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Wal-Mart has mushroom compost!

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Wal-Mart has mushroom compost!

Post  ander217 on 2/27/2011, 7:17 am

Hubby and I were on a compost mission last week. Our choices are pitiful in this area. We were scanning the piles of bags just delivered to our local Wal-Mart, and what to my wondering eyes did appear but a small stack of bright yellow sacks that I didn't recognize. Hubby made a closer look, and it was mushroom compost! We were ecstatic, and immediately went inside and bought three bags to go with our Black Cow and a blend we had found at a garden center. Son has been saving sheep manure for us from his lambing pens, and we have a little of our own compost plus plenty of composted rice hulls, so I think this year's compost blend should be much better than last year.

I also saw some bags of cotton burr "compost" at another store. We tried that last year, but never again. It was too full of stems and cotton bolls and cotton.

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Re: Wal-Mart has mushroom compost!

Post  jerzyjen on 2/27/2011, 7:59 am

Nice find. I've never seen any compost at my walmart, just "garden blends". I'll have to keep an eye out, I've been waiting for my local nursery to get mushroom as I had to start my new MM with just 4 types, I plan on mixing in mushroom before planting and hope for the best.

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Re: Wal-Mart has mushroom compost!

Post  Megan on 2/27/2011, 9:45 am

Woot! I will have to keep an eye out. Thanks for the heads up.

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Re: Wal-Mart has mushroom compost!

Post  jumiclads on 2/27/2011, 9:56 am

Do you all re-use the compost from the previous year or do some of you renew it.

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Re: Wal-Mart has mushroom compost!

Post  Megan on 2/27/2011, 9:56 am

How do you re-use compost? You can't exactly sift it back out of your Mel's Mix.... :scratch:

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Re: Wal-Mart has mushroom compost!

Post  jumiclads on 2/27/2011, 10:00 am

Sorry, maybe I should have said do you re-use the Mel's Mix from the previous year or do some of you renew it.

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Re: Wal-Mart has mushroom compost!

Post  camprn on 2/27/2011, 10:03 am

@jumiclads wrote:Do you all re-use the compost from the previous year or do some of you renew it.
The compost that is added to the boxes just becomes part of the growing medium. I plan to just keep adding fresh compost to the mix each year. there is absolutely no reason to remove the mix from the previous year unless there is a disease or other contamination issue.

If you mean if I have leftover compost from the previous year, yes I will use that before I buy (or make) more.


Last edited by camprn on 2/27/2011, 10:05 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Wal-Mart has mushroom compost!

Post  Blackrose on 2/27/2011, 10:03 am

Mel suggests just adding more compost to your existing MM to replenish the nutrients lost from the previous planting. You would put a trowel full in after harvesting something and before you plant something else in that square.

Is that what you are referring to jumiclads?

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Re: Wal-Mart has mushroom compost!

Post  jumiclads on 2/27/2011, 10:09 am

Right, now I have your attention. Smile

I was referring to the MM that has been used during the previous growing season. For instance where corn has been grown or potatoes. Would you just add some new compost to the existing bed and plant with a different crop and so on year after year.

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Re: Wal-Mart has mushroom compost!

Post  Megan on 2/27/2011, 10:18 am

Mel recommends adding a scoop (trowel, a small shovel basically) of compost and then planting as you like. Some people here pay more attention to crop rotation, others ignore it completely.

My beds are only a year old but I am leaning to the "ignoring it" faction, as I don't see how pests/nutrients can vary so widely from one square foot to another. It makes perfect sense when using large fields, but not so much in a square foot application. If your SFG set up is large enough that you can dedicate a whole bed to one crop, it might be worth it. (Mine is not.)

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Re: Wal-Mart has mushroom compost!

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 2/27/2011, 10:45 am

@Megan wrote:Mel recommends adding a scoop (trowel, a small shovel basically) of compost and then planting as you like. Some people here pay more attention to crop rotation, others ignore it completely.

My beds are only a year old but I am leaning to the "ignoring it" faction, as I don't see how pests/nutrients can vary so widely from one square foot to another. It makes perfect sense when using large fields, but not so much in a square foot application. If your SFG set up is large enough that you can dedicate a whole bed to one crop, it might be worth it. (Mine is not.)

The only thing I had heard regarding rotation was tomatoes. I was told to always rotate your maters. The rest is sort of dependent on whether or not you had a disease/fungus issue...in which case you might rotate because the same issue rarely affects a completely different veggie. Anyone confirm or deny? It's just something I've read...never experienced.

As for the compost, I tend to take it a small step further. I will scoop the trowel, or two, into the square and just use my hands to mix it all up again. It's always so "loose and friable" that hand mixing takes all of a few seconds. Then, a little "zip and zap" and the seeds go back in.

