Banana Peels. Use or Toss?

ApprenticeRosarian(8a - Dallas,TX)April 21, 2002

I was told not to place banana peels in my compost. Any idea why? Was I misinformed?

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No idea why and you were misinformed.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2002 at 7:37AM
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diane_nj 6b/7a

There are many folks who plant the peels directly in the garden right next to the roses.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2002 at 9:42AM
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Hi.. Bananas are great! They give the plants a good boost of potassium. I keep them planted just around the roses I have under the soil. Actually, I have found they are best if you put the banana peels in the oven and bake until crisp. Let them cool and them break the pieces. This will speed up the natural decomposing process....
Good luck. Oh, also use coffee grounds around roses and in compost as well.


    Bookmark   April 21, 2002 at 8:42PM
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I heard banana peels were the best for earthworms. I'd add them!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2002 at 11:04PM
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Use 'em. My family hates banana's so we never have them around... if you don't want them, I'll take them... (-:

    Bookmark   May 1, 2002 at 10:00PM
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nora_in_vancouver(8b Wet Coast)

Yes, the reason you don't put banana peels in the compost is because they are so much more valuable if you bury them under your rose bushes. You must have missed the second part of the statement!

Otherwise, there is no reason. Go ahead and compost them.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2002 at 12:15AM
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rooftop_rose(Harajuku, Tokyo)

How do the peels work as a mulch? Is it more effective to bury them in the soil? All my roses are in containers and I can't dig too much around the roots. Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   May 5, 2002 at 12:44PM
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I eat banana peels... owner feeds my with banana peels that have been put through the blender or a food slicer. yumm!!! I also like coffee grinds...they're very tasty!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2002 at 2:24AM
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This may be a stupid many banana peels can a a rose bush take a week?

    Bookmark   May 17, 2002 at 8:44PM
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Man, I don't know about mulching with Nanner peels. Seems like you'd have a black, stinky, moldy mess in no time.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2002 at 12:21AM
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You have to tear the peels up and stick them deep into the ground about four inches or so

    Bookmark   May 18, 2002 at 12:36AM
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wkendwarrior(6/7 LI)

Chop up the peels, scratch them a few inches into the soil, cover over with soil. Your roses will thank you. If you use coffee, bury the grounds with the peels. A great snack for roses, a 'nana and a cuppa. Slurp*!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2002 at 1:49PM
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goobey(z3b Calgary)

I'd like to know more about using coffee grounds. What does it do for the roses? How much do you use, & is it as a mulch or do you dig it in?

I drink tons of the stuff & I think it would be a nice "bonding" process for the roses if we both got something out of my coffee breaks

    Bookmark   June 2, 2002 at 1:19PM
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Never ate so many bananas in my life. Plant a peal under each bush.Planted over 40 this year.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2002 at 9:45PM
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You people are a hoot! Bonding with the roses over coffee -I can get into that. Last year I gave tons of coffee grounds to my roses. A friend of mine owns a deli and makes lots of coffee so I collected their coffee grounds each week and spread them around the roses - they seemed to like it. I got lazy and stopped picking up my weekly grounds but after reading this I think I might try to take this up again. As for bananas - what the heck - I'll give that a try too!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2002 at 3:39PM
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hi, i gotta a bud who's a musician sho says he dried and smoked them when he was a kid. if true, i explains a lot.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2002 at 3:58PM
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Hawkeye_Belle(z6 PA)

I freeze the old brown bananas. Then, I collect them, put them through the blender to puree, pour this mix in empty gallon milk containers and give one gallon to each bush. They thank me with their blooms.
Bananas--great stuff.
PS. If you have too many bananas you can always make banana bread with those frozen then thawed bananas. Freezing intensifies the enzymes that heighten the flavor.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2002 at 3:57PM
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Am I the only one that has noticed the Dole stickers stay around forever and that part of the peel doesn't decompose ... Never noticed that with Chiquita's

    Bookmark   September 13, 2002 at 9:24PM
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How much & how often for the peels & grounds? Can the peels really be frozen for later? Thanks

    Bookmark   September 15, 2002 at 7:13AM
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Hawkeye_Belle(z6 PA)

