Banana Peel Fertilizer



I totally dig the idea of using our trash once more before it goes into the bin or compost pile. It makes me feel like I’m not only getting our money’s worth for the first use, but even more than our money’s worth because of the second use. I love to make strawberry syrup from our strawberry tops, broth from our meat bones, and soil acidifier from our coffee grounds. Today I’ll share my latest trash-using endeavor.

Banana Peel Fertilizer - Stone Family Farmstead

Most plants need a certain amount of these top three macronutrients: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. I knew my plants needed to be fed, but because I’m new to understanding the care and feeding of the vegetables in my garden, I bought some organic plant food from Home Depot just so I would have something to put on them that would give them some nutrients until I could understand their needs better.

It turns out that the plant food I bought is a 3-4-4 NPK, so it’s really pretty general in meeting the needs of the plants in my garden. It would probably feed them ok, but the reality is that many plants are more needful of nitrogen, while others are more needful of phosphorus, and still others need a higher level of potassium.

I started putting together a spreadsheet for all the plants in my garden, and in the process of doing that, I learned that tomatoes, peppers, honeydew melon, and passionflower are all potassium loving plants. Potassium helps your plants move water and nutrients between cells. It strengthens the stems of your plants and protects them from disease. It is used to help the flowering process and is thought to be able to improve the quality of the fruit of your plants.

About Banana Peels

Banana peels are a fantastic source of potassium, and while we don’t like to eat them, our plants don’t mind! They are 42 percent potassium, which makes it one of the highest organic potassium sources, and is loads higher in potassium than even wood ash. They do not contain nitrogen, which makes using them perfect for plants like tomatoes and peppers, which have a low nitrogen need.

Banana peels also contain calcium (which helps plants take up more nitrogen, which some potassium loving plants need), manganese (helps with photosynthesis), sodium (helps movement of water between cells), magnesium and sulfur (both helpful in the formation of chlorophyll).

I’ve heard that burying banana peels near plants like these is helpful, and can even be a good idea since they break down quickly, making the peel’s nutrients available more quickly than with other sources. The problem is that the peels can attract pests, which we gardeners tend to want to avoid. Also, in order for the peels to break down, the soil should be moist, which shouldn’t be a problem if you bury them low enough.

In the case of my garden, my raised beds are kind of shallow, so the banana peel fertilizer was the best way to go. Also, we are in a drought, so I thought that I could save water by adding nutrients to it before I put it around the plants. A definite win/win for this California gardener.

Making Banana Peel Fertilizer

I soaked some banana peels for a couple of days in water (they can be soaked up to a week, but I was excited to use it). I did two jars, one half-gallon jar with about 5 banana peels in it, and one quart jar with only one. Both worked fine, but I would recommend just doing 1 peel in a quart jar and soaking for the full week, which causes more of the peel to break down and infuse into the water. In my half gallon jar, I found that 5 peels was way too much. It made a nice concentrated liquid, but it doesn’t make all that much. I could have probably diluted it and stretched it further, but didn’t think to do that.

When I used mine, I strained some of the banana peel water into the garden around my tomatoes and pepper plants. Next time I’ll pour it around my honeydew and passionflower. Giving this extra shot of potassium will ensure that the plants get more of what they need and less of what they don’t. Also, unlike using man-made fertilizers, the potassium water can go right down to the roots without me having to turn on the hose. For me, this is a win/win because it saves me work, saves water for our great state, and because it gets one more use out of my banana peels before the compost pile. I dig that.

Banana Peel Fertilizer is Good for Pepper Plants - Stone Family Farmstead

What About You?

Do you use banana peel water? What other kinds of fertilizers do you make with your compost trash?

