Mushroom compost has famous moisture-retaining and rapid-growth qualities, but used alone is not great for everything. Mushroom compost is rich in active nutrients and minerals, but that same richness can overwhelm seeds and tender starts. When planting grass seed using mushroom compost, you will need to add soil to create a healthy balance. There are safe ways to provide grass all the benefits mushroom compost has to offer.
Grass Seed Germination
When you start your grass seeds, do not germinate them in undiluted mushroom compost. This compost is best used to improve the quality of soil. Without added soil or soil-less mixture, most seeds will not germinate. Seeds may even be composted as the active compost continues to break down. Mix no more than 1-to-1 of mushroom compost to soil. Plant grass seed in soil and then cover with a thin top coat of mushroom compost is another harmless method.
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Planting Lawn Seed
Beginning a lawn or patching bare areas with grass seed is the least inexpensive choice for growing grass. To make sure the birds don't munch all the seeds, good soil for quick sprouting is desired. Apply mushroom compost during grass seed preparation to amend your soil. On the intended site, spread the compost evenly 1 to 3 inches thick and integrate into the bare soil. Use the recommended rate for seeding the grass type being planted. Water well.
Mushroom compost excels at moisture retention and natural fertilization when mulched on existing grass. Do not apply mushroom compost for mulch when it is too fresh, as it can damage and even burn lawns. Let the compost sit over the winter before using it as mulch to be sure it has completed its break down cycle. Spread 1 to 2 inches over established lawns and water the compost into the grass.
Putting down sod to start a lush lawn is usually an expensive project, so it is important that it takes off from the start. Mushroom compost provides a fast start to establishing a lawn. To install sod with mushroom compost, prepare the site, and top the planting area with 1 inch of compost. Place the sod right on top of the compost. Water deeply. Watch the sod rapidly perk up and spread.
- Northern California/Nevada/Hawaii District of the American Rose Society; Mulch: The Basis of Any Good Garden; Lakshmi Sridharan
- Entrepreneur; Mushroom Compost Improves Plant Growth; Mike Fidanza; November 2007
- Stillwater Enterprises; Mushroom Compost; 2009
- All About Lawns; Planting by Seed; Dawn West; Aug. 21, 2006
- Landscaping Ideas Online: What is the Best Type of Grass Seed?