Bananas are probably the ‘potatoes’ among fruits – everybody likes them! But did you know plants like them too? This post explains why and how to use bananas as fertilizers.
Never interrupt me when I am eating a banana.
– Ryan Stiles
Bananas are something everybody goes bananas over, in the good way or the bad! It is probably the first fruit that a baby learns to eat because it is so easy to chew, digest, and is very nourishing as well! Bananas are the best source of potassium, and make for a healthy snack. But did you know that the plants in your garden would also love it if you fed them bananas? There are several benefits of using bananas as fertilizers. First and foremost, bananas as fertilizers, are ‘organic’ substance. Hence, unlike chemical fertilizers, the fruit and its skin are both degraded easily and completely. They do not accumulate in the nature. To add to that, it can be used as fertilizers for almost all the plants commonly grown as house-plants or garden-plants. Banana fertilizer works for fruits, vegetables and flowers equally well. There are also several ways in which you can actually use bananas as fertilizers. If you have been contemplating using bananas in your garden, worry no more! Read on to find out how to use bananas as fertilizer.
Banana skin is also as rich in potassium and even phosphorus, just as the actual fruit that we consume. The skin or peels make for a great organic source of these nutrients for the plant. The easiest way to use banana skin is to simply place it in the tilled soil around your plants. The peels decompose into the soil due to the action of different microorganisms in the soil. Alternatively you can shred the banana skin or break it up into little pieces and mix it with the fertilizer you apply. You may even dig up a little bit around the plant (taking care to not damage the roots of course) and place the peels and then cover them up. This ensure faster decomposition. Also burying them means the peels are in closer contact with the plant roots. Sometimes just placing them on the surface may cause them to be eaten up by your pets, or by birds and insects, so that hardly any is left for the plants. Burying them ensure your plant gets chunk of the nutrients.
Being rather fleshy and moist, banana peels can be used as mulch as well! They retain water efficiently. You can place banana skins into a plastic bag and punch little holes into the bag. This can then be placed the way you place regular mulch. If the peels disintegrate or decompose, do not worry! You can always add fresh peels into the bag; alternatively you can keep several banana mulch bags ready. If you want a more eco-friendly option, you may choose to use a jute bag in place of plastic. They are porous enough to not require additional holes being punched into them. You can even wash them clean and reuse them.
Banana in Compost
A lot of people who are fond of gardening usually have a compost bag, a compost bin or a small compost pit right in their garden. If you don’t, it’s never too late! A lot of kitchen waste can go into the compost – vegetable refuse, potato skin, left-over of apples, pears, egg shells, and yes, banana peels too. The benefit of using compost over single components is that – you add one scoop of your garden compost, and you don’t have to worry again! Due to the different things that go into the compost, it becomes a rich mix of all the nutrients a plant needs, from calcium to phosphorus, potassium, nitrogen, and all the micro-nutrients. You can convert an empty pot into a compost bin. Otherwise you can collect all your compost material in a plastic bag, dig up a pit in a clear patch in your garden and then dump everything into it and cover it up. In about 2-3 weeks time, all the components would have degraded into a nice compost you can use for all plants in your garden.
Which Plants Can Be Fertilized With Banana?
Bananas as fertilizers work good with a number of plants. They work good with roses, the roses blooming bigger in size and with intense color. Bananas also work wonders on tomatoes and potatoes. They have shown to work for fruits like strawberries too. And of course they are good for the mother plant as well – bananas! Adding the entire fruit to the ground can also boost your plant to bud, bloom and fruit! This may seem a little wasteful, but then you can always add the slightly spoiled or rotten bananas that you are going to trash away. Better put them to some use than totally throw them away!
Bananas have a lot of health benefits. Banana flowers are also consumed by humans. All this is because of the nutritious value of the fruit. One tip here would be to buy organic bananas. They may be slightly costlier, but they have better health benefits, and their skins act as better fertilizers. Using banana skin fertilizer is also a great way of recycling kitchen waste – so you can be proud you are doing your little bit to keep the planet clean and green! Happy gardening!