Benefits of spent mushroom soil (compost)

gbig2(6)June 1, 2007

I've just read a great article from Penn State about improving turf by using spent mushroom soil (SMS).

http://spentmushroomsubstrate.turfgrass.psu.edu/pubs/spentmushroomsubstrate.cfm

I can get SMS locally, both fresh and aged (6-9 months). I can get fresh SMS at only $4/cubic yard in 40 yard trailer only, or I can get aged SMS for $10/cubic yard. Has anyone used fresh SMS on their lawn? Is it safe to put fresh, straight out of the mushroom factory, on your lawn? I believe they do sterilized both the fresh and aged.

I have an acre lawn and would use the fresh SMS to put a 1/3 inch layer on the lawn to improve the soil and as part of an overseeding project this fall.

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Billl(z7 nc)

Wow - that is a great deal. It is basically just compost with a bit of lime. You might want to drive over and check out what they mean by "fresh" and "aged". All mushroom compost should be aged several months already because they are growing mushrooms on it.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2007 at 2:16PM
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greenjeans_il(zone5 IL)

The only issues I have with mushroom compost is it's highly alkaline, sometimes salynic and sterile as all get out. Basicly I'm saying it could do more harm than good to your microbe population. Occasionally it's also full of fungicide, too.

Greenjeans

    Bookmark   June 6, 2007 at 12:20PM
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gbig2(6)

Good feedback thanks.
My local SMS compost place says lime isn't added. Even if it is, that would be good as my soil is acidic at 5.7 ph. The compost is certified organic by the Organic Crop Improvement Association so fungicide shouldn't be an issue.
I may just get the fresh since it's so cheap and let it age myself, just in case it's too hot.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2007 at 3:14PM
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greenjeans_il(zone5 IL)

In my experience only if it's OMRI listed is it truly certified organic.

If it's truly an organic approved compost, they'll have laboratory test results showing AB, AF, TB, TF, as well as the chemistry. Ask them for the test results.

Also, ask yourself this: If it was capable of sustaining any kind of microbial life why wouldn't the mushroom grower have kept it? There's a reason it's so inexpensive and a reason it's referred to as "spent".

Greenjeans

    Bookmark   June 6, 2007 at 6:46PM
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