Can I put banana skin in compost?

Banana is one of the world’s most popular fruits. Always available and non-seasonal, it is no wonder how many dishes you can make using these yummy plantain. You’d be happy to know that yes, you can put banana skin in compost.

Using banana peels in compost is the best way to add organic materials and make the compost even better. Learning how to compost banana peels is easy, but there are a few things you need to be aware of when putting banana in compost.

The effect of banana on soil compost

Mixing of banana peels in your compost pile will help add calcium, magnesium, sulfur, phosphates, potassium and sodium, all of which are important to the healthy growth of both flowering and fruiting plants. 

Bananas in compost also help add healthy organic materials, which help the compost retain and make soil lighter when added to your garden.

Beyond this banana peels will break down quickly in compost, which allows them to add these important nutrients to the compost much more quickly than some other compost materials.

How to compost banana peels

Composting banana peels is easy. It’s just tossing your leftover banana peels into your compost pit. You have the option to toss them in whole. However, you need to be aware that they may take longer to compost, compared to if you cut them up into smaller pieces.

Banana peels can also be used as a direct fertilizer. If you read up on gardening books and websites, you can use banana peels as fertilizer and it will not harm your plant. However, it is still best to compost them first. This is especially true if you plan to use them with your roses.

When you bury banana peels under the soil, it can slow down the process that makes their nutrients available to the plant. Buried banana peels break down much more slowly compared to those placed in a properly maintained compost pile. To maintain a compost pile is to make sure it is regularly exposed to air.

What should you not put in your compost pile?

A huge chunk of your trash at home can go to the compost. Not only will you reduce the amount of trash you put out every week to go to the landfill, but also make great fertilizer for your house plants. 

However, a lot of the compostable waste we know should not go to the pile, simply because they could do more harm than good in the composting process.

Cat and dog poop

Animal manure have long been known to be great additions to compost pile. They add nutrients and organic matter that will benefit your soil. However, it is not advisable to add dog and cat poop, as well as the carnivores’ waste to your compost. Their waste contains microorganisms and parasites that you do not want to introduce to the crops you will be eating.

Tea and coffee bags

The bags that some coffee and tea products come in contain nylon and other synthetic fibers that do not break down in a compost pile. They also contain plastic particles and chemicals you don’t want creeping up in your soil and your plants. It would be best not to include tea or coffee bags in your compost mix unless you are certain they are made from natural materials, like cotton or hemp.

Citrus peels and onion

While fruits and vegetables scraps make great ingredients in a home compost pile, there are two exceptions: citrus peels and onions. Their natural chemicals and acidity are strong enough to kill worms and other microorganisms, which can slow down the decomposition in your pile. Unless you chop them into small bits, citrus peels will most likely take forever to break down , delayig how soon you can use your compost.

Fish and meat scraps

Although they will decompose just fine, their smell will act like a magnet for any rats, mice, foxes, racoons or cats from the neighborhood. Such a smell can even attract even coyotes and bears, depending on where you live.

Glossy or coated paper

A lot of paper products are great for compost, such as newspapers, old paper towels and tissues. Even shredded cardboard can be added to your compost mix since they are from trees. However, paper that has been treated with plastic-like coating won’t decompose properly. They also contain toxins and are not appropriate  for your compost pile.

Sticky labels 

Those obnoxious little sticky labels and price tags on fruit and vegetables are made from food grade plastic or vinyl. They are not biodegradable. Because of their size, they often end up trashing up your compost piles and do not really mix with the rest of the pile. 

Sawdust from treated wood 

Sawdust from untreated natural woods can be a great addition to compost in moderation. However, you have to think twice if the wood has been treated or even painted with varnish and other stains. These chemicals will make it impossible for them to decompose.

Common questions about putting banana skin in compost

Are banana skins biodegradable?

Yes, banana skins are biodegradable. However, it is worth noting that they do not decompose as fast as we think. It takes about 2 years to completely decompose.

Can you put eggshells in compost?

Yes. Eggshells add calcium to your compost, which will be additional nutrients for your plants. Although it is not a requirement, you may opt to break them down into smaller pieces for them to decompose faster.

Can paper towels be composted?

Yes, provided that they are not filled with grease and other chemicals. They can degrade pretty quickly in your compost bin.

Banana skins take quite a while to decompose. Despite that time, there is no need to worry because at the end of the day, they will still mix with the rest of your compost. Because they can be mixed to your compost pile, you already have some free space in your recycling bin for your other household wastes.