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"pure?" mushroom compost

At 10:37 PM 4/3/99 -0500, Clyde Crockett wrote:
"What is added to mushroom compost? Is there any brand that is "pure?" 
===>> Clyde et al.  
                          YES CLY'guy'CUZ ..there is a Santa Claus, er whoops, there is a "PURE" mushroom compost medium ..T'iz called "Pro Mix BX" <lol> :)
                          I don't know? ..the exact ingredients and formula used to make a suitable mushroom growing medium; but generally speaking, a worker at Canada's largest mushroom growing factory nearby (Lever Brothers Mushrooms (LBM) of Campbellville Ontario) told me this:
1...five different raw-manures are mixed together...
2...peat moss is mixed in (50 percent or better)
3.. it is heavilly loaded with macro & micro nutrients; very rich in Nitrogen, possibly too strong? 
      Now? ..back in the mid-1980's, one could go to LBM and get a truck-load of mushroom compost for eight dollars.  It was a busy place, with pick-up trucks and car-trailers lining up for that "black gold".  Then the company discontinued this selling procedure, due to safety hazards via large mechanical heavy-loaders/tractors & too many people being in their way.
       I used to mulch all my beds with the stuff, back then; and the mad scramble was: to find & obtain the "very black" mushroom compost i.e. well rotted outdoors, opposed to the fresh material coming from the mushroom growing beds.  I recall, there was a problem with weed-seed sprouting from same, but otherwise it was a cheap & super tonic & additive for growth, as a soil-mix or compost.
       The policy of LBM now, is to sell mushroom compost by the tractor-trailer and/or train-load (mega quantities only?) and Nurseries partake exclusively.  As an example of it's use ..a Nursery-friend, brings it in every year since the gardening public buys a large quantity of it.  
       Our trials: growing ornamentals in mushroom compost exclusively, have shown this material is toxic (too rich in something?).  Another Nursery cuts the mushroom compost with 50-percent sand, and sells it as top soil, or adding soil (triple mix) and/or what have you mixtures?
       There is another product, which I would like to mention ..coming from the 'Wet Garbage' recycling processing-plants & programs done by large cities, in order to minimize our land-fill sites.  It looks similar to well-rotted muxhroom compost by appearance, quite a bit cleaner looking (no rocks, twine & what have you in same?).  Fairly expensive ($50.00 per cubic yard) and our trials using this material have also shown: it is toxic in exclusive potting of same.  
       Good growing-medium mixes, in my area, sell for $100.00 to $125.00 per cubic yard; and these Mixtures, are not WEED-FREE/STERILE.  In light of this and the high cost, I personally prefer 'Pro-Mix BX' in all my pottings, since the cost-factor for a cubic yard of "BX", is only forty dollars more.  Plus! ..all Nurseries I trade with....are also using the same "BX" growing medium, so the public can not tell the difference between my potted items and the Nursery's own. A very compatable situation?
       Due to the UNSTERILE & WEED-SPROUTING nature of mushroom compost and/or whatever mixture is made using it therefore, my opinion is: this stuff is unsuitable for pot-growing production.  As a soil-misture and/or compost used outdoors, it provides very substantial macro/micro nutrients & growth; but then, due to weed-sprouting & the material being rather unclean/stinky & not sterile...I don't use it anymore!  For that matter, I'm sorry now, that all my outdoor beds were not done originally, using 'Pro Mix BX' exclusively.

Just some thoughts on a very gloomy Easter Sunday (no sunshine here?) and a slight headache from the party of yesterday.

be happy
            and hope y'all have the best of whatever it is U do on Easter Sunday?

Bill Nash Guelph Ontario Canada z4 <raffi@sympatico.ca>

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