Sorry I left out some vital information with the banana tonic. Yes you can freeze banana, peel and all. If it makes you feel better put them in a plastic bag.
When I have collected enough bananas, I place one banana, peel, too, minus the hard tip ends in the blender. (You can slice the banana easily if it is frozen). Put in enough water to cover the banana and liquify. Pour this mixture into a gallon container. (Milk containers are great, but you must use a funnel). Fill the container with water and pour this mixture on the rose at the crown and around the drip line. One banana per rose, one gallon of the tonic per plant. Simple.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2002 at 9:24AM
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I know this is far too easy (lazy), but I just put the whole brown banana or peel on the ground next to the bush. Same thing with carrot and potato peels and coffee grounds, etc.. In our heat the breakdown seems to happen overnight, and no one has ever noticed my organic fertilizers. I hate to put stuff down the disposer, and compost piles seem like work.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2002 at 9:43AM
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Hawkeye_Belle(z6 PA)

Flowerchild, as a former Texan, I can bet that just burying the whole thing would work just fine as long as you don't have four legged critters that would dig them up.
I have a dog, squirrels, rabbits, gophers, birds and who knows what else. I envy your ease. Go for it!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2002 at 12:06PM
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You guys are getting me some strange looks. Already I show up at work each morning with bucket in hand to collect the days coffee grounds. Yesterday the cook made a huge banana pudding for dessert. Guess what I came home with a big bag of?

    Bookmark   October 9, 2002 at 5:35AM
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Hawkeye_Belle(z6 PA)

Just what the rose doctor ordered--banana peels!
I know what you mean about strange looks. Last Saturday I had a surprise visit from my friends. On my kitchen counter were 12 thawing banana peels getting ready to be toniced. When I told them what I was going to do with them (she's a cook and thought I was making a lot of banana bread) there was a sudden silence. Oh, too strange.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2002 at 3:02PM
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lol!! I've been feeding banana peels and brown mushy bananas to my Staghorn Fern. That fern is actually sittin up like a beggin dog lol
P.S. some really funny posts in this thread

    Bookmark   October 16, 2002 at 12:25AM
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kitova(z6 NJ)

great to hear all this talk about banana peels. i love bananas. i would buy a whole bunch and then walk around my garden eating bananas and tossing the peels into my bed. it's great but my neighbors must think i'm crazy or just a dirty littering lady!

    Bookmark   June 16, 2003 at 2:42PM
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joyce58(Zone 5 NY)

What other flowering plants /shrubs might benefit from burying banana peels?

    Bookmark   June 16, 2003 at 2:57PM
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kitova(z6 NJ)

hi i just wanted to add that i caught a chipmunk trying to steal a banana peel. Too bad it was too big for him! I think I prefer to put banana peels whole covered with a little mulch because if i put them deep, i'm afraid my little family of chipmunks will dig em up and hurt some roots..

    Bookmark   June 16, 2003 at 10:02PM
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If y'all like the banana and coffee grounds idea so much, you should go on over to the vermicomposting forum and find out how to turn those peels and grounds into compost.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2004 at 5:29PM
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Well, to foil the greedy chipmunks, squirrels, etc., make the tonic, and just pour it around the dripline as described above. It really doesnt take long. The hardest part is washing the blender afterwards. I think my husband is going to think I have well and trully lost my mind when he catches me making banana smoothies by the gallons for my garden!!!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2004 at 11:43PM
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Lyrical(Z5 Ontario)

Banana Batido:

Grind ice in a blender, then add and beat bananas and milk. It tastes sweeter than you'd expect.

This makes a great liquid lunch when it's too hot to eat, and will give you an infinite supply of banana peels.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2004 at 1:30AM
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nancysil(z6 New Engl)

I have fun pulling the peels into little strings with my fingers, and then I just put the stringy mess on top of the soil around my roses, tomatoes and peppers. The strings of peel turn brown very quickly and are not particularly noticeable. they become both mulch and food.

I haven't noticed the million or so chickmunks, squirrels and raccoons who visit my yard removing the peels, but if they want to steal some banana peel they are welcome to it as long as they leave my tomatoes alone!

Also the worms in my worm bin love banana peel so I'm sure the ones in your garden would love it too. Attracting worms around your plants adds extra fertilizer.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2004 at 10:10AM
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As for coffee grounds, our Starbucks has a sign that says if you call ahead, they'll provide you with grounds gratis.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2004 at 2:19AM
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I not only use banana peels, but any fresh unused bits of produce, which I put in my blender and mix with water, I use it everywhere in my garden and what a big response - next day the plants I have used it on are standing straighter, look shinier and seem to be saying "feel good today".

