Banana peels are a high source of Calcium and Potassium. You might love bananas for a mid-morning snack, and you might unknowingly throw the peels in the garbage. However, you can use banana peels to bring your garden back to life. Banana peels give plants that nutrient bump they need to grow well. Organic banana peel fertilizer also promotes healthy soil growth.
What Is Banana Peel Fertilizer?
The outer covering or skin of a banana is the banana peel. Banana peels have the highest content of Potassium found naturally. This makes them uniquely suitable for use in your garden or indoor plants. The high Potassium content boosts growth and is a great start if you want to go green or stop using chemical fertilizer.
There are different ways to use banana peels as fertilizer. However, you should know that plants cannot absorb whole banana peels. They first have to be worn out into the basic minerals, which the plants can later absorb. Because natural decomposition takes a long time, there are other ways to fasten the process and give your plants the boost they may badly require.
You can speed up the decomposition process with a few steps that will not take much of your time. In addition, it is a good idea for gardening. With a rough idea of what the hyped-up banana peel fertilizer is, let us learn more about it in the rest of this article.
How To Use Banana As A Plant Supplement
Now that you know that bananas are rich in Potassium, there are ways to spot Potassium deficiency in your plants. Different plants have different symptoms, but these are general symptoms. Typical Potassium deficiency looks like this:
- Necrosis on the leaf edges
- Tough-textured leaves
- Woody stems in vegetables
- Yellow base leaves
- Dark brown spots on the leaves
- Poor quality fruit
- Dead or underdeveloped roots
- Low yield
Not to be confused with lack of Potassium, some of these symptoms are also usual in plants that have been scorched by the heat of the sun.
Using banana peels in your garden can be done in the following ways:
1) Banana Peel Tea
Making a homemade liquid fertilizer banana peel tea is the fastest way to get nutrients in your plant. However, plants need a little help along the way from time to time. A few tablespoons every other month should be sufficient sources of Potassium for stronger root development, healthy fruits and yield, and strong stems.
To make this banana fertilizer, all you have to do is put half a pitcher of water in the fridge for at least a week. Then, every time you have a banana, add banana peels into the jar of water. This is the easiest way to make banana peel fertilizer. After a week, remove the peels, strain the water, and you have banana peel fertilizer.
You might be tempted to apply the fertilizer immediately, but this would be a waste. You have to first dilute the concentrated banana tea with water. It should be in a 1:5 ratio proportion(1 part banana tea to 5 parts water). One tablespoon every month around the base should be enough for each plant. Potassium-loving plants such as roses or tubers will benefit from this banana peel fertilizer.
2) Compost Pile
Firstly, a compost pile is an organic matter added to the soil to enrich the soil via the release of nutrients. That means organic kitchen waste makes the perfect ingredients for compost. When made properly, it will contain every nutrient plants need. For example, adding banana peels to the mixture is a very good idea because they are an excellent source of Potassium.
You want to make sure your compost pit is well balanced. This includes equal amounts of browns and greens for the right balance. Banana peels and eggshells are excellent for compost. After turning the compost every five weeks, you can expect the natural fungus and bacteria to break it down and provide a nutrient-rich fertilizer recipe with banana peels.
After decomposition, you can scoop some compost, add water to it, filter, and you can spray to the soil. You can also directly apply the compost to your soil before planting. Most plants or garden variety plants do well with compost fertilizer. Using banana peels in your compost provides most of the Potassium, phosphorus, and other nutrients.
3) Ground Banana Peel Fertilizer
To grind banana peels, you first have to dry them. Of course, you can do it the traditional way, under the sun. However, in doing so, they will decompose as well. You don't want that. The fastest way is to dry them in an oven at a high temperature. Yes, we mean bake the banana peels until they are dehydrated and turn black.
This is your indication that they are ready. You can then grind them with any suitable method for yourself. Either in a mortar with a pestle, a coffee grinder, or on your kitchen counter with something heavy. As long as it does the job. As soon as you have your banana peel in the crushed form, you can sprinkle it all over your plants.
However, you should always proceed with caution. It is not advisable to apply banana peel fertilizer or any fertilizer for that matter near the roots of your plant. The application should be close to the plant, in a side dressing but not on the plant. Applying highly potent fertilizer directly to plants can kill your plants by over nourishment.
4) Chopped Banana
This is similar to casually throwing your banana peels in the garden. If you don't feel like going constantly through the motions of preparing banana peel fertilizer for your garden, you can use chopped banana peels to give your plants a little boost. However, before making banana peels powder available to your garden, you should know a few things.