Shared at Simple Saturdays, Simply Natural Saturdays, The Art of Homemaking Mondays, Good Morning Mondays, Tuesdays with A Twist, Maple Hill Hop, Making Your Home Sing Monday, Homemade Mondays, Wildcrafting Wednesday, Homestead Blog Hop, Green Thumb Thursday, Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop, From the Farm, Front Porch Friday, Old Fashioned Friday, Simple Saturdays Blog Hop, Simply Natural Saturday



 
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Kristi Stone

Kristi Stone

Honestly? I'm the author of this blog...sometimes. My family and I live in Sunny Southern California on a one acre hobby farm where we are working diligently to one day produce our dairy, eggs, and produce. That takes A LOT of work, so if you don't hear from me as soon as you'd like, give me a shout out in the comments and I'll chat back as soon as I can between the garden, goat kids, chickens, husband, human kids, and playing with my grandboy, Kieran. And in the mean time, if you'd like to see more frequently what goes on at our farm, please feel free to join my Facebook group (see the right column) where I am more active. I'd love to get to know you! ๐Ÿ™‚
Kristi Stone

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Comments

  1. I put peels in the Magic Bullet or blender with water and turn it into a watery puree. The fine particles of peel that are left are quickly eaten by micro-organisms in the soil.

    • Oooh, that is a really great idea too, Robin! Love it, thanks for sharing!

      • Lynette says:

        I want to try hay/straw bale gardening this year since my space is really limited. Can I use the banana water to condition the bales before planting, or use something else for that and use the nana water later?

        • Personally, I would use it when it’s needed, versus before. Unortunately, I’m not very well versed with how long the nutrients would stay around in the straw bale. Of course, you could use it in the straw bales, and if your plants show any deficiency in potassium later, then use the fertilizer again. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • same here i use my vitamix but any good blender will work..

  2. Great idea! I use the banana peels…and bury them… or cut them up and bury them… and I put lots of them into my compost, but I have never used them like this… what a good idea. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hi Gentle Joy! I like this idea a lot because it means that I can use them in both places (however, the banana peels are probably pretty well spent, I’m thinking). My dog Bella is notorious for digging things up in the compost pile, so I’m not wanting to add anything she’ll want to dig up to the garden, so this works well for me. I think burying them would be better if one were aiming for a slower breakdown and dispersement of potassium, though. But that’s just me speculating!

  3. Therese Bizabishaka says:

    I’ve also heard of people drying and then blitzing banana peels into a powder that is used to dress the garden. It may be a good way to store peels for later use when you have an abundance.

  4. I love this idea! I compost the peels, but never thought to make a tea out of them.

  5. Great idea! I oven use my banana peels and put them a couple inches around my rose bushes. They do seem to nourish them quite well. I love your idea too and will try this. Thanks for sharing. Visiting from Wildcrafting Wednesdays. Shared on twitter & pinnedl

  6. What a great idea. I put the peels directly into the compost and bury a few around some of my plants but I am going to give this a try and see how much of a difference this makes.

    • Great! I’d love to hear how it works out for you. I love doing it this way because it knocks out watering and fertilizing at the same time, and my dog doesn’t dig in the garden to get the banana peels to strew around the yard! ha ha! Thanks for your visit, Lois!

  7. Sondra Langle says:

    Hi,

    LOve your idea of banana peel tea. A friend uses the following formula to feed her roses. I cup coffee grounds,
    about 8-10 egg shells and all the banana peels she can squeeze in her blender. Blends it and pours it on her roses. My pastor’s wife just throws the banana peel at the base of her roses. I’m going to to try your recipe for use on the tomatoes and peppers. Thanks, Sondra

    • Wow, that’s an interesting recipe. I’ve got eggs shells and banana peels that I could try that with right now. My poor roses are really looking sorry! Thanks for sharing, Sondra!

  8. Cool idea. Since potassium increases pH, it wouldn’t work for me because we have soil with super high pH, but what a great way to use banana peels.

    Thanks for linking up on the Weekend Blog Hop at My Flagstaff Home!

    Jennifer

    • Oh really? We have high pH in our soil too, so that’s interesting to know. Since I garden in raised beds (horrible, horrible soil at our new property), I do have to balance out all the nitrogen from the manure. Otherwise, I’d be in the same boat as you are! Maybe you can use it for any roses (or any other potassium-loving plants) you have in containers? Thanks for stopping by, Jennifer!

