To reap the most from your garden, you need to start from the bottom up. Good quality soil, rich in nutrients, is vital for growing strong, healthy plants. Mushroom compost is bursting with organic matter that is perfect for boosting buds and adding verve to veggies.
Mushroom compost is usually made from a mix of stable manure and composted straw, making it a great soil conditioner. Alkaline in terms of pH, mushroom compost often contains chalk. Large lumps of chalk can be removed if you don’t want your soil to be too alkaline.
What is mushroom compost for?
Mushroom compost is perfect for reducing acidity in soils that are lacking organic matter, or creating an alkaline soil while increasing soil fertility. It’s also great for mulching, and breaking up clay soil. It can be alternated with manure or garden compost that is only slightly alkaline or neutral to ensure a balance.
Where to use mushroom compost
Rose beds, trees and shrubs love alkaline soil so mushroom compost can really help them flourish. It’s also perfect for using on your vegetable patch, as most vegetables grow better where the soil is less acidic. Alkaline soil is great for brassicas, such as cauliflower, broccoli, turnips, swedes, cabbage and kale, as it reduces the risk of clubroot disease, which leads to swollen and misshapen roots.
Where not to use mushroom compost
Fruit crops prefer neutral or acidic soil, so only use it on their soil if you have confirmed it’s already too acidic and needs to be balanced with an alkaline such as mushroom compost.
Mushroom compost is not recommended for soils that are already highly alkaline, as this could raise the pH too much and make it less favourable for plants to grow.
Avoid using it on ericaceous plants, which include azaleas, heathers, camellias and rhododendrons, as they prefer an acidic soil. A pH neutral improver such as broad leaf mould is better, or an acidic improver such a pine leaf mould can be used.
Due to the high salt levels of mushroom compost, it’s not recommended for use with potting mixes.