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Banana Peel Fertilizers for the Garden

01. June 2018

As anyone who has watched “Back to the Future” a million+ times knows, banana peels make terrific fuel. But even better than adding them to the Mr. Fusion unit on your time traveling DeLorean, you can add them as fuel for your garden. That’s right, compost those slimy banana peels and make your little green friends happy!
 
Banana Peel Compost Tea Garden Fertilizer | CanningCrafts.com
 

Banana Peel Nutrients

Bananas are a super food, and the peels are loaded with nutrients that your vegetation craves. First and foremost of these is, of course, potassium. Potassium greatly helps your plant’s overall strength. It makes the cell walls more robust on the fruit. I also helps generate stronger plant stems and promotes healthy root development.
 
Phosphorus has the next highest mineral concentration in banana peels. That’s great, because your garden loves phosphorus! Phosphorus is vital for vigorous plants. It aids germination, healthy roots, and strengthening production of blooms, pollen, and fruits.  
 
Not to be forgotten, peels also contain calcium and magnesium. These are important in your garden’s healthy development. Banana peels do NOT contain nitrogen. But the calcium helps make nutrients in the soil, such as nitrogen, more available to plants.
 
Banana Peel Compost Tea Garden Fertilizer | CanningCrafts.com
Our Vintage canning label is a great match for banana compost tea!

How to Make Banana Peel Fertilizers

How do you transport all those amazing nutrients from your kitchen to your garden? You can individually chuck banana peels on your garden or make a compost tea or a dry fertilizer. 
 
A week before I plant my tomatoes, I save all of my banana peels by storing them in a container of water in the fridge. Then when it's time to plant, I add a banana peel to every tomato hole. You can also use the leftover water as a compost tea to water your garden.
 
Banana peel compost tea is simple to produce. Keep a pitcher of water in your fridge filled about 3/4 full. Whenever you eat a banana, deposit the peel into the pitcher. Keep up this process until the container is full (or after about a week). Then strain the liquid into a new container. Put the peels aside, you can still use them in your garden! Clean the pitcher out and start the exercise all over again. The tea is nutrient-rich because the liquid has been slowly leeching Potassium, Phosphorus and nutrients out of the peels. In this form it is too concentrated, so you need to dilute it before putting it on your garden. One cup of tea per gallon of water should do the trick. Apply to the base of your garden plants and watch them thrive.
 
Okay, so you’ve made your pungent tea and now you have a bunch of slimy-gross banana peels leftover. That’s great! Take those peels and make more food for your plants! The easiest way would be to toss the peels into your compost bin. But if you want a quick fertilizer, put the peels into your blender with some water to make a puree fertilizer. Or you can try the powdered banana peel route so you can use them later. Use a food dehydrator to dry the peels (usually about 8-10 hours at 160ºF). Or place them on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake them in the oven (extra low temperature) for about 8-10 hours. You can also let them bake in the sun. Once they are dry, chop them as fine as possible in a food processor or coffee grinder. Then you can add some PBP (powdered banana peel) to your new seeds or seedlings when you are planting.
 
Banana Peel Compost Tea Garden Fertilizer | CanningCrafts.com
 

How to Use Banana Peel Fertilizers

Add one cup of banana tea per gallon of water. Apply to the base of your garden plants and watch them thrive. Add some dried banana peel (powdered or cut pieces) to your new seeds or seedlings when you are planting. Some gardeners also use fresh banana peels in their garden. Burying them deeper around plants will help keep animals and pests away. The peels break down quickly, so plants are able to use the nutrients sooner. Just make sure the soil is moist so the peels can break down.
 
Banana peels are not a complete fertilizer! So don’t use them alone, especially if your plants need a lot of nitrogen. They work great for potassium-loving plants like tomatoes and peppers. To get the most out of peels, compost them with nitrogen-rich materials. 

 

Use Banana Peels as an Aphid Pest Repellant

Banana peels are also helpful for deterring aphids on plants. Aphids hate the smell of banana apparently. While adding peels around plants should help deter aphids, spraying a plant with the tea should help protect it more. Dilute the banana tea with water at a 5:1 ratio (5 parts water with 1 part tea). Spray the leaves and stems with the solution. The spray will also help feed your plants.  

Banana Peel Compost Tea Garden Fertilizer | CanningCrafts.com 

How I'll Use Banana Peels in MY Garden

I plan to use the banana peel fertilizers for my tomatoes and garlic. The peel fertilizers will be great for tomato plants since they don’t need much nitrogen. Potassium is a must for increasing the size of garlic bulbs. During the growing season, garlic also needs lots of Nitrogen which isn't in banana peels. However, Nitrogen supplementation needs to stop in the late spring or early summer before the scapes appear. Otherwise, there will be leaf growth at the expense of the bulb. So since there isn’t Nitrogen in the peels, it should be good to use after the scapes appear. This is my first year growing garlic, so I hope to have big bulbs with the help of these peels.

