Did you know you can take dry banana peels and turn it into fertilizer for your garden?
We eat a lot of bananas at our house so I like the idea that all the peels that we would normally compost can be used to benefit the garden. Homemade potassium fertilizer using banana peels is very easy to make.
Potassium is an essential plant nutrient and is important for strong rooting, flowering, and fruit development in your vegetable garden plants. It is considered second only to nitrogen, when it comes to nutrients needed by plants, and is commonly considered as the “quality nutrient.” (source)
Plants are heavy users of potassium and the lack of it can result in stunted plant growth and delay in plant development. If the leaves of your plant turn a purplish hue, the plant needs potassium.
Too much potassium can cause magnesium deficiency which is why many DIY fertilizers use banana peels and Epsom salts in combination. You can get a recipe at the end of this post.
How to dry banana peels
Begin the project by saving banana peels until you have a few dozen. We keep ours in a plastic zip bag in the freezer, adding one or two each day until we have enough. Take the time to cut off the stem and end piece before you place them in the bag. It makes processing day much easier.
Your processing day will be easier if you can minimize handling the cold and decomposing banana peels. (experience talking here…)
When you have enough banana peels for a batch, perhaps 15 – 20 of them, thaw the entire bag on the kitchen counter and cut them into smallish strips. Working with pieces that are between two to three inches will speed the dehydrating time considerably.
Related post: Comfrey Fertilizer Tea
Place the strips onto dehydrator trays so they are not touching and dry them at the highest temperature on your machine. When they are crisp, they are finished. I used 145° F on my machine and the processing time was about 6 hours.
If you do not have a dehydrator, use your oven on the lowest setting and leave the door ajar.
Process the dried peels into powder
Once the peels are completely dry and cool you can place them into a food processor or blender.
They should be ground until they are smallish bits. If your processor won’t get them all into a powder, it will still work.
If your processor won’t get them all into a powder, it will still work.
Bonus…they smell like banana bread when you grind them!
3 Ways to use dry banana peels as fertilizer
Each dried banana peel will make about 1 tablespoons of fertilizer.
- Make a fertilizing spray using 1 tablespoon dried banana peels, 1 tablespoon egg shells, and 1 tablespoon Epsom salts. Mix all of this together in your food processor and place it in a 32-ounce spray bottle. Fill with water and shake until the salts are dissolved.This can be sprayed directly on house plants that are out of direct sunlight or used for watering the soil in the garden.
- Add the dried powder directly to the soil as a side dressing. Be careful not to add it directly to the roots.
- Add a teaspoon of dry peels to the bottom of your planting hole. Be sure to cover it with a bit of soil before adding the plant.
If you don’t want to be bothered with drying the skins at all, try this technique for making banana peel water from Stone Family Farmstead.