Friday, 19 November 2010

Using banana peels as fertilizer for container plants

To ensure all the flowers in my garden will continue to bloom nicely I decided to add a little of fertilizer. But, because I did not wanted to spend much money on specialized fertilizer and also because I prefer to use more natural methods, I choose to go cheap and simple with some good home made plant food. Lucky for me I always enjoy having banana milkshake so I have a lot of banana peels available, great for what I need.

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One banana shake fertilizer order coming up!


Many gardeners know the great benefits of using banana peels in the garden as a fertilizer. They are great for helping roses (I used it successfully with my little yellow rose before) and many other plants get more flowers. Bananas are rich in phosphorus and potassium, both of them important macro-nutrients for the plants. Potassium in particular is the responsible for the new formation of flower buds.

The most common method of using them is just cutting them in chunks and burying them around the fresh soil for the plants. However, for us container gardeners, it gets a bit more tricky. We cannot just stuck some peels in our containers because, in such a little space, there is the risk that the decomposition process of the peel would damage the roots of the plants.

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Mix the blended peels and eggshell with soil and let it rest


So here is my little trick, since I am already having a banana milkshake, I also make a shake for the plants. All you need to do is toss the leftover peels into the blender, add a little of water ( I sometimes use the left over water from washing rice, it helps even more), and if you want to give it an extra punch, throw in a couple of leftover eggshells. Blend until smooth. When it is done you will end with a not so good looking shake, but the plants will love it. To help the plants assimilate it even better, you can mix it with some soil and let it rest a week.

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After a week you get some nice potasium rich soil


I would recommend to be careful with the recipe. Remember, it is fertilizer. Judge well how much to feed to each plant. I did this wrong by mistake last time and I ended up having too many flowers on my peppers, so many that they only gave one single pepper for the whole season.

On I different topic, I have been having such a good response on the blog lately that I want to give something back. I am planning on organizing a blog carnival for the end of the month. Blog carnivals are great, they help beginner or unknown bloggers get discovered, and also help more established blogs get new ideas and inspiration.

I haven't decided on the topic though. It is between, posts showcasing the favorite plant of your garden in that month, or a roundabout of how everything is going on in your garden, sort of like my little monthly update.

Which one would you like to participate in? Any other topic you prefer?

Please let me know what do you think in the comments.

Have a great weekend!

47 comments:

  1. I think I had a milkshake like that once in a cafe in the USA... You certainly don't waste anything, do you?

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  2. It's good to know we don't have to spend a lot of money to feed our plants. I've never heard of a blog carnival before. I'll be interested to learn how it works.

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  3. I'm happy to participate in the Blog Carnival Fer. There is not much to see in my garden at present, simply because it is November, so I would prefer the opportunity to showcase a favourite plant - using photos from some weks / months ago.

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  4. I also use banana peels in my container plants...Since the plants I am fertilizing are rather large I just bury the peel into the soil. I also do the same for garden plants--roses and gardenias especially.

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  5. I am like Mark, not much in a November garden, but the carnival idea sounds like fun. That is a great idea making a shake for the plants. I usually just throw the peels and egg shells in the compost pile. Your way is much more direct.

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  6. What a fantastic idea making shakes for container plants! So often I completely forget about them. Did you know that banana peels are also apparently good for controlling aphids?

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  7. I didnt know abt that banana peel as fertiliser..Ok Im going to try your banana peel shake for my plant.At the moment Im also watering my plants with rice water. Im in for your Blog Carnival, a good idea!

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  8. I love your banana plant shake recipe, I will certainly have to try it out next year as I grow all my veg in containers. I'm in for the blog carnival, and would also go with Mark on the "favourite plant" idea. By the way, have you come across PatientGardener's End of Month View meme? Your monthly roundup would fit in perfectly, and might widen your readership still further!

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  9. What a wonderful idea! I will have to give this a try.

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  10. Thank You! I hope you find the recipe useful
    Looks like the carnival will be about favorite plant.

    Jo~ A blog carnival is an event when a group op bloggers make post about something in common, and one of them puts links to all of their sites. Here you can see more Hope you can join!

    Janet~ I didn't know about that one, i will be sure to give it a look.

    Marguerite~ I also didn't know that banana peels are good to repel aphids, is good to know. Thanks!

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  11. interesting and helpful post, fer. i will have to try a little shake for my houseplants next time i make a smoothie for me.

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  12. I'm so excited about your banana peel/eggshell plant shake idea. I'm definitely using that in my garden & potted plants!

    As for your blog carnival idea, I've just started this one featuring plant varieties:

    http://www.appalachianfeet.com/2010/11/12/how-to-join-the-new-blog-carnival-called-how-to-find-great-plants/

    It's also toward the end of the month. I like the idea of participating in one about what's going on in my garden. I think it would be fun to write the posts for it.

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  13. Hi ~Fer - I know banana skin is also used to shine large leaved houseplants too - versatile things bananas.

    I'll certainly look out for your carnival but goodness knows which plant I'd choose as favourite - it's like asking a parent to choose a favourite child!!!

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  14. Hello fer ! That sounds like a fun idea : )
    Nothing much in our northern gardens going on but picking a favorite plant would be great.
    Do you know about Epsom Salts for roses? .. I'm not sure if it would work for container roses .. but i use it once a month starting in May .. a half cup sprinkled a little way from the rose plant stalk (pull the mulch back and then cover it over again when the salts is down) and wow ! the plant becomes very healthy looking and very pretty roses happen : ) May be if you just sprinkle a little for a container rose it might work too.
    Joy : )

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  15. You made making the fertilizer for the plants as appealing as making the banana milkshake for yourself. I like your green and white blender.