    Bookmark   July 18, 2004 at 10:25AM
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I do feed banana peels to both my roses and my staghorn ferns, but reading this thread, i am thinking ---if banana peels are so good, then the banana trunk i cut off after fruiting, should be equally good???
Does anyone have any experience with this???

    Bookmark   August 3, 2004 at 4:15PM
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nancyd(5/Rochester, NY)

FYI, bury them deep. Squirrels love banana peels, too, or at least are curious enough to dig up what they smelled. If you have a large squirrel population, you'd be better off composting them.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2004 at 2:36PM
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I have also heard that banana peels are good for putting under banana trees, makes them very very healthy, provides much needed potassium to the growing banana tree.


    Bookmark   September 21, 2004 at 1:18AM
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catfishred2006(ca,zone 9)

I love peels and coffee grounds, my roses just love them.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2004 at 3:58PM
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peachiekean(z10A CA)

If we can get coffee grounds from Starbucks, why can't we get some banana peels from some of these smoothie businesses like Robek's or Jamba Juice? I say this because some folks have SO many rose bushes! I have been lazy about my banana peels lately and this thread has inspired me. To the kitchen right now!

    Bookmark   October 10, 2004 at 4:04PM
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I hope you don't mind a newbie to this forum adding to this post? (I'm a regular on the Rose Forum & Gallery). Like mentioned already, Starbucks has an "official" program (see their website) for gardeners/rosegrowers who want their used coffee grounds. I used to call first, but now I just stop by (or have my husband stop by) anytime we're in the area (3 miles up the road) sometime in the late afternoon or early evening and they hand us a garbage bag doubled up full of the day's used grounds. I just add to my compost bin or scratch into existing soil. I have tried to access used coffee grounds from 2 local Dunkin' Donuts and a Panera Bread restaurant (gourmet pastries/coffee shop), but since theirs' isn't an "official" program, I have been disappointed with them. They'd promise to save me the grounds, but always forget. So I gave up on them and just go to Starbucks. Great soil amendment. Phyl

    Bookmark   November 7, 2004 at 11:58AM
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Hi, I am new to this forum (usually in Florida gardening) but, have been lurking abit. I tried a banana and coffee grounds smoothie on a poor leggy rose I rescued at an estate sale. And wow! You should see all the beautiful new growth within just a few days! I am a believer! Thanks for the tips!

    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 7:18PM
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pkapeckopickldpepprz(z9 a/b FL)

If you use cut up banana peels will you need to bury it or will it being moist cause mold or fungus to grow which would be bad for roses?

    Bookmark   November 4, 2006 at 1:17PM
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Two years ago I had black spot on my roses and I was ready to toss the plant. I can't tell you how many roses I dug up and threw out because of black spot. Anyway that year we moved the rose bush and put banana peels in the hole. We had no black spot last year and I am going to scratch some more banana peels in the root area so I don't get black spot this year. I live on Long Island.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 4:20PM
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treelover(z8b SoCtrlTX)

pkapeckopickldpepprz: Maybe you should add a little milk to the bananas & coffee grounds for any fungus that might form. This is sounding more and more like a banana-mocha smoothie!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2007 at 3:55PM
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girlndocs(8 WA)

Molds and fungi are simply workers in the system of decomposition. Sometimes you see 'em -- like on banana peels left on top of the ground -- sometimes you don't -- like the miles and miles of mycelium active in your soil food web, under your feet.

On compostables, they are nothing to fear. They are the good guys.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 7:17PM
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Making smoothies??!!
Haha! That's waaay too much work for me.
I just throw them in the compost bin or, if I'm feeling energetic, tuck them deep under the mulch in my garden!

But I NEVER, ever plant a rose without a black banana (the whole thing!) in the bottom of the hole.

Talk about strange looks--for a week my mother tried to sneak a whole bunch of blackened bananas in the trash when I wasn't looking--I was expecting a whole hedge to be delivered and I wanted to be prepared!

