I cannot believe that it is mid-August already! My spring/summer garden is done. I have a few peppers still growing, but other than that it is done and mowed under. Now ironically in the dog days of summer, I am preparing for my fall garden.
We live about 45 miles from Monterey Mushroom Farm in Madisonville, Texas. If you are from anywhere near this area, I am sure that you have seen their packages of mushrooms in your supermarket. They grow their product in a factory-looking enclosed warehouse.
They make their money selling mushrooms, but they also sell a by-product of the process, which is mushroom mulch. It is the fertile mixture of horse manure, straw, and peat moss that has been pasteurized to kill all the weed molds and insects.
For $10.00, they will load up your flat-bed trailer with the dark, steaming mulch. The mulch is so busy breaking down that it is literally hot to the touch. According to Monterey’s site, the heat naturally released in this process is great for the mushrooms.
Mushroom mulch is not suitable to use as planting soil. It is used as a fertilizer to your existing soil. Once we spread it over our garden area, my husband will till it up to ensure good and even distribution of the mulch.
We will let it sit for a few weeks and then we will plant. No additional fertilizer is necessary. So, we will not add composted chicken manure or anything else.
Mushroom mulch is also good for flower beds or to spread over your lawn. It is a great cost-effective mulch. If you live anywhere near a mushroom farm, call to see if they sell their mulch. If you live near Madisonville, drive up with a sturdy trailer and good tires. The mulch is incredibly heavy. You would not want to have a flat tire or blow-out while carrying that load.
Another option is to check with your local landscape company. They might know of a source for mushroom mulch. Of course, I would assume bringing in a middle man would make the cost rise, but I saw many landscaping websites that advertised mushroom mulch as an option.
If you are beginning to prepare for your fall garden or are wanting to allow your soil to rest until next spring, mixing mushroom mulch into your soil will reap great results in future plantings. It is very fertile and a natural by-product of the mushroom industry.