Spent mushroom compost, also know as “spent mushroom substrate” or “mushroom soil,” is fast growing in popularity for organic soil amending. Crops thrive with 7 organic vegetable garden benefits of mushroom compost. Generally containing coconut hulls, hay, corn cobs, cottonseed meal, poultry manure and straw horse bedding, the pure compost is dark, rich and odorless.
1) Completely recycled
This compost is the discarded after mushrooms have grown in it. Fresh compost can only be used once to grow mushrooms, so the used or spent compost must be disposed of. One excellent way to recycle these “leftovers” is to nourish your vegetable garden. Considered a renewable alternative to peat moss, recycled compost can also help save the peat bogs’ delicate ecological balance.
2) Adds organic matter to the soil
Just like regular organic garden compost, microbial activity is created as it breaks down, creating humus. Excellent at breaking up clay soil, amend generously in your soil to create a rich loamy texture. Remember that all organics continue to break down. After a few months you may need to add a top layer to container plants. A 3 to 6 inch outdoor application is expected to last 2 to 5 years.
3) Drought resistant
Compost conserves moisture to plants by increasing the capacity to hold water, while aerating the soil at the same time. The fungal activity of previous mushroom growing creates a moist barrier against drought and searing heat. This is excellent for mushroom substrate vegetable gardens by improving soil structure and saving water costs, especial in arid zones.
4) Controls Garden Pests
Mushroom compost is organic matter that creates good microbial action. Beneficial microbes in turn encourage beneficial insects, earth worm activity and discourage diseases. All these natural controls help gardeners avoid the use of potentially dangerous garden chemicals that can harm our earth and threaten our family and pet health.
5) Fast growing plants and vegetables
Research shows beneficial fungus or mycorrhizae work with plants to produce synergistic energy that results in rapid growth. Since spent mushroom compost used to host mushrooms, it is full of this good fungus and reports abound about fantastic plant growth. Naturally low in nitrogen, mushroom compost does not encourage over leafy growth, making it ideal for flower bearing plants like vegetables.
6) Weed free
Mushrooms must be grown in medium that has been sterilized and composted, so the left over compost is weed and plant pathogen free. This makes perfect mulch for vegetable and flower gardens, trees, shrubs and top dressings for existing lawns. With this compost you can be confident you are not bringing in unwanted weed seeds to compete with your plants.