Before throwing your banana and orange peels into the dust bin, just think about for a minute how useful these peels can be. You can compost these peels just like your other kitchen scrape. Both banana and orange peels can be used as a replacement for fertilizers and insecticides directly in your garden. Moreover, you can compost these peels to beautify your landscapes, minimize land waste, and reduce chemical use in your gardens. Read this guide further to get the details about banana and orange peels composting.
Can You Compost Banana Peels?
A straight answer to this question is yes; you can compost banana peels. You can toss them in whole or cut them into pieces before adding them to your compost. But keep in mind that if you add them in whole, they will take longer to decompose. On the contrary, if you cut them into pieces and then add them to your compost, they will decompose speedily.
Also check: Can I Compost Potatoes? A Complete Guide!
Create a Good Balance
Banana peels in composting help add nutrient-rich organic matter. But you have to create a good balance of carbon and nitrogen to aid composting. Banana peels add 35 parts of carbon and 1 part of nitrogen to the compost, and this ratio is much closer to the recommended one, which is 30 parts of carbon and 1 part of nitrogen. Along with banana peels, add a few grass clippings of 20:1 ratio of carbon and nitrogen respectively to the compost. This combination of banana peels and grass clippings will create a healthy balance to speed up composting.
Benefits of Adding Banana Peels to Compost
Banana is a high potassium-rich fruit, and its peel is also highly nutritious. After consuming bananas, you can use their peels for composting. Here are the few benefits of adding banana peel to your compost.
- Banana peels in your composting pile add potassium, sodium, calcium, sulfur, phosphates, and manganese to your garden. All these elements are essential to the health of your plants and gardens.
- Banana peel in compost helps retain water and makes the soil lighter. It adds nutrients to the soil and increases its fertility as well.
- You can also make banana peel compost tea by cutting the banana peels into small pieces and adding them to water. When your jar gets full, strain this liquid into a closed container and put it into your fridge. Add a cup of this banana peel compost tea to a gallon of water and directly apply it to the base of your plants. This compost tea work amazingly to help grow your plants by adding nutrients.
- Banana peel compost tea is highly effective against aphid control. You have to mix one part of this tea with the five parts of water and spray this solution directly on your plants.
Can You Compost Orange Peels?
Yes, you can compost orange peels. Citrus peels are high in nitrogen, so they are an excellent addition to your compost, significantly increasing microorganisms’ activity. But keep in mind that citrus peels including orange peels are not suitable to add in vermicomposting. Orange peels can repel worms and other microbes that are essential for worm composting. You should only add orange peels to your regular compost except for vermicompost.
Create a Good Balance
Besides vermicomposting, the citrus peel can be dangerous for your regular compost if you do not maintain a good balance. Citrus has a lower pH, so; it can turn your compost acidic and make it difficult for microbes to decompose. You must create a balancing condition by adding three parts of browns, 1 part of the green, and water to your compost. Add only a small quantity of orange peel to the compost.
Moreover, you can also add grass clippings to your compost but do not exceed the limit for citrus peels and grass clippings. If you go beyond the recommended dose, you will acidify your compost. Balanced compost has a fruity smell. If you have experienced unpleasant odors, your compost is not well-balanced.
Benefits of Adding Orange Peels to Compost
Apart from adding to skin care products, orange peels are also highly beneficial for plant growth and soil health. You will get the following benefits from adding orange peels to your compost.
- Orange peels are highly rich in potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus. Besides providing these elements to the compost, orange peels also boost the composting process. The heat from the orange peels speeds up the process of decomposition.
- Citrus peels, especially orange peels, have a strong smell that keeps flies and rats away from the compost. It also keeps harmful worms away from the compost.
- The heat from the citrus peel will stop weed seeds from germination when you add them to your compost. So, applying this compost to your garden will restrict the growth of weeds (unwanted plants).
- Orange peels are entirely recyclable, so they don’t harm our environment at all.
Banana and orange peels can be added to the compost, and they will not only help in composting but also be greatly useful to increase soil fertility. But you should maintain a balance between browns and greens to create healthy compost for your gardens.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How long do banana peels take to decompose?
Banana peel is biodegradable, and it takes almost two years to decompose. But if you add your banana peel to your compost by cutting it into small pieces, it will take less time to decompose.
2. How long do orange peels take to decompose?
The orange peel takes almost six months to decompose naturally. But in drier regions like Central Oregon, the orange peel will live up to infinity and doesn’t decompose quickly.
3. Is orange peel good for the soil?
Orange peels are highly nourishing for soils. They provide nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus to the soil and help grow plants.
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