Stop throwing out banana peels. Here are 8 effective ways to use them in the garden

You know all those banana peels you've been throwing away? Well, there are actually some useful ways to reuse those soft shells — and no, we don't mean for tripping your friends cartoon-style.
If you live in a banana-eating household, you probably throw close to a dozen of these away every couple of weeks. Stop the waste and start using these peels to help boost your garden's health and nutrients. It's easy, free and something you do year-round — whether it's for your veggie garden or house plants.
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1. Banana peel tea
No, you're not going to drink this stuff. Instead, you're going to stick a peel in a jar full of water for two days, and then pour it over your plants. The nutrients from this tea invigorate your plants and give them an added boost.
2. Plant them directly in your garden
Use fresh peels or even the peels from your banana peel tea above for this one. Simply cut up the peel into 1/4-inch pieces and place them either below your plants before you plant them (be sure to stick them far enough down so they don't get in the way of the roots), or just below the surface.
By cutting up the peel, you start the decomposing process — and as this plant decays, it is going to release some awesome vitamins and nutrients for your new plants.
3. Toss banana peels in the compost
People don't like to throw out food. Banana peels often spark the idea for a compost pile. Start with your banana peels, and then begin adding all your other scraps to create some super-rich compost.
4. Dry and ground up for fertilizer
Dry out your peels, ground them up and sprinkle this nutrient-rich powder on soil before planting for an added boost of power. The Frugal Chicken has a great tutorial on drying out peels.
5. Simply plant the whole peel
This is probably the most obvious option, and it works well. Dig a trench 4 or more inches deep. Lay your peel out flat, fill it up a bit with dirt and plant your seeds. As your plant's roots grow and the peel decomposes, the roots will get access to some wonderful nourishment.
6. Fertilizer spray
It's pretty much a banana peel spray, but with an added kick. Mix up crushed eggshells for a calcium boost and Epsom salt for magnesium in a spray bottle. Use it to give your well-established garden and house plants a vitamin boost.
7. Insect trap
Want to keep pesky bugs out of your garden or off your patio? Soak a cut-up banana peel with apple cider vinegar and place it in a plastic container with holes on top just big enough to let a bug inside. The smell will draw them in and the solution will trap them. It's a great nontoxic option for both your garden and pets.
8. Banana vinegar
You won't want to drink it, but your acidic soil-loving plants like blueberries are going to crave this stuff.
The Frugal Chicken explains that you should ferment your bananas in water (full instructions here), and then use the water from the fermenting process on your plants. Let the fermented water sit for four to six weeks so it creates its own vinegar. It'll give your acid-loving plants a great boost.
Want to know something else? Banana peels are good for around the house too! A few awesome tips from Trash Backwards are:
- Use banana peel to heal a wart; can take just one to two weeks
- Rub the inside of a banana peel on your teeth to whiten them
- Rub the inside of a banana peel on shoes as a shoe polish
- Use the inside of a peel to help heal a bruise
- Banana peels can help heal acne if you rub them on a spot
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