I have had to buy compost to get boxes filled, but just to "top up" a square compost comes from the bins in the backyard. I would never dream of taking out the MM and mixing it again just to refresh the compost......too much "gardening" for this SFG'er. Wink

And, to OP....I bought my mushroom compost, this year, from Lowe's. If one is near any of you, you may check there, too.

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Re: Wal-Mart has mushroom compost!

Post  JACC0811 on 2/27/2011, 2:13 pm

I'll have to look at my WM when I go next time. Although I don't think the bagged goods have been set out yet. I work at a WM DC, but for the grocery side, so unfortunately I don't get much of a heads up on the garden stuff, lol.

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Re: Wal-Mart has mushroom compost!

Post  middlemamma on 2/27/2011, 2:28 pm

Our WM has all the pallets of spring paraphernalia out in the parking lot, roped off....I was so giddy when I saw it there a couple of weeks ago. But I haven't seen it since... Sad It is covered in snow now! I will be looking there when the snow melts and they take the rope down! I need to make lots more MM this year!!

Smile Jennie...so wishing for the snow to melt and the garden centers to be fully stocked.

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Remixing MM

Post  ander217 on 2/27/2011, 4:04 pm

Jumiclads, there is no need to remix MM every year. We remixed ours this year for two reasons - we missed the line in the book about 4 cu ft of compressed peat moss fluffing up to 8 cu ft, so we have twice as much peat as we should have. We had to add soil amendments last year to get anything to grow - we added fish emulsion for quick fixes, blood meal for nitrogen, bone meal for phosphorus, and epsom salts for magnesium. I'd have added greensand for potassium if I could have found any. We also couldn't find enough different kinds of compost to get a good mix. So we are remixing to get what we should have had in the first place.

The other reason we are re-doing our boxes is because we had such a huge vole problem last year. We are taking them all up and adding hardware cloth/wire to the bottoms.

Regarding crop rotation, I do it because I'm an old farm girl and it was pounded into my head at a young age that is the right thing to do. If you grow the same veggie year after year in the same square, you may deplete that square of certain micronutrients. You may also allow a buildup of certain diseases. As Megan said, it's difficult to practice proper rotation in a small SFG box, but I'm doing it as best I can over our eight beds and seven boxes.

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Re: Wal-Mart has mushroom compost!

Post  jumiclads on 2/27/2011, 4:32 pm

The reason I was wondering about this is beacause on the compost bags it always tells you how long the nutrients are good for when in use, which on most is about 5 or 6 weeks. So we obviously need to keep adding compost between crops.

What happens then if its a crop that takes months to grow and uses up all the nutrients before it is harvested. Does the plant start to show signs of missing something.

I can see that the crop rotation is still a necessary thing to do because different vedge uses up and also puts back into the soil different nutrients. Also diseases etc. never show up till it's too late to do anything and then you wish that you had done some sort of crop rotation. So Ander217 I would stick to what you have had pounded into you.

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Re: Wal-Mart has mushroom compost!

Post  PeggyC on 2/27/2011, 8:12 pm

I used the Walmart Mushroom compost as part of my original MM. I hope they have it this year since i'm hoping to make a bunch more squares.

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Re: Wal-Mart has mushroom compost!

Post  jerzyjen on 2/27/2011, 9:14 pm

@jumiclads wrote:The reason I was wondering about this is beacause on the compost bags it always tells you how long the nutrients are good for when in use, which on most is about 5 or 6 weeks. So we obviously need to keep adding compost between crops.

What happens then if its a crop that takes months to grow and uses up all the nutrients before it is harvested. Does the plant start to show signs of missing something.

I can see that the crop rotation is still a necessary thing to do because different vedge uses up and also puts back into the soil different nutrients. Also diseases etc. never show up till it's too late to do anything and then you wish that you had done some sort of crop rotation. So Ander217 I would stick to what you have had pounded into you.

I think if you use the 5 different types of compost when you set up your mel's mix, you will be ok. I've rarely done even a side dressing of additional compost during the growing season and have had fairly good sucess. I've followed Mels advice in adding new compost to a square when replanting but other than that everything has worked out ok.

I haven't actively done crop rotation either, but this is only going to be my 3rd season. I think I've changed my squares up but nothing I ever really thought too hard about.

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Re: Wal-Mart has mushroom compost!

Post  PeggyC on 2/27/2011, 9:17 pm

I haven't been good about adding a trowel when replanting either. I am planning on rotating my peas and beans for sure, and the rest will get rearranged a little but not purposely rotated.

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Re: Wal-Mart has mushroom compost!

Post  The Cat's Other Mother on 2/27/2011, 10:41 pm

Wal-Mart will surprise you. Last year my store provided me with worm castings! BB\'s happy face

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Fix it if need be

Post  ander217 on 2/28/2011, 8:41 am

I try to follow Mel's directions exactly on filling the boxes. If something isn't working I then tweak it as necessary to fix the problem.

