How To Use Bananas In the Garden
If you have kids, you likely have a lot of banana peels floating around. Trashing them seems like kind of a
waste so why not recycle them instead — in your garden. Did you know banana peels make one of the
best fertilizers out there?
Turns out, banana peels are a rich source of nutrients your plants crave: Potassium,
phosphorus, and calcium, along with a host of other minerals your plants need.
Here are 7 ways you can add banana peels
to your garden, and keep it as natural as possible.
To do so, chop your banana peels into 1/4 inch pieces — by chopping them, you kick start the
composting process, and release some of the beneficial vitamins and minerals in the peels.
Bury them anywhere from 4 inches down to just beneath the surface of the soil. If you choose to bury
those inches below the soil, do so before you plant your vegetables at that location, or where you aren’t
in danger of hitting your plants’ roots. As the peels decompose, all the valuable vitamins in the peels will
reach the roots, giving you plants a nutrient bump that will make them happy.
If you want to feed your red wigglers and indirectly use banana peels in the garden, toss your leftover
peels in your compost pile. It’s not the most inventive way to use the peels, but it’s a valuable method,
nonetheless. Over time the peels will decompose and turn into rich compost.
When preparing your beds for planting, or when your plants begin to flower, side dress with the compost
to aid in fruit and vegetable development — your plants will love the extra nutrients.
Dry your banana peels and grind them into a fertilizer. If you only have a few peels to use up, but want to
use them effectively on many plants, this is a great option. You can either dry peels whole, or cut them
into strips (1/8″ – 1/4″) and place them so they’re not touching on a cookie sheet. For both methods, dry
those at 140°, leaving the oven door open 1-2 inches, until they’re dried through.
Once dry, grind the peels in a coffee or spice grinder. Add to your garden soil directly, either by
sprinkling as a side dressing or gently incorporating into the dirt, making sure to avoid your plants’
A very straight forward way to use banana peels in the garden is to add the whole peel to the soil when
planting. The seeds will get a nutrient kick at the start of their lives, which will translate into healthier
plants and a better harvest.
When you plant your seeds, dig a trench a couple inches deep. Lay the peels flat in the trench, and add
your seeds on top. Fill the trench in when you’re done laying the peels and the seeds. As the seeds
germinate, form roots, and continue to grow, the peels will decompose, creating a rich fertilizer.
You can create a simple insect trap with banana peels and apple cider vinegar.
To make an insect trap using banana peels, combine small pieces of the peels with the vinegar, and
shake to mix and release the scent of the banana.
Drill holes large enough to allow bugs to get through into a container, and pour your banana
mixture (peels and all) into the container. Place outside in your garden to keep down the insect
population (great for gnats).
One reported use for banana peels in the garden is as an aphid deterrent. These little pests can
decimate a garden before you can say “tomato sauce,” so keeping them away is important. To use
banana peels to prevent aphids, place chopped peels just under the soil line - that is, buried just
under the surface of the soil.
The main reason for bananas being an aphid deterrent is the smell. Through that logic, it is fair to
assume that the actual banana fruit would have the same effect. Placing a banana at the base of
an affected plant will make aphids want to leave because of the smell. It’s worth noting that a banana
will rot much quicker and lose its smell sooner than banana peels.
The riper, the better. We don’t think of bananas as “juicy”, but as they ripen, they become softer and
easier for butterflies to ingest. Rather than throwing out those rotting bananas on your counter, slice
them open and offer them to the butterflies in your garden.
Change fruit daily. Fruit left out overnight is likely to attract undesirable critters like raccoons, and soon
becomes a smelly mess. Put fruit out in the mornings or afternoons when you’ll be around to watch —
what’s the point of attracting butterflies with fruit if you’re not there to see the fun?
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