View Full Version : Mushroom Compost - Is Mushroom Compost Good for Veggies
11-12-2003, 08:50 PM
I intend to buy some compost to give my first vegetable gardens at my new place a kick along (probably need a couple of cubic metres to start with). Can't stand to wait for my compost heaps to mature or for a season of green manuring before starting my first beds.
I had been thinking of getting in some natura mulch (which is a very fine, partly composted forrest product) but am also considerring mushrooms compost. At this time of year there is always plenty of mushroom compost for purchase from landscape suppliers around Brisbane (where I live).
I know mushroom compost is not meant to be good for natives (can't remember why) but is it OK for vegetable gardens. Are there problems with pathogens and does the compost provide the right nutrients??
Any comments from experience or general knowledge would be appreciated.
Mushie compost has aix of manures and straw or other nitrogen rich material, so is a good thing to mix into the ground to add organic matter.
It's well aged so doesn't burn roots.
Here in the sand organic matter is needed more than anything (except water, of course!). I don't know about in clay- I guess you would mix some in but not let it get waterlogged but it would still improve its structure.
Any fungicides that are added to prevent non-commercial mushrooms growing will probably break down pretty readily as the mushie compost undergoes a last heating in piles once cleared from the factory.
VB, I've been using mushie compost for a couple of years in the vege garden. It's contributed to turning crap soil into quite OK stuff. I'm pretty sure it's alkaline. Jackie French calls it 'lovely stuff' and says it's a good soil conditioner and feeder. Go for it.
15-12-2003, 12:26 PM
You may find a mushroom grower near you where you can source it cheaper than through a landscaper. I sourced mine from a mushroom farm at Rochedale on the south side for $2 a large bag. This is about a quarter to half the price you can get it for from the landscaper per meter.(something to consider!)
Then you can ask them what chemicals or sprays they use also. My organics teacher didn't have a problem with using it but did recommend to stay away from the bagged stuff they sell in garden nurseries.
Something a bit unrelated to your question.... i bought a mushroom kit and am having a bit of success growing my own. I may do it on a larger scale if things keep going well as i have the right conditions to grow them. This way i know its all organic! :)
17-12-2003, 07:12 AM
Identifying what chemicals have been used on the compost is certainly desirable and is always suggested when authors talk about mushroom compost. As for price I'm not sure what will be most economical. I had previously contacted a mushroom farm on the northside (closer to me than Rochedale) and identified that they only sell the compost bagged but they advised they were happy to match or beat the landscape places for their cubic metre type price. Problem from my view point is its quite difficult to identify the equivalent bag to cubic metre rate (bags not being a squareish shape so as to facilitate easy calculation). Will check it out further. I can get mushroom compost from a nearby landscape supplier for $22 per half cubic metre - or a bit cheaper for a full cubic metre. When buying my potting mix in bulk for potting out (half cubic metre in my trailer) and then storing in large feed type bags for future use I found that the stuff filled a lot of bags and am therefore a bit doubtful as to the economics of buying by the bag. I think I will try and find out where the landscape supplies joint sources their compost so I can ask about chemicals.
17-12-2003, 10:50 AM
I would ask them (the mushroom farm) to sell you a cubic metre for $20 (or less). It's about the price they would sell to the landscaper if not cheaper. I guess its a matter of how much you wish to pay, i find it good to have a personal relationship with the ppl i source things i am interested in that way they will know they will get a repeat customer.
When i asked my local landscaper about whats in their compost they were very reluctant to tell you where they source it from.... cos they know how much cheaper you can get it directly ???
But at the end of the day.... i just dont like to pay full price if i dont have to :p After speaking to a few locals here i found a couple of good places to source cow and chook manure where the owners are happy for ppl to come and take it off their hands for a small price.
Good luck and let us know how you get on.
08-06-2006, 05:53 PM
I went to my local sand/soil place the other day and i filled 10 bags of mushy compost, went in to pay the guy and he said don't worry about it!
was well worth the work filling them bags.
anyways, i made a new raised bed, layered the base with straw and filled it with the compost, will mushy compost be ok as the only thing?
I have lettuce seeds in, it won't grow mushrooms will it?
oh and i have one of them mushroom kits too, wow such big beautiful mushies growing everywhere! much tastier than store bought ones and they are real solid and bigger compared to normal ones.
08-06-2006, 06:22 PM
was it fresh from the farm or partially composted? either way it will work.
look at my site on my building a garden page, or come look at my lates project at the blog section of http://ausgarden.com/.
08-06-2006, 06:30 PM
Had never considered mushroom compost before. No mushrooms grown here.
With the rapid development of the mushroom industry, used mushroom compost has become a good source of organic manure in Taiwan in recent years. Such compost consists mainly of sawdust (Fig. 6) and added with materials such as limestone and rice bran. Used mushroom compost has low potassium content as a result of leaching losses during mushroom culture, but the phosphorus, calcium, and C:N ratio and organic matter contents remain high (Table 10 and Fig. 7). Also, used mushroom compost has a high fibrous material content which improves soil physical properties and biological activity. However, the remnant mycelia in these materials may sometimes have a harmful effect on the roots of some crops. Therefore, it is recommended that used mushroom compost should be combined with a proper amount of high-nitrogen manure such as swine or poultry manure or oil extraction residues and be well fermented to kill the mycelia, before applying to the soil (Fig. 8).
here is the URL with live links to tables attached, should be a reasonable guide. http://www.agnet.org/library/article/bc53004.html
08-06-2006, 06:44 PM
Yeah it was partially composted, did have some whole mushies in it
and the fibrous stuff had a white frosty look, i'd say 70% broken down and the rest almost edible :)
oh i see, floot, so it should of been toned down with something else.
oh well, it's only a packet of lettuce seeds in it so i'll just see how it goes.
worst it will do is not grow hey :)
I did sprinkle a little seed raising mix on top over the seeds, but that prolly won't help.
well by spring i should have a decent pile of chook poo so i'll mix some in along with some good topsoil. I'm gonna be growing capsicums in it in summer.
My next bed will be better, i have another new one with broad beens in tyres at the moment, which will be removed and raised, I'm just using redgum 50x200 boards which i find easy to put up.
13-06-2006, 12:47 PM
I love mushroom compost!
We put 100 bags of the stuff on our garden this year and it seems to have done wonders for the produce. I've especially noticed strawberries love it?!!!! I'm still a 'beginner gardener', so i don't know much about why it works - it just does!
13-06-2006, 02:37 PM
You can always put it through your compost systems or worm farms to stretch it further too. Provided it is chem free that is.
13-06-2006, 02:42 PM
I dunno about tone down, it appears to be rather neutral. Sounds like a great soil conditioner. The lettuce should be fine, they may need a foliar spray or two.
13-10-2006, 05:03 PM
well the mushroom compost is going great, the lettuce and strawberries are thriving in it and so is the new sunflowers.
The bed has also stayed high, i expected it to drop a bit with it just being compost but it's working well and feels real nice and loose, used to buy garden mix soils for new beds, think i'll just use straight compost now.
20-10-2006, 09:41 AM
I've used mushroom compost for years, and it's my absolute favorite. It's one of the best mediums used 50/50 with native soil for starting seeds, no damping off, no soil diseases....I love the stuff. :D
03-11-2010, 03:36 PM
I'm new but am looking for a place to buy mushroom compost to start our veggie patch - where do you get it. We are in Bangalow near byron NSW Australia
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