Tomato growers often look for the best ways to improve plant growth — so is mushroom compost good for tomatoes? It’s known that compost generally improves soil health, but there’s a good reason why this particular form is ideal.
The common misconception about using mushroom compost is that you need actual mushrooms. In truth, the goal is to combine organic materials that help develop the fungi that form the mushrooms. These materials include but are not limited to hay, peat moss, chicken manure, hulls, and corn cobs.
So if you’re wondering how to make mushroom compost, it can be as simple as first soaking finely cut straw in water. Then, a mix of the aforementioned organic materials is combined with the straw before it’s placed in a hot compost pile.
After several weeks of turning and moistening the pile, the compost will develop a dark brown color. Pasteurization is done to get rid of bacteria and any seeds of weeds. By then, you could add mushroom spores to grow mushrooms or use the mushroom compost for vegetable garden.
The mushroom compost tomatoes use gives them several benefits: moisture retention, increased calcium content, and protection against bacteria and plant disease. These make it arguably the best compost for tomatoes.
First, the compost improves the water-retention capabilities of your garden soil. This ensures that your tomato plants get enough water from the soil to prevent withering — all without having to use more water than usual.
Second, this organic mushroom compost adds more calcium to the soil. Blossom-end rot disease affects tomato plants when they don’t get enough calcium. But with mushroom compost, you provide them with enough supply of this particular nutrient.
The third benefit requires putting aged mushroom compost in aerated water, which allows you to spray the material on your tomato plants. Doing so helps them fend off harmful bacteria and diseases.
One great advantage of using this kind of compost is that it doesn’t contain any pests or pesky weeds, all thanks to to the sterilization process. This protects your plants from competing with unwanted insects or plants for nutrients.
Mushroom compost also doesn’t leave a bad odor even if it’s usually made with animal manure. It has a certain smell but it’s not terrible nor does it stay in your garden after application. Furthermore, it’s a slow-release fertilizer that provides the soil enough nutrients to last for quite some time.
Will mushroom compost burn plants? This is possible, but only if you use too much of it or place it near young plants and seedlings. Remember to dilute the compost before applying it if you have vulnerable seeds and plants around.
Also, remember that there are plants such as blueberries and rhododendrons that cannot tolerate highly concentrated compost due to the high salt content. Along with other ericaceous plants like camellia and Pieris, these are the plants that don’t like mushroom compost as much as tomatoes.
While it’s beneficial to use the compost, there are several tips to note. For one, using a rake is an efficient way of spreading the mushroom compost around the desired location. This allows you to achieve the ideal thickness for mulching, which is between one to three inches.
But if you’re going to use mushroom compost to amend the soil, you also need a hoe. The rake spreads the compost while the hoe works it into the garden soil.
In the end, it’s clear that your tomatoes are better off with the use of mushroom compost. Just remember to use the right amount and to remove the weed seeds and pests before applying.
We hope this guide will help you grow healthy tomatoes with ease. Feel free to send us a comment below for any queries.