Check out the magical power of banana peel tea in your garden
I’m fairly picky when it comes to how ripe I like my bananas. There’s like a five minute window between when they aren’t ripe enough and when I need to chunk them up and freeze them for smoothies, banana bread or banana pancakes. Thankfully we love all of those things, so even when I miss the banana window, nothing goes to waste. Enter banana peel tea.
Banana peels are fantastic for your garden. There are loads of ways to use them. Start by making some super easy banana peel tea (directions to follow), and then you can either through them in a blender and make a slurry to mix into your soil, chop them up and bury them around your plants, or simply toss them in your compost bin.
Banana peels are nutrient-rich. They are packed with potassium, phosphorus, calcium and magnesium from the peels leaches into the water making it a simple, but potent fertilizer.
Let’s take a closer look at the nutrients:
Potassium helps your plants grow strong roots and stems. It regulates plant enzymes and aids in distributing water and nutrients throughout the plant. This creates strong and resilient plants.Potassium also promotes the movement of water and nutrients between cells. After the plant blooms, potassium can improve the quality and size of any fruit or nuts. (1)
Phosphorus also helps build healthy roots and shoots, and it is a crucial component in the production of blossoms, pollen and fruit. Additionally, phosphorus improves hardiness for perennials during the winter months and speeds up flowering and fruiting.
Calcium is key to proper root and stem development. It assists in making soil nutrients such as nitrogen more available to plants.
They also contain manganese (helps with photosynthesis), sodium (helps movement of water between cells), magnesium and sulfur, both of which support healthy photosynthesis, a necessity for a healthy plant.
How to Make Banana Peel Tea
Banana peel tea is one of the simplest things you can make. All it takes is banana peels and water. I use a 2 quart canning jar and add peels as we eat bananas. The other day I had several bananas that were overripe. We chunked the bananas to freeze and then add the peels to the jar and filled with water. After a couple days, viola! Compost tea.
It’s super concentrated, so dilute with a cup of tea to a gallon or so of plain water. Your tomatoes and pepper plants will especially LOVE this. I generally use the peels a couple times to make tea and then dump them into my compost bin.
As an added bonus, apparently aphids don’t like the small of banana. So banana peel compost tee can be helpful for deterring aphids on plants. Spraying a plant with the tea should help protect it. Dilute the banana tea with water at 5 parts water to 1 part tea. Spray the leaves and stems with the solution.
Other kitchen scraps that can go straight out to the garden:
Coffee grounds! They contain nitrogen, phosphorus, copper, potassium, as well as magnesium. The coffee grounds will also create a ring of protection around plants, keeping the slugs, snails and ants away from plants such as tomatoes, strawberries, lettuce among others. We alternate between adding our coffee grounds to the compost bucket and spreading directly in the garden.
Egg Shells! Add calcium and other nutrients to the soil by crushing egg shells and sprinkling them around your garden. Sprinkling the coarsely crumbed eggshells around your plants will keep the snails and slugs away. My Emily uses egg shells as seed starter pots. They decompose quickly once planted. The ultimate in zero waste!
It’s amazing what resources we have that are sometimes considered trash. Thankfully by utilizing these kitchen scraps, we’re reducing waste AND gaining healthier plants without the use of harsher fertilizers or pesticides.