Using Mushroom Soil For Gardens

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Last Updated on October 29, 2022

Having good soil is important for any garden, no matter what you are growing. Fortunately, there are many different soils and fertilizers you can use for improving the soil in your garden. Using mushroom soil for gardens can be a great option to provide the nutrients your plants need to thrive.

Though many people may not be familiar with mushroom soil, it can be a great option for many people. In fact, it is a suitable option for most gardens when it is properly used. Many people are even now beginning to make the switch to this practical and healthy option for their garden.

What Is Mushroom Soil?

Mushroom soil, also known as the spent mushroom substrate or mushroom compost, is a soil-like material that remains after a mushroom crop. It is the steam pasteurized, partially composted leftovers from mushroom growing media after the crop has been harvested.

Mushroom soil can be used directly in garden beds or can be composted for an additional six to 12 months until it becomes odorless. It contains a variety of different ingredients, such as wheat straw, horse manure, hay, corn cobs, cottonseed hulls,  brewer’s grain, cocoa bean hulls, ground soybeans, seed meal, peat moss, and ground limestone. This helps give it plenty of beneficial nutrients to help mushrooms, and later other crops, grow successfully.

In addition, it may also contain pesticide residue, along with grubs and other insects. Mushroom soil will vary slightly, depending on the location and what the farmer added to it. It is generally readily available, as you can find it at many gardening stores and it is affordable.

Mushroom compost comes with many benefits including improving the water capacity, soil temperature, and microbial activity. In addition, it also improves the structure of soil while even amending clay-like soils over time.

Mushroom soil is great for providing essential nutrients and also important micro-organisms to vegetable gardens,  along with perennials, trees, and shrubs. Oftentimes, the nutrients in it will contain 1-2% nitrogen, 0.2% phosphorus, and 1.3% potassium, though this will vary by each type.

Read more about When To Fertilize Tomatoes Plants?

What Is Mushroom Soil Good For?

So, you may wonder, is mushroom soil good for gardens? Since mushroom soil is a slow-release, organic plant fertilizer, it is great for use in many vegetable and fruit gardens. In addition, you can even use it for perennials, shrubs, and trees as well.

Mushroom soil should not be used to completely replace soil but should be mixed. A ratio of 75% soil and 25% mushroom compost is often a good mix for most gardens.

Pasteurized Mushroom Substrate 5 LB Bag Made Perfectly to Field Capacity

Mushroom soil is also particularly great for lawns. By adding it to newly seeded lawns, it will help the seeds germinate as they retain water. In addition, it can help prevent birds from eating your seeds.

Since it does have a high salt level, it is not a good option for blueberries, cranberries, rhododendrons, azaleas, and camellias. However, in most cases, its other nutritional benefits outweigh its high salt content.

Mushroom spent substrate that has been weathered for six months or more is particularly great for garden beds. Not only does it improve the structure of the soil, but it also provides important nutrients for growing plants.

When fresh, mushroom compost can even work to prevent weeds from popping up, as it is dense. In addition, over time it can help amend clay soil, making it more usable.

How To Use Mushroom Soil For Gardens

Mushroom compost is often available at gardening centers. It is generally available as  SMC or SMS (stands for spent mushroom compost and spent mushroom substrate). It comes from mushroom farmers that have used the soil for growing their mushrooms and no longer have a use for it.

You can use it for lawns, gardens, and potted plants, as it will help improve the soil. For gardens, you can top-dress with the compost or till it into the soil, around three to six inches deep. For potted plants, you can use it to make up to one-quarter of the volume of the soil in the container.

How to Use Mushroom Soil For Gardens

In addition, it is great for adding to newly seeded lawns. You can add it on top of the seeded lawns to achieve the most benefits from it.

Mushroom compost also works great in a vermicomposter. After using it as worm bedding, it will create a rich fertilizer that is full of beneficial microorganisms, making it great to use for your soil.

Is Mushroom Soil Good For Raised Beds?

Yes, mushroom compost is a great addition to raised garden beds. You can top-dress the garden bed with the compost to help your plants receive the most benefits from it. As it breaks down, you can work it into the soil.

Is Mushroom Soil The Same As Compost?

Mushroom soil is commonly used as compost, as you don’t want to use only mushroom soil in your garden. You can continue to compost it over time, as it can benefit from composting for an additional six to 12 months.

To help boost mushroom soil, you can add compost tea or regular compost. This will help restore microorganisms in the soil and help further break it down. In addition, you can also add it to your tumbler compost as well.

Is Mushroom Soil the Same as Compost?


When should you not use mushroom compost?

Mushroom compost is good for any purpose. It is a great additive to a soil mix, as well as fertilizer for plants. The only time I would not use mushroom compost is when the compost is not hot enough (at least 160 degrees F) and/or contains large amounts of wet leaves or straw. If it's not hot enough, the compost will not be able to kill bacteria and fungi that can make the compost unsafe.

How does mushroom compost work?

Mushroom compost is a mix of chopped or shredded plant matter, soil, and various nutrients. It can be used as an organic fertilizer to grow plants and garden vegetables.

Mushroom compost can be made using many different ingredients, including wheat straw, sawdust, paper mulch, and chicken manure. The materials are mixed together and then moistened with water. This mixture is then spread out in a large container and left to rot. In about two weeks, the compost will have turned into a dark brown or black mixture. The compost can then be used to grow mushrooms. A mushroom farm uses a lot of mushroom compost, but you can make your own at home. If you use a combination of wheat straw, sawdust, and paper mulch, you can make a compost that’s very similar to what mushroom farmers use.

I have had great success with mushroom compost. Use 2 parts soil to 1 part mushroom compost. Use it on both the surface and the bottom of the pot or container. Do not use the mushroom compost when it is wet.

Why is it so beneficial for a garden?

Mushroom compost is a natural and free way of fertilizing your garden. It contains beneficial microbes, fungi and bacteria that help in the breakdown of organic material into nutrients that are absorbed by plants. Benefits of Mushroom Compost: Mushrooms are very rich in vitamins and minerals. They contain vitamin B1, B2, B6, C, K, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and iron.

Mushroom compost is a natural, low-cost alternative to commercial fertilizer. It’s a great way to nourish your plants without the hassles of fertilizers.

What do you use mushroom compost for?

It depends on what you want to grow. If you have a lot of weeds and need to get rid of them, then you can mix it in with your soil. It is used to make soil healthy. If you have a garden with flowers and vegetables, you can use the compost to make the soil healthy. It will increase the amount of nutrients in the soil and make the soil more moist.

Using Mushroom Soil for Gardens

Mushroom soil comes from the crops of growing mushrooms and contains things such as wheat straw, horse manure, hay, corn cobs, cottonseed hulls,  brewer’s grain, cocoa bean hulls, ground soybeans, seed meal, peat moss, and ground limestone. However, it does vary by location, as different farmers may add different things to their mushrooms to help them grow.

Mushroom soil can be used right away once mushrooms have been harvested, or it can be composted for another six to 12 months. It is great for use on lawns, garden beds, and potted plants, and you can find it at most gardening centers. It provides nutrients, helps the soil retain moisture, and improves the structure of the soil.

Do you have any questions regarding how to use mushroom soil for gardens? If so, please ask any questions regarding mushroom soil and its uses in the comment section down below.

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