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Mushroom Compost Questions

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Mushroom Compost Questions

Post  llama momma on 2/4/2012, 6:53 am

Question:  
1- Is $4.00/bag a good price?
2- Does it get mixed into the compost at a 1/5 ratio? Don't think Mel's book mentions it at all.  
   Yesterday came across mushroom compost in clear plastic bags a good 3 ft. long and a good 1 ft thick. It was black and looked very moist.  The farmer has offered pallets of this stuff since last summer.  The farm stand was closed and still selling it on the honor system. The set up was pretty quaint - put your money in a metal box on the table and take the stuff.


Last edited by camprn on 3/24/2014, 9:35 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : corrected title)

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Re: Mushroom Compost Questions

Post  newstart on 2/4/2012, 8:10 am

To me that looks like a good price. I m sure someone else can chim in on the price. I think If you laready have mel's mix that it would or maybe a litle at each plant ?

would love to hear what others think

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That's a large bag

Post  tomperrin on 2/4/2012, 8:11 am

Two years ago, a standard commercial bag of mushroom compost was $2.00 a bag by us. So $4.00 a bag for a bag 1 ft thick sounds pretty good. Paid $3.28 a standard bag at Walmart for compost yesterday. Just don't know exact size or weight. Mushroom compost is by all accounts a superior product.

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Sure

Post  CharlesB on 2/4/2012, 8:54 am

Yes and Yes.

Seems to be available, I mixed some in to my new boxes yesterday.

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Re: Mushroom Compost Questions

Post  littlejo on 2/4/2012, 9:29 am

I spoke to a guy at the nursery and mushroom compost, when made, has added nutrients, which some are used growing mushrooms, but lots are left over. Very good for veggies. It's 6.50 for 1.5 cu. ft in down here.

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Re: Mushroom Compost Questions

Post  llama momma on 2/4/2012, 9:57 am

I think mushroom compost is made from horse manure and straw, etc. so I don't need to throw it back into the compost heap(?) to compost again(?)... so I'm thinking I could store it in containers and mix in a little when I replenish a square with finished
compost(?) Does this sound right?

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No need to recompost mushroom compost

Post  tomperrin on 2/4/2012, 10:11 am

Last year I mixed the mushroom compost in with my other composts. No need to recompost. It arrives very dense, and, I think, serves us much better when it is incorporated into Mel's Mix. If I were going to put it on top of Mel's Mix, i.e. season 2,I would cut it with another compost and maybe some peat moss just to make it more friable.

It also makes great compost tea.

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Re: Mushroom Compost Questions

Post  camprn on 2/4/2012, 10:15 am

It is my understanding that mushroom compost is a good ingredient for the 5 way compost, though because of nutritional inconsistancies I am not sure it would have a lot of nutrition in itself to be relied upon exclusively to replenish the nutrition in the previously used square. If added to your compost then put into the garden it would certainly add to the tilth of the Mix. What a Face
From Wikipedia: Spent mushroom compost

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Mushroom compost

Post  tomperrin on 2/4/2012, 10:23 am

The word of mouth on this product here in Central NJ is consistently wonderful. My supplier tells me that he has a customer who picks up a dump truck load and takes it to his place in North Carolina every year. I also understand that Miracle Gro has tied up a significant amount of the production for their own products, making it difficult to locate. I question that it would have any less nutrients than any other compost given that it's primary ingredient is horse manure. But I don't have the means to provide tests of the product.

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Re: Mushroom Compost Questions

Post  walshevak on 2/4/2012, 10:55 am

Black Kow company also markets mushroom compost.

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Re: Mushroom Compost Questions

Post  yolos on 2/4/2012, 11:41 am

I was shopping around for prices yesterday to see what is out there. Here are the prices I found for mushroom compost.

$ 5.99 for 1 cu ft from EB Stone at a local nursery.

$ 6.99 for 40 lbs from a local organic farm.

$ 5.42 for 40 lbs (Black Velvet brand) from Lowes.

$ 3.97 for 40 lbs from Home Depot.

I do not know why there is such a large price difference between Lowes and Home Depot for the same size. I would suspect it is the brand and contents of the bag.

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Re: Mushroom Compost Questions

Post  Furbalsmom on 2/4/2012, 12:57 pm

@llama momma wrote:Question:
1- Is $4.00/bag a good price?
2- Does it get mixed into the compost at a 1/5 ratio? Don't think Mel's book mentions it at all



$4.00 for approximately 2 to 3 Cu Ft sounds like a great price.

Actually, Mel does show mushroom compost as a potential single type for your five type blend. See page 91 of ANSFG, the first picture shows PennGro Organic Mushroom Compost.

I would try my best to measure out my various blend ingredients and not use more than 1/5th of any type of compost in my blend.

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HD vs Lowes

Post  tomperrin on 2/4/2012, 1:10 pm

Home Depot is competing aggressively against Lowes. Even with either a card discount or a military discount, it pays to comparison shop.

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Re: Mushroom Compost Questions

Post  RoOsTeR on 2/4/2012, 1:20 pm

I used a mushroom compost purchased at Home Depot as one of my 5 compost blends. Remember, when purchasing composts check the ingredients. Lots of them do have peat listed as an ingredient... this has the potential of throwing off your 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 Wink

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Re: Mushroom Compost Questions

Post  llama momma on 2/4/2012, 1:33 pm

[quote="Furbalsmom"......Actually, Mel does show mushroom compost as a potential single type for your five type blend. See page 91 of ANSFG, the first picture shows PennGro Organic Mushroom Compost.

Thanks, You are right, I see the picture. I was looking at the Detatiled List of Ingredients on page 96, where it isn't listed.

