Is it possible to put potato tops in a compost heap and how else to apply it on the site

The tops of various plants are successfully used to fertilize the soil in summer cottages. Is it possible to lay potato tops in a compost heap, how else can it be used and what benefits it will bring to the gardener - we will tell you more in our article.

Dos and Don'ts of Compost

It would seem that composting is simple: just pile up food and garden waste and wait until they rot.

As a result of natural overheating, compost will be obtained. But there are some subtleties to consider when preparing this natural fertilizer.

Is it possible to put potato tops in a compost heap and how else to apply it on the site

Not everything is allowed to be added to the compost pile or pit.... Some waste will not overcook, but will infect the soil or attract rodents.

What you can compost:

  • cut grass;
  • weeds without aggressive roots and ripe seeds;
  • fallen leaves;
  • bird droppings and manure from herbivorous domestic animals;
  • peat;
  • mushrooms;
  • tea leaves and coffee grounds;
  • eggshell - it contains natural calcium;
  • the remains of raw vegetables and fruits;
  • thin branches;
  • paper (napkins, paper towels);
  • small chips, tree bark, sawdust, seed husks, straw.

Most household waste is not suitable for composting as it is not a cesspool. All components must be properly rotted and recycled.

Can not use:

  • diseased plants;
  • citrus peel;
  • spoiled bread - it will spread mold;
  • the remains of fatty meat dishes;
  • fish and chicken bones;
  • fruits with large seeds;
  • perennial seeded weeds with roots;
  • synthetic fabrics.

In order for the processed mixture to be useful for all plants on the site, a serious approach will be required from the summer resident. to the selection of ingredients and to the bookmarking process.

Is it possible to put potato tops in a compost heap and how else to apply it on the site

Requirements for good compost

When applied to the soil, made according to all the rules compost improves its structure, increases fertility.

Each gardener makes it according to his own recipe (there are many options). Uses a variety of ingredients and additives, and is prepared anaerobically or aerobically, collected in heaps, laid in pits, trenches or in special boxes and closed containers.

The main thing is that as a result, the mature compost mass should be moist, crumbly, and have a dark color and a pleasant smell of damp forest earth.

Potato tops in compost

Summer residents there is no unequivocal opinion whether it is possible to add potato tops into the compost.

Most often, closer to autumn, an insidious disease appears on potato leaves - late blight... Together with the tops, pathogenic fungi can be added to the compost. Despite the fact that during rotting inside the heap the temperature reaches + 60 ... + 80 ° С, this is not enough to destroy them.

In order not to infect future plantings, the tops laid in compost are watered with a 3% solution of copper sulfate, after which the top is covered with a layer of earth. They use it only in the third year after the laying, when all the spores of the fungi will die.

Can I add

Healthy, fresh tops can and should be used for composting... If you suspect that the plant has been infected, then it is better to burn it and then pour it into the compost heap in the form of ash.

Is it possible to put potato tops in a compost heap and how else to apply it on the site

A few weeks before harvesting, the tops are mowed and placed in compost heaps, shedding copper sulfate to get rid of possible diseases. For disinfection, you can also use a biological preparation based on soil fungi of Trichoderma, which fights against the main diseases of garden crops.

Effectiveness, benefit and harm

Potato tops can be used as compost for feeding all types of cultivated plants... The increased content of soil bacteria, which, after application, will continue to work in the soil, makes such compost a valuable fertilizer.

It attracts earthworms, which can be called humic acid producers.... Eating plant residues, they release coprolites into the soil - fermented substances that are absorbed by plants better than mineral fertilizers.

Attention! Unfortunately, the tops are rarely completely healthy by harvest time. Untreated, diseased plants can harm and make compost a source of contamination.

How to compost potato tops

Compost from potato tops is an organic fertilizer obtained by its decomposition under the influence of the vital activity of microorganisms... It is prepared in the same way as from any other plant material.

Is it possible to put potato tops in a compost heap and how else to apply it on the site

Classic and fast way

The principle of composting in a pit, heap or box is the same.... Consider the classic way - composting in a heap.

For its formation, a shady section of the garden is taken away from the residential building.

Form in stages:

  1. A 20-30 cm layer of peat and a layer of straw or dry foliage are poured onto the compacted earth.
  2. The tops are placed in the next layer 15-20 cm high.
  3. Each layer of tops is spilled with a solution of copper sulfate (2 tablespoons per 10 liters of water). This makes the compost safe as fertilizer.
  4. A layer of carbon-containing components is placed on top of the tops - dry leaves, paper, branches, hay.
  5. Then sprinkle with garden soil to a thickness of 10-15 cm. You can add ash to the soil.
  6. The components are laid in layers until the height of the heap reaches 1-1.5 m.
  7. The layers are alternated so that for every three parts of dry matter there is one green one. The top layer is soil or straw, to retain escaping gases and better preserve nutrients.

Finish the preparation of the compost heap with a layer of garden soil... Compost is regularly shoveled and watered in dry weather. From above it can be covered with plastic wrap.

Important! In the absence of nitrogen-containing components in the compost pit, the process of fertilizer ripening can take many years.

If you need to speed up the maturation of the compost, heaps do less... The optimal height is up to 1 m in height and width for any length. The ripening rate depends on the composition, the correct ratio and alternation of the components. When using special accelerators and aerating the heap, the process takes one season.

Features of compost watering

If the pile dries up, it interferes with the maturation of the compost.... In this case, it must be watered. But too much moisture will only hurt. When it rains, it is better to cover it with a film so that nutrients are not washed out.

