I almost titled this blog: “I Love Rotten Banana Peels,” but while love may be too strong a word for how I feel, banana peels–the rottener and nastier the better–are like gold for gardeners. I bury them in the soil near rose bushes, where they are purported to boost flowering, or I cut them up and whirl in a blender along with kitchen scraps such as cabbage leaves, cut-up apple cores, used tea bags, onion skins, and some water. I pour the resultant soup under hosta leaves and scratch into the soil. I also save egg shells, crush them, and dig into the soil around perennials. Does all this make a difference to the plants? I see this organic matter as mainly a soil conditioner, rather than a fertilizer, and it does help soften my clay soil. And while pouring little dribs and drabs of “soup” into your soil may not seem like much, I have calculated that if a household eats three to four bananas a week, over the summer it will produce about nine pounds of banana peels, and along with the cabbage leaves and onion skins, it does mount up. So while I don’t love rotten banana peels, let’s just say I appreciate them!