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Potato peelings in compost

Expiring minds want to know...???

I recently read in a gardening tips book that they recommended NOT putting potato peelings in a compost pile. This was listed with other no-nos such as oil, animal products, etc. I've been doing it for years and have never heard this kind of advice before. Anyone know for sure? I'll admit the source was one I wouldn't rely upon too heavily, but am really curious.

thanks!
PH
 
I've always put raw potato peelings, cooked leftover and skins as well. I've never seemed to have any problems. What's supposed to happen?

Captain? Any ideas?

Sy
 
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Most organic composting books or websites are too doggone conservative for me. They normally suggest using compostable greens and browns that will break down and be digested by aerobic bacteria and fungi in less than 2-3 months, using passive, slow composting methods. They tend to not recommend using stuff that stinks really bad, or will attract pests, or will sprout weed seeds, etc. Potato peels or spuds can potentially sprout in organic matter if you not careful enough! This may be a good thing or a bad thing, based on the gardener.

I on the other hand, am an adventureous active, hot composter. I will use any plant or animal waste that I can freely get my hands on. I believe that since my piles get over 140 degrees F, over several days, it will break down, and digest via microbes, any potential weed seeds, pathogens, diseases, etc. into safe, healthy, mature compost.

Heck, I have been known to hot compost weeds like kudzu, bull thistle, and dandelions. I have also put fresh fish waste under about 1-2 feet of sawdust and leaves in my hot piles.

However, if you can't guarantee the heat of a hot pile, or the aeration of an active pile, stick with only conservative, simple, weed-less, disease-less, greens and browns in your compost piles.
 
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So ,do we put them in or not Captain?.I've always put them in with no probs,I think I'll continue.
Good luck to you and yours
Mavis
 
I LIVE in the garden ,I sleep in the house
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I do not add potato.
But my compost runs on the cold side. I just don't want to add blight. This is just the way I have done it.
But, if your compost is hot, it would kill blight. Right?
 
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When I get dozens of old bags of potatoes from the grocery store trash for my large compost piles that I make for my customers, I just chop them up with my hoe or mattock, and in about 2 weeks they are totally digested and cooked in my compost piles. If they do sprout by accident, I just green manure it with no problems.

I'll compost almost any plant or animal waste in my hot piles. I've never seen any disease or fungal issues from my compostable ingredients in my mature compost.

Aerobic microbes and earthworms are the composters' best friends. They have very strong, tough stomachs! (LOL)
 
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I add potatoes to my compost any time I can. In any way shape or form; peels, mashed, potato salad, rotting, you name it. The reason being is that I know the potatoes are going to break down fairly quickly. since I don't exactly have a great brown/green ratio most of the time, I figure that anything (like potatoes) that gets things working is a good thing.
 

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Bloom where you are planted.

Zone 4 Central South Dakota

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If I couldn't add potato stuff to my bin, I might as well stop composting altogether. We love potatoes at this dinner table! Admittedly, we have a raccoon friend who sups regularly at our bin, but he's less of a problem now that he can get his paws into the bin without opening it up and falling into it first.

I'm still hearing about "don't compost bread". Cap'n? What's supposed to happen (or not) if bread is in the barely-warm mix? My kids generate loaves and loaves of crusts.
 
[hr]I have three seasons: GROW, *SEW*, and SEED CATALOG!
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I think the no bread in the piles is to keep out the rats and mice. I don't think it would be much of an issue if you're already using table scraps, you have a hot pile that you bury your scraps in or you have a capable cat (in a city the rats might be too big for the cat).
 
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I don't put bread in my compost for one simple reason. I have a dog and cat that would tear the pile apart if they smelled a slice of toast or half a stale donut! For that same reason I don't throw in french fries (which I have an endless supply of).

Composting is a very personal thing. I think the contents of ones compost pile depend more on your personal circumstances than on any "do's and don'ts"
 

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Bloom where you are planted.

Zone 4 Central South Dakota

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Why don't you try drying the potato peelings along with banana peels. They both are rich in Potassium. Once dried put them in a coffee grinder and you end up with a powder that you can use in the garden or in potted plants. Egg shells cna be processed in the same way for a white powder with is high in calcium
 
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I have a spare blender, not a spare coffee grinder. Smiler I have a worm bin, and the eggshells get blended with their weekly scraps.
 
[hr]I have three seasons: GROW, *SEW*, and SEED CATALOG!
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Actually I put my potato peelings in stews. They are not waste but contain valuable nutrients and lots of flavor. If it is summer I put them in ziplocks in the freezer until it is stew season.
 
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Hey! Thanks gardening buds -- some good suggestions here, and I think I trust you people more than the goofies that published that crazy idea in the first place! I knew I could count on you to know what works best!

PH
 
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Big Grin I hate doing dishes! Why would I want to scrub my storebought potatoes just so I could eat their peels? I eat the peels of the taters I grow myself, and often neglect to peel them altogether, but with storebought taters from PEI, pesticide capital of Canada, no way. They also get treated with sprout-inhibiting chemicals to extend their shelf-life. I can't afford to purchase organics from markets, farms, or grocers. Bagged spuds get peeled, and the peels get composted. I'm not trying to sell organic produce, so I'm not as obsessive about what I'm composting, but there is NO WAY I'm going to scrub every spud with soap to be sure I get the mutagenics off. I'll eat those peels next year. Smiler
 
[hr]I have three seasons: GROW, *SEW*, and SEED CATALOG!
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I hardly ever have potato peels anymore. We don't eat them regularly and when we do mashed potatoes, I leave the peels on. I like the Yukon or Green Giant Golds for this, since the skins are thin and have no taste. Hubby eats his baked potato skins, but I do put mine in the compost.
We put our banana peels in whole. We are not hasty composters and sometime put unfinished compost over the veg garden in the fall covered by a layer of leaves to "cook" over the winter.
 
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Have I sined?
I put my scrapps in a bucket and once a week I bury them in the garden...not too deep, as I do no till. Just a new spot each time and then cover it back up. In the winter I just toss the stuff over the fence and let it freeze. It some nice rodent comes to eat it...great. They will then poop it out to rot somplace elseSmiler I do bury the stuff in summer as my Golden loves to jump the fence and eat the stuff....creates a gas issue laterFrowner
 
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Goldenlover, sounds like you compost much like I do. Smiler
 

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Bloom where you are planted.

Zone 4 Central South Dakota

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I don't have potato skins to put in compost. I eat all the skins along with the rest of the potato, even the baked ones. I also mash my potatoes with the skins on. In fact, I don't peel any veggie or fruit where the skin can be eaten. Lots of vitamins in the skins of veggies and fruits

BaldEagle
 
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