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My Christmas potatoes got blight so have been disposed off fairly quickly.

I grow them in very large pots and bags,. This means I have a large amount of compost that I begrudge throwing away.

Can I use it in the garden, say to re-plant raspberries with.and improve soil for plant growing or is it best to get rid of it?


It will be fine to use as a mulch, except on potatoes or tomatoes or related plants.


Thanks, that's what somone else said as well but was looking for a number of opinions to make sure i get it right

Are raspberries related?


Certainly re-use as a mulch. I always check for vine weevils and other pests first as you do not want to give them fresh food!


Thanks both 



Hey matty, beleive the expert, he does know 


Raspberries are in no way related to pots or Tom's. Mulch will be good for raspberries.

problem is this year have no idea what is actually in the compost - the rumours I am hearing is that next year's crop of compost from the major producers is going to be a lot better than the last two years as the peat stock has been replenished. I have had some bad batches of compost this year which were not even worth using in the first place, let alone re-using. I would suggest for keen gardeners to beware of very cheap compost, or special offers over the next few months, even into early spring, until the new mixes hit the retail market.


I agree the compost has been dreadfull. I checked most of them and the highest

I could find was 40% peat. I hope you are right about next year.



Last year, because I had newly filled raised beds with new compost, my carrots were a disaster. All tops and no trousers.  This year I upended all my used potato bag compost into one of the beds, sowed a packet of carrots into it and, result, lovely edible carrots so I'll definitely do the same next year.  Oh, and because I had more used compost than carrots I also sowed fennel and that, too, has thrived but since I've never grown it before I don't know if it was better or worse for being in less rich soil.

how do you guys grow carrots btw? I had literally none worth eating last year and this. i'm very new to gardening and only fleeced one row of carrots but neither row did anything and what did grow were distorted and diseased. only success were chilis and runner beans


at this time of year , you could always use the compost to plant up containers of spring bulbs. These don't need a lot of nutrients, so they won't mind that the compost has been used before. You can plant tulips right up until December and many shops have discounted their remaining bulbs to clear them.

I've had this problem too.

I grow everything in my garden, in containers and thought it was about time to change it all after three to four years usage. I phoned up my local council for advice and they told advised me to put it into my brown bin (compostable material) and to spread it out over several collections, because it will be re-compostable at their unit.  This includes all the compost from my potatoes and tomoatoes and I don't like to use it again due to the risk of blight, etc.

As a reply to Matt, and to Fannyadams: I put all my old compost from patio pots etc into an old barrel and grew the best carrots that I have ever done.  They like a fine growing medium that they can penetrate easily, and the top of the barrel is too high for carrot root fly.

Stokkers is fortunate that his council will take the compost. I put out some compost from tomatoes which had developed blight. I thought that it was best not to reuse it myself. The council refused to empty my GARDEN WASTE bag and put a notice on it saying that it was contaminated with SOIL! 



I've never had peat compost so what is the benefit in having it ??


Diane - it's mental isn't it!

James - peat is reckoned to be the best growing medium, but because of the issues surrounding it's use,  the peat free stuff is now the most widely used. We had a thread on here earlier this year though, and many people had issues with the quality of most of the peat free stuff available.


I remember a TV doc on farming Peat once. all I can say is bloody hell.

they were digging about 3m deep at one go and this peat field must have been well as far as the eye could see I think the machines were removing 4 or 5 tons minute 365 days of the year 


Used compost is great for mulching the garden to improve the soil, spores from blight don't live in soil, only on living plants, so you can reuse it. It's good for winter salads in the greenhouse or for pots of bulbs, they have their own food store. Carrots will do well too, or use it in the spring to make seedbeds for new plants in the garden.i use old compost in the bottom of. Pots,with new stuff in thetop6 inches.


No expert

Clueless take it from me you don't harvest peat from a bog 365.

Bord na Mona the largest peat producer in Ireland had harvested 160% of it's annual requirement by mid summer 2013. All the temp staff were laid off early to boot.

As for the future the supply will run out as no new bogs are being laid down that will come to production soon. Peat bogs take millinea to grow.

We will have to get used to the other stuff soon but like everything else it will improve and we will learn how to use it better.

Happy gardening, peat free or not!