Thursday, May 3, 2012

BANANA PEELS, EGG SHELLS, AND COFFEE GROUNDS???


BANANA PEELS, EGG SHELLS, AND COFFEE GROUNDS AS FERTILIZER??

YES!!!! 

Everyone has these 3 items laying around the house but did you know that you can use them as food for your plants??? In my opinion, these everyday items are better for your garden (and you!) than using store bought fertilizer! (Now, I say this but I am only speculating. Everyone has favorite fertilizers and I am not even sure first hand if these items work. This blog is a trial and error blog, but the idea sounds a lot better than using all those chemical!)

Here is the break down of these 3 items that can benefit your garden. In later posts I will reference this post when speaking about which items to use with which plants.

BANANA PEELS:
The mineral content of a banana peel concentrations in mg/g:
Potassium-----78.10
Calcium-------19.20
Sodium--------24.30
Iron--------------0.61
Manganese---76.20
Bromine--------0.04
Rubidium-------0.21
Strontium-------0.03
Zirconium------0.02
Niobium--------0.02

As you can see, Banana peels are FULL of Potassium (a MAJOR component in commercial fertilizer), Calcium, and Manganese. 
If you remember from my earlier post:
Potassium- A MAJOR commercial fertilizer component. Helps in Building Proteins, Photosynthesis, Fruit Quality, AND it helps your plant ward off diseases!
Calcium- A major part of Cell Walls, (Plant Cell Pic). Calcium also helps in the transport and retention of other nutrients as well as helps strengthen the plant!
Manganese- Aids in the breakdown of carbohydrates and Nitrogen!

My recommendation?? Make a Banana Peel Mulch or simply cut up your banana peel and bury it in the soil of each plant you have in your garden (ESPECIALLY YOUR ROSES!!) Or you can do it like me and cut little squares and put them fleshy part down on the top of your soil. Your plants will thank you! I also saw that you can make your peels into a smoothie mix for your plants. Take your peel, put it in a blender, cover with water, blend well. Pour contents into the soil of each plant. One smoothie per plant. :)

EGG SHELLS:
The mineral content of an Egg Shell concentration in mg/g:
Calcium--------900.0
Magnesium-----24.0
Phosphorus------8.4
Potassium--------8.0
Sodium-----------9.0

Breakdown: Egg Shells = Holy Batman Calcium! 
Calcium- Again, A major part of Cell Walls, (Plant Cell Pic). Calcium also helps in the transport and retention of other nutrients as well as helps strengthen the plant!
Magnesium- Part of Chlorophyll and an ESSENTIAL part of Photosynthesis! It also helps activate needed growth enzymes.
Phosphorus- Another MAJOR commercial fertilizer component! Phosphorus is also essential for photosynthesis. Encourages rapid growth such as blooming and root growth! 
Potassium- Again, another major commercial fertilizer component. Helps in Building Proteins, Photosynthesis, Fruit Quality, AND it helps your plant ward off diseases!

My recommendation?? Lots of Egg Shells!! Not only are eggs really good for humans to eat, you can use their shells to feed your plants! Just crush them up, dig a shallow hole around your plants and bury your shells. :) Easy! 

COFFEE GROUNDS:
The mineral content of Coffee Ground (prepared w/ tap water) concentration in mg/g:
Calcium-----------4.7
Magnesium-------7.1
Phosphorus-------7.1
Potassium------116.0
Sodium------------4.7
Manganese-------0.1

Coffee Ground Breakdown: Potassium Kings/Queens!!
Calcium- Again, A major part of Cell Walls, (Plant Cell Pic). Calcium also helps in the transport and retention of other nutrients as well as helps strengthen the plant!
Magnesium- Part of Chlorophyll and an ESSENTIAL part of Photosynthesis! It also helps activate needed growth enzymes.
Phosphorus- Another MAJOR commercial fertilizer component! Phosphorus is also essential for photosynthesis. Encourages rapid growth such as blooming and root growth! 
Potassium- Again, another major commercial fertilizer component. Helps in Building Proteins, Photosynthesis, Fruit Quality, AND it helps your plant ward off diseases!


CLOSING REMARKS:
So, my overall breakdown? GREAT SUCCESS! I mentioned before the different ways to make mulches and smoothies. You can even just dig a hole and put these items in the ground next to your plants. I think what I might try is making in all encompassing smoothie. 

For each plant (perhaps for every 2 plants depending on size)
1 banana peel (for Potassium and Manganese), a hand full of egg shells (for Calcium), and depending on the pH of your plant a 1/4 to 1 full thing of coffee grounds (for Potassium and Acid)
Take all 3 of those ingredients and put them in a blender with 1 or 2 cups of water. (You want the 3 items to be covered, not drowned)
Blend well into as thin of a smoothie as you can get.
(For plants that love more acid in their lives, give em' more coffee grounds)
Pour the smoothie around the root base of each plant and water in real good. 

As far as how often you'll want to do this? From what I am reading, it seems like you can do this as often as you like. Now, when I say "often as you like" I mean, come on! How many banana's and eggs are you eating? And how many pots of coffee are you making?? I'd say, try to remember the plants you started with and rotate with plants you feed on which days. Meaning, for me, on Monday I'll eat 2 banana's, 3 eggs and 1 pot of coffee. I'll take these items, blend them up and pour them on the soil of my tomatoes. Tuesday, I'll eat the same thing and instead of pouring with my tomatoes, I'll pour it in with my roses. Wednesday I'll do the something but pour it in with my watermelons. Etc, After all the plants get their food, I'll start again with my tomatoes.

Get it? Good. :)

(**TIP: You might want to cut your banana peel up a little bit to aid your blender. Also, I would cut the hard tops off and discard those. Or perhaps you can dice them up. IDK, I just don't like the idea of trying to blend something that hard. Maybe we can just figure out a way to keep them in, yet make them just as easy to blend.)
(**TIP: Make sure your egg shells are washed out and clean. You don't want the animal proteins mixing in with everything. For the most part, as an average DIY gardener with no cows or horses or whatever, I avoid Animal Products (meat, poop, etc) for fertilizer. Plants don't break it down right. Egg shells work because of the calcium levels.)
(**TIP: Do some research (or just read my blog religiously and only buy the same plants that I buy) on the plants that you own. I am investing in a pH reader for my plants. Some plants thrive in Alkaline (Basic) conditions and some plants thrive in Acidic Conditions. (Remember, the lower the number on the pH scale, the more acidic it is.)

As we process with this blog (and I as discover), I will be posting more DIY fertilizers... I'm thinking Tea Bags?? And what about Citrus Peels?

Stay Tuned! :)


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this! I have a hibiscus plant that was doing okay in my super shady garden, but stopped flowering due to lack of sun. Once I moved it, it is getting more sun, but the leaves are starting to die. I'm going to try this mix and hope the extra nutrients will help it!

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