Using banana peel fertilizer to add minerals and nutrients to specific plants in your garden is a great way to not only reduce waste but also to work with nature while being an active participant in the growing of your garden: and the bonus is you are saving money at the same time. It is so easy to go out and buy a “quick fix” but for the home gardener, who wants to derive pleasure from learning and growing, this is a great way to feel a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.
Banana peels are a winner because they contain a lot of vital nutrients and minerals that allow many plants to thrive.
Organic Bananas are superior to banana peels from fruit grown with pesticides. If you have no choice, wash your peels in a solution of 3 parts water to 1 part vinegar and rinse well.
Here are just some important minerals and nutrients that occur in banana peels:
- Potassium (Contains 42% when dried)
And here is a list of some plants that benefit from all this goodness:
Asparagus needs phosphorus to stimulate good root growth. This is essential for healthy asparagus! Good sources of phosphorus are bone meal and well rotted compost.
Asparagus also likes a good supply of potassium. Compost (with banana peels if you have them) and wood ash (particularly hardwood) are great sources of potassium.
Carrot is a heavy potassium and calcium feeder. Potassium promotes solid, sweet carrots. (see 3rd recipe for added calcium)
Broccoli is a heavy potassium feeder, that also loves calcium. since it requires almost double the amount of this element as compared to nitrogen. (see 3rd recipe for added calcium)
Eggplant requires high levels of potassium, and removes it at a rate 40% higher than nitrogen.
Celery is a heavy feeder, and specifically requires calcium and potasium. Generally, 60% of the nitrogen is applied at planting time and the remainder- side-dressed by 2-3 applications. Special care must be given to the Carbon:Nitrogen ratio, since “black-heart” syndrome (due to calcium deficiency) can be aggravated by excessive nitrogen fertilization. Sandy-loam soils may be low in potasium, so, applications of this nutrient should be done both as pre-plant and side-dressing. (see 3rd recipe for added calcium)
Lettuce is a heavy potassium feeder, as it requires triple the amount of this element as compared to Nitrogen.
All melon varieties are heavy potassium-feeders, as they require potassium at rates 2.4-fold higher than nitrogen.
Sweet Pepper is a heavy potassium and calcium feeder. Potassium is removed at a rate 50% higher than nitrogen. Calcium deficiency inevitably produces “blossom-end rot” of the fruit. (see 3rd recipe for added calcium)
Tomatoes require high amounts of potassium and calcium. Potassium is removed at a rate 80% higher than nitrogen. Calcium deficiency inevitably produces “blossom-end rot” of the fruit. (see 3rd recipe for added calcium)
Spinach that is growing in alkaline soils (pH >7.5) can suffer from a manganese deficiency.
Ok, Moving on to the Fun Stuff –
Banana Peel Tea Recipes: 3 Ways
It should actually say “4 Ways” because after you make your liquid fertilizer, you can use the banana peels again by adding them straight into your garden or composting them.
Bury them anywhere from 10cm down to just beneath the surface of the soil, being careful of not disturbing the roots of your plants.
As the peels decompose, all the remaining vitamins in the peels will reach the roots, giving you plants a nutrient bump that will make them happy.
1. Simple Banana Peel Liquid Fertilizer
Add 4 – 6 banana peels to a 3L jar (or less peels in smaller jars) then fill the jar with water.
Cover with a breathable cloth or a loose fitting lid and let it sit for at least 48 hours and up to a week.
Remove the peels, leaving the water in your jar.
Water the baseline of your plants with your banana peel fertilizer.
You can cut & bury the peels as discussed above or you can add them to your compost heap or worm farm.
2. Fermented Peels & Liquid Fertilizer
(2 in 1 recipe)
This recipe includes the option to puree the fermented banana peels for use in the garden, making this two things you can make and use in this one recipe.
The process of fermenting the banana peels has the added benefit of welcoming good bacteria into the mix.
Here’s how to do it:
Put your peels in a jar, and cover with enough water so they’re submerged. You’ll want to put some sort of weight on the peels so they remain under the water.
Cover with cloth and rubber band or a loosely fitting top.
Let the mixture sit for a week in a dry, warm spot, while the good bacteria gets to work making releasing the nutrients and minerals into the water.
If you see a cloudy must, that’s OK. If you start to see black mold, you’ll have to throw it away and start again.As long as the peels are below the surface of the water, you’re okay. Let your nose and your judgement be your guide.
After a week, put the peels in a blender and puree and save the water for other plants.
Side dress your blossoming plants with the puree, being sure to incorporate it into the soil gently so it doesn’t attract unwanted critters.
Alternatively, dilute the puree in water to help it distribute into the ground better.
3. Banana Booster Spray with Egg Shells & Epsom Salt
This spray-on fertilizer also uses eggshells for a calcium boost and Epsom salt for magnesium.
If your plants are established, and you just want to give them a nutrient boost, try making a fertilizer spray.
Here’s how to make it:
What You Need:
- 4 Banana Peels
- 1 tablespoon Epsom Salt
- 3 Egg Shells
- Empty Spray Bottle/s
- 1L Water
Dehydrate Banana Peels in your food dehydrator or in a sunny area outside where they will not be disturbed. You can also dehydrate them at a low temp in your oven until completely dry. Make sure they are on parchment paper or in some kind of container so you can easily collect the dried pieces.
Clean your egg shells and allow them to dry completely.
Grind the dehydrated peels and egg shells in a coffee grinder or food processor.
Add the banana egg shell powder and the Epsom salts to your spray bottle/s.
Add water to your spray bottle until it’s just about full.
Swirl and shake the spray until the salts and the powder have dissolved into the water.
Spray the baseline of plants or a wider area higher up – taking care not to soak leaves of plants that do not like to stay wet (eg tomatoes & melons).
- How to Use Epsom Salts to Boost Production in the Garden
- An In-Depth Look at Growing Asparagus Seedlings
- Bounty, Water Wising and Liquid Fertilizing ~ August ’17 Round Up
- The Song of Soil & A Tale of pH
- Everything You Need to Know About Growing Broccoli