Firstly, banana peels take a long time to decompose. So you might have to wait for a few months to see results in your plants. Secondly, bananas are rich in Potassium as previously stated. However, banana peels need Nitrogen in order to completely break down and provide Potassium. Nitrogen helps plants like legumes do better.
But, if you are sure, then it might work for you. Plants like potatoes need high potassium content. Potassium helps with healthy crop production. Either way, ensure that the soil around your plant has banana peels. To help distribute the nutrients of peels in the garden, You can plant it about four inches into the soil and a short distance away from your plants.
5) Banana Peel Fertilizer Spray
Using banana peels as fertilizer can greatly benefit your garden. Banana peel spray is made like banana peel tea. However, a small tweak to it makes it better. It is infused with eggshells and Epsom salts. This is to give your plants Nitrogen, phosphorus, and calcium nutrients. For the spray, you don't need many banana peels.
This banana peel spray is perfect for giving an improvement to developed plants. After drying the banana peels in the oven, you can crush them with Epsom salts and eggshells. After you have a powder, mix it with water in a spray bottle. You can then spray on your plants. This is a perfect method to cover many plants at once.
It is a good all-purpose fertilizer that your plants will eat up and open up the soil to allow more aeration and oxygen. Banana peel fertilizer will not dehydrate or dry out the soil or your garden plants.
Why Should I Use a Banana Peel Fertilizer?
Banana peel fertilizer is useful for gardens not because of what it contains but what it doesn't. Banana peels contain no Nitrogen. Nitrogen is useful for plants, and it occurs naturally in the soil. However, too much Nitrogen is not beneficial to plants and leads to many leaves and no fruits. Potassium, phosphorus, and Nitrogen go hand in hand.
Without Potassium, plants generally do not do well. Potassium helps plants flower or fruiting, and plants like tomatoes and roses move nutrients and water between the cells. If you plant a banana peel near your plants, ensure there is also an adequate source of Nitrogen. This is because decomposing matter needs Nitrogen.
On a lighter note, Potassium helps plants to resist diseases. A plant with adequate Potassium is better off fighting diseases like root rot and fungus compared to a plant with no access to Potassium. In addition, plants with Potassium are guaranteed to bounce back after a drought, compared to their counterparts with no Potassium.
Finally, did you know a single banana peel is revolting to pests? Yes, it is. Pests like aphids that feast on tomato leaves hate the smell of banana. They avoid bananas at all costs. Talk about a natural deterrent. A few spritzes of banana peel tea will become your favorite pest control method. In addition, bananas smell heavenly, and so will your garden after a few treatments.
Advantages Of Using Banana Peel Fertilizer
It is important to rotate your crop and switch between banana and other fertilizers even while using banana fertilizer. It all depends on your preference. Before you use banana fertilizer in your garden, you should know what you are getting into. You should also not expect magic because it is a fairly long process for an extended period of time.
There are a few reasons why using banana peel as a fertilizer for your crops of garden variety plants are good for your garden. They include:
a) Increased Shelf-Life
If done correctly, banana peel tea can last you for up to six months. In addition, this is longer than most chemical and organic fertilizers out there. Not to mention it is 100% safe for your plants. You might have a trial and failure period, but when you get the proportions right, then you don't have to worry.
b) Doesn’t Attract Insects
As we have mentioned before, a banana is a great bug stopper. The smell of bananas that we all know and love is distasteful to bugs. Bugs will leave your garden alone if you spritz a mixture of banana fertilizer on the leaves and all over the garden. In addition, your plants will not attract any fungus, and in return, they will be healthy.
c) Easy To Use And Store
Because you are making this whole fertilizer based on the internet, it is easy to make. It's simple and effective for use in your backyard. It is also easy to use because you don't require much except water and banana peels which you would have probably thrown out. If you keep it refrigerated in a closed jar, you should use it for a while.
d) Light And Aerating
Banana plant food is easy to mix with the soil. This is because it's light and seamlessly blends with the soil to increase Potassium uptake in your plants. It also helps to increase water retention in the soil. Because Potassium helps with water uptake, it also serves as an agent for water retention of the soil. Oxygen is also freely circulated within the soil.
e) Fast Preparation
Banana plant food and especially in liquid form, is easy to make and takes a week. Within a week, you can have the perfect nutrient-rich fertilizer. In addition, preparation is not complicated, and instructions in an article like this one are easy to follow and understand. Apart from banana peels, you can also add a few other organic materials of your own.
If you choose to go the banana food way, you have already achieved a pesticide and chemical fertilizer-free garden. With all the methods of breaking down banana peels for use in your home garden, you should get the one that works for your garden, saves you time, and is cheap for you. It is also best to apply banana food to your plants in the early morning for maximum absorption.