I totally dig the idea of learning how to make fertilizer from kitchen waste on the way the compost pile. 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 zero waste endeavor, banana peel fertilizer. It’s super easy to make, and a great way to use an abundance of banana peels quickly.
Most plants need a certain amount of these top three macronutrients: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Some plants are more needful of nitrogen, while others are more needful of phosphorus, and still others need a higher level of potassium. I’m going to show you how to make your own banana peel fertilizer, and I’ll have a list of which vegetables to use it with available to you at the bottom of the post.
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.
Fertilizer from Kitchen Waste
At 42% potassium, banana peels are a fantastic source. They are 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 this fertilizer for tomatoes and peppers a perfect choice because they both have a low nitrogen need.
Banana peels also contain calcium, which helps plants take up more nitrogen, which some potassium loving plants need. They also contain manganese, which helps with photosynthesis; sodium, which helps movement of water between cells; and magnesium and sulfur, both of which are helpful in the formation of chlorophyll.
Banana peels can be buried whole near potassium-loving plants, if there will be no issue with creatures digging them up. In the case of my garden, my raised beds are kind of shallow, so the banana peel fertilizer was the best way to go.
If you don’t know which plants are potassium-loving, you can get my “Common Vegetable Garden Plant Info Sheet” which lists the potassium needs of each plant commonly grown in spring and summer. It’s in my resource library, and you can get the password to it at the bottom of this post.
Making Banana Peel Fertilizer
Here’s the basic recipe:
Add one banana peel to each quart jar.
Fill jars with water and seal.
Allow to sit for about a week before using on your potassium loving plants.
How I Use Banana Peel Fertilizer
Most of what I grow here are tomatoes and peppers, so this is a great fit for my on-the-way-to-the-compost banana peels. Giving this extra shot of potassium to your plants will ensure that they 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. I have used this fertilizer for tomatoes and peppers in past years, but this year I will add it to my honeydew melon fertilizing regimen. I’m very interested to see how my plants do with a regular diet of banana peel fertilizer this summer.