Can you compost banana peels

Can You Compost Banana Peels?

Bananas are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. They are rich in potassium, calcium, vitamins, and many other nutrients. However, they have a short shelf life and may even become rotten before they get eaten. You also have to deal with getting rid of the banana peels after eating them. This brings us to the question; what do you do with your banana peels? Can you add banana peels to your compost pile? Read on as we answer the question: can you compost banana peels.

Can you add banana peels to your compost pile? 

Adding organic waste like fruit and vegetable matter is one of the best ways to improve your compost.  Bananas are not only delicious but compostable. 

Banana peels are a suitable compost material and provide nutrient-rich additives such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium to your garden soil. These, in turn, help to achieve the healthy growth of fruiting plants. They also decompose more quickly than other compost materials. It gets as easy as simply tossing your leftover banana peels into your compost pile. 

How to compost banana peels 

How to compost banana peels
Photo by Julia Kuzenkov on Unsplash

You can toss a whole banana peel into your compost, although this may take longer to break down. Cutting up the banana pieces can speed up the process. 

You will need brown and green matter to create healthy compost. Add brown materials like dead leaves, spent flowers, dead grass, grass clippings, and other organic material to your compost pile. These brown materials are a great source of carbon for the composting process. 

Next, chop your banana skins into tiny bits with your kitchen knife. Then gather the peels with other fruit and vegetable scraps and add them to your garden banana peel compost. These are your green materials, which contribute nitrogen to the composting process. 

Next, you want to properly layer your green and brown materials to create the heat required to break down the materials into compost. It is important to maintain a good green and brown organic materials ratio. Keep a pile of brown organic matter around to add to your compost bin after adding new fruit waste. You can add coffee grounds, coffee filters, eggshells, and other materials to your pile. 

Lastly, poke holes and turn your pile to get enough oxygen needed to stir up the composting process and keep your pile moist. You can also decide to make banana peel compost tea before composting your banana peel. 

For more info, check out our full breakdown of what you can and can’t compost and our tips for urban composting perfect for city dwellers. 

How to make banana peel compost tea 

Banana peels compost tea can give your garden soil and plants essential nutrients that boost your garden. To make your banana peel compost tea, gather your peels and leave them to dry in the hot sun for up to two weeks. 

Next, collect your dried banana peels and break them down into small pieces. Add them to a plastic container or bucket. Now, mix about two cups of dry peels with a gallon of water and leave for about 48 hours. Next, strain your dried peels and add the tea to your plants for healthy growth.  

How to dry banana peels

You can dry your banana peel and save them for composting later during winter. Dry banana peel doesn't attract pests, and you can easily add them to your pile. 

Simply take your baking pan and line it with wax paper to dry your banana peel. Next, put banana peels on the wax paper and in the oven. Heat them continuously until they are completely dry. When completely dry, they will turn black. Once your banana peels are ready, you can store them in a container until you are ready to add them to your banana peel compost. 

Tips for composting banana peels 

Compost pile
Photo by Eva Elijas

You can get better at composting your banana peels and other food scraps. Let’s look at a few tips to make your compost richer and speed up the decomposition process. 

  • You can mix your banana peel with the topsoil layer or potting mix to accelerate decomposition. You can also add banana peels to the soil around your flowers to attract worms. 
  • You can add chopped banana peels directly to the soil. Adding them to your soil may improve fruit and vegetable development. 
  • Before adding your banana peels to the soil, take off any stickers with the price of items. They typically come in plastic or vinyl, which may result in soil contamination. 
  • You can add a whole peel to the soil when planting. This will help your plants get the needed nutrients for stronger growth and development.  
  • You may add worms through vermicomposting or traditional compost to your composting bin. Your compost bin will get hot during the composting process, causing your bananas to break down for about three to four weeks. Keeping your compost bin well-aerated by putting holes in them or leaving them open is important. 

Are bananas compostable? (including the peels and insides) 

Bananas are compostable. They add healthy organic material to the soil providing nutrients to your soil. 

