Do you have bad soil? Try Mushroom Compost!


When it comes to gardening having the right soil makes the difference between a good growing season or a bad one. I have found the addition of mushroom compost makes all the difference for our vegetable gardens. Our soil consists mainly of heavy clay, making water filtration very difficult. You may think, due to the name that it’s made of mushrooms, but it’s not. Although the recipe changes slightly between mushroom growers it can consist of the following; hay, straw, corn cobs, hulls, poultry manure, horse manure, cow manure, gypsum, peat moss, lime, soybean meal, cottonseed, spent brewers grain, potash, lime, and ammonium nitrate. What you are purchasing is the organic matter that is left after the mushroom farmers grow and harvest their mushrooms. While the mushrooms use some of the nutrients out of the compost, they also leave behind mushroom spores into the mixture, further improving the compost's nutrients.

So, what is the composting process?

Mushroom compost mixed with soil

Pure mushroom compost

It’s actually a very in-depth process taking months to complete. All the desired elements are placed into a pile, water is added, and the pile is turned daily for at least two weeks. It then sits for another few weeks turning into a rich chocolate brown material. The third step is pasteurization, which kills off all bacteria and weed seeds. Creating a perfectly clean material. The mushroom spores are then introduced, only further improving the compost. The compost slowly breaks down becoming more soil like. After the mushrooms are harvested the compost is either bagged or hulled away in large truck loads.

How is it used?

Compost and Soil

Compost once mixed 

6/18/2018 7:43:38 PM

I get bulk mushroom compost here in northern California. I love it. One year the sand and gravel company added fresh horse manure without telling me. I didn't learn of it until I got home. One of my beds was rendered useless for half a year while it all broke down. But it works well here and I will continue to use it.

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