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Opinions - % of LeafGRO to mushroom compost?

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Opinions - % of LeafGRO to mushroom compost?

Post  sfg4uKim on 4/1/2011, 4:05 pm

My business partner and I have FINALLY found ALL of our vendors for our own version of Mel's Mix.

I'd love some opinions about something.

We are going to use a blend of LeafGRO (grass clippings & leaves) and mushroom compost (a good combination of things) as our "blended compost".

Since I know one has to be "careful" with the mushroom compost, what percentage of each should we use? 50/50 or less of the mush comp? At 50/50 it would be 1/6th of the completed mix. Is that low enough?

HOORAY we found a nursery supply place that will order #4 vermiculite for us (wholesale only). Their sister company sells #3 at a reasonable price (it's listed in the vermiculite database).




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Re: Opinions - % of LeafGRO to mushroom compost?

Post  genes on 4/1/2011, 5:05 pm

Great start for you! I would encourage to try harder to find manure compost in addition. Horse, cow, chicken, etc. It's out there. Maybe around the corner!
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Re: Opinions - % of LeafGRO to mushroom compost?

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 4/1/2011, 5:06 pm

Could you, or someone else, explain why we need to be careful with mushroom compost?

I know Mel says to use 5 types of compost. That would mean 20% of your compost blend would be mushroom. 1/5th of 1/3rd would be 1/15th of the total mix....substantially less than 1/6th. I don't know that any of what I said are related because I have never been told to be cautious of mushroom compost. These are just the math comparisons.
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Re: Opinions - % of LeafGRO to mushroom compost?

Post  genes on 4/1/2011, 5:12 pm

Yes sir, do yo mean me? Mushroom compost seems to mean everything but kitchen sink. Whos knows? Then theres browns and greens. I'm comfused. Somebody said it else where poops and plants is best for compost. PLease correct if Im wrong.
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Re: Opinions - % of LeafGRO to mushroom compost?

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 4/1/2011, 5:24 pm

@genes wrote:Yes sir, do yo mean me? Mushroom compost seems to mean everything but kitchen sink. Whos knows? Then theres browns and greens. I'm comfused. Somebody said it else where poops and plants is best for compost. PLease correct if Im wrong.

I am seeking clarification from anyone that knows, genes. You jumped in just ahead of me (while I was typing to be honest...lol), so by "you," I meant the OP. But, like I said....or someone else. I have just never heard of exercising caution except for stuff that isn't fully composted yet. I certainly don't know it all. So, I thought I'd ask for clarification since I can't give a reliable answer until I'm properly informed.......and, maybe not even then.

But, I like to help, and I like to learn.
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Re: Opinions - % of LeafGRO to mushroom compost?

Post  genes on 4/1/2011, 5:28 pm

Yes, so sorry I wait clarification too.
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Re: Opinions - % of LeafGRO to mushroom compost?

Post  sfg4uKim on 4/1/2011, 5:31 pm

http://extension.oregonstate.edu/gardening/node/33

Here's an article about it. Basically it says:


Mushroom compost can supply nutrients and increase the water-holding capacity of the soil. But mushroom compost can be too much of a good thing for seeds, seedlings and young plants, said OSU's Hart.

"The soluble salts and other nutrients in fresh, undiluted mushroom compost, are too concentrated for germinating seeds, young plants and other salt-sensitive plants including members of the heath family such as rhododendrons, blueberries and azaleas," said Hart.

To avoid killing germinating seeds and stressing heath family members, Hart recommends mixing mushroom compost with garden soil before using it on young plants. Or, order a supply of mushroom compost in the fall and let it sit uncovered, to "cure" over the winter.

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Re: Opinions - % of LeafGRO to mushroom compost?

Post  middlemamma on 4/1/2011, 5:31 pm

Hi ksroman! Hope ll is well.

Just for clarification for the newbies Smile You are are trying to make a special COMPOST blend? but you will still be making Mel's Mix the normal way? WIth equal parts of your blend, vermiculite and peat?

Just didn't want any new SFG'ers to get confused! Smile

Jennie
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Re: Opinions - % of LeafGRO to mushroom compost?

Post  genes on 4/1/2011, 5:33 pm

better safe, my vote is 20% mushroom
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Re: Opinions - % of LeafGRO to mushroom compost?

Post  sfg4uKim on 4/1/2011, 5:41 pm

The name "mushroom compost" comes from the fact that it is the perfect growing medium for mushrooms . . . it does not actually CONTAIN mushroom.

According to the OSU article: The recipe for mushroom compost varies from company to company, but can include composted wheat or rye straw, peat moss, used horse bedding straw, chicken manure, cottonseed or canola meal, grape crushings from wineries, soybean meal, potash, gypsum, urea, ammonium nitrate and lime.

SO we're using LeafGRO (grass & leaves) and mushroom compost (sample recipe above) and mix 1/3 of this "blended compost" with 1/3 coarse vermiculite and 1/3 peat moss.