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Banana Peel Compost Tea Garden Fertilizer | CanningCrafts.com
 

Do you use banana peels in your garden? If so, have you tried them fresh, composted, or as a tea fertilizer? What results have you seen?

Comments (84)

CanningCrafts on December 16, 2020

Helen, you can use any size pitcher. I add one peel to a regular size mason jar to brew. Or if I have a bunch of peels, I add them to a larger gallon jar.
Alison
CanningCrafts

Petra on December 17, 2020

Can I spray my lawn with this banana fertilizer?

faye on January 18, 2021

am wondering if i can freeze the banana peels before making the tea..

Cherise on January 22, 2021

Hello, I am dealing with Gnats in my indoor pants, would the banana treatment work or would it be food for the gnats since its sweet? Thank you in advance for taking the time out to read and answer my questions.

CanningCrafts on January 22, 2021

Cherise,
I would avoid using bananas in indoor plants if you have gnat issues. The peels would just attract more of them. To get rid of the gnats, you can make the plant inhospitable to them. So don’t overwater the plant & allow the soil to dry out before watering again. That should kill larva. You could also try replacing the top inch of soil where the larva would be. You could try a liquid Castile soap spray on the top soil to kill larva or use a sticky trap for the gnats. Good luck!
Alison
CanningCrafts

Beverley on January 31, 2021

I love your site

Joann wilden on February 04, 2021

Hi such helpful tips.. thank you so much🙂

Carol Siembida on February 16, 2021

Will this tea help with bromeliads flowering. Mine refuse to bloom. We are about to give up and toss them out in the cold!

CanningCrafts on February 16, 2021

Carol,
I think most bromeliad species only bloom once, so maybe you have that type of species? The plants can take a few years to produce new offspring that will eventually bloom though with encouragement. There are ways to “force” blooms on the new bromeliads, but this is not something I’ve ever done before. You might try looking into the apple in a bag trick to produce ethylene gas to force a bloom. Good luck!
Alison
CanningCrafts

Karen on February 18, 2021

Do you have to keep tea in frig ?

CanningCrafts on February 18, 2021

Karen, yes, the tea needs to be kept refrigerated while it’s brewing & stored in the fridge until it’s ready to use.
Alison
CanningCrafts

Ande on February 22, 2021

I love this and can’t wait to try on my garden this spring! Will this work with fruit trees?

Robert Middlebrooks on March 04, 2021

I take my banana peels and put them a dehydrator until they are crispy,and then I put them into my ninja until it turn into a powder.I used it that way or I make a tea by soaking it ina gallon of water. Town Cheektowaga New York (a little chilly. right now)

Dee on April 20, 2021

I have used fresh banana peels in the garden for all my plants, roses and potted ones. They do very well.

Dorothy Tatum on April 25, 2021

I love all the advise you give it has been a lot of help. Is it alright to use egg shells crush up?

CanningCrafts on April 25, 2021

Dorothy,
Yes, you can pulverize eggshell into a powder & add to the soil. It’s my understanding that eggshell doesn’t work great if it’s just a little crushed. It really needs to be in a powdered form in order to be taken up by the plants. But some gardeners also use slightly crushed eggshells on top of the soil to help deter slugs. I have never tried this, so I’m not sure if helps with slugs or not.
Alison
CanningCrafts

Nancy on April 27, 2021

I am making the banana tea now and can’t wait to see if there is a big change in my tomato plants. Thank you for the recipe.

sarah hayward on May 25, 2021

I made tea this morning but I need to put it in the frig , I have a bromeliad I just got and I will add some to it and see what happens. also I am trying some ginger its coming up cross your fingers.

Edna Smith on May 29, 2021

How often can I water or spray my plants with the tea?

Terri DeBusk on June 06, 2021

Love this idea and am sending my husband to the store for bananas.

Carol on June 30, 2021

Would the banana peel recipe help my flowers bloom more.

sylvia on July 16, 2021

YOU ARE DOING US A GREAT SERVICE AS WE NEED TO GET REAL ABOUT THE QUALITY OF THE FOOD WE EAT,AND BUY. BETTER TO PUT SOME EXTRA MONEY FOR GOOD FOOD AND NOT INTO THE DOCTORS POCKETS. THANKS A MILLION.

les and brenda smith on August 17, 2021

Just found this site and am very pleased about the positive vibes from it. Your suggestion about banana tea is excellent, I will use this tea with my Worm Farm tea as well. Have just recently used the first worm farm tray from many months ago and the soil was so rich and dark, your banana tea idea is so good I will run it alongside my worm farm tea and soil. Great site Mate.

Veronica Macpherson on September 28, 2021

Am making the tea right now 🙂

Bonnie on December 04, 2021

Thank you… I will try it this spring!

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