Like all plants that have been processed or decomposed they leave behind plant available micro and macro nutrients, with bananas it’s phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium, magnesium and other trace elements. However, bananas are not a great source of nitrogen (N), Nitrogen is needed in the early stages of plant growth and is responsible for the leafy green growth. That means bananas are not the only thing you should feed your plant. With that said why are bananas so good for your plants and soil life?
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Using something like a banana tea, in your flowering and budding stages, supports the development of growing fruit or buds. The nutrients and minerals mentioned above are to thank for this growth, as it is readily available for the plant to uptake when its needed.
Since bananas are high in potassium it can be used to take clones, acting as a rooting hormone. You can also use dried banana powder at the seedling and transplanting stages. For seedlings, put a small amount in the soil mix and at transplant , put a dusting in the bottom of the hole. This can help with root vigor due to the potassium. It can also start your seedlings off with strengthened cell walls from an early age.
(P) Phosphorus is vital in plant growth and can be found in ever plant. It plays a number of roles in the function of a healthy plant. Starting with photosynthesis, the transfer of sugars and starches, and helping move nutrient through out the plant. It is even linked to transferring the genetics between generations. Phosphorus is also, what is known to feed the roots during the flowering/budding stages. Meaning it is what aids in the development of fruit, vegetable, and flowers. This is a big reason more growers are using it in their gardens or grow rooms during flower.
(K) Potassium is known for its over all effects to the plants health. It is know for its ability to move water, nutrients, and carbohydrates throughout the plant. It’s involved with enzyme activation within the plant, which affects protein, starch and adenosine tri-phosphate production(ATP). Potassium helps in regulating the Co2 by opening and closing the stomata. This opening and closing controls the exchange of water vapor, oxygen, and carbon dioxide through transpiration. Potassium can also improve drought resistance and improve root growth. It helps in the later stages with fruit and bud development. Potassium is also used for building a plants strength by increases the plants cell wall. This creates a stronger stem, or bra
Bring 3 ripe bananas peels to a boil in 1L of water. Add a tablespoon of unsulphered black strap molasses. Stir until the molasses is dissolved. Pour the mixture into storage container and allow to steep for 24-48 hours. After allowing to steep, remove the peels. The peels can still go into your worm bin or compost pile after the tea is made. Your tea is now ready to be used as is. You can choose to not boil the peels as some think it may degrade the nutrients.
Optional tea: Add molasses to 1L jar, add in some water and stir till dissolved. Next add banana and fill with filtered water till covered. Place a weight on the peels to keep them submerged. Then cover with a piece of cloth and secure with a rubber band or string. Allow the brew to ferment for 1 week.
If there is black mold it has gone bad and should be discarded. This is usually because the peel is above the water. If there is a white film it is likely ok. That is called cam yeast, a natural wild yeast. You can then strain off the peels from the liquid. You can now start using it in your garden. The peels can be composted or burred in your garden. Depending on how many bananas used and volume, you may want to dilute the mixture. For vegetate and early stages use 1/4 – 1/2 cup per gallon. For flowering stage mix 3/4 of a cup in early flower then 1 cup diluted in mid to late flower.
To make a banana peel dry amendment fertilizer simply dry your peels, then turn them into a powder or granule. You can do this using a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle. Once ground up add to your soil as a top dress, rake in or added before planting then water in.
In addition to using the banana peel as a powder you can also add in cleaned dry egg shells before grinding for extra calcium and soil aeration.
NOTE: If you are creating a larger batch and need to wait for enough banana peels, you can store banana peels in a zip lock style bag in your freezer until ready.
Drying bananas is pretty easy. Simply lay peels on a baking sheet so they are not touching or overlapping. You can also cut the peels into strips to make this easier. This will help dry them evenly.
Place the baking sheet with peels in the oven at 140 degrees F or lower. You don’t want to burn the peels so keep an eye on them. You may have to remove them as they dry out one by one. You can leave your oven door open 1 to 2 inches to allow for excess heat to escape so they don’t burn.
If you have a dehydrator you could also use that to dry your banana peels as well. Or if it is a hot and sunny day you can set them in the sun and allow them to dry.