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mushroom soil?

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mushroom soil?

Post  kev on 3/11/2011, 9:55 pm

We built some raised beds and found a great deal on mushroom soil.Anyone have experience with it?Is it a good growing medium(I hear it's great,but don't know firsthand)?

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Re: mushroom soil?

Post  boffer on 3/11/2011, 10:08 pm

The last three years, I've bought and used a yard of 'mushroom compost'. On a warm day, it is the smelliest, stinkiest, burn your nose, and make your eyes water stuff that I have come across. They say it is good, so I use it as 1/5 th of my compost. Despite all that, I'll be using it again. No complaints.
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Re: mushroom soil?

Post  camprn on 3/11/2011, 10:18 pm

CLICK HERE
for a good read about Mushroom soil from the Oregon State University.
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Re: mushroom soil?

Post  walshevak on 3/12/2011, 6:07 am

a good article and an another reason why Mels Mix uses a blend of various composts.

kay
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Re: mushroom soil?

Post  kev on 3/13/2011, 7:32 pm

Does the smell go away?(I was told it does after 2 weeks)This is a concern as it will be close to the house.

I have a friend who can get me 2 yds of mushroom soil for 50 bucks.Maybe I can get a yard of topsoil and a yard of mushroom soil and mix it with some other compost and vermiculite?

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Re: mushroom soil?

Post  Dunkinjean on 3/14/2011, 8:33 pm

I used mushroom compost in my SFG last year which was my 1st year of SFG gardening which went well.

I have also added 2 more beds and included mushroom compost as 1/5 or 1/4 of my compost mixture.

I actually got the idea from my uncle in Eustis, Fl who has a huge year round garden - but by rows. It seems to work great for him.

My beds do not smell from using mushroom compost since it is only 1/5 or 1/4 of my compost mixture.

Enjoy! Very Happy

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Re: mushroom soil?

Post  acara on 3/16/2011, 6:53 am

In the Tampa Bay FL area, mushroom compost is the 2nd most available variety in the stores (cow manure being #1). I used the mushroom compost last season, with good results.

Our problem is finding 3 other varieties to make the 5-type blend that the SFG book recommends. It's kinda like a big scavenger hunt to find something other than cow & mushroom.

I finally found "The Worms Way" late last season & it's the "poop superstore" ..... bat, monkey, sea bird, chinchilla .....they gotz all the poop Very Happy
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Re: mushroom soil?

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 3/16/2011, 10:00 am

@kev wrote:Does the smell go away?(I was told it does after 2 weeks)This is a concern as it will be close to the house.

I have a friend who can get me 2 yds of mushroom soil for 50 bucks.Maybe I can get a yard of topsoil and a yard of mushroom soil and mix it with some other compost and vermiculite?

I may be missing a previous post of yours, kev, but I would like to add.......don't leave out the peat moss. That is where a ton of your "friability" comes from. Vermiculite will fight compaction for you, but peat moss will more than double your efforts in this area.

Topsoil has some clay components to it. Used sparingly, it's great stuff, too. I used it last year as a filler in my SFG....but a minimal amount. It's also cheap, which is great. Just beware, if you aren't, that the clay will tend to compact on it's own whether you step in it or not.

At least that's been my experience in previous years. The peat moss stopped any compaction last year.
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Re: mushroom soil?

Post  lovinlifew/3 on 3/17/2011, 1:34 am

@acara wrote:In the Tampa Bay FL area, mushroom compost is the 2nd most available variety in the stores (cow manure being #1). I used the mushroom compost last season, with good results.

Our problem is finding 3 other varieties to make the 5-type blend that the SFG book recommends. It's kinda like a big scavenger hunt to find something other than cow & mushroom.

I finally found "The Worms Way" late last season & it's the "poop superstore" ..... bat, monkey, sea bird, chinchilla .....they gotz all the poop Very Happy

acara - where in Tampa have you found mushroom compost? I found it at Cypress Creek Landscape for 5.99/40lb bag, but they have to order it. In the last 2 months they could only get in 1 bag of it. pale

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Re: mushroom soil?

Post  acara on 3/17/2011, 1:29 pm

Lowe's in New Tampa & on Hillsborough Ave have it (maybe others, but thats where I've seen it). I just picked up a couple of bags on Sunday from the New Tampa store on Bruce B. Downs Boulevard.

It's stacked next to the " Black Cow" compost/manure, and has the same yellow plastic bag & similar markings. Look at the front of the bag & it will say mushroom compost.

Very easy to mistake for the Black Cow product, if your standing more than 5' away from the pallet.
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Re: mushroom soil?

