Mushroom compost has become a very popular soil conditioner and mulch in recent years. It is widely available for sale in 25 ltr bags and also in bulk from some suppliers. So what exactly is it and how do you use it in the vegetable garden or as a mulch?
What is Mushroom Compost.
Mushroom compost is the spent growing medium from mushroom farms and is sold by the bag as well as in bulk. Basically it can be a combination of a range of mushroom growing mediums from coir peat to hay.
This ‘waste’ material is put through a mixing machine and bagged and this is what the gardener buys. If you are considering using it in the garden just be aware that although it does have many benefits it needs to be used correctly, simply pouring 3 or 4 bags onto a small vegetable patch may cause more problems than benefits.
Generally speaking this is a weed free medium when sold in bags. It is a good idea to check the pH of mushroom compost, as it can be high, many plants do not like this as it makes the soil to alkaline. However when used as a part of general soil amendment and mixed with other compost and materials this can be rectified.
Overuse can cause yellowing of the foliage, chlorosis induced by lime, most fruit trees are not suited to mushroom compost.
Acid loving plants are not suited to the general pH of mushroom compost, so avoid to using it around azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons. Many Australian native plants are also acid loving so be aware of plant requirements, as with any soil additive or fertilizer
This is a product that is promoted as having a number of benefits, these being water retentive, an excellent mulch, providing nutrients, helping with water retention and helping to improve soil structure all true to different extents, however if you overdo it remember the pH factor.
It is also important to ‘know your product’. Spent mushroom compost if different to ‘new’ or unused mushroom compost, and both are sold.
And then we come to chemicals, many Mushroom farms use chemical sprays to to control Flies, Gnats and fungal diseases, so not all Mushroom compost is chemical free, look for certification.
Buying Mushroom Compost.
You can buy online, however you will need to pay for delivery unless you are buying in bulk. For most gardeners 25 ltr bags are more convenient.
Where to use Mushroom Compost.
Generally this is a compost that is best used on the vegetable garden. It is especially suited for use with the Brassicas, plants such as Kale, Cauliflowers, Cabbages and Brussels sprouts
Do not use around acid loving plants, these include Camellias, Rhododendrons and Azaleas.
The rules for using mushroom compost are the same as for any soil amendment product
- Know what you are putting in the soil
- Incorporate it into the soil, dig in well in small amounts.
- Be aware of pH
- Be aware of NKP
- Overuse can cause problems
Where to Buy Mushroom Compost
In Brisbane Try
473 Miles Platting Rd Rochedale Brisbane 4123
Specializing in fruit trees, including apple trees, citrus, avocado, mango, olive, macadamia, lychee, pawpaw and others. Also herbs and edibles.
300 Oxley Drive Coombabah QLD 4216
Located on the north end of the Gold Coast at Runaway Bay. The 6 acre site is home to Queensland's biggest & best garden centre. Selling in volume direct to the public. Focus on top quality both in our plant & pot ranges.
In Melbourne Try local suppliers
Upper GullyMarket Burwood Highway Upper Ferntree Gully