Can You Compost Potatoes? Now Answered

Can You Compost Potatoes

Can you compost potatoes? The short answer: potatoes can be added to the compost and get composted but with proper composting preparation and maintenance. One issue that was of concern about composting potatoes is the spread of blight disease of potatoes.

However, if you can follow along with this handy guide, you will learn how to safely add potatoes scraps to your compost.

Read on for a detailed step by step guide on how to compost potatoes plus how this disease can be avoided.

Can you Put Potatoes in Compost?

Potatoes are one of the members of the Solanaceae family. This is a family of flowering plants that include economic and important food crops such as tomatoes and peppers.

Potato is a common food crop, which is grown almost everywhere in the world. This crop serves as an immediate source of carbohydrates and vitamins to many families in both developed and developing countries.

Learn more about the botany of potatoes

Potatoes is a great source of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, and some small amount of protein.

A study showed that potatoes are parked with many minerals compound such as potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and
Moderate iron.

Coming across this kind of study, one may come to the conclusion that potato scraps can make a nice addition to the compost.

But, wait.

Composting potatoes without following some due composting process, preparation, and maintenance may harm your efforts rather than helping you.

The issues of blight disease of potatoes.

This is common in potatoes plants and other plants in the Solanaceae family. The disease is caused by fungus and is spread rapidly by spores and through infected plant materials from one potato plantation to another through air or infected potatoes plant.

The spores can survive for more than one season and they are known to survive in heat or temperature below or above room temperature.

What all the above information is trying to show you is that when you put potatoes in compost without careful selection and following some due process, you can introduce blight disease to your garden or farm if you are growing one of the plants in the Solanaceae family.

The disease or fungal spores will remain living in the compost when the heat in the pile or bin is not high.

And so when fed your plants like peppers or tomatoes or any other plants in the Solanaceae family, the spores will grow when they sense a new life and infect those plants.

So, if you want to compost potatoes, here is a step by step guide to composting them safely:

1. Do not compost potatoes with diseased symptoms: before adding potatoes to your compost, carefully look at the potatoes scraps for symptoms. Do not add potatoes with brown spots. Always add clean potatoes with clean and whitish skin color.

2. Put the potatoes scraps deep down compost: always add the potatoes to your compost where the heat or temperature is high in the compost. This helps kill all other spores in case the potatoes were infected with blight spot disease.

3. Know the type of plants you want to fertilize with the finished compost: if you are not going to feed plants in the Solanaceae family, you can conveniently add potato scraps to your compost. However, some flowers also were found to show some symptoms of blight disease of potatoes. But, this is very uncommon. Additionally, vegetables and landscape beds do not show any kind of symptoms when even fed with compost that was made from infected potato scraps.

4. Do not compost store-bought potatoes: store-bought potatoes are at the forefront when it comes to spreading potatoes’ blight disease. So, do not add them to your compost.

Main points: the best way to conveniently compost potatoes scraps is to create a high heat-generating compost bin or pile and then add your potatoes scraps between the middle or near the bottom of the compost container. Ensure that the quantity too is not that too much and make sure you add other composting materials such greens and browns.

Related: Can You Put Citrus In Compost: The Detailed Guide To Citrus Composting

We have looked at the general issues concerning adding potatoes scraps to the compost, now let us try to look at what other parts of potatoes can be added to the compost without a problem.

I’m going to discuss these headings while answering some of your frequently asked questions.

Can you Compost Potatoes Chips?

Yes. Potatoes chips are the safest scraps of potatoes that can be added to compost and without fear of blight spot disease of potatoes. This is because the chips are already fried and the fungal spores at this time are killed.

The only issue of concern is that potatoes Chips may attract pests to your compost. And on my own part, this should not be an issue of concern if you locate the composting container the right way.

Related: Can You Compost Ginger?: The Ultimate Guide To Ginger Composting

Can you Compost Potatoes Plants?

The short answer: yes, if the potatoes plants are not infected with blight disease. If you know your potatoes plantation has not a history of blight disease of potatoes or Solanaceae, you can add them conveniently without any problem.

However, if there are symptoms on the potatoes plant materials, the best and safest way is to avoid adding the plants to your compost. Additionally, if your plantation has a history of potatoes blight disease or you do not where the potatoes plant material is coming from, it is also better to avoid adding them to your compost.

