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patotoes growing out of my compost bin.

essex, England Eng

this may sound like a really silly question to ask, but i think my compost is nearly ready, its brown and moist, although not too wet, it smells right and it looks very much like the stuff i buy (for a small fortune) every so many months.... only thing is i have potato plants growing out of it! i do include potato peal in my mix, as it is on my list of do's and i do turn it over every so often, but i really don't want potato plants growing all around the garden, is there a way to stop this happening (apart from the obvious of not including potato peal!) or is this a sign that i am doing something wrong? or is it just a case that it needs a good dig over again and to be left a bit longer? any advice is more than welcome from all of you expereinced compost makers out there!



I stopped putting potato peelings in my compost bin because they were growing .

5 Feb, 2008


The plants are easy enough to remove as you use the compost and you do get a free helping of potatoes!

5 Feb, 2008


i like the idea of free potatoes, we do use so many of them, so it is a shame to leave the peal out of my mixture, i take it that i can just put the plants back in to compost, thank you both for your help.

5 Feb, 2008


No, once you have taken them out they will not really be happy being replanted.

5 Feb, 2008


no Owdboggy, i ment i could put the plants back into the compost heap to be composted once i have the potatoes from them lol. was thinking of recyling them lol

5 Feb, 2008


I put potato peelings on the compost every day and rarely get potatoes growing in it. Perhaps your peelings are too thick? <grin>

5 Feb, 2008


I stopped putting potato peelings in the bins, too, because they sprouted. one year we divided and replanted the small potatoes in a bed and got a really good crop in October, but have since stopped even this as the crop is not guaranteed to be virus free, I believe. Like the note about the thickness tho, Andrewr. Also, if the compost is dark brown and crumbly, with a sweet earthy smell, it is ready. But I would use it in pure state only for bed fertilising, not for seed germinating, as may be too strong. can perhaps use, however, to bulk up bought compost. Perhaps others with more experience can help here?

5 Feb, 2008


Just a quick thunk! If your potatoes have blight or any other nasty disease on them, then do not compost the tops, burn or bin. Domestic type heaps do not get hot enough to kill all these pathogens.

6 Feb, 2008


good point owdboggy, maybe i will just play safe and leave them out in future.

6 Feb, 2008


I cut my potato skins up quite small and put them in the wormery and some still sprout - but its dead easy to just take them out before using the compost - even the worms dont like them!!

7 Feb, 2008


thats a very good point Buzzbee.

8 Feb, 2008

How do I say thanks?

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