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Re: Opinions - % of LeafGRO to mushroom compost?

Post  sfg4uKim on 4/1/2011, 5:45 pm

LOL yes, Jennie. This is why I posted in the COMPOST section.

Thank you for the reminder. I hope my last posts clarified things a bit more. Sorry for any confusion.

Kim Very Happy

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Re: Opinions - % of LeafGRO to mushroom compost?

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 4/1/2011, 5:50 pm

ksroman wrote:"The soluble salts and other nutrients in fresh, undiluted mushroom compost, are too concentrated for germinating seeds, young plants and other salt-sensitive plants including members of the heath family such as rhododendrons, blueberries and azaleas," said Hart.

Boy, you are going to test my chemistry schooling here. Hmmmm, digging for dusty memory files behind all the empty beer cans......

Here is another article that may explain WHY soluble salts are such a problem. The "gist" is: too many soluble salts in the soil, near the roots, actually work AGAINST the plant's ability to take in water. Too much salt will cause a "reverse flow" if you will and dehydrate your plant.

http://msucares.com/newsletters/pests/infobytes/19970508.htm

This is why lawn guys, like myself, tell you to water your fertilizer in when we spread it. Or, better yet, we wait until the day before a good rain...just in case. The "burn" you see in grass is the same process these articles are talking about to my knowledge.

However, heavy fertilizers are going to have high numbers. Heck, even 13/13/13 isn't recommended for veggies. It's just too harsh/too concentrated, and "burns." Lower numbers, like fish emulsion, are usually gentle enough. These look like 0/0/1 or 5/5/5 at most.

ksroman wrote:To avoid killing germinating seeds and stressing heath family members, Hart recommends mixing mushroom compost with garden soil before using it on young plants. Or, order a supply of mushroom compost in the fall and let it sit uncovered, to "cure" over the winter.

This comment right here, though, is why I'm sure Mel recommends 5 types of compost in your MM. Some of it could be a "dud," but some of it may also be too strong. By avoiding the "all your eggs in one basket" issue, we are giving ourselves the perfect mix of nutrients from different sources.
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Re: Opinions - % of LeafGRO to mushroom compost?

Post  WardinWake on 4/1/2011, 6:53 pm

ksroman wrote:My business partner and I have FINALLY found ALL of our vendors for our own version of Mel's Mix.

I'd love some opinions about something.

We are going to use a blend of LeafGRO (grass clippings & leaves) and mushroom compost (a good combination of things) as our "blended compost".

Since I know one has to be "careful" with the mushroom compost, what percentage of each should we use? 50/50 or less of the mush comp? At 50/50 it would be 1/6th of the completed mix. Is that low enough?

HOORAY we found a nursery supply place that will order #4 vermiculite for us (wholesale only). Their sister company sells #3 at a reasonable price (it's listed in the vermiculite database).

Howdy: To be truly considered a Mel's Mix compatible blended compost it must have 5 or more sources of compost.

As an added note: If anyone desires to market any item, grid, boxes, soil mix, compost blend or anything else under the name of Square Foot Gardening they must have a business agreement with the Square Foot Gardening Foundation. Information on Square Foot Gardening Business Agreements can be had by contacting the Foundation.

God Bless, Ward and Mary.
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Re: Opinions - % of LeafGRO to mushroom compost?

Post  sfg4uKim on 4/1/2011, 9:43 pm

Doesn't it have to have 5 INGREDIENTS (not sources) in the compost? The mushroom compost is composed of more than 5 different ingredients by itself, but we're choosing to mix with the LeafGRO which should make it a well-rounded blend.

We do have an agreement with the Foundation in the mail along with our first check to them. Smile It felt good!

And of course we are NOT calling it Mel's Mix since it has not been tested and approved by the Foundation.

Kim


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Re: Opinions - % of LeafGRO to mushroom compost?

Post  lizzo on 4/2/2011, 10:22 am

I consider the big problem with pre-blended to be that the cheapest ingredient will comprise the biggest volume. Yes, the final product will contain all those wonderful goodies, but the majority of it may be filler. I don't know how to get around that.

Like buying mixed nuts at the store, in some cheaper mixes, there's lots of peanuts and few cashews, walnuts, pecans, etc.

For myself, I consider a blend to be one type of compost. If I can't find individual composts (cow manure, chicken manure) , then I look for 5 blends from 5 different suppliers.

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Re: Opinions - % of LeafGRO to mushroom compost?

Post  camprn on 4/2/2011, 11:30 am

@lizzo wrote:I consider the big problem with pre-blended to be that the cheapest ingredient will comprise the biggest volume. Yes, the final product will contain all those wonderful goodies, but the majority of it may be filler. I don't know how to get around that.

Like buying mixed nuts at the store, in some cheaper mixes, there's lots of peanuts and few cashews, walnuts, pecans, etc.

For myself, I consider a blend to be one type of compost. If I can't find individual composts (cow manure, chicken manure) , then I look for 5 blends from 5 different suppliers.
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