Adding potato scraps like sweet potato peels or vines to your backyard compost pile provides multiple gardening benefits. As nitrogen-rich additions, potato wastes help balance carbon materials and speed up decomposition. Their high moisture content also aids breaking down dry leaves and yard waste.
This article covers everything you need to know about composting sweet potatoes, from preparation to using the finished compost.
Chopping up potato waste helps the pieces decompose faster. We recommend:
Remove any toothpicks, foil or plastic before adding potato scraps to the compost.
Mix prepped potato pieces throughout your compost instead of in one area to encourage even breakdown. Bury them under 10-12 inches of yard waste to prevent odors and pests. Layering green and brown materials is ideal.
Monitor moisture, turning weekly. Potatoes tend to dry out compost piles. Frequent turning provides necessary aeration as well.
Sweet potato skins and cooked flesh compost rapidly, in 1-4 weeks. However, whole potatoes take 2-3 months to fully decompose. Cold weather can increase these timeframes.
You'll know when the potato compost is finished when no original waste is visible. Mature compost is dark, moist and crumbly, with an earthy scent.
The rich nutrients potato waste contributes makes this compost wonderful for gardens and flower beds. It serves as an organic fertilizer plants thrive on.
Before spreading compost, check nitrogen levels, as high amounts can burn plant roots. Mixing with aged manure compost prevents nitrogen toxicity.
Can raw potato peelings be composted?
Yes, potato skins add beneficial nitrogen and carbon. Chop them up to quicken decomposition. Bury them under layers of yard waste to prevent odors.
Do potato sprouts and vines compost well?
Yes, potato vines and sprouts break down easily in compost piles. Cut up sprouted tubers before adding to speed up rotting. Monitor moisture and turn regularly.
Composting potato waste boosts your garden's health. Follow these tips for safely and effectively composting sweet potato scraps.