Tomato diseases and composting

StacyLou Posts: 89 ✭✭
edited September 2018 in Composting & Soil Fertility
I know that you are not supposed to throw diseased plants into the compost pile. I wonder if you allow the compost to get very hot, if that will destroy the disease, but I cannot say with certainty. I just asked my husband, and he thought that under certain conditions, such as a bigger compost pile, the type of materials in the compost pile, etc. that it might be able to kill the disease.


  • Hassena
    Hassena Posts: 345 ✭✭✭


    Hi there, do you have a particular disease in mind?

    It's hard to say.

    Tobacco Wilt virus plants should not be composted. It should be put in bag and tossed.

    Powdery mildew-ed plants I compost, because it seems more seasonal. And it seems more susceptible to pants that are crowed and don't have good air flow.

    Good question.

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,131 ✭✭✭✭

    I've been concerned about powdery mildew. It does seem to be seasonal though. Maybe I'll just see what happens.

  • gardneto76
    gardneto76 Posts: 528 ✭✭✭✭

    Great question. I often ponder what plants I can compost.

  • karenjanicki
    karenjanicki Posts: 947 ✭✭✭✭

    I have heard that it's best to never compost a plant that has been affected by disease because the disease will live despite the heat in the compost pile and can still infect the plants the compost is used on. I would personally just discard or burn them.

  • Acequiamadre
    Acequiamadre Posts: 269 ✭✭✭
  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,827 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Tomatoes and potatoes are so disease prone that I never compost the plants, even if they don't show signs of disease. I pull them and toss them in the woods.

    If you don't have a place on your property to dump plant material that you don't want to recycle back into the garden, you could throw them in the trash can, or create a separate "compost" pile that allows them to decompose, but never gets put back into the garden.