Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Compost question Toplef10Compost question 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

Compost question I22gcj10Compost question 14dhcg10

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Compost question Empty Compost question

Post  JAM23 3/9/2022, 8:24 pm

Hi!

This is my second year with my SFG and I would like to refresh my beds this spring. I have started my own compost (since 4/2021) but it will not be enough. I have access to the following types of compost and was wondering which one would be better. Thanks so much!

Blended Compost Mix: Mushroom Compost, Hardwood Fines, Landscape Compost 

-OR-

Mushroom Compost: Composted Straw, Horse Manure, Supplemental Nutrients
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Post  sanderson 3/10/2022, 2:48 am

If by mushroom compost, you mean compost that was used to grow mushrooms, that is a decent one.

The first one seems to be mushroom compost mixed with wood fines, not necessarily composted wood fines. A no, no. What do they mean by landscape compost? If I could only have one, I would go with mushroom compost for this year when a variety of composts doesn't seem to be available.

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Post  JAM23 3/12/2022, 3:59 pm

Thanks! I am still trying to learn so I appreciate the feedback.

Another question that I have is this. I added about 1 inch of compost to all of my garden beds at the end of the season last fall, and some worm castings, along with about 2 inches of mulched fall leaves. Do I still need to add additional compost this spring?
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Post  OhioGardener 3/12/2022, 4:51 pm

JAM23 wrote: Do I still need to add additional compost this spring?

Depends.  Probably not, but if there was considerable shrinkage during the winter months, you may want to top them off.  Quite often I have to add about 1" of compost in the spring before planting.

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Post  JAM23 3/12/2022, 5:53 pm

Thanks! I was thinking adding one inch in the fall and another in the spring would just be good idea, just wasn't sure if it was just necessary for having a healthy garden. 

I'm going to try and get enough mushroom compost to add an inch to all the beds this spring and hopefully by next fall, I will have enough homemade compost to go the job!

Thanks again everyone!!
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Post  JAM23 3/12/2022, 5:55 pm

It's just so expensive! LOL
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Post  OhioGardener 3/12/2022, 6:25 pm

JAM23 wrote:It's just so expensive! LOL

Yes, it can be. Fortunately, I am able to make all of my own compost.

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Post  JAM23 3/13/2022, 2:49 pm

I'm trying to get there too! I would love to have to rely less on bagged compost. Once it starts to thaw out here, I will get out to my compost bin and see what is there.
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Post  JAM23 3/19/2022, 5:00 pm

Well, I was able to purchase 24 cubic feet of mushroom compost from my local nursery so hopefully with an inch of that on top of all my beds and some worm castings, I will be good to go.

I might try and get some cow manure to add but, I'm not sure that is necessary so I will have to think on that.

Thanks for all your help!
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Post  donnainzone5 3/20/2022, 5:17 pm

How much homemade compost did you produce?  

A blend of mushroom composts and worm castings is insufficient.  Adding one's own finished compost, though, should suffice. 
A blend of 5 different composts, or your own compost, is recommended to refresh your Mel's Mix.
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Post  sanderson 3/21/2022, 3:27 am

This is a hard year for finding a variety of composts. Real mushroom composts without wood fines or peat moss is okay to get started. Plus a little worm castings if you bought them. They are rich so you don't need more than 5-10% of total compost mix.

Do keep trying to find more varieties of compost made from different by-products. You can add them in the fall and in the spring, however it works out. And, be prepared to screen out wood fines, bottle caps, straws, etc. Wink

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