Knowledge from Olle Garden Bed: What Is Mushroom Compost Is It Good for Gardening?

There are many different fertilizer options, each with its own use.One option is mushroom fertilizer. Over the years, the use of mushroom fertilizer in the garden has begun to increase. The following content also has some reference value for raised garden beds.

But what is mushroom compost and how do you use it in your garden?

What is mushroom compost for gardening?

Mushroom compost is not actually made from mushrooms.

On the contrary, it is a special compost fertilizer, which can be used for growing mushrooms and gardening

Note: mushroom compost is not fresh

When you pick up a bag of mushroom fertilizer, it is usually not fresh.

Instead, you are buying used soil left over from the mushroom industry.

Fresh mushroom fertilizer is too effective for most plants, because fungi usually grow on decomposed materials.

In essence, mushrooms rely on the nutrients in the soil to make up for the lack of chlorophyll, and in this process, they decompose special fertilizer mixtures into appropriate compost.

The compost is rich in organic matter and is one of the fertilizers closest to the natural forest soil.

raised garden bed

What is mushroom fat made of?

The exact composition of mushroom fertilizer varies from farmer to farmer.

However, in general, most mushroom compost is made from the following ingredients:

Chopped straw (especially rye)
Various high nitrogen compounds
Horse manure or poultry manure
Other common ingredients include:
ammonium nitrate
Rapeseed meal
Corn Cob
Cottonseed meal
Grape solids (by-products of wine making)
Potassium carbonate
Soybean meal
Used horse bedding


Regardless of the individual ingredients, the resulting mixture can provide all the nutrients required for mushrooms.

At the same time, mushrooms help in the composting process, during which the composting soil reaches high temperature. This means that the resulting soil naturally contains no seeds and pathogens.

What are the benefits of mushroom compost?

Mushroom compost has a high organic content and can be used as an improver in garden environment. Depending on the formulation, the NPK of the compost is 1-0.2-1.3, although the nitrogen content may be as high as 2%.

Composting can improve the overall quality of clay and supplement other soils over time.

It improves the soil water capacity and invites a large number of beneficial microbial life.

In addition, organic materials are unstable, making your plants easier to process.

This attracts earthworms, which help aerate the soil and further decompose the compost.

When used as a cover, it keeps plants warm and feeds them.

Finally, it is a slow release fertilizer with naturally high calcium content.

raised garden bed

Disadvantages of mushroom compost

Before using mushroom compost in the garden, it must be aged for at least 2 years.

Most of the compost purchased in the store has aged, but if you plan to make it yourself, this is something you must not forget.

In addition, you cannot use this compost with any salt sensitive plants, such as azalea, blueberry, camellia and azalea.

Because of its high organic property, mushroom compost will interfere with drainage, leading to a higher risk of fungal infection or decay of water sensitive plants.

In fact, no matter how well the soil below is drained, the use of this compost as top dressing will usually produce moist soil, which means that special attention must be paid to the selection of application methods suitable for the needs of a given plant.

Avoid using mushroom fertilizer directly on seedlings and other seedlings, because the combination of ammonia and salt can easily kill immature plants.

Strangely, despite the high organic content, mushroom compost can often be alkaline, especially if chalk is an ingredient.

If you are not sure, be sure to test the pH of the compost and make compensation as needed to ensure the final pH that your plant can tolerate.

Finally, please remember that mushroom compost is usually sterile when purchased (unless indicated on the package), which means that it will attract microbial life, but will not carry any microorganisms outside the bag.

You must introduce beneficial nematodes and other life forms by adding them to fertilizer or by adding colonies that already exist in the soil.

raised garden bed

Mushroom compost tea: the safest way

Making compost tea is probably the safest way to apply mushroom fertilizer because it dilutes the compost and helps it absorb more easily into the ground.

Just mix 1 part of compost with 4 parts of water and spray it like any other liquid fertilizer.

Dilution also helps prevent plants from getting large doses of salt at once.

Improving soil with mushroom compost

As we mentioned earlier, mushroom compost may be harmful to seedlings.

However, if you thoroughly mix the compost into the garden soil before planting, this risk can be greatly reduced.

Many gardeners like to improve the soil in winter, which can not only partially decompose the compost, but also reduce the water retention when the planting season comes.

To modify potted plants, you need to mix 1 portion of compost with 3 portions of soil.

However, you should usually mix 3 inches into the top 6 inches of garden soil.

Use mushroom compost as mulch or topdressing

Care should be taken when using mushroom compost as top dressing, but if done well, it can be very effective.

Sprinkle a thin layer of clothes on the lawn to gently increase the grass.

To dress your garden, you need to squat down and dirty it.

Add 1 to 2 inches around each plant, leaving a gap between the stem and the compost to reduce the risk of damage.

The rainwater will slowly dissolve the compost, and the compost will also become a barrier for weeds.

Can I make mushroom compost myself?

This is a somewhat complicated process, but it is possible to make mushroom compost at home (with or without mushrooms).

raised garden bed

A more basic recipe is as follows:

Soak 5 bales of straw in water and let them drain for 24 hours.

Take the straw to the composting area and spread out a bag.

Put 21/4 pounds of gypsum and 77 pounds of horse (or poultry) dung on the straw.

Repeat until you pass through all the straw.

Allow the compost to reach an internal temperature of at least 160 ° F for several consecutive days. Be sure to occasionally turn the compost so that the external material will spend time in the middle of the pile and get wet as needed.

Once the compost surface is no longer warm (usually after a few weeks), divide some into smaller piles.

The second pile is used for aging, which still needs to be kept wet, but does not need to be rotated.

When the second pile is aged for several weeks and becomes dark and rich, it has become a slightly richer version of waste mushroom compost.

Please note that you need to scale down this formula for small-scale use, and you can add other materials to achieve specific nutritional goals.