Sustainability is all about reducing dependence on outside sources, minimizing waste, and using what you have. Making a homemade banana peel fertilizer for your garden is one excellent way to do all of these things! Banana peels are packed with nutrients and organic compounds that work to boost your garden’s productivity & health. By using this resource that would normally be tossed in the trash, you can make an excellent nutrient-rich garden fertilizer.
Use Banana Peel Fertilizer to Boost Your Garden Growth
If you are looking for a way to add nutrients back to your homestead garden, reduce waste in your home, and be a little bit more sustainable then this garden DIY is for you!
Nutritional Benefits of Banana Peels
Banana peels are filled with essential nutrients that can feed the soil and encourage strong plant growth. The minerals found in banana peels that are most important for plants are potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, and sulfur.
- Potassium– works to improve general plant vigor; aids in the movement of water and nutrients through plants; helps build pest and disease resistance; promotes flower & fruit development
- Magnesium– essential for the development of chlorophyll
- Calcium– strengthens cell walls and promotes plant root growth; adds oxygen to the soil
- Phosphorus– essential for developing roots, flowers, and fruits
- Sulfur– helps to form protein, amino acids, and enzymes; essential in chlorophyll development; repels pests
Banana peels do not contain nitrogen, however. This is fine for plants with low nitrogen requirements, but nitrogen-loving plants will need a N supplement added. I use rabbit manure as the nitrogen source in my garden.
The banana peel fertilizer tea will help plants absorb nitrogen so it can be added to all of your flowering and fruiting plants regardless of their nitrogen needs.
Steps to Make DIY Banana Peel Fertilizer:
First, think about what type of plants you are fertilizing. What are their nutritional needs? This liquid fertilizer is not to be used as a complete fertilizer, especially for plants with a high-nitrogen requirement. It works best with flowering and fruiting plants like tomatoes and peppers. I would also avoid using this on indoor plants as it can attract bugs.
Now, let’s get to it!
STEP 1: Collect Peels
When you or your kids finish eating bananas, place the used peels into a large jar (I use a half-gallon mason jar). Keep this in the fridge until you have enough to move on to the next step (3-5 peels is ideal). Sometimes I even toss in some egg shells, strawberry tops, or other kitchen scraps.
Some people prefer to cut the peels into small pieces first, but I need to be as low maintenance as possible so I throw the whole thing in.
STEP 2: Cover with Water
Once you have enough banana peels in your jar, fill it up with water. There is debate over whether tap or distilled water is best. I use tap water with no issues.
STEP 3: Let it Sit
Allow the peels to soak in water for 24 hours. You can soak up to a week, but I wouldn’t go any longer than that. Creating liquid banana peel fertilizer is an aerobic process so you do not need to place a lid on the jar. You can cover lightly with a flour sack towel, tea towel, or something breathable. The banana water needs oxygen or it will not turn out right.
STEP 4: Strain & Dilute
I’ll be honest, I pour my banana tea straight onto the soil under my plants while holding the solids in the jar. Then the solids go to the compost pile. It is recommended, however, to dilute to a 1:4 ratio (tea: water) to reduce the acidity.
STEP 5: Apply to the Garden
Pour the diluted liquid fertilizer into the soil at the base of the plants. Toss the solids into your compost.
Additional Tips for Using Banana Peel Fertilizer:
- Don’t use this liquid fertilizer on house plants as it can attract pests like fruit flies and fungus gnats.
- Banana water is best used on fruiting and flowering outdoor plants like tomatoes and peppers.
- This is not a complete fertilizer. Use it in conjunction with compost and/or manure.
- Experiment with the dilution ratio to determine what works best for your plants.
- Do not tightly cover the banana peel water while soaking. Leave the jar uncovered or use a breathable fabric.
Other ways to fertilize with banana peels:
- Dehydrate and grind banana peels into a fine powder. Sprinkle them on the garden soil or mix them with water to pour on the plants.
- Place peels directly in the garden. They can be laid at the bottom of plants to be used as a mulch and a slow-release fertilizer OR they can be buried in the soil.
- Banana peels can be blended into a slurry and poured onto the soil at the base of your plants. This ensures that all the nutrients are included.
- Add the peels to your compost bin to use in a completed compost next season.
Making a liquid banana peel fertilizer is an eco-friendly (and super simple) way to minimize waste while improving the health of your garden.