Banana peels are fantastic food for composting worms including red wigglers. You can feed the worms the banana peel, the banana flesh or even old skins that have gone brown. Worms are not picky about the banana you feed them but they will break down older bananas and peels quicker.
This article will explore how to put banana peels in a worm farm to make it easy for your worms to eat and so it breaks down quickly.
Feeding worms old banana peels
If you are making banana bread or have left your banana peels sitting in a compost bin for a while you can feed them to your worms. Brown or black skins are actually easy for worms to eat as it is partly broken down.
You can make the skins even easier for worms to eat by chopping them up with some kitchen scissor into slices or around ½ inch pieces. This increases the surface area of the banana skin for the worms to eat.
When you put old banana skin in your worm farm, the soil bacteria will also join in and break down the banana. The worms will eat the bacteria and the banana turning it into humus which is great for your soil. Bananas are high in potassium so are a great addition to any garden soil.
Feeding worms fresh banana peels
You can feed worms in worm farms fresh banana peels. If you have just peeled a banana for a snack simply throw the whole skin in the worm farm. For small worm farms I would only add 1 banana skin a week. For larger farms they may be able to consume a banana skin each day or even more.
Fresh banana peels will take longer for the worms to break down. The skin is harder so will take longer for the worms to eat. The worms may even wait for the skin to break down a little before eating it. I have found that my red wigglers will eat the oldest fruit and vegetables first before moving on to the fresh ones.
Feeding worms whole bananas
You can feed whole bananas to your worms and they will eventually eat through them. Bananas have a high water content so can make your worm farm moist. Balancing this moisture out with some dry material like fall leaves, straw or pea straw will help to avoid the worm farm becoming too wet.
You can add brown or even black bananas to worm farms but you can expect that they will attract small vinegar flies. Worms will break down the banana over time but always make sure you cover the farm with a worm blanket and a lid if you have one.
How to prepare banana peels for worms
The best way to prepare whole bananas or banana peels for your worm farm is to cut them into small pieces. I like to use kitchen scissors to cut the whole banana or peels into ½ inch pieces. Banana peels are harder than the banana flesh so it is best to cut them down to make them easier for the worms to eat.
I have found that bananas also attract other bugs like ants and beetles if they are not covered up.
How to keep flies away from banana in a worm farm
When you add any fruit to your worm farm there is always the chance that it will attract vinegar flies. These small flies are attracted to rotting fruit and vegetables. Adding bananas can quickly attract these flies so it is best to act to prevent them.
Add a 2-3 inch layer of sugar cane or straw mulch over the top of the bananas. This will help to deter the flies and even ants. Over the top of the mulch you can add 3-4 layers of newspaper. I then like to add a natural worm blanket over the top.
Another good option is to place a fine bark mulch over the top. This adds a thick layer which stops the flies from directly landing on the bananas. The worms will break down the bark mulch over time and will help to balance the moisture level.
You can mix the banana skins through the worm farm gently taking care not to hurt any of the worms. This is a great way to keep flies and ants away and keep your worm farm smelling fresh.
How to put banana peels in a worm farm | Summary
Banana peels are a great food for worms. They are rich in nutrients, organic matter and are a favorite food of red wigglers. Bananas contain a high amount of water so it is important to balance that out with some dry materials. Add some straw, pea straw, dry leaves or shredded newspaper.
Always cover your worm farm well after adding bananas because they can attract flies and ants. I like to use a worm blanket and it is best to put a lid on top if you have one.