Post  acara on 3/17/2011, 1:38 pm

Also, depending where you are in LoL, you might want to try the feed-and-seed at the intersection of Bears/41 (or it might be Bears/Nebraska).

It's the Bears exit of I-275 when your heading North. Take the exit to first light (car dealership) and turn left at the light & into the parking lot of the feed-n-seed.

They used to carry a lot of variety in there, but I haven't been in the store in about a year .... and something may have changed (call ahead and verify).

Other than that, you'll have to head down to almost downtown Tampa to find anything other than cow manure (Memorial, near the cemetary). "The Worms Way" has a good selection of compost (expensive though), but it's also the most reliable place to find the large bags of vermiculite (again ... no great pricing deals to be had, but it's always in stock).

I haven't had any luck elsewhere in a 60-mile radius ..... so if you find a good (or cheap) compost or vermiculte source, please let me know. I'm paying a premium for all my stuff right now (other than what I can get from Lowe's or Home Depot)
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Re: mushroom soil?

Post  lovinlifew/3 on 3/17/2011, 11:37 pm

acara - thanks for the reply
I totally forgot about the feed and seed down there. Thanks, I will stop in there soon and see what they have. I go to the local nursery and feed store on 41 in LOL ( Dundeons? and Holloways).
I did have luck finding vermiculite @ Cypress Creek Landscape supply on Florida Ave. thanks to the SFG database. They carry 4 cuft bags of course for 15.99 and 25.99 for extra course. I have to say I am not sure that the course is REALLY course but I am new at buying and that is what they said. It does have bigger pieces in it but a lot of fine matter mixed in.

This is the same place I got a bag of mushroom compost 40 lb/5.99 but they have to order it and it almost never comes in. I found free horse manure on Craigslist and cow manure at Walmart. I have my own worm castings and home grown compost, so those were my 5 types.

I found 3.8 cu ft compressed bales of peat at HD down on Florida Ave. for 9.99.

Thank you for the tip on where to get more mushroom compost. I was way short on what I needed so I would like to get enough to top dress with and work into the MM when changing out plants in squares.

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Re: mushroom soil?

Post  kev on 3/18/2011, 8:41 pm

I was also reading somewhere(don't remember where)that peat moss can form a water barrier.Is that just if you use alot of it?

Seriously,thanks for all the help everyone.

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Re: mushroom soil?

Post  Miss M on 3/19/2011, 4:03 am

@kev wrote:I was also reading somewhere(don't remember where)that peat moss can form a water barrier.Is that just if you use alot of it?

Seriously,thanks for all the help everyone.
Yes, that is mainly if you use too much of it. One of the members, ander217, cautions every new SFGer he can about making sure they know that the compressed bales expand to twice their volume, so if you buy a 3.8 cubic foot bale, you have 8 cubic feet of peat moss. He didn't realize this when he mixed his Mel's Mix, and ended up with so much peat moss in his mix that it formed a crust on top, which I'm sure made watering difficult, and it cut the concentration of compost, so his plants didn't grow well because they didn't have enough food. I'm sure he wouldn't mind me telling you all of this, because he so readily tells others about it (myself included).

I remember seeing this crusting effect once myself. It's odd that something that can hold water so well for your plants can form a barrier that will keep your plants from getting the water they need. But that's peat moss. We thoroughly hydrated the Mel's Mix, and now I figure I just need to keep it that way. So I lightly water even the unplanted squares to keep the peat moss from drying out.

Think of peat moss as being like one of those super chamois things. When completely dry, they don't absorb well at all. But you put them in water and squeeze them to get them thoroughly wet, and then take them out and squeeze them almost dry, and they will absorb amazing amounts of liquid.

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Re: mushroom soil?

Post  acara on 3/19/2011, 7:34 am

@lovinlifew/3 wrote:acara - thanks for the reply
I totally forgot about the feed and seed down there. Thanks, I will stop in there soon and see what they have. I go to the local nursery and feed store on 41 in LOL ( Dundeons? and Holloways).
I did have luck finding vermiculite @ Cypress Creek Landscape supply on Florida Ave. thanks to the SFG database. They carry 4 cuft bags of course for 15.99 and 25.99 for extra course. I have to say I am not sure that the course is REALLY course but I am new at buying and that is what they said. It does have bigger pieces in it but a lot of fine matter mixed in.

This is the same place I got a bag of mushroom compost 40 lb/5.99 but they have to order it and it almost never comes in. I found free horse manure on Craigslist and cow manure at Walmart. I have my own worm castings and home grown compost, so those were my 5 types.

