If you have just successfully grown potatoes in bags/pots/containers then firstly, congratulations I hope you enjoy your homegrown spuds, second, you will want to know what to do with all that compost.
If you throw it away then those potatoes start to get really expensive, but worry not, there are a tonne of useful jobs that used compost can now do.
There are some crops that you will be able to put straight into the compost as soon as the potatoes are out. Carrots and turnips are two really common vegetables to plant straight after potatoes.
Potato bags/pots make ideal homes for other root crops like carrots and turnips and they can also be planted in autumn when you are usually harvesting your potatoes.
One thing you don’t want to plant in an ideal world is more potatoes in the same soil, particularly if your old ones started to suffer from blight.
The fungus that causes potato blight will still be in the compost and there is a really good chance it will infect your new potato plants.
Another great crop to plant in your old potato compost is different salad leaves. Most salad leaves don’t need too much nutrition so they will happily grow in the old compost.
Throwing the used compost onto your compost heap, if you have one, is a great way to reuse it. The compost will be reinvigorated as it mingles with all of the other decaying matter on the heap.
The old compost will mix in with the new compost being created on the heap and will be ready to use again next year.
If your potatoes did suffer from blight then I suggest you don’t do this as you could spread the spores all over your garden!
Put In On Your Beds
You can also spread the compost out onto your garden beds to work as a mulch or soil improver.
Just chuck it on and rake it out and that will be job done. While it will have had a lot of the nutrition taken out of it by the potatoes this compost will still work really well as a mulch.
Due to the light and airy nature of compost, it will also work well as a soil texture improver when spread across the top of a bed.
Mix In Food Scraps
If you want to quickly reinvigorate the compost to use again then one great way to do this is to bury some food scraps in it.
Food scraps provide a lot of nutrition and when mixed into compost they also break down really quickly. Just spread your spent compost out on a garden bed and then mix in some food scraps.
The more shredded or cut-up the food scraps are the quicker they will break down as there will be a larger surface area in contact with the soil.
Reinvigorate With Grass Clippings
Potatoes are well known for taking nitrogen out of the soil, so if we are trying to bring old potato compost back up to scratch then we need to try and increase the nitrogen level in the soil.
One really easy way to do this if you have a lawn is to use grass clippings as a mulch. Grass clippings are full of nitrogen and also break down really quickly.
You can layer them on top of the compost as a mulch and let them break down, which will also keep weed growth down.
Or alternatively, you can mix them into the compost, they will break down quicker this way but you won’t get the advantage of having a mulch layer on top of your compost.
Don’t do this if you use weedkillers or other chemicals on your lawn as you will end up doing more harm than good!