Love Your Garden: Alan Titchmarsh on growing roses in 2011
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Potassium boosts a rose’s immune system, giving it additional protection against disease and insect damage. It also helps the plant survive damaging climate situations, such as drought and frost. Plants that don’t get enough potassium will have weak stems, underdeveloped buds and yellow leaves with brown edges. To avoid this a gardening expert has shared how to use banana peels to fertilise roses and “promote flowering”.
Gardeners might be wondering why they would want to feed banana peels to roses instead of just sticking with an ordinary fertiliser.
For those who compost food scraps in their home, then they already know that bananas make a great addition to any compost.
Banana peels provide many of the nutrients that roses need to thrive, plus gardeners don’t need to compost them beforehand.
Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Angela Slater, gardening expert at Hayes Garden World explained: “Banana peel is high in potassium which is essential for promoting flowering in your roses. It also aids photosynthesis which is the basis of all plant growth.
“Banana peel also contains sulphur, manganese, calcium and magnesium which are also vital for healthy plant growth.”
These three nutrients are so essential to plant growth and health. So much so that this is why commercially made fertilisers always have the fertiliser grade on the packaging.
Of course, each plant’s nutrient needs vary, but gardeners would be surprised how many of them do exceptionally well when fed banana peel fertiliser.
Each of the nutrients play a role in maintaining plant health, whether it’s photosynthesis, generating chlorophyll, or regulating the movement of water among cells.
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To use banana peels for fertilising roses, Angela advises adding them in prior to planting the flower. She said: “You can place one or two skins in the hole before planting the rose.” Watering the soil well afterwards will help the peels start to break down.
This is an effective way to get nutrients into the soil, even if gardeners don’t have space for a compost bin.
The simplest way to boost potassium for established rose plants is to toss a banana peel on the ground next to the base of the plant, as shared by the expert.
Chopping the peel first will reduce the time it takes for the peel to break down, making the potassium available to the plant sooner.
While you can’t get away with fertilising rose plants with only bananas, adding leftover peels to the soil around your rose bushes provides a boost of potassium essential for healthy, beautiful blooms.
While banana peel contains a variety of nutrients, there is one that it misses out on. Angela said: “Bananas don’t contain nitrogen so are not as useful as a fertiliser for green leafy plants but the calcium they contain helps the plant be more efficient at extracting nitrogen from the soil.”
However, banana peel fertiliser is perfect for plants with low-nitrogen requirements such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and even radishes.
The gardening pro also shared how banana peel makes for an “effective” liquid fertiliser.
Angela explained: “Banana peel makes an effective liquid fertiliser. Just place one skin into a jar with two pints of water and leave for a couple of weeks, then it will be ready to use as a liquid feed.”
She noted that the liquid should be diluted to use in a ratio of one part fertiliser to four parts water. She added: “Water onto the soil every week.”
Gardeners can then use banana peel water to water their roses before distributing the peel pieces into the compost. This trick is great as it can get two uses out of the peels: mineral-rich water and green material for the compost.
Using banana peels as fertiliser can be harder in the winter, but Angela has a solution that will keep your compost healthy ahead of the warmer seasons. Gardeners can introduce banana peels into their winter garden by chopping the peels into one-inch pieces and adding them into the compost for spring.
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