We start by breaking up bales of wheat straw and wetting it down with some water. This softens the straw and begins the breakdown process.
Next we mix in the supplements. Cottonseed meal, cottonseed burrs, poultry litter, brewers grains, and gypsum are all added to the wet straw, and the mixture is formed into long, rectangular piles called "ricks".
After a few days in the supplement ricks we move the compost into a large concrete bunker, where air is circulated through the pile. This is where stuff really gets cookin'! The pile reaches upwards of 180 degrees F as the microbes metabolize the mixture.
After some time in the bunkers, we finish off the compost in final ricks in a large covered area. At this point the compost has changed from a waxy, yellow color to a soft, chocolate brown.
We then move the compost into a large pasteurization room, where the compost is brought through a very specific temperature curve over the course of several days. This process kills any potential pathogens, while allowing thermophilic microbes to continue breaking down the compost.
Once the pasteurization process is complete, the compost is ready-to-eat mushroom food! And is ready to be planted with spawn.
Mushroom Compost (often called "spent mushroom substrate" or "SMS") is a wonderful soil additive. It provides essential plant nutrients, active minerals, organic matter, and improves the water retention of the soil. Customers that have used SMS over the years say it does wonders for their gardens, lawns, and crops. Since our SMS is very rich, you probably do not want to plant directly into the compost. It is only considered non-burning when you incorporate it into the soil, or top-dress existing plants that already have an established root system. For potted plants, take care to only apply a thin layer on top and make sure to have adequate drainage, since SMS is rich in available nutrient salts and may burn root systems. Make sure to water thoroughly soon after the substrate is applied.
Before planting flowerbeds, vegetable gardens, trees, shrubs, or fruit trees - we recommend applying at least a 2-3 inch layer of SMS on top of your bed and till it in several inches deep. Then plant your plants and water them regularly. If you have plants that are not doing well, you can top-dress with a 1-inch layer and continue watering on a regular basis.
Spent Mushroom Substrate can vary based upon the age of the SMS, but our most recent nutrient analysis indicate the various ranges on an as is basis.
Nitrogen: 1.06% to 1.8%
Phosphorous: 0.39% to 0.8%
Potassium: 1.03% to 1.22%
In addition there are also many trace minerals in the SMS which benefit plant growth.
As a growing media, it is advisable to use a 1:3 ratio or less with available material. It also contains very high Organic Matter which will provide slow release available to the plants throughout the growing season. The pH is also of importance since it is considered slightly acidic (6-7 pH) which is the ideal range for the solubility (availability) of most nutrients.
The wide diversity of nutrient sources is also of benefit to sustainable soil practices. To learn more please visit: www.mushroomcompost.org
The price of compost is:
Cubic Yards Cost Per Yard
0-7 ** $12.00
Minimum charge of $36 for less than 3 yrds.
Compost is loaded in the back of your pickup or trailer with a large tractor. You will need to advise the tractor operator on the proper amount of compost your vehicle can hold. The weight of the compost can vary depending on it's age and moisture. It can range from 800 - 1,500 lbs. per cubic yard.
Kitchen Pride Mushroom Farms, Inc or its employees will not be liable for any accidents or damage due to material loading or overloading.
During the spring the compost yard can get very busy, so please call 830-540-3693 or email email@example.com to make an appointment for your compost load during that time. Supplies may vary and we cannot guarantee availability to walk-in customers.
FRONT OFFICE/COMPOST PICK-UP HOURS:
***By Appointment ONLY
(call 830-540-4516 for Appointment)
Monday and Friday ONLY: 8:00am - 1:45pm
All other days of the week - CLOSED
eek - CLOSED