Is Bannana Peel liquid fertilizer enough?

EcopalMay 21, 2011

Hey guys, I was wondering if my method of fertilizing my tomatoes is sufficient. Hers how this works I get about three banana peels and maybe a few mango skins and I put them in a blender add water then set it on high. Then I poor it in my five gallon tomato buckets. Supposedly this adds important nutrients like calcium, magnesium, sulfur, potassium, phosphates and sodium. I learned about it on E-How. And I do this about once a week. I do the compost thing but that takes a while. Is this enough to nourish my Big Boys and Brandywines? I would rather not spend money on fertilizer right now.

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

I don't see how it possibly could be since it provides none of the primary nutrients N-P-K.

Not to mention that all organic supplements require digestive work by the soil bacteria and micro-herd to make them available to the plants. It takes time, just as it does with compost, for that micro herd to develop in a container assuming it contains soil-less potting mix as it should. None to begin with unless you use one of the soil-less mixes that micro bacteria has been added to or you have added it your self.

From your previous posts it is clear that your plants are already stressed and they will be further stressed as they grow in such a small container. Do them a big favor and give them a good source of nutrients on a regular weekly basis. There are many relatively inexpensive ones available and even a small container will go a long way since it is normally diluted to 1/2 strength when used in containers.


    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 9:36PM
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None at all? Here is something I read on Basic info for organic

Example of the Analysis of Banana Peel and Other Organic Materials

Banana peel N= 0 P= 3.25 K= 41.76
Cantaloupe rinds N= 0 P= 9.77 K= 12.21

the values shown are for stem and fruit growth and as can be seen the K value for the banana will yield large fruit.
I know it lacks certain things but many people seem to agree that this method does help at least a little?

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 11:48PM
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Bets(z6A S ID)


Giving your plants pureed fruit is about as effective for your tomatoes as it would be for you to have it injected directly into your blood stream. Sure the nutrients are there, but they have to be digested by the soil bacteria and micro-herd that Dave mentioned, just like for your body to use pureed fruit, it has to go through your digestive system.

It might be marginally useful for plants in the ground because the bacteria and micro-herd IN THE SOIL could make some of it useful for the plant. The act of pureeing the fruit increase the surface area of the fruit allowing for a faster than normal breakdown of the nutrients. (But not actually fast.)

There is a lot of faulty information out there on the web from sites that would like you to believe they are experts and know what they are talking about, but an awful lot of it is bunk. With the proliferation of sites on the internet, any idiot can make a web site and many do.

Bear in mind where you read things before you swallow them whole. If it is a reputable web site, (such as from a state extension office, or a university) then it is likely to be valid information. But if the site is not affiliated with a reputable source, or does not list reputable references for their statements, then take it with a grain of salt. Much of what you find as "Garden Wisdom" is merely anecdotal information with no scientific basis.

Including what I say. (Insert great big silly grin here.)

However, if you search reputable scientifically based websites, such as with Google Scholar ( for banana peels as tomato fertilizer as I did, you will not find a single article that discussed the direct use of banana peels, purreed or otherwise, as fertilizer for anything, let alone for tomatoes.


Here is a link that might be useful: Google Scholar Search Results

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 12:31AM
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dickiefickle(5B Dousman,Wi.)

"I know it lacks certain things but many people seem to agree that this method does help at least a little? "

Who are these people? Can you provide a link to that site?

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 4:01AM
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I first learned of this method on E-How and it was written by someone with a Bachelor of Science in biology.
I continued to look and I found other websites that support this information.
P.S. I know it takes a while to break down. I just think that it�s worth doing. So far the only thing that has been stressing my plants is the heat and my overwatering. But now that I�m more careful about that my new Big Boys that I have planted are doing great.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 4:20PM
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mtilton(7a OK)

Ecopal, I think it's a wonderful idea. I don't know if it will work for the current season's crops. I think it will fertilize the soil for the whatever is planted after your tomatoes.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 5:58PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

mtilton - you are right that they may be of benefit for next year but these are in containers - 5 gallon buckets.

Ecopal - Let's look at some of these sources and evaluate them as a possible "growing tomatoes" source of information:

1) leads to food recipes, home organization tips, crafts, home decor, and a small garden section on growing trees, shrubs, changing the pH of your soil, and which plants need shade and which need sun. This page is the extent of their tomato growing info.

I find nothing of any value about gardening on this site and given its primary focus - cooking and home decor - I wouldn't expect to find much gardening info that isn't just a rehash of the basic info available from 100's of sites.

2) is the baking your banana peels to use as fertilizer site. Note his info on the phosphorus and potassium content and the effect baking has on them is, according to him, confirmed this with a friend who�s a pharmacist with an undergrad in chemistry.

This is a personal blog with no credentials included in the About Me section. But to be fair, note how he repeatedly says things like "add to the compost bin", "store until ready to use", and "just poke into the soil", "use organic bananas only". No mention of tomatoes at all. Why would this strike you as a valid information or as anything more than just one person, who has a clear agenda that is NOT growing tomatoes, opinion (and a relatively uninformed one at that)?

Might I suggest some more reliable and informative sources of information on how to grow and feed tomatoes?

Growing Cucumbers, Peppers, and Tomatoes in Containers

5 Tips for Growing Tomatoes in Containers

Hope this helps.


    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 7:14PM
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O.K. then fair enough. Ill leave a few containers without the banana fertilizer and see if it makes a difference. If not, well to next year then.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 8:17PM
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