I found 3.8 cu ft compressed bales of peat at HD down on Florida Ave. for 9.99.

Thank you for the tip on where to get more mushroom compost. I was way short on what I needed so I would like to get enough to top dress with and work into the MM when changing out plants in squares.

The Lowe's in New Tampa also carries the compressed 3.8 cu peat, if you ever get stuck again.

Here is my normal driving loop for a MM/SFG Box, garden run ....

Lowes in New Tampa: 3.8 Peat, Black cow compost, mushroom compost
Home Depot in New Tampa: fish emulsion fertilizer, Transplants
CVS; Epsom Salt
Kerby's Nursery in Valrico: Bloodmeal, Bone meal, BT liquid, liquid copper
ACE Hardware on 54/BBD: Ferti-lome NEEM oil, BER liquid
The Worms Way: 4cuft Vermiculite, Every compost known to man, coir
* unnecessisary 2 hour stop at Eve's Garden (right up by you) to wander up & down the aisles of Bonsai trees & oggle the Koi Very Happy

Hopefully that will help if you get stuck looking for something.

However, let me know if you stumble on anyplace around us that is "1-stop-shopping" ...... I've been looking for about a year, with little sucess.
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Re: mushroom soil?

Post  Goosegirl on 3/19/2011, 8:33 am

[quote="Miss M"]
@kev wrote:I was also reading somewhere(don't remember where)that peat moss can form a water barrier.Is that just if you use alot of it?

Seriously,thanks for all the help everyone.
Yes, that is mainly if you use too much of it. .....I remember seeing this crusting effect once myself. It's odd that something that can hold water so well for your plants can form a barrier that will keep your plants from getting the water they need.quote]

I made this mistake on one of my 'lasagna' beds a few years ago. I made the top layer out of peat, and it took 3 weeks for my bean seeds to germinate, and 5 weeks for the corn - but they didn't rot in the ground because they weren't wet! cyclops By the time I figured out that the plants weren't getting enough water (actually WATCHED the sprinkler, and the water just rolled off the peat) my corn was tasseling - at 12" tall..... Mad All but 2 beans died of thirst (out of 70 seeds) - I never claimed to be a good gardener, just an energetic one bounce .

TC
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Re: mushroom soil?

Post  acara on 3/19/2011, 10:38 pm

Lovinfew ...Just popped in a couple of hours ago & Lowe's had a brand new pallet of "black velvet" mushroom compost. $5.xx for a 40lb bag. It's sitting right next to the "Black Cow", on the right hand aisle, when you walk into the garden center (outside).
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Re: mushroom soil?

Post  kev on 3/20/2011, 8:08 pm

Okay,here's how it went down. Very Happy

I went over to the garden center with my friend(who also owns a landscaping co.)and got his discount and used his trailer to pick up 2 yds of soil.The guy at the garden place had mushroom soil,leaf compost,and topsoil.So,we got him to pickup half a bucket of topsoil,then the other half mushroom soil,drop it to mix it,scoop it up and dump it in the trailer.Same with the leaf compost.

Took them home,filled my beds partway,dumped in some peat moss,and composted cow manure.Flipped it over thoroughly with a shovel,filled the rest of the beds and mixed with a shovel again.Tested the soil,the PH was high,so added some bagged sulfate additive,and mixed again. Rolling Eyes

Everything else was good.Even got to plant some things in other parts of the yard and tried to plant some stuff in one of the new beds.We'll see what happens.

Also caught a sale on concrete statuary at another garden place,so picked up four japanese statues to go around our koi pond,also did some work on the pond.It was a rough weekend,but got alot done.

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Re: mushroom soil?

Post  boffer on 3/20/2011, 8:21 pm

@Miss M wrote:
I remember seeing this crusting effect once myself. It's odd that something that can hold water so well for your plants can form a barrier that will keep your plants from getting the water they need. But that's peat moss. We thoroughly hydrated the Mel's Mix, and now I figure I just need to keep it that way. So I lightly water even the unplanted squares to keep the peat moss from drying out.
I do too. It also gives me a place to dig in deeply to check how thoroughly I"m watering.

@Miss M wrote:
Think of peat moss as being like one of those super chamois things. When completely dry, they don't absorb well at all. But you put them in water and squeeze them to get them thoroughly wet, and then take them out and squeeze them almost dry, and they will absorb amazing amounts of liquid.
I like this analogy; that's exactly how it behaves.

(Miss M, when you are looking at ander's avatar, ander is the one on the left! Wink)
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