This simple banana gardening hack will take your indoor jungle to the next level

Did you know that the humble banana skin is an invaluable resource for the organic gardener? The skins we simply peel off and discard contain such valuable nutrients.

This time of year, when our plants are under stress from the hot weather, or under attack from pests or disease, banana skins can create a nutritious elixir to save them. This tonic is beneficial for a variety of plants – and you can even use it to take your indoor plants to the next level. 

It's simple and fun to do and Claire Mummery of Grow Inspired has revealed her recipe to make your own banana skin compost tea at home.

What do banana skins contain that will help my garden?

Phosphorus is a vital fuel for fast growth and healthy roots in our plants. It also aids germination and strengthens fruit production. Banana skins are jam-packed with a wonderfully high concentration of phosphorus, which can be unlocked with my compost tea recipe.

The skins are also loaded with potassium, which is a nutrient that promotes healthy root development and will strengthen the cell walls of your fruit and your plant stems.

Two more essential nutrients you can find and unlock in the humble banana skin are magnesium and calcium. In particular, calcium helps to make nutrients from the soil accessible to the plants.

Recipe for banana skin compost tea

Directions

1. Fill ¾ of a large jar with water, cover with a lid and place in the fridge.

2. Every time you eat a banana, put the skin in the jar of water and repeat until the jar is full of skins.

3. Let it sit for one week when full.

4. After it has been sitting for a week, strain off the liquid into a clean jar – this is now your banana compost tea! Keep your skins to one side for my top tip below.

5. Now start a new jar in the fridge for your next batch.

Dilution for application to the garden

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! It is especially beneficial to tomatoes, capsicum and chilli plants.

Bonus banana boost

Banana skins are so clever, they can even be used to combat pests and diseases.

Hang banana skins on the branches of your peach trees to prevent curly leaves.

Repel aphids from attacking your plants with a spray of your compost tea, as they hate the smell (5 parts water to 1 part compost tea, with a generous few drops of oil to help it stick)!

Top tip: use up your used peels

If you really want to be a zero waster, pop your used peels in the dehydrator or low oven for about 8 hours; then whizz them up in the blender and add the powder to the base of your seedlings when pricking them out in the garden to give them a great start in life.

Have fun with your banana skins and become a zero-waste gardener.

Find out more about Grow Inspired at growinspired.co.nz or follow Claire on Instagram @grow.inspired

This article was first published by the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.