Vicky's blog!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2007 at 5:25PM
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I just heard about this from a friend that did yard work for a woman with roses. He would sneek and bury banana peels around her tired scraggly plants and they erupted with new growth and flowers. Never told her what he did!
Also I am going to do an experiment with the help of my friend who has" less than nurtured" roses and put just one of each of the wonderfull things im reading about on each; alfalfa tea on one and alfalfa pellets on another (since I am seeing so much controversy as to which one is better) horse manure, fish and seaweed emulsion, coffee grounds and Botanicare organic liquid fertilizer and wait to see which ones work best for our Hawaii climate and use a combo of the best.
By the way did I leave out anythig I should try?
Also I think i will add the banana coffee smoothie sounds fun

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 12:59AM
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I've been putting our neighborhood Starbucks coffee grounds in the compost pile, but too much seems to throw off the breaking down of the pile. Husband and my two boys used to eat bananas but rarely now--have to depend on donations from neighbors. Recently came across an organic web site that suggested using Epsom salts around (12 to 18 inches away from the crown) the base of a rose to boost and revive it. I'm trying it on a few of mine.
I'll take homemake banana bread anyday over a banana smoothie!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 11:37PM
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aureliajulia(8b-9a South Coastal SC)

I have to agree that the official banana smoothie sounds like work to me, but after reading this (again, it's been around for years), I'm eying the bunch on my counter with a mixure of guilt and anticipation.

Fish, seaweed, coffee, bananna, manure. I need to get to work.

I loved that comment describing the "silent" reactions of friends to the thawing bananas. Hysterical!


    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 10:09PM
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My husband did not get my traditional mother's day rose bushes last year (slacker). He will have to do double time this year and provide me with all the bananas I need -as well as make the smoothies to go with them!!! Thanks for the great advice!!H

    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 7:32AM
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it's march now and my roses are leafing out but they seem to be dying also, is it to early to put bananas on them?

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 1:35PM
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Oddly, I picked up this tip from the movie 7 Pounds (great movie btw), where Will Smith advises a lady to dig banana peels around her roses and it works marvellously.

So I came here to check out if its true. Great discussion and tips, and I've just started with the worst of our dozen bushes. Now to go buy some more bananas so I can do the rest. Thanks all.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 5:45AM
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Banana peelings are one, small, part of what your roses need to grow into strong healthy plants. By themselves they will not magically help your roses grow into nice plants. Start with a good, reliable soil test. Contact your state universities USDA Cooperative Extension Service office and ask about having a good, reliable soil tewst done so you know what your soils pH is and what the base nutrient level is and also dig in with these simple soil tests,
1) Structure. From that soil sample put enough of the rest to make a 4 inch level in a clear 1 quart jar, with a tight fitting lid. Fill that jar with water and replace the lid, tightly. Shake the jar vigorously and then let it stand for 24 hours. Your soil will settle out according to soil particle size and weight. A good loam will have about 1-3/4 inch (about 45%) of sand on the bottom. about 1 inch (about 25%) of silt next, about 1 inch (25%) of clay above that, and about 1/4 inch (about 5%) of organic matter on the top.

2) Drainage. Dig a hole 1 foot square and 1 foot deep and fill that with water. After that water drains away refill the hole with more water and time how long it takes that to drain away. Anything less than 2 hours and your soil drains too quickly and needs more organic matter to slow that drainage down. Anything over 6 hours and the soil drains too slowly and needs lots of organic matter to speed it up.

3) Tilth. Take a handful of your slightly damp soil and squeeze it tightly. When the pressure is released the soil should hold together in that clump, but when poked with a finger that clump should fall apart.

4) Smell. What does your soil smell like? A pleasant, rich earthy odor? Putrid, offensive, repugnant odor? The more organic matter in your soil the more active the soil bacteria will be and the nicer you soil will smell.

5) Life. How many earthworms per shovel full were there? 5 or more indicates a pretty healthy soil. Fewer than 5, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service, indicates a soil that is not healthy.
to see what else you might need do to make that soil into the good, healthy soil that wil grow strong and healthy plants.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 7:03AM
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plan9fromposhmadison(8A Madison Mississippi)

I sheet compost beneath some of my roses. I just tuck the kitchen scraps (all plant material, & about 30% Banana peels)beneath the layer of pine straw. Noticed just the other day, that a bucketful of Banana peels at the base of one rose had completely decomposed since December.

As to the encouragement of moulds and fungi....well...yes! And you want them around your roses, except for the ones that attack roses (these are not interested in banana peels). Microbial Antagonism is a valuable tool in keeping a healthy garden. Microbes fight and kill each other all the time, and that is a crucial component in the health of plants and animals. Too, microbes manufacture all manner of substances beneficial to plants. Having the banana peels on or in your soil allows your roses to uptake those substances as they are being released.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 4:50PM
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Some say not to throw bananas in the compost bin because their skin is laden with pesticides, which then end up in your compost and garden soil. But if you buy organic bananas instead of conventional, then you should have no worries. FYI - The price of organic bananas is almost the same as conventional.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 2:52PM
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I have several roses in pots...since I am lazy I just plopped the entire banana or peel right in the pot. A few days later I buried the peel..

