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.
1. Banana peel tea
No, you're not going to drink this stuff. Instead, you're going to take your old banana peel, stick it in a jar full of water for 2 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
Now, you can 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 then 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
Many times it is the idea that throwing away just one plant peel or scraps is incredibly wasteful and can be used for something else. Often, banana peels are what sparks the idea for a compost pile for people. Start with your banana peels then begin adding all your other scraps to create some super-rich compost.
4. Dry and ground up for fertilizer
You can also dry out your peels, ground them up, and sprinkle this nutrient-rich powder in the soil, before planting or on top of the plant for an added boost of power. The Frugal Chicken has a great tutorial on drying out the peels.
5. Simply plant the whole peel
This is probably the most obvious option, but it works well. You should dig a trench about 4 or more inches deep, lay your peel out flat, then fill it up a bit with dirt and plant your seeds. As your plant's, roots grow and the peel decomposes they'll get access to some wonderful nourishment.
6. Fertilizer spray
It's pretty much a banana peel spray but with an added kick. Use eggshells for a calcium boost and Epsom salt for magnesium, then put it all in a spray bottle and use it to give your well-established garden and house plants a little vitamin boost when needed.
7. Insect trap
Want to keep pesky bugs out of your garden or off of 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 but the solution will trap them. It's a great non-toxic option for both your garden and your pets.
8. Banana vinegar
Once again, while this might sound oddly appealing, this isn't going to be something you ingest yourself. 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 itself. To do so, you have to let the fermented water sit for about 4-6 weeks so it creates its own vinegar. But once it is ready, it's really going to 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 Back Rewards are:
- Use banana peel to heal a wart, can take just 1-2 weeks
- Rub the inside of the banana peel on your teeth to whitten them
- You can also rub the inside of the banana peel on shoes as a show polish
- Use the inside of the peel to help heal a bruise
- Banana peels can also help heal acne if you rub them on a spot
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