BANANA PEELS as Fertilizer and Soil Amendment

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We eat a lot of bananas at our house and I feed my worms the peels. But there are other uses for banana peels in the garden.

Why might banana peels be good for the garden?

Banana peels provide plants potassium and add organic matter to the soil. The skins have conditioning properties that help protect foliage.

Although there is usually lots of potassium in the soil to begin with, it’s not always in a form that plants can use. Banana peels decompose quickly (about 3-4 weeks) and therefore are less likely to rob the soil of nitrogen while breaking down.

Where do I find banana peels?

I find them in my kids’ room, under the car seat or rotting on the counter!Using banana peels in a garden

Which plants may benefit from banana peels?

Vegetables such as cabbage, kale and tomatoes seem to thrive with added potassium.

Combine bananas with…

Since banana peels offer potassium, use them alongside applications of seaweed or kelp to add additional nutrients and trace minerals.

Recipes for Adding Banana Peels to Vegetable Beds, Planting Holes and Containers

Drop whole or chopped peels in the bottom of the planting row. Cover and water the soil. I use 1-2 peels for every 3 square feet of planting area.

You can also chop up banana peels and add them to the container soil before planting. I don’t use too much, maybe a ½ cup per container.

To top dress established plants, I bury chopped peels 1-2 inches under the surface. Four of five peels work well for a 3-foot square area. Peels will decompose faster if cut into smaller pieces although the extra work is not necessary.

Banana Peel Soil Drench

Make banana peel soil drench by adding 1-2 peels to 2 quarts of water or 3-4 peels to a gallon of water. Let sit for several hours or overnight at room temperature and then water around your plants.Recipe for banana peel soil drench

Banana Peel Quick Tips

  • When adding directly to the soil or planting area, rip or chop up peels into smaller pieces so they will break down faster.
  • If I have too many peels or don’t have the time or reason to use them right away, I store them in a bag in the refrigerator or freezer until it’s time to amend the soil.
  • Moist soil helps potassium absorption so it’s important to ensure the plants that “go bananas” don’t dry out.

Weather plays a role as well. Nutrients are absorbed faster