Stuff growing from homemade compost, is this normal?

(10 Posts)

We have 2 big compost bins (the black plastic sort from council), which we use for composting fruit/veg kitchen waste and some stuff from the garden (though I put weeds in the council garden waste bin, as I don't trust them not to come back from our compost!).

We do leave it quite a long time before using the compost. But lately I have noticed several random things sprouting round the garden which I think must have come from composted stuff - several tomato plants, I think also potatoes and maybe more, all in places where we used the compost from the bins. Also we have occasionally had potatoes trying to grow while still in the compost bin (sprouty things growing up or peeking out of the flap at the bottom)!

So I just wanted to know, is this normal or are we doing something wrong? Do we need to leave it even longer or something? Or should we be more careful about what we put in there? Thanks!

Talkinpeace Fri 15-Nov-13 18:19:13

commercial composts are sterilised
home compost is not
yup, the fun of identifying random weeds in strange places

bumperella Fri 15-Nov-13 21:15:56

Normal from home post, sadly. Just as talkinpeace said above. You can prevent it by making sure the compost rots at a higher temperature. Do this by turning the heap often, to get lots of air into it, this will make it rot faster and thereby raise the temperature; do it enough and it'll get hot enough to kill seeds etc.

Ahh so that is the secret, thank you! Will try that on the one that's "brewing" at the moment, and hope for no more surprises. (There are actual tomatoes growing on the plant in the middle of my border, though they'll obviously never get ripe now!).

It will also settle my argument with DH about whether it's OK to put weeds in there - I win grin

Talkinpeace Fri 15-Nov-13 21:30:54

I really cheat : we put all meat waste on our heap so it has resident rats : therefore no seeds survive!
But we have to let the compost "season" for three months away from food crops to prevent vails disease
has never been a big hassle tbh
and it means that our bins are clean and dry because anything that will rot (from flour packets to chicken carcasses) goes in the heap.

Minimammoth Fri 15-Nov-13 21:32:39

I had a lovely crop of cherry tomatoes last year from bought peat free. Also nicely vigorous avocados. Alas they did not survive the frost.

Damnautocorrect Fri 15-Nov-13 21:35:10

I'd bet a fiver it's a potato

shock at Minimammoth! Avocados beats mine! Just put loads of bought stuff in a bed where I was planting bulbs, so will have to see what comes up there...

Shruti04 Wed 20-Nov-13 11:08:23

Hi all, it is quite obvious. You are going good in this. It is normal but you should take care more about growing of that plants.

loraflora Thu 28-Nov-13 17:24:00

If you compost potato peelings you will end up with plants. Also I've had tomato seeds sprouting in compost regularly after being careless about the seeds. Never peppers though, considering I never bother to deseed the cores before composting. I guess they don't germinate as easily.

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