Bananas are cheap, readily available, and nutritious. These well-loved fruits are originally from Africa but are now mostly grown in Central and South America, with over 100 billion bananas being eaten around the world every year! Bananas aren’t just good for eating though; their peels can be used in many ways in your home and garden. Here are 8 ways banana peels can help you in your garden, from fertilizing your plants to attracting pollinating butterflies.
Bananas are high in both potassium and phosphorous which are nutrients that plants need. You can give your plants a nutrient boost using leftover banana peels as a natural fertilizer. The simplest way to get these nutrients to your plants is to cut up the peels and bury them in the soil around your garden. Another option is to make a “tea” by steeping the peels in water for a few days in a dark place. Water your plants with this tea when they’re thirsty.
2. Bug bites
Unfortunately, time in the garden sometimes means time with mosquitos, flies, and other biting or stinging insects. If you do end up with a bug bite or sting, rubbing the inside of a banana peel on the affected area can help provide some instant relief.
3. Shine plants
When plant leaves are covered with dust or dirt, they won’t be able to absorb as much sunlight and therefore won’t be able to grow to the best of their ability. Making sure leaves are clean and free from dust will help maximize growth. Using the inner side of a banana peel to wipe plant leaves will remove dust and leave a healthy shine on the leaves. The scent of bananas on the leaves can also help repel pest insects like aphids.
4. Remove splinters
Old gardening tools, wooden fences, and jagged firewood mean splinters in the garden are bound to happen. Sometimes when a small piece of wood gets lodged into a finger or hand it can be quite tricky to remove. Placing a banana peel onto a splinter for about 15 minutes, and then gently removing it, will help draw out the small piece of wood and make it easier to remove.
The easiest way to use the banana peel in your garden is simply to add them to your compost! The peels are full of nutrients that will make your compost rich and fertilize your garden with nutrients like phosphorous and potassium. Banana peels also break down quickly in a compost heap, helping you get great compost faster.
6. Aphid deterrent
The smell of banana peels naturally drives away green aphids. To really make the most of this method, chop banana peels into thin slices and place them at the base, or drape them over the stems and branches of affected plants. Eventually, the aphids will be driven away from the plant by the smell.
7. Trap pests
Bananas have a strong scent that can attract some pest insects like flies. You can use this to your advantage by creating a simple insect trap using banana peels and apple cider vinegar. Simply mix small pieces of banana peel with apple cider vinegar, allowing the peel to sit in the vinegar for some time. Shake up the contents to release the smell from the banana peels even more. Place the vinegar and banana mixture into a container with small holes drilled in the top and sides to allow pest insects to enter. The insects will be trapped and eventually drown in the liquid.
8. Butterfly attractant
Butterflies are attracted to many flowers for their sweet nectar, but that’s not the only thing butterflies love to eat. Many butterflies feed on fruits, especially rotting or overripe ones. To really attract butterflies, try leaving a little bit of banana inside the peel to ripen and become mushy. Place this out in your garden and watch the butterflies come flying in. The softer and juicier the fruit, the better the butterflies will be able to slurp it up with their straw-like mouth parts.
Peel Those Bananas For Your Garden
When it comes to bananas they’re not just good for breakfast and baking. These affordable and versatile fruits have many uses around your home and garden. In the garden, you can use them to make your plants grow stronger and free of pests. They can help shine up plant leaves or attract beautiful butterflies to your yard. Make sure you think twice before tossing out those peels. Use these 8 tips to reduce your waste and improve your garden instead!