I was shocked when I first planted a garden at how self-sufficient plants are because they’ll just grow regardless of where you put them for the most part. But there’s always a few that just don’t do as well as they could.
To help those plants that need just a little extra help, that’s why we’ve got fertilizer. And you can certainly get store-bought fertilizer, I prefer Osmocote, but you’ve probably got plenty of fertilizer sitting in your kitchen right now.
Using your food scraps in your compost is an old organic gardening technique. But you can actually use specific food scraps in other ways. One of the most beneficial is to use banana peels in plants by making banana water.
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How to make banana water for plants
There are several ways to make banana water for your garden, depending on how much work you want to do and how much time you have. To be honest, all methods of using banana water will be beneficial so don’t worry too much about making it perfectly.
Recipe to boil banana peels for plants
The fastest way to use banana peels in plants is to boil the peels. Make sure that before you put the banana water onto your plants the water has cooled down. You don’t want to damage your plants by pouring boiling water on them.
- Fill a pot with water and put your banana peels in
- Boil for up to an hour to get the potassium to seep into the water
- When the banana peels have been boiled, strain them out to leave just the water left
- Put this water into a spray bottle to use on indoor plants or a large pitcher to pour on your outdoor plants and raised garden beds
Room temperature ways of making banana water
If you have more time to wait until your fertilizer is ready to use, or you just don’t want to boil banana peels for plants, you can simply steep your peels at room temperature.
Add your peels to a pitcher and fill with water. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let the pitcher steep on the kitchen counter for a few days. Again, strain the peels out of the water and use just the banana water on your plants.
How effective is banana water as fertilizer
There’s a theory in the garden that any fertilizer is better than no fertilizer. If you use banana water regularly in your garden, it will help your plants grow stronger. Banana peels, and therefore banana water, are high in potassium. The University of Minnesota extension has a great resource outlining the use of potassium in plants.
Potassium is responsible for helping plants grow a strong root system to withstand temperature change and drought conditions. Banana water also has no nitrogen so it will not cause your plants to grow a ton of extra leaves and green matter.
Using banana water in plants will also help your plants to bloom. This is crucial for fruit production in your raised bed vegetable garden and beautiful flowers in your front garden bed.
How often to use banana water fertilizer
Use banana water fertilizer as often as you would use any other high potassium fertilizer. A good rule of thumb is that your plants need more of this fertilizer when they are actively growing at the beginning of the season or when they are setting fruit.
The biggest benefit of using banana water is that it helps potassium move through the soil better. So you can use this fertilizer throughout the growing season. At the very least, you should consider using it at the beginning of the vegetable garden season.
Other methods of using banana peels in plants
Maybe you think this whole banana water thing is a crock? Or maybe you don’t want to go to the trouble to boil banana peels for plants? Fortunately, there are several other ways to use banana peels in your garden.
Can I bury banana peels in the garden?
You can always bury your banana peels whole in your garden. This will actually create an excellent source of potassium in a time-released format because the plant has to go to more trouble to access the potassium in the banana peel.
Can banana peels be chopped up for the garden?
Banana peels can be chopped up to put into your garden as well. Chopped banana peels are not only easier for plants to use for potassium but they look better too. This method will also help for fewer banana peels to go further.
Using banana peels in compost
The most common way of using banana peels in your organic garden is to incorporate them into your compost pile. Of course, this takes the longest time to incorporate banana peels in your plants because the compost has to break down to be used.
Which plants like banana water as fertilizer?
The best part is that you can use banana peels in plants throughout your garden! Just about every plant will appreciate a hit of banana water fertilizer. Grasses and leafy plants are some of the only exceptions.
Disadvantages of using banana water in your plants
Do not use banana water on plants that need a lot of nitrogen. Any grass species will not do well, unless they are very young, if you use too much potassium. Examples of grasses are not only your turf grass but also crops like corn.
Leafy vegetables, like lettuce and spinach, are also not going to appreciate banana water. These plants need the nitrogen to grow the leaves that you want to eat.
There are a lot of different ways to use food scraps in your garden and banana water is only one of them. Again, using any fertilizer is better than using nothing. So don’t be afraid that you’ll mess it up!
Even if you use banana water on the wrong plants, too often, not often enough, or you make it wrong, it will be okay. But seriously, you should try making and using banana water rather than throwing out your food scraps in the trash.