So now I have spent the better part of the morning reading up on mushroom compost. So far I found that yes the available nutrients and trace elements can vary. Yes, it may be treated with fungicides that mushrooms are susceptible to. Yes, it may also be treated with certain insecticides too. One source said if the mushroom grower is not organic certified than you can assume the mushroom compost has been treated with chemicals. Yes it is typically high in salts from calcium, magnesium and something else, and should not be added every year. Elsewhere people say rain washes out the salts.
Bottom line? For my comfort level I think I'll purchase some, not for my veggies but to mix with my finished home made compost for the flower beds and around trees instead.
Thanks everybody I really appreciate all the input.

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Re: Mushroom Compost Questions

Post  boffer on 2/4/2012, 2:02 pm

To emphasize NR's point: if you buy a compost mixture, the cheapest ingredient may make up the majority of the fill. You get what you pay for. As I recall, nobody on the forum has been able to find any advertising standards for compost. Just because it's advertised as chicken manure compost, it doesn't mean it's all chicken manure, just that it's some.

Last year, Wal-Mart was upfront about it. They had bags advertised as 'chicken manure' and 'mushroom compost' for sale. Right on the front, in letters big enough that I didn't have to put my glasses on to read, it said: "Do not use as a source of nutrients." That type of product won't be beneficial in MM.


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Re: Mushroom Compost Questions

Post  madnicmom on 2/4/2012, 2:36 pm

I pd $4.2x for a 40lb bag at HD last year. I used it as one of my 5 compost but I also cut back on the peat, most of the commericially bought stuff has peat in it.

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Re: Mushroom Compost Questions

Post  Grapes on 5/19/2013, 11:13 am

The black cow "Organic Brands Mushroom Compost" doesn't list % of each ingredient on the bag. The ratio is 0.5-0.5-0.2 ingredients include "wheat straw, fibrous peat, gypsum, dolomite, crushed feathers, cottonseed,meal, peanut meal & other ingredients known only to the chief grower". Wonder how much I should cut back on peat moss? Does this seem like a good compost for MM? And is it true that chicken, cow, horse...etc only count as one ingredient in the mix? I have chickity poo poo and some really good composted cow manure. Happy Frog doesn't count does it?

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Re: Mushroom Compost Questions

Post  boffer on 5/19/2013, 11:38 am

Mushroom compost has always been one of my five ingredients. I don't make any adjustments for the peat that may be in it.

@Grapes wrote:...And is it true that chicken, cow, horse...etc only count as one ingredient in the mix? ...

For your consideration:

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t14581-mel-s-soap-box-february-18-2013-compost

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Re: Mushroom Compost Questions

Post  Grapes on 5/19/2013, 11:43 am

Thanks boffer. So the animal poo is just one of the five. The happy frog would be ok? And mushroom compost would be a third ingredient if the happy frog works?

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Re: Mushroom Compost Questions

Post  boffer on 5/19/2013, 11:53 am

Sorry, I can't advise on the Happy Frog. I don't use it, and I don't recall what the general consensus on the forum has been. I'm sure someone will be along shortly who can answer that.

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Re: Mushroom Compost Questions

Post  Grapes on 5/19/2013, 12:10 pm

4. FoxFarm Happy Frog Potting Soil

· Average Cost: $10-15 Per 2.0cu ft Bag of Soil

· Ingredients: Composted forest humus, sphagnum peat moss, perlite, earthworm castings, bat guano, humic acid (derived from Leonardite), oyster shell and dolomite lime (for pH adjustment).

Happy Frog Potting Soil is a great inexpensive alternative to the Ocean Forest Soil. If you are more of a practical gardener with a rather small budget, Happy Frog is a great potting soil choice. The people at FoxFarm Soil and Fertilizer Company have come up with a great simple blend of components, perfect for growing potted vegetables, herbs and flowers. Happy Frog comes loaded with beneficial soil microbes and fungi. These creatures will supply a continuous supply of nutrients as well as promote root growth. This simple potting soil will exceed expectations!
Google gave me this:
On the hub, The Best Potting Soils - Top Five Commercial Soil Mixes For Vegetable Gardens
I found this but don't know if it would be correct for mm.

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Re: Mushroom Compost Questions

Post  Grapes on 5/19/2013, 12:14 pm

I have a bag of the happy frog potting soil (2 cu. ft. That's 51 lbs). Hope it's ok to use as one of the five composts.

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Re: Mushroom Compost Questions

Post  camprn on 5/19/2013, 1:44 pm

@Grapes wrote:The ratio is 0.5-0.5-0.2
This isn't a ratio but instead a representation of the NPK value of the compost. If you looks on a bag of fertilizer, whether organic or chemical pellet, it lists the NPK this way.
N=Nitrogen
P=Phosphorus
K=Potassium




@Grapes wrote:...ingredients include "wheat straw, fibrous peat, gypsum, dolomite, crushed feathers, cottonseed,meal, peanut meal & other ingredients known only to the chief grower". Wonder how much I should cut back on peat moss? Does this seem like a good compost for MM?
This would be satisfactory to consider as one of your composts to make the blended compost. I would go light with this one.
@Grapes wrote:And is it true that chicken, cow, horse...etc only count as one ingredient in the mix? I have chickity poo poo and some really good composted cow manure.
Some say yes, some say no. I say manure composts from different animals have different nutritional values for the soilless mix, therefore are considered different types of compost for the purposes of making the Mel's Mix.

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Re: Mushroom Compost Questions

Post  Grapes on 5/19/2013, 1:47 pm

Go light on the peat moss for the mushroom compost?

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