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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 (100)

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!

Sally Benjamin on February 13, 2022

Do you think it would work to can the banana peels and would it work better to use hot water bath or pressure canning?

CanningCrafts on February 13, 2022

Sally, if you want to preserve the banana peel fertilizer for later use, I think it would be much better to dehydrate & grind the peels for a dry mix. I would not suggest canning this.

caro on February 18, 2022

have you tried to freeze the tea in portions? i think one container will last for weeks when you only need one cup of banana tea for a gallon of water – won´t it become moldy or stinky?

CanningCrafts on February 18, 2022

Caro,
I have never tried to freeze the tea before because I am able to use all of mine up within a week or so. I’ve never had mine go moldy & it doesn’t stink to me either. If you make it, just make sure the peels are completely submerged under the water so that it doesn’t mold.
Alison
CanningCrafts

JCC STARK on February 19, 2022

THANK YOU

Anne on March 14, 2022

I have put banana peels in my compost but I will try thr tea method. Thanks

Becky on March 15, 2022

I’d like to do this but have limited room in the fridge. Does anyone know why it is necessary to refrigerate especially after the peel is removed?

CanningCrafts on March 15, 2022

Becky, the liquid will most likely mold and/or get stinky if you don’t refrigerate it.
Alison
CanningCrafts

Trina on April 05, 2022

How can I print this info? There is not a print option.

Cynthia on April 12, 2022

Quite informative; easy to do tips. I am a beginner gardener I’ve already made many mistakes

Velma on April 18, 2022

Can you use this in house plants?

CanningCrafts on April 18, 2022

Velma, yes, you can use this in houseplants. Some people have experienced it attracting gnats, but I have never had that issue.
Alison | CanningCrafts

Phyllis on April 23, 2022

For many years I have made banana tea. I take a gallon jug with water and drop banana peels into jug. I date lid and when full let set for at least a month or little over. I’ve had roses which were size of saucers. Everyone was stopping to see up close and asking what I did to grow such beautiful roses, The yellow rose bush was $2 at SaveAlot. A local nursery owner was amazed with the size of the roses. Banana juice or tea is worth making

Tony Barnes on May 13, 2022

Here in England we don’t use Pitchers and Cups. So how many Milliliters are there in each.

Rose on June 05, 2022

I have used them fresh but sometimes the possums dig them up so I will make a tea instead.

Belle on June 16, 2022

To Alison
I have used crushed egg shells for years around my hydrangeas and it works wonderfully. I save them all year after drying upside down in an egg carton and then crush them into a coffee can. I the sprinkle them fairly heavily around my plants and have no problem with snails.

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