I thought I had followed the "recipe" to the letter last year, but when my plants just sat there not doing anything, or some of the leaves turned yellow, I knew I had a nitrogen problem. I came to the forum and eventually figured out I had two problems - one with my barren compost, and another with too much peat. Now we've fixed both of those problems (I hope) and I'm hoping things will grow fine from the get-go without adding extras to the boxes.

I noticed last year that even with my poor mix of compost that some things grew fine in the bad mix - cabbages grew large, but kohlrabis next to them did not until we added bone meal. Onions did not grow at all, while onions planted in our row garden (which had already been started before we found SFG) grew great. Tomatoes didn't take off until we added nitrogen and bone meal, then grew fine. I planted a catnip plant next to my squash in a failed attempt to deter squash bugs. The catnip turned solid red within a few weeks. After I added soil amendments, it turned green again.

Some here have said it took them three or four years to really get the kinks worked out of their SFGs, while others have great luck from day one. The bottom line is, follow Mel's directions. If something isn't working, figure out the problem and fix it.
We now use as one of our MM components, a regionally-produced compost blend that has bone meal and blood meal added to it. We hope that will take care of any remaining fertility problems in our compost mix.

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Re: Wal-Mart has mushroom compost!

Post  CarolynPhillips on 2/28/2011, 10:56 pm

Just to add to the the rotation topic---- There are a few Tomato Dr. Experts who say if you turn the soil completely over about 8 inches before planting---it reduces the risk of soil born disease. I have no idea how---but they say it does and some of them have been planting tomatoes in the same area for 20 years. Just a note for those who have little space to work with.

Mushroom compost: that is really good stuff. Especially for root crops. But me, myself, and I, always check to see what that mushroom compost looks like before you buy. Some of it is no better than the commercial Compost manure. And some of the Wal-marts actual compost manure brand looks like clay soil with some wood chips mixed in====I know this cause 2 years ago I bought 300 bags. yes 300 bags because I had always bought it from walmart and it was always good before that---i thought it was the same old stuff but it was not and has not been the same for the past 2 years. I was VERY VERY upset.
I been buying the compost manure from Marvins building supply. I started to buy their mushroom compost but decided to punch a hole in the bag first and check it out--------bad looking. Not what I was after.

Good Luck with compost selections.

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Re: Wal-Mart has mushroom compost!

Post  boffer on 2/28/2011, 11:51 pm

I was at WM today and saw mushroom compost and composted chicken manure. Both bags listed fillers other than the product name. More importantly, both bags stated that the product was a soil amendment and not intended to replace fertilizer.

Well, that is exactly what we are trying to do: use natural composts as our source of nutrients for our veggies. I have found that good compost produces good harvests just like Mel says. The one bad batch of MM that I've had, used compost from...WM. I was in a hurry, and didn't want to drive an extra 40 miles to the nursery where I had found good compost. Buyer beware.

(For Puget Sound gardeners, McLendon's has a good variety of quality compost)


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Aw, shucks

Post  ander217 on 3/1/2011, 5:44 am

Woe is me. Just when I thought I'd found a good source of another kind of compost.

We need an emoticon of a bubble being burst.

(Thanks for the info, Carolyn and Boffer. Maybe I'll be lucky and this year's mushroom compost will be good stuff. Oh, well, I still have plenty of amendments left in the garage.)

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Re: Wal-Mart has mushroom compost!

Post  NHGardener on 3/27/2011, 12:59 pm

Woe is me, too. I was so excited when I read here that mushroom compost was available at WM, in fact I was looking for a thread here to ask for recommendations on where to find mushroom compost, and now, another dead end...

I wonder how you make mushroom compost. Maybe it's worth growing a ton of mushrooms just to throw in the compost pile... Has anyone "farmed" mushrooms here?

Ah well, back to the drawing board. At least our local state univ. has a food composting program and their bags of food compost should be coming out soon, that's one of my compost sources. Another is my own chicken manure & shavings pile, another is the cow manure compost I got from Lowes (please don't tell me any bad stories about that), and the 4th is lobster compost from the garden store. Now just to find one more source. I really like the sound of shroom compost, maybe they sell it locally but I don't know.

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Re: Wal-Mart has mushroom compost!

Post  camprn on 3/27/2011, 1:14 pm

@NHGardener wrote:I wonder how you make mushroom compost. Maybe it's worth growing a ton of mushrooms just to throw in the compost pile... Has anyone "farmed" mushrooms here?

It is not actually composted mushrooms, it is the soiless mix used to grow the mushrooms.
Read about it ~~~> here

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Re: Wal-Mart has mushroom compost!

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