The true potential of the humble banana has long been overlooked, but none of its many talents has flown so far under the radar as its ability to help their fellow plants thrive.
That’s right, folks, bananas make awesome fertilizer, but that’s not to say you should be chucking all your skins into your vegetable patch. That will neither help your garden grow nor look too pleasing. In all likelihood, the most it will achieve is a cartoonish slip when you forget about them and step on one.
Instead of throwing your trash directly into your flower patch, collect your banana peels in a large mason jar, fill it to just above skin level, then seal it. Keep munching bananas and repeating this process throughout the week. Eventually, as well as being healthier than ever, you’ll have nearly filled the mason jar with skins and water.
Place your banana tea somewhere safe and leave it to stew for a couple of days. All the nutrients will slowly leech out of the banana peels into the water. Once you’ve harnessed the bananery power, all you have to do is throw the peels in your food waste, load your fertilizer into a spray bottle or watering can, and voilà! You’re good to go.
For a faster alternative, chop your banana peels into 1-inch pieces, loosen the soil around your plants, then mix the pieces into it evenly. The roots of your plants will take it from there, siphoning all the good stuff up through the earth.
So, we know why we like bananas (they’re delicious), but why do our gardens love them? Well, for the most part, plants love bananas because of their potassium content. Plants need potassium for the same reason we do. It helps to ferry nutrients to the appropriate cells in their anatomy. As bananas have the highest potassium content (42%) in the natural world, they’re practically tailor-made for giving plant life a boost.
The potassium from banana peels helps to strengthen stems and reinforces plant immune systems. A high potassium plant diet will keep them strong during droughts by properly managing the available moisture. It aids in fluorescence, increases protein content, and can even make fruits taste better - amazing, right?
But the magic of the banana doesn’t start and end with their K-count. On top of all that potassium your garden finds so scrumptious, they also contain calcium, a nutrient that can help fight off blossom rot.
Not impressed yet? How about their sodium content that facilitates water flow between plant cells, or their manganese content that boosts photosynthesis. There’s phosphorus in those magnificent yellow berries too, used by plants to strengthen their roots and grow large, strong fruits. They even have trace amounts of magnesium and sulfur, two chemical elements that enhance chlorophyll production.
Bananas are also amazing for what their chemical makeup lacks. Containing precisely zero nitrogen, bananas encourage flower, fruit, and berry growth above all. While this isn’t great for plants with dense foliage such as cabbages, spinach, chard, etc. it makes them an incredible tool for cultivating things like tomato plants, rose bushes, and apple trees.
Are Banana Peels Good for Blueberry Bushes?
Banana peels make amazing fertilizers for blueberry bushes, so if you’ve got one growing in your yard, I highly recommend giving them a spritz with banana tea or turning chopped-up banana peels into the surrounding soil.
The potassium helps moisture and nutrients soaked up by the roots of your blueberry bush get from A to B, ensuring the whole plant benefits, grows quickly, and builds up a strong immune system.
As blueberry bushes are angiosperms - meaning they produce fruit - bananas are the perfect thing to use as fertilizer as the potassium and phosphorus content encourages fruit growth and health.
Blueberry bushes also find a good use for the magnesium and calcium content of banana peels. Crucial to berry development, magnesium is a core nutrient in during photosynthesis and the central element of chlorophyll. Without it, your blueberry bush would struggle to make use of any other nutrients in the soil.
Usually supplemented using limestone, calcium helps plants develop strong cellular walls. Unfortunately, though, limestone raises the PH level of soil, which is a sure way to ruin your next blueberry harvest.
Blueberry bushes have a pretty simplistic root system. They don’t have rhizome-like root hairs that most of the other plants in your garden do, so they rely on the acid-hungry bacteria in the acidic soil to transform the minerals into chemical elements such as magnesium, phosphates, and iron.
So, with limestone out of the question, a suitable substitute is required to enhance calcium intake, and banana peel is the perfect stand-in.
One final reason you should introduce some bananas to your blueberries is that many standard NPK fertilizers contain potassium chloride, and blueberry bushes have an intolerance to chloride. Bananas, on the other hand, provide a totally healthy source of potassium.
Are Orange Peels Good for Tomatoes?
Orange peels are great for tomato plants in more ways than you might think. Much like banana peel, they’re a fantastic source of natural nutrients, and you can soak them in water to make a fertilizer solution.
Furthermore, tomatoes prefer soil with a PH level of 6, which is mildly acidic, so if you have alkaline soil, simply add some orange peel to the mix, and the citric acid will gently lower the PH level to the desired rate.
Pretty neat, huh? But what truly makes orange peel such a special gardening tool is its insect repellent qualities. Exuding a natural chemical known as D.Limonene that eats into the waxy coating of ants and aphids, just the scent of citrus is enough to send pests running for the hills - no harsh, artificial chemicals necessary.
This is especially handy for soft fruit plants like tomato, strawberry, and raspberry as they tend to attract the most unwanted attention from the tiny yet destructive jaws of insects. So effective is the orange peel deterrent, simply cutting a section and hooking it over the stem of the tomato plant will keep most of the insects in your garden at bay.