    Let me know what you decide about the blog carnival. I'd have to use pictures from spring/summer 2010 because my garden is all put to sleep for the winter.

    donna

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  16. hi fer, what an amazing idea. I had never heard of banana peels as an amazing source of nutrients. Although I have never said I was a very knowledgeable gardener. I am learning so much here, that I am getting ready to have an spectacular (well at least not dying)porch garden in the spring.

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  17. A topic I would like to see is how to keep plants healthy to avoid ahpids!
    That shake looks yummy, for a plant. I should have saved my old blender!

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  18. never thought of doing that. Good idéa.

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  19. I am just plain lazy. Just lay the peel in the pot.

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  20. I always put our banana peels in the compost, but this is a great idea for making a quick fertilizer. thanks!

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  21. I should try your banana peel shake. Most of my plants are in containers too so the shake should work out perfectly.

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  22. I am having fertiliser lesson from you today. I have 2 "monkeys" at home everyday banana banana banana so I have many banana peels now I know how to fully utilise them.

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  23. I had some great response for this post. Thank you very much!

    Eliza~ I like your idea for the blog post! I will try to post something for it too.

    GLA~ I didn't know they were good for that too. Thank you. They sure are handy.

    GardenJoy4Me~ Didn't know about Epsom salts, thank you. I will try to find them here.

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  24. Hi fer,
    I will have to remember this post the next time I eat a banana. I think it would be great for you to host a blog carnival, but I think month end review is too broad or general a theme. I would suggest something more unique to your own interests. Jennifer

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  25. So now you're cooking for your plants and not just for yourself? :) I like the idea, and I'm sure it speeds up the decomposition process. All my peels end up in my composter, and I'l sure the plants are all appreciative.

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  26. yeah i heard about the eggshells and how good it is for the soil!

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  27. Thank you for the tip on using the banana peel. The blog carnival sounds great, I would suggest to choose your favourite plant of the month! Keep us posted!

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  28. Hi fer, Love your milkshake idea. It would be fun to make with the kids. Also, I'd love to join in your blog carnival. Looking forward to it!

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  29. Hi again ~fer
    I've just read the blog carnival link - were you planning for this to be a weekly/monthly affair or a one off?

    Personally I'm not keen on weekly/monthly sort of carnival as I like my blog to reflect what I am doing rather than having to force a post each week to suit a particular theme,

    I did write for another website for a while and had to contribute weekly and then monthly posts and to be honest it became a struggle. A one off carnival though is different.

    Just my thoughts I know some people love the weekly/monthly themes.

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  30. By the way forgot to mention that you can also use bananas to help ripen fruit that is slow to ripen as a banana gives off ethylene which is actually the gas used to ripen some of the fruit for sale in supermarkets

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  31. Thank you for your milkshake recipe to make fertilizer. Love that idea!

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  32. Banana milk shake for plants? What a great idea! I use banana peels in the garden - in my compost pile or in the soil, but not in containers and not in liquid form. I need to try your recipe. Thanks!

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  33. Thank you! I am very happy this is the post that has gotten the most comments ever.
    I am very happy you found my tip useful

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  34. I'm not so sure if the banana peals fertilizer is such a great idea. Maybe this is fine with organic bananas, but the regular bananas are treated with some chemistry, e.g. tiabendazole (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiabendazole). I'm not sure if this is really so good for your plants especially when they produce fruits and vegetales you want to eat!

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  35. I love banana. So it will be easy for me to collect the skin to make this fertilizer shake.

    Can I collect the banana skin over a few days so that I have more skins to make this fertilizer? Or only fresh skin is to be used?

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  36. Hinterhofgärtner ~ that chemical is only dangerous in very high concentrations. A lot of other food already has it. If you give a good rinse to your bananas before peeling it should be ok

    J.C. You can store old skins too, I have a few stored that dried over time and I am planing to use them as well.

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  37. I am planning on growing a climbing rose in a pot this summer and will definitely give this recipe a try. Thanks so much!!

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  38. Hey That's great idea! I love and eat Bananas almost everyday! Need to give this food to my plants too.
    I am a novice to gardening. Just curious, will Banana food help any kind of flowers?
    I have Osteospermums (in pot) blooming dull and paler flowers. Was thinking to buy fertilizer from shop. Now I am planning to try the Banana peels.
    And you have a nice little garden. Lovely pictures!

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  39. Hi hEmAsHrEe, thank you very much!
    Yes, bananas help all flowers. The extent of the benefit does depend on the plant, but pretty much all flowering ones like a good banana milkshake.
    Your osteospermums will love it. I give mines a bunch and they haven't stop flowering like crazy

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  40. Thank you for the tips, is it ok if I translate them for my fellow readers over in Holland? Thank you for answering and writing the nice blogs. Anne marie

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  41. What do you think the ratio of bananas to egg shells to water is?
    Thanks

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    Replies
    1. I was wondering the same?

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  42. HHIIIII!!! This (including the comments) helped us A LOT in our project. Thank you! :)

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  43. Thank you for the great ideas with banana peels. I love the shake idea. It is like giving our plants a treat for performing so well. I have dried my banana peels in the oven before and put them in a big baggie then used the rolling pin to crush them and sprinkle them over the soil of plants.

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  44. What a novel idea! Bananas?! I've only ever put them in the compost pile, but this looks like a great idea to try!

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  45. Hi. I just used your recipe to make some fertilizer for a small container garden. I even made a video about it, we shout you out as an awesome resource. Check it here... http://youtu.be/VppdtRWxjww

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  46. I like the idea of drying them and making it into a powder. It could probably last a lot longer especially if you eat bananas during winter months when the garden is frozen.

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