What Is Mushroom Compost ?

Mushroom compost is made from by-products of mushroom farming.

It is rich organic compost that is available from most nurseries.

Mushroom compost contains an average of 25 percent organic matter and 58 percent moisture on a wet volume basis. Mushroom compost contains an average of 1.12 percent nitrogen.

- 0.67 percent phosphate (phosphorous)

- 1.24 percent potash (potassium),

-as well as other plant nutrients such as calcium (2.29 percent)

- Magnesium (0.35 percent)

- iron (1.07 percent).

The average pH of mushroom compost is 6.6 (6.0 to 7.0 is an ideal range for most plants).

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Mushrooms Are Grown In A Medium

The growth media used to grow mushrooms is a mixture of peat moss, hay, cottonseed hulls, straw from horse stables, ground up corn cobs; chook shed litter, cocoa shells and other natural organic substances.

These products are formed into a rich organic media that serves as the nutrient source for mushrooms.

After the mushroom crop is harvested, this organic material is removed from the production house, where it is processed into a consistent homogeneous by-product called “mushroom compost.”

How does compost improve the soil?

In general, good, organic compost, if used properly, can improve plant growth in poor or marginal soils.

This is because compost amended into those soils will improve the structure of clay soils, reduce surface crusting and compaction and therefore improve drainage, increase beneficial soil microbial activity, and provide nutrients to plants which can reduce the need for fertilizer.

Overall, compost can be very beneficial to the soil, and mushroom compost is no exception.

Mushroom Compost Typically Resembles Dark Topsoil

The visual appearance of a good quality, thoroughly processed mushroom compost typically resembles dark topsoil, has a loose crumbly structure, and has an “earthy” aroma.

Where uniform application and good mixing with soil is required, this amount of organic matter and moisture in mushroom compost is ideal for handling and making surface applications or incorporating into the soil.

The amount of carbon relative to nitrogen is an important indicator of nitrogen availability for plant growth, and an ideal compost should have a ratio of 30:1 or lower.

Mushroom compost has an excellent 13:1 ratio, indicating outstanding nutrient availability and mature and stable organic compost.

Benefits of Mushroom compost

- Mushroom Compost has high water and nutrient holding capacity and exhibits no nitrogen draw down problems.

- As a fertilizer and soil amendment for farming, Mushroom Compost supports plant growth in a variety of plant applications such as corn, pumpkin, tomato and potato yields.

- Mushroom Compost supports plant growth of mulch hays from orchard grass, timothy, reed canary grass, tall fescue and brome grass.

- As a fertilizer and soil amendment for lawn care and landscaping, Mushroom Compost supports plant growth and inhibits artillery fungus.

What About Weeds ?

Prior to removing the compost from a mushroom production house, the entire inside of the house is steam-treated (i.e., pasteurized) to eliminate any pests, pathogens or weed seeds.

In the past, lawn and garden centres often advertised “mushroom soil,” which essentially had been sitting outside in a pile for one or two years and had accumulated air-borne weed seeds (such as lambsquaters and velvetleaf).

Then, when this compost was tilled into a garden, those weed seeds would emerge with a vengeance.

Again, insist on uniform and quality mushroom compost that has been pasteurized, processed, and properly stored to ensure no contamination from weed seeds.

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