperature for at least two weeks. The longer you soak them the more nutrients are going to be extracted.
But I find two to three weeks to be the ideal trade-off between time, smell, space, and the amount of nutrients that you’re actually getting.
Strain off the spent peels, putting them in the compost of course, and then use the liquid at a one-to-one strength for either a folio feed or just watering in your plants directly.
Foliar feeding can get the nutrients into your plant slightly faster. So if you think they need an immediate boost this could be a great way to inject that potassium right into the crop right away.
Whichever method you choose, foliar feed or direct watering just know that it’s completely safe. Unlike synthetic chemical fertilizers at no concentration are you really in danger of burning your plants? To me that says something.
Bananas are great and the potassium boost that they can give us and our plants is fantastic. Just don’t mistake this as a complete fertilizing solution. At best this is a really really good way to add some free organic water-soluble potassium to our soils and gardens.
It’s not a replacement for our compost or complete potting soils or their amendments. But it is another tool in our arsenal to grow the best fruits and veggies in a self-sufficient, sustainable way.
It does work however and I’ve seen the benefits first hand and I hope you will too. Hey if you’ve got any other homegrown fertilizer tips that you’d like to share with the community make sure to leave them in the comments down below.
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