Is it possible to put potato tops in a compost heap and how else to apply it on the site

Application of accelerators

You can accelerate the maturation of compost using available tools., which can be found in every home, or purchased EO preparations (containing effective microorganisms) and biodegradants.

A solution of dry yeast is poured into a heap, after making small depressions in it... Preparing such a solution is simple: 1 tbsp. l. yeast in 1 liter of water plus a glass of sugar. The temperature must be above + 18 ° C in order to activate the reproduction of yeast fungi, which will digest organic matter, accelerating decay.

Attention! The addition of slurry also speeds up the maturation of the compost due to the excess nitrogen. But it is dangerous to use fresh manure. It most likely contains pathogens, helminths, and a lot of aggressive weed seeds.

Purchased EOs contain bacteria that help break down organics faster:

  1. "Tamir" - increases the nutritional value of the finished compost and reduces the period of maturation to two to three weeks. For the best effect, the solution is poured into a heap every 20 cm. It is prepared in a ratio of 1: 100, about 5 liters of solution are used per 1 m³.
  2. "BIOTEL-compost" is a safe and effective preparation for processing food and plant waste. A solution is made from the drug, which is poured into a heap. Processing a heap of 1 m³ will require 50 g of the drug.
  3. "Baikal EM" - contains strains of beneficial microorganisms for accelerated maturation of compost.
  4. "Shining" - at the stage of laying heaps, each layer of organic residues is sprinkled with it, and then watered. Or they make depressions in an already collected heap, fill up the "Shining" and pour water over it.

Sometimes, to reduce the cost of making fertilizers, in addition to EO preparations, drugs are used to cleanse septic tanks: "Doctor Robik", "Biosept", "Septifos" and others.

It can be useful:

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The best ways to weed potatoes

Can potatoes be washed before storing

Plant decomposition factors

Plant residues are decomposed in stages to form compost:

  1. 1st week - start of decomposition and fermentation. At this time, the temperature inside the heap reaches + 60 ... + 70 ° С.
  2. 2-3 weeks - the heat level drops significantly. There is an active gas formation and reproduction of fungi.
  3. 4th week - earthworms start to work. Their activity completes the process of humus formation.
  4. The decay of plants is complete when all processes are over and the temperature of the compost heap does not exceed room temperature.

When the mass became loose and free-flowing - the composition is ready for use.

Is it possible to put potato tops in a compost heap and how else to apply it on the site

Where else can you use potato tops

Potato tops are a valuable biological material. Application and disposal can be carried out in several ways: incineration, preparation of an insecticide, use as mulch.

Burn to fertilize

Potato growers unwilling to mess with compost can burn the tops. To do this, it is folded outside the garden, dried and set on fire.... The remains are collected and used as fertilizer.

Ash from tops - phosphorus-potassium fertilizercontaining other microelements useful for horticultural and horticultural crops: iron, manganese, molybdenum, boron. It is introduced into the soil in the fall.

Use as an insecticide

Potato tops have a high content of toxic substances - for example, solanine... An insecticidal infusion from it helps against aphids, cabbage whites, spider mites, flea beetles and caterpillars. The resulting product will be environmentally friendly, poisonous compounds will not be absorbed into fruits and vegetables during decomposition. Its manufacture is available to any gardener.

To prepare the solution, you will need 0.6 kg of fresh healthy tops or 0.4 kg of dried:

  1. Chopped greens are poured into 5 liters of water.
  2. Insist under the lid for 4 hours.
  3. Add 50 g of laundry soap to the strained solution.

Plants are processed in the evening, in calm dry weather, every 2-10 days, depending on the number of pests.

Lay under fruit bushes and trees

Potato tops are laid in a thick layer (6-10 cm) in the tree trunk circles, retreating 0.5 m from the trunk. This natural shelter will protect the root system of the tree from frost in winter, and in the spring the semi-decomposed mulch from the tops will help the soil quickly warm up.

Is it possible to put potato tops in a compost heap and how else to apply it on the site

Besides, tops prevents weeds from growing and repels pests, and after rotting, fertilizer is obtained. Potatoes have no common diseases with apples, plums and cherries. It is also used for mulching berry bushes: raspberries, currants, gooseberries.

Can rotten potatoes be put in compost?

Rotten foods, including potatoes, are compost-safe... They decompose well and become a nutritious fertilizer.

Raw potatoes

If the tubers have not been treated with herbicides and pesticides, then you can put them in compost... With proper composting, they will quickly overheat, especially if crushed or at least cut in half.

Important! The peculiarity of raw potatoes is that they can germinate in the nutrient medium of the compost heap. Pull these bushes out immediately, as there will be no harvest.

Tips & Tricks

Old, dried potato tops are excellent food for soil fungithat convert it into humus serve as the backbone of the food chain in the formation of a stable soil ecosystem.

The best place for potato tops is in the far corners of the garden... Stack the tops there every year for several years. Do not stir, make a regular compost heap, do not add kitchen scraps there.

After 3 years, the lower layers in this heap will turn into fertile soil that is healing for the roots.... When added to planting holes, it suppresses harmful fungi and diseases, protects the roots of fruit bushes and nourishes them perfectly. Especially recommended for currants.


The correct use of potato tops in a summer cottage excludes the possibility of contamination of plantings with late blight or other diseases.

Healthy tops can be placed in a compost heap, under fruit trees and bushes. Experienced gardeners prepare fertilizers and insecticidal infusions from this greenery.

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