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Using only mushroom compost?

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Using only mushroom compost?

Post  Davidaaron on 1/9/2015, 12:40 pm

So, this is my first post, and I apologize if this has been asked before...

I've wanted to start my own square foot garden for a few years now, and I've finally started piecing the materials together to make this happen. Here's the situation... I have access to all of the free mushroom compost I need. Reading Mel's book he insists on mixing multiple different types of compost with peat moss and vermiculite. If I only use mushroom compost am I setting myself up for failure? I don't have a compost pile, and I'll be buying everything I need compost wise. Thanks in advance for all of your help.

Dave
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Re: Using only mushroom compost?

Post  camprn on 1/9/2015, 1:54 pm

If you use quality compost from at least five different sources, it is like serving a well balanced nutritious meal to your garden. The plants will be healthy and should produce well.. If you use one type of compost, such as mushroom compost, which is typically not high in nutrients, it will be like have 3 meals a day of watered down powdered milk; not enough nutrition for health, but it may sustain life... for a while.

My advice... if you want quality result from your garden don't cut corners. Get out there and hunt up the other sources of good compost.

http://orlando.craigslist.org/search/gra?query=compost

http://orlando.craigslist.org/search/gra?query=manure

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Re: Using only mushroom compost?

Post  Kelejan on 1/9/2015, 3:35 pm

glad you\'re hereDavidaaron

Please heed of camprn's advice, it is so right.

Start a compost heap right now if you can.  It will take time while you purchase compost. It took about two years before I could say that I no longer needed to buy prepared compost.

Also bought compost is very variable and you might be buying some that contains too much peat for example.

Also, never apologise for asking questions, we have all been there and asking questions that have already been asked, gives us a chance to show off the knowledge that we have acquired on this forum.

Best of luck.
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Re: Using only mushroom compost?

Post  AtlantaMarie on 1/9/2015, 6:47 pm

Hi Davidaaron!  Welcome from Atlanta, GA.

I have to agree.  My DH (dear hubby) wanted to cut corners and it led to some issues in our garden last year.

If you're going to do it, do it right.  Mel spent a LOT of time and effort coming up w/ his formula.  And he's really got a good system down.

I also have to agree w/ Kelejan - ask away!  That's what we're here for - to encourage each other, cheer each other on, give advice to help others succeed (not to mention, learn from mistakes we make).  It's all a learning process...
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Re: Using only mushroom compost?

Post  Mikesgardn on 1/9/2015, 7:15 pm

If you can't get 5 sources of compost in time to prepare your beds for planting, it is ok.  You will have to use some fertilizer.  My first square foot garden (7 years ago) only had leaf compost, so I had to use fertilizer.  But I started a compost pile soon after, and I found a local company who makes great compost to supplement mine.  So don't give up just because of the compost issue.
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Re: Using only mushroom compost?

Post  plantoid on 1/9/2015, 7:59 pm

@Davidaaron wrote:So, this is my first post, and I apologize if this has been asked before...

I've wanted to start my own square foot garden for a few years now, and I've finally started piecing the materials together to make this happen. Here's the situation... I have access to all of the free mushroom compost I need. Reading Mel's book he insists on mixing multiple different types of compost with peat moss and vermiculite. If I only use mushroom compost am I setting myself up for failure? I don't have a compost pile, and I'll be buying everything I need compost wise. Thanks in advance for all of your help.

Dave


 Yep heading for failure with a capital " F " .
It's use is OK to supply the nutrients to fungi that have a soil capping to anchor in but far to lobsided in things to be any where near a "balance compost " for roots without any soil .

It is good when liberally spread & incorporated on your normal mother natures soil in most cases , even then  it can be too much for some sorts of conditions where there is a high lime content ( alkaline ).
 
This usually leads to a condition called chlorosiss ( sp ) , it means too much lime has been used .  It interferes with the chlorophyll / photosynthesis system in plants leaving them looking a decidedly yellowish puke colour on the leaves and tips as well as making for a very weak & wan plant. .
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Re: Using only mushroom compost?

Post  camprn on 1/9/2015, 9:52 pm

I am not sure why Plantiod is talking about chlorosis at this point but I think what he is actually getting at is it would be wise to get a compost blend of at least the recommended 5 different composts. And I have to disagree with Mikesgarden. If you get the compost blend together you will typically not have to buy any artificial fertilizer or other amendments. And I have to agree with Mikesgarden, get your compost pile going ASAP. Wink Please don't make the same mistakes that so many of us have made.

May as well get the best start you can get, eh?

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Using only mushroom compost?

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 1/9/2015, 10:52 pm

Dave;
Do you have room to compost?  Can you physically do the work of composting?  If so, I would encourage you to read the various long composting posts here.  Just put composting into the search bar and it will bring them up.

If you can gather material from your own property and supplement with what you gather elsewhere you can very quickly make your own compost that will far surpass anything commercially made.  Starbucks and other coffee houses have coffee grounds you can arrange to pick up.  Local grocery stores will some times allow bad produce to be picked up.  You can check Craig's list for horse manure, steer manure or other manures.  Your own family's kitchen waste is more than you might realize.  You can pick up a bale of straw or other grasses to use for a carbon.  Seaweed is amazing and seafood processing plants have shells or left overs.  Micro Breweries have spent grains that you can sometimes score.  You might be surprised how quickly you can gather enough to make a pile.  

If you have the strength and energy to turn a pile frequently you can make a complete batch in just under 3 weeks.  Look up the "Berkeley Hot Composting thread" that will probably be on the left side, latest topics as it's quite popular.
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Re: Using only mushroom compost?

Post  sanderson on 1/10/2015, 3:35 am

Davidaaron, I'm late to the welcoming party, but welcome to the Forum from California! glad you\'re here

You have already received a lot of good advice, much of it learned from our own failures. Mine**, too. Embarassed Mel's Mix with 5 different sources of compost (purchased or pickup at the beginning, and homemade later if you have the room and ability) will make the difference between failure, so-so, or success. We are here to help you get going, so please ask questions. Let us know what you have found as composts before you buy them and we will give you our 2 cents.

** I used Kellogg's Compost, thinking that since it had more than 5 ingredients listed, it would work as the 5-way blended compost. Well, I ended up having to use fertilizer until my first batch of so-so compost was done. But, even with so-so home compost plus bagged cow manure, it was a great improvement.
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Re: Using only mushroom compost?

Post  plantoid on 1/10/2015, 4:43 am

Sorry folks ,
Obviously I didn't fully explain that many mushroom compost formula have a high content of lime as this helps dry /heat & breakdown the materials to release the massive amounts  nutrients that mushrooms need in the right quantities.

So for other plants in the garden/beds  too much lime as contained in neat spent mushroom compost leads to the chlorosis of lime problem I mentioned .
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Re: Using only mushroom compost?

Post  camprn on 1/10/2015, 7:26 am

Oh, I see now. Thanks for the explanation Plantoid. happy hi

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books



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