Can you put Old Potatoes in Compost?

Old potatoes are potatoes that began to change in color, taste, and size. The skins of old potatoes are wrinkled and the taste and size also differ from the fresh potatoes.

With regard to composting, yes you can compost old potatoes but proper composting preparation and maintenance as earlier mentioned and explained above have to be put in place in order to avoid any issue.

Related: Can You Compost Banana Peels: The Detailed Guide To Banana Peels Composting

Can you Compost Potato Leaves?

Potatoes leaves are compostable but the leaves are the main places where the fungal blight spot is mostly living or first infected when the potatoes plant is alive. So, if you cannot carefully select the good potatoes that are not infected with blight spot disease, the best and safest way is to avoid adding the potatoes leaves to your compost.

Can you put cooked potatoes on Compost?

Cooked potatoes are compostable. And they are the safest potato scraps that can be composted conveniently without issues. This is because the potatoes scraps are cooked and all the fungal spores that may or can cause problems are killed.

The only problem that may be of concern is releasing a bad smell when added. And you can avoid this by adding a small number of cooked potatoes in the compost and then some green compostable materials such as banana peels and some dried brown compostable materials such as shredded newspapers. This can help balance the compost and prevent bad odors.

Related: Can You Compost Avocado: The Ultimate Guide To Avocado Composting

Can you Compost Baked Potatoes?

Yes, you can compost baked potatoes just like cooked potatoes. But, you need to chop them into smaller sizes so that they can be easily broken down by the decomposition of microorganisms.

Can you put Raw Potatoes in Compost?

Raw potatoes can be also put and composted if they are not obtained from diseased potatoes plantation. If you get fresh and raw potatoes, just follow the potatoes composting guidelines I have given above to know whether you can add the raw potatoes to your compost or not.

Can you Compost Moldy Potatoes?

Adding moldy potatoes can or maybe dangerous to your plants. This is because the moldy signs maybe the signs or spores of blight fungus. Just to prevent any issue, avoid adding moldy potatoes to your compost. However, if you know that your compost bin or pile can generate the right amount of heat that can kill the blight fungal spores, then you can add the moldy potatoes.

Can you Compost Potatoes Peels?

When you peeled potatoes, do not trash the peels if you have not seen any signs and symptoms of potatoes blight spot disease.

Add the potatoes peels to your compost. They can provide nutrients to the compost and then your plants. They are the most nutritious part of the potatoes.

How do you Compost Potatoes Peels

Composting the potatoes peels is very simple, just follow the safety guidelines I mentioned above to make sure the potatoes peels are free from blight pathogens.

Beginner to composting? Read our step by step guide to composting.

Ensure that your compost bin or any composting container that you want to use can generate more heat, which can kill any blight spores.

Also, make sure that the composting container has holes where sir can go in and out. This will help increase the microbial activities of the decomposition microorganisms, and so your compost will finish at a much faster time.

Arrange your potatoes peels in a composting container in alternate layers of brown and green organic matter.

Don’t know what is brown and green organic matter? Check our detailed step by step guide on the different types of compostable materials.

Make sure your potato peels are added in smaller quantities and in smaller pieces. After a week of adding potatoes peels, turn the compost regularly at least two times in a week. This can help increase heat and aeration in the compost.

Related Questions

Can you Compost Bread?

Yes, you can compost bread. Bread scraps including the moldy ones are good compostable materials that can add carbon compounds to the compost. And this compound helps increase the microbial activities of the microorganisms present in the compost.

What can’t you Compost?

Common things that can’t be added to the compost include diseased plants, synthetic and chemically treated products, dairy products, and fats and cooking oils.

Can French fries go in Compost?

Adding leftovers processed foods such as French fries are not advised as they may contain chemicals that can affect the microorganisms in the compost. And this will delay the composting process. These chemicals may also affect plants when they are fed with this kind of compostable materials.

Conclusion

Potatoes are a good source of minerals that can help improve plants’ growth and yields and also increase soil quality.

However, despite potatoes can be composted, not all potato scraps can go into compost.

In this article, I looked at the steps you can follow to safely add potatoes to your compost. I hope you will find this article useful. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments section below.

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