  9. What a great post and very informative, I didn’t know that you could use banana peels like that. Thank you so much for sharing this with us at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings

  10. I do that, but I chop the peels up and let them soak a few days. Then I use the water on the plants and dehydrate the peels. When they’re dry, I mix them with dried veggie scraps, coffee grounds and eggshells in the food processor and grind them down to almost a powder, then use that as mulch. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Wow! I’ve never thought of making tea out of banana peels. I often experiment to see what works best for my garden. I’ve found here in Texas this year foil mulch worked really well for our super wet Spring. Everyone else’s tomatoes and squash died but we had plenty for us and our farm stand sales!
    I’m going to definitely try this on some plants and grow some without it. I’ll let you know how it turns out!
    I’ll be putting this article on my Almosta Farm Stand Facebook page!
    Thanks!!!

  12. Do you have a link for the strawberry syrup? I love to get double uses out if things!

  13. Jo Smith says:

    After the tea is made, how much do you give each plant?

    • Hi Jo! I actually just divide it up between 5-6 plants because banana peels are so jam-packed with potassium. However, if you are more inclined to measure, you could figure one banana peel per plant since that’s what people usually do when they bury a banana peel next to their plants. This might work out this way: put one banana peel per quart jar, add water, and allow to steep for 3-7 days (I’d maybe go with 4-5 days so it doesn’t stink–7 days can yield quite a pungent liquid–but that’s just me), then pour one of your quarts of brew around each plant (one quart per plant, that is). Alternatively, you can click over to my dry potassium fertilizer and use 1 Tbsp (about 1 peel’s worth) around each plant. (Scroll up to the end of this post, just under the “Continue the Learning” heading for the link to that post.) Hope that helps!

  14. Linzie B. says:

    I just watched a video on youtube about making tea from comfrey leaves for fertilizer . Also can use nettle as well .provides nitrogen -interesting -I didn’t know that !!! I have used dried horse manure to make tea in the past -just don’t use fresh , too intense – go for the ( aged manure ) And bat guano ( poop) is some of the best fertilizer there is ( be found at grow stores )

  15. Deborah Wilson says:

    I put banana peels right on my staghorn plant and it works for them but I do get the nats so I will be using the wet stuff to cut down on the bugs. Thanks

  16. Thanks this is a great idea, I have always thrown my peels in the compost pile or give a few to the hens. From now on will be using them as tea for the tomatoes and peppers in the garden. Ellen from Georgia

  17. Can this be used on house plants as well or just veggies?

  18. Banana peels are also great for your blueberries. I made the same tea for mine and reaped a great harvest of berries.

  19. Thanks for the idea. I tend to avoid burying banana peels anywhere near my garden as the raccoons and possums dig them up, so it’s good to have alternatives.

  20. Great idea! I have started my banana peel ferilizer a couple days ago and have used it on my tomato plants that are no taller than a half inch. Next 2 days they have grown a beautiful dark green and are growing faster then the ones with no banana peel fertilizer added.

  21. Bob and Kim says:

    I have a ton of banana peelings saved in the freezer. Now what do we do to use them in our potting soil?

  22. How often are we supposed to add the banana mixture to our plants?

  23. How often do you do this?

  24. Thanks for all the info. I live for ideas on gardening.
    I think that is where i keep my sanity is to be in the garden and see my plants come to life. Alice

  25. I have recently started using banana peels and egg shells. I blend them with water and i water my plants with it. However, i haven’t seen any results. Could it be that the blending neutralizes the potassium and calcium?
    Or am I not giving it enough time? How long should i wait to see results?

  26. Great information on how to use banana peel infused water to fertilize your garden. Sometimes if a banana gets too brown before we get to it we make banana bread then get rid of the peels. I suppose if we are not going to make bread you can use the fruit also with this technique. Anyway great info. Keep up the good work. – J.T.

  27. I’m quite interested with the idea of using fermented banana peels as organic fertilizer. And I must say, among all those who posted this, you are the only one who gave concrete measurement when fermenting banana peels. But I have a question, how often should you apply this, I mean for example my plants, which are mung plants? How often should i fertilize them? I saw that you responded to a comment above saying that you apply it when your plants start to look potassium deficient. Can I get an exact number of days? More power and god bless~

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