Banana peels can do wonders in the garden. Here’re the 14 Banana Peel Uses you should know about!
Bananas are a good source of phosphorus and potassium for us, and the peels do the same for our plants. They decompose quickly, so simply cut them up and add them to the planting hole for tomatoes or peppers. You can also use banana peels as an organic, side-dressing treatment for most landscape and garden plants. Read this informative article on Mississippi State University Extension Service!
1. As a Spray-On Fertilizer
Feeding banana peels to plants is not just an old wives tale. There are practical reasons why many people use this superfood as a substitute for chemical fertilizers. Banana peels are quick to rot, so if you bury them, they offer rich stores of essential nutrients to the soil. You can also use them to make a foliar spray to give a nutrient boost to your plants (See the tutorial at Little House Living).
2. Brew a Compost Tea
The lack of a compost pile shouldn’t deter you from feeding your garden your own organic fertilizer; simply drop some banana peels to a bucket filled with water and let it stay put for a few days. You will get a mineral-rich banana tea that will enrich your flower and vegetable beds with nutrients and promote the vigorous growth. If you want an instant tea here’s one more recipe to follow.
3. Encourage Blooming in Plants
The banana peels have a high concentration of potassium- the key nutrient that plants need to form big and bright blooms. Potassium also facilitates the transfer of nutrients and water between plant cells and protects them from the diseases. In a way, it allows the plants to prepare for the budding phase. Hence, a fermented banana peel mix makes a superb side dressing for plants. Instructions are here.
4. Fortify Your Soil
Give a direct jolt of nourishment to your garden soil by planting a banana peel or two in it. Just dip up a trench three inches deep and long enough to accommodate the peels. Lay them flat with the inside facing up and cover them with some soil. Over time, they will release vital nutrients like iron, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus.
5. Make a Fruit Fly Trap
Not only the fruit flies this recipe will work on other flying insects too!
If flies are the main problem, and you are looking for a non-toxic way to deal with, then using a banana with the peel is your answer. Just chop it up, place it in a plastic container and pour in some apple cider vinegar. Then punch some holes in the lid large enough to allow the entry of fruit flies. The scent of the vinegar and banana will attract them, and they’ll enter through the holes and ultimately down and die in the liquid. While this contraption may not be able to trap every single pest in the garden, it will definitely help you get rid of quite a few. See the recipes here!
6. Aphid Control
There are no solid proofs yet, but you can try! Cut-up banana peels or use dried banana pieces for this. Either drape or dig the cut-up peel or dried pieces 2.5–5 centimeter (1 -2 inches) deep into the ground around the base of the affected plant. The aphids will soon be gone as they detest the smell of ripe banana.
7. Add to Compost
Banana peels are biodegradable and break down quickly, so one of the best banana peels uses is to add them to the compost pile. Just make sure you add them chopped, or soaked or as a semi-solid slurry; do not add them whole as this will attract raccoons and skunks. The breakdown of them increases the potassium and phosphorus content of your compost. Learn more here!
8. Attract Butterflies and Birds
Encourage birds and butterflies in your garden by putting out ripe banana peels on a raised platform. You can also chop them into pieces or punch a few holes, to make the fruit more appealing and accessible to the insects. The banana is quite likely to draw in the bees, wasps, and caterpillars as well, so just make sure that you place it on a platform above your plants. Also, don’t forget to remove it just before sunset, else you may end up attracting the pesky nocturnal invaders.
9. Fertilizer Air Plants
Epiphytic perennials like Staghorn ferns and Elk Horn do not form roots and grow in the soil. Instead, they are borne on the stems of rooted plants and derive all their nourishment from the surrounding air. Spraying them with a banana fertilizer is a smart way to ensure they get their requisite dose of nutrients for growth and survival.
10. Feed Your Plants Banana Vinegar
Acid-loving plants like gardenias, rhododendrons, blueberries, and azaleas benefit from a quick spray of banana vinegar. Vinegar, if used in small amount, can increase acidity and enhances the iron content in the soil, allowing these acid-loving plants to grow better and develop healthy foliage. Begin by fermenting leftover banana peels and follow the instructions here. If the concoction has a strong smell of vinegar, consider diluting it with an equal amount of water, to avoid burning the plants.
11. Prepare Your Garden Bed
The fertilizing and nutritive nature of banana peels makes them perfect as a soil amendment substance for preparing the garden beds. Just chop them up and toss them into the tilled soil. They’ll boost microbial growth and enable the beneficial worms to aerate and improve the quality of your soil. And, make sure to bury them deeply, else they might end up attracting pesky animals such as moles and rabbits.
12. Establish Your Air Plant on a Banana Peel
When setting a decorative air plant, arrange a banana peel at its base. Cover it with some mulch or moss to hide it and mount the entire plant over it. The peels will act as compost and decay to release a bunch of nutrients that will benefit the plants.
13. Fertilize Tomato Plants
If you want your tomato plants to thrive and produce the harvest prolifically, don’t forget to add banana peels. As banana peels enrich the soil with potassium, iron, and calcium, thereby allowing the growing tomatoes to get nourishment throughout the season. This guide will show you how to use banana peels to grow your tomatoes.
14. Feed Your Seedlings
Cut up a few banana peels into tiny pieces and bury them in the soil, just below the topsoil of the garden bed, or at the bottom of seed-starting containers. This will give a much-needed boost of nutrients to the young plants. Just make sure that the seeds or seedlings aren’t touching the peels directly at the time of planting, as this might end up burning and damaging their tiny roots.