Here’s hoping you all had a restful few days holiday over the festive season.
I thought this week we would talk about something simple and fun to do for your garden while you have a few days of relaxation.
I want to share with you the value of banana skins and how these are a great resource for your garden, especially this time of year.
Fascinating facts about banana skins
Did you know that the skins we peel off of our bananas and discard contain such valuable nutrients for your garden? They can create a tonic that is great for all kinds of plants – I have even used it on my plants indoors.
Banana fact #1
Banana skins have a high concentration of phosphorus, which is actually becoming scarce around the world, but is a vital fuel for our growing plants. Plants rely on phosphorus for fast growth and healthy roots. This nutrient also aids germination and strengthens fruit production.
Banana fact #2
Skins are loaded with potassium, which strengthen the cell walls of your fruit and help promote healthy development of roots and stronger plant stems.
Banana fact #3
Banana skins also contain magnesium and calcium, both of which are important in the healthy development of all your garden plants. Calcium helps to make nutrients accessible to the plants from the soil.
For your reference, banana skins do not contain nitrogen, so if your soil needs nitrogen, you will need to add this with an alternative source. Check out a previous blog on this here.
Try my recipe to make a banana skin compost tea
Fill ¾ of a largish jar with water, cover with a lid and place in the fridge. Every time you eat a banana, put the skin in the water and keep doing this until your jar is full. After it has sat for a week, strain off the liquid into a clean jar and keep your skins to one side. Then start a new jar in the fridge.
Dilution for application: Mix one cup of banana skin compost tea into four litres of water. Apply at the base of your plants and watch them come to life. They are especially beneficial to tomatoes, capsicum and chillis.
If you so feel inclined and really want to be a zero waster then you can pop your peels in the dehydrator or low oven for about 8 hours then whizz them up in the blender and add to the base of your seedlings when pricking them out in the garden to give them a great start in life.
Banana fact #4
Did you know banana skins are so clever, they can even be used to combat pests and disease? Banana skins are very effective when hung on the branches of your peach trees to repel curly leaf. I am also currently trialling the tea on a big aphid problem I’m tackling at the moment, and I read in a book somewhere that aphids really dislike the smell of bananas, so I’ll let you know how it goes!
For an aphid spray, ration 5 parts water to 1 part compost tea with a few drops of oil to help it stick. I might increase it after a week, but at the moment, I am doing a month’s trial on this dilution.
Have fun with your banana skins! Become a zero waste gardener!