What was I thinking — that mushrooms are healthy so mushroom compost tea is going to be healthy for my garden. Fortunately, I took a pause before starting my gourd experiment in the garden. After I dumped the 40-pound bag of mushroom compost into the huge tote and added five-parts water to that, I decided to do some research on what vegetable plants besides the gourds would like some mushroom compost tea, in case I wanted to lace them with the tea too.
None of them. Not even the multitudes of gourds. And why not?
Mushroom compost tea is full of chemicals and heavy metals
For the sake of simplicity, though I read a lot of forums and articles, I found the most swaying information at Doug Green’s Garden. If it is not organic, it has chemicals.
Chemicals the mushroom farmers use for fungus gnats and fly infestations….. methoprene, cyromazine and diflubenzuron, Dimlin and Diazanon. And the chemicals sprayed on the mushroom crop to stