Most of us love to eat bananas. But have you ever wondered if the banana peels could be reused instead of going to landfills? You might be happy to know that banana peels have innumerable benefits and can be used in gardens. But how? Can you add banana peels directly to the soil? Or can you compost banana peels? Let’s dig deep to find the answer.
Banana peels are compostable and add organic matter to your soil. They are an excellent soil additive as they are high in potassium, which is an essential nutrient for the development of flowers and fruits. Cut the banana peels into small chunks before adding them to the compost pile for faster decomposition.
How To Compost Banana Peels?
Banana peel breaks down quickly, making it a great composting material. Banana skin can be composted through different methods like hot composting, cold composting, or can be used in worm bins.
Now that you know banana peels are compostable, here is the step-by-step process you need to follow for composting banana peels.
Step 1. Cut the banana peel into small pieces
Collect the banana peels and remove their stickers (if any).
Now wash the peels and cut them into smaller pieces, ideally 1-2 inches, to escalate the decomposition process. The smaller the banana peel, the quicker it will decompose.
Step 2. Add brown materials to your compost bin
Make a layer of brown materials by adding wood chips, shredded cardboard, dry branches, straw, ash, etc. Make sure to chop them into smaller pieces.
Brown materials are rich in carbon and provide food for the bacteria and fungus in the compost pile.
Step 3. Add Banana Peels to your Compost Bin
Mix banana skin with other green materials like food waste, kitchen scraps, and yard waste. Cut the vegetable and fruit peels into smaller pieces and then add them to the compost pile, making a 2- inch layer of green materials.
Green materials are rich in nitrogen and help in the growth of microbes.
Step 4. Repeat the layering process
Now, repeat the process by altering the layers of green and brown materials.
Once you have layered the beds with green and brown materials, cover them with a firm layer of soil of 2-inches.
Green materials contain water, and brown materials absorb excess water. So it is essential to balance both the green and brown materials in your compost bin.
Step 5. Add water to your compost pile
Your compost pile needs to be moist for carrying out the decomposition process. Add adequate water to your compost pile every 3-7 days. You can always add some extra brown materials if you feel there is excess water in your compost heap.
Step 6. Turn the compost pile
Banana peels require oxygen to decompose quickly. To keep the compost pile aerated, you need to turn it in 3-7 days or poke holes with a pitchfork.
Proper aeration helps the microbes act upon and break down the compost quickly. Provided with ideal conditions, your compost may be ready in 3-4 weeks.
Can Banana Peels Go To Worm bins?
Yes, banana peels can be used for vermicomposting. Red wiggler worms love to eat banana peels. When using banana skin in the worm bins, remember to cut them into small pieces and mix them with other green materials.
After digesting the food, the worms produce worm casting. This is called vermicast or vermicompost, and they act as organic fertilizer for plants.
In worm bins, banana peels only take 2-3 weeks to break down entirely if they are adequately maintained.
Can You Bury Banana Peels Directly Into The Soil?
Banana peels can be added directly to the soil, but it takes more time to decompose. Also, when you plan to add banana peels directly, you need to dig the soil and put the peels inside it instead of throwing them open on top of the soil.
However, banana peels need air to decompose. So, covering them deep in the soil might hinder the oxygen supply and slow down the decomposition process. Therefore, composting banana skin is considered the best method.
Moreover, it is estimated that if a whole banana peel is left on the soil, it will take up to two years to decompose completely.
Benefits of Composting Banana Peels
Not only bananas, their skin too has nutrients, and they are loved by plants. So composting them is a great idea. But if you aren’t convinced yet, then here are the benefits you need to know before composting banana skin.
- Bananas are composed of 91% of organic matter, making them a great addition to your soil.
- Banana peels are rich in nutrients like Potassium, Calcium, magnesium, Sodium and contain trace amounts of sulfur, phosphate, iron, zinc, and Manganese. All these nutrients together help in the growth and development of plants.
- Banana peel compost saves you from spending on chemical fertilizers.
- Banana peels help the compost retain water.
- Composting banana peels is eco-friendly.
- Adding banana peels to your compost bin reduces food wastage.
- It is a quick process, and you can get compost ready quickly.
Additional Tips For Composting Banana Peels
Bananas are a great source of potassium and other plant nutrients. 40% of banana peels are made up of potassium, which is a macronutrient necessary for plant growth.
So why waste the peel when you can feed your plants with potassium through composting? Here are some tips you need to follow to compost banana skin easily and efficiently.
- Cut banana peels into smaller pieces.
- Remove the stickers on banana peels. They are composed of Vinyl or plastic and are non-biodegradable. They generally go unnoticed due to their size, but even small quantities of such material may contaminate your compost.
- Add the banana peels with other green materials and mix the compost well.
- Keep your compost heap moist.
- Turn your compost pile at regular intervals.
Ways To Use Banana Peels As A Fertilizer
Banana skin is rich in nutrients and serves as fertilizer for plants. You can use banana peel fertilizer for your garden plants, houseplants, or potted plants.
Plants like cucumber, pepper, radish love to be supplemented with banana peels. The tomato plant shows rapid growth when fed with banana peel fertilizer. Rose plants also love banana skin, and they bloom when provided with fertilizer.
There are numerous ways to use banana skin as fertilizer for plants. Here are a few methods you need to know.
1. Brew Compost Tea
Banana peels can be used as fertilizer by making compost tea. Here are the steps you need to follow to make banana peel compost tea.
- Take a mansion jar and fill it with water.
- Cut banana peels into pieces and add them to the jar.
- Leave it for 24 hours for the nutrients to pass and dissolve into the water.
- Now, strain the water and refrigerate it. Then, you can use it whenever required.
- Toss the leftover banana peels into your compost bin. They are still left with nutrients and, when decomposed, can add organic matter to your soil.
- When used in the garden, dilute the solution in 4-5 liters of water and use it as a liquid fertilizer in the soil.
Banana peel tea can also be used to control aphids. For this, dilute the solution by taking the liquid and water in a 1:5 ratio and mixing it well. Now, fill it in a spray bottle and spray on the leaves and branches of your garden plants.
2. Dry Fertilizer
You can also make fertilizer with dried banana peels. For this, you need to dry and grind the peels. Now, to dry the peels, bake them at 140 degrees Celsius and then crush them using a spice grinder.
This powder can be used as dry fertilizer for your plants. You can also use it by adding the powder to water and spraying it as a foliar spray.
3. Make Banana Peel Slurry
Another way to use banana skin for your garden plants is by making a slurry out of the peels. For this, you need to take banana peels and grind them. Then, dig the soil and bury the slurry near your plant as a side dressing. It will show excellent results.
4. Make Calcium-rich Fertilizer Spray
Banana peels work wonders as a fertilizer. But when you add Epsom salt and eggshells to the mix, you will be amazed by the results. This calcium-potassium-rich fertilizer is an excellent addition to your garden soil.
Below are the steps to make this fertilizer.
- Take three eggshells and crush them.
- Now take 3-4 banana peels and grind them into fine powder or slurry.
- Add one tablespoon of Epsom salt to the mixture.
- Add some water, mix the three ingredients, and leave it to settle for 48 hours.
- You can now strain the liquid and use it as a spray fertilizer by diluting it.
Can Banana Peel Be Used As An Insect Trap?
Banana peels can be used to attract fungus Gnats and fruit flies. Follow these steps to make an insect trap:
- First, take a plastic container with a lid.
- Then, add some chopped banana peels to it.
- Now add apple cider vinegar to the container and make sure that it covers the banana peels.
- Next, make holes in the container lid. The holes should be big enough to allow the fungus gnats and fruit flies to enter.
The scent of the bananas and the apple cider vinegar will attract the insects, and when they enter the container, they will drown and die.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How long does it take banana peels to compost?
Banana peels take 3-4 weeks to break down entirely in a compost bin. But for this, you need to cut your bananas into smaller pieces. If you add a whole banana peel, it might take a few months to decompose completely.
Are banana peels green or brown compost?
Banana peels are green composting materials as they provide nitrogen to the compost. In addition, they contain water which helps to regulate the decomposition process.
Can you compost overripe bananas?
Yes, over-ripen bananas can be composted. They will escalate the composting process as they are ready to rot or decompose. However, remember to cut the ripe banana peel along with the fruit into smaller pieces to ensure faster decomposition.
Can you compost rotten bananas?
Rotten bananas are on the way to decomposition, and adding them to the compost bin would speed up the composting process. However, when adding them to your compost bin, make sure to know the reason for rotting. If bananas become over-ripe and get rotten, these are good to go to your compost bin. But, if the rotting is due to any disease, then using such bananas can ruin your compost.
Can you compost banana leaves?
Banana leaves are a great addition to your compost bin. They serve as green material and can add nitrogen to your compost. But remember to chop the leaves into small pieces before tossing them into your compost pile.
Like the fruit, banana peel is loaded with nutrients and can become your closest friend in your gardening journey. So Next time when you munch on bananas, don’t forget to toss their skin into your compost bin.
Orange peels are excellent composting material, just like banana peels. So, if you want to learn more about composting orange peels, we have everything you need.