For faster decomposition, it is best to cut them into small pieces. However, a full-sized banana could take up to three or four weeks to decompose. 

You can use a space in your compound or a composting bin to compost bananas. Cut your bananas into small pieces using a knife and separate the peels. Mix the banana fruit and peels with vegetable scraps and food scraps. Mix a good ratio of brown materials like dead grass and green organic materials to compost. Turn the compost weekly to allow oxygen and wait for your final compost weeks later. 

Bananas help the compost retain water and make the soil lighter when adding them to your garden. 

Can you compost rotten bananas? 

So what about your rotten bananas? Can you put them in your compost pile? The answer is yes. They are compostable. Once they break down under a controlled environment, you can add them to the soil for nutrients. 

Rotting bananas are already halfway into the decomposing process, so you can add them to your compost bin to fully decompose and provide better benefits. 

However, it is important to know the reason for the rotting. You can add a naturally rotting banana to your compost pile. However, rotting caused by diseases could affect your compost. If the disease is not entirely dead, it could be passed to your garden and food crops. 

Worms eat banana peels and rotting bananas. A rotting banana is best for worms inside your compost bin. However, worms will eat them when they have fully rotted, not when they are fresh. 

Can you compost banana leaves? 

Banana leaves are easy to compost. Like banana peel and fruit, they provide much-needed nutrients to the soil. They are also a suitable green matter needed for your compost pile. 

Not only are the leaves compostable, but the entire banana plant is also compostable. Simply chop down the leaves with a machete into small pieces and add them to your compost bins or pile. 

Be careful so as not to stain your clothing, as they could get stuck there for good. You can leave them out in the sun to dry before cutting them to avoid this. Add your dried dead leaves to the compost and leave it aerated to aid decomposition. Once the materials break down, they provide nutrients for your plants.

Do bananas decompose? 

Bananas are organic. They are also biodegradable. This means they can easily decompose during composting or when left outside. When left in the open, banana peels break down and decompose fully in about two years. On the other hand, composting can take just three to four weeks. To ensure they decompose without interference from pests, discard them properly. 

It will interest you to know that bananas are unique in growth. You can compost your bananas and grow more bananas using the same compost. Bananas require lots of water and nutrients to grow. Planting them in the same compost pit will ensure they grow with all the nutrients they need. 

What else can you do with banana peels? 

Adding bananas and banana peels to your compost bins or pile comes with numerous benefits for your garden. They provide essential nutrients plants need to grow healthy. But have you wondered what other ways you can use banana peels in your garden? Here are a few ways to use your banana peels:

  • You could use your banana peel as an insect trap. Simply fill a container with apple vinegar and some chopped peels. Mix thoroughly and leave out in your garden to repel insects like houseflies. 
  • You can also use your banana peel as a pest repellent. For example, you can use peels as a side dressing to keep aphids away from your plant. 
  • You can use your peels to make a banana peel vinegar to adjust the soil's acidity in your garden. All you have to do is add chopped peels to a jar with water, leave it for a week and then remove the peels. Let the juice ferment, and then add them to your garden. 
  • You can also use your banana peel as fertilizer without composting. Simply slice and place long strips of fertilizer into an oven. Once the peels dry, grind them and use them as an organic fertilizer. 

Final thoughts on composting your banana peels 

Bananas and banana peels are compostable and are also excellent compost materials. You can easily add them to your compost pile and watch them compost in only a few weeks. You can also dry them out and store them for later use. Banana peels are great for composting, but they are also great fertilizers and provide nutrients to boost plant growth. 

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Pin Image Portrait Can You Compost Banana Peels?

Jen’s a passionate environmentalist and sustainability expert. With a science degree from Babcock University Jen loves applying her research skills to craft editorial that connects with our global changemaker and readership audiences centered around topics including zero waste, sustainability, climate change, and biodiversity.

Elsewhere Jen’s interests include the role that future technology and data have in helping us solve some of the planet’s biggest challenges.

Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash
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