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There are a lot of websites talking about bananas as food for humans. But not many people think of the banana peels as a food source for their plants. It’s always good to keep banana peels after you’ve eaten the banana because bananas as fertilizer is a good thing.
Plants need food and nutrients to thrive. Most spoken about nutrients are the N for nitrogen, the P for phosphorus and K for Kalium called Potassium.
Other macronutrients needed by plants are calcium, sulfur, magnesium, and sodium.
Next, to macronutrients, plants also need micronutrients like Boron, Manganese, Iron, Zinc, Copper, Molybdenum, nickel and cobalt.
Although we could go on about these macro and micronutrients for plants let’s go back to the banana peel as a fertilizer and see what values we can expect to find in banana peels.
Nitrogen the N value
When starting with the N of the NPK values, one could think that banana peels are useless as there is no Nitrogen to be found in banana peels. This is because it’s a fruit and Nitrogen is needed for foliage, not fruit peels. The green colored leaves of the banana plant do contain a lot of nitrogen but it would be quite difficult to transport those leaves to our places just to get the nitrogen.
Phosphorus the P value
The peels of bananas contain about 3.25% of phosphorus, so that is quite interesting for the plants.
Phosphorus helps root growth and it helps the plant to harden against winter cold. It also helps flowering and fruiting by speeding things up.
Potassium the K value
Banana peels contain a lot of potassium. The ratio is about 42%. This is a really high percentage. If we compare the percentage of banana peels to wood ash which only contains 10%, the banana peels contain 4 times the amount that the wood ash contains. This is really good news as potassium is really helping out in strengthening the stems of plants, it helps the water flow and nutrient flow through the plant, so it helps the plant against disease and this also helps flowering. Potassium will also increase the size of any fruits grown on plants.
Next, to the N P K values, banana peels also contain calcium, manganese, sodium, magnesium, and sulfur.
As banana peels compost at a really high tempo, the nutrients are given to the plants more rapidly than most other composting materials. So the plants are fed faster.
We do have to conclude that banana peels are not a complete fertilizer as there is no Nitrogen in the peels, but this problem can be solved by composting the banana peels with other nitrogen-rich materials such as greens and grass clippings in a compost heap.
There are several ways banana peels can be used as a nutrient booster.
Above we already spoke about composting the banana peels in a compost heap with other materials.
Another option is to just bury the banana peel next to the stem of a plant. We will have to add a nitrogen booster as well so maybe it can be used together with a nettle tea or something similar in nitrogen value.
The third option is to put the banana peels together with nettles and other weeds in a bucket and fill the bucket with water. By stirring daily for a couple of weeks, the nutrients will dissolve in the water and we can use the water to fertilize the plants. This way we have a complete fertilizer and the plants can absorb it right away.
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Thanks for reading and see you in the next post.