What I so love about doing that you can do something with trash

    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 10:45PM
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serenasyh(was 5/now Z 8-Kans)

I think one of the best! nutrients is sweet potatoes... when my parents went on vacation they forgot to bring some boiled sweet potatoes with them and were afraid of it rotting in their refrigerator... So my newly acquired own root roses were planted with good 'ole fashioned Southern cookin' hahaha! I bet they liked those even better than a banana peel... oooo, all those stocked vitamins...

    Bookmark   May 25, 2009 at 11:14AM
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How about this question: BURNED BANANA PEELS. USE OR TOSS? I took the advice of one of the posts on this wonderful forum and baked the banana peels with two goals in mind: first, to dehydrate them in hopes of speeding up decomposition and second, to reduce the banana smell in hopes of decreasing the number of bugs (fruit flies are such an issure around here!). My intention was to turn on the oven to get it hot, then turn it off when I left the house. Unfortunately, I forgot to turn it off when I left the house. They baked at 350 for 4 hours. They are totally charred. I am totally bummed. Any use for them now? I suppose the potassium has become carbon.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 3:28PM
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I suppose they would qualify as "browns" in the compost pile! I would use them...

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 12:02PM
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ever since I read about using used coffee grounds and banana peals in the garden I've been feeding my plants with it, my tomatoes and peppers went crazy, as for my roses, maybe I didn't give them enough of the banana /used coffee grounds cause only after I fed the roses tomato fertilizer did they put out tons of new growth. so today I decided to feed the roses, which are in containers, cold coffee. Maybe my new floribunda rose that I recently got will start doing better, it had cane borers and looks puny.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 5:39PM
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Another idea for those who want to do coffee grinds and banana peels. go to starbucks or other coffe joint and get there used grinds. then go to your local grocery store and ask the produce department to give you a call or let you know when the go through and toss the old fruits and veges then take them home with coffe grinds and blend them in a blender with some water and pour around your plants, soaks in ground faster and dont have to worry about attracting animals and its all free.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 9:20PM
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Hello! I just got back from burying banana peels and crushed eggshells, an idea I got from this and other forums and discovered tons of ants (black) have made their home in the bark mulch of my roses. This cannot be good for them. :( (My bushes are about a year old and I am new to rose growing.) How do I get rid of them??? the cheap, organic, or homemade way would be good...

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 7:52PM
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For years and years I have told my friends and acquaintances that NOTHING will eat a banana peel. My expertise relied on my jogging 3 days a week for years and picking up trash on the road. Kids driving to school late toss out banana skins on the road. Three years later the skin is still there! Eventually, fungi and mold destroy it. Now you have proven me WRONG. I'm 77 and not supposed to be wrong. Now I have to tell people that worms and Mr. LIncoln love to eat banana skins!
Thanks a lot!

PS. I'm using them now in my garden and worm bed!
I can be taught, however reluntanly!

Mr. Sam

    Bookmark   April 7, 2011 at 12:43PM
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granmabarbara(z6 Ok)

Has anyone heard of using pickle juice on rose bushes? Could you use diluted vinegar?

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 10:11PM
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mwenrick(z5 OH)

When I plant a rose bush I use composted manure and a whole banana. My earth worms love it and my bushes do really good. I make gardening as easy as possible. I've tried the compost teas and grounds, but I don't notice a difference with all the work. I sprinkle Osmocate a couple of times during the season. I enjoy pruning and deadheading but I really want to enjoy my roses and not stress myself out with work. Seems to do fine for me.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 9:12AM
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I freeze banana peels in a big ziploc bag (OK, several big bags!) and then bury the frozen peels (chopped up if I'm feeling energetic) around the rose bushes in the spring. Works a treat! I have beautiful old roses that have been thriving in the yard for over 60 years.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 3:35PM
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I used banana peels when transplanting my inside house plants into bigger pots and I have to say that my plants have never looked so nice. Must be that Potasium. I burried the peels about 6 inches deep under the plants just to make sure we dont get any mosquitoes and by the time they started to decompost was around the time that the roots start growing into them. Never throw away banana peels in my opinion.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 4:28AM
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I assumed it was because bananas are highly treated with pesticides that would stay on the skin and then in the ground or compost ,, anyone have any idea about this ,, fact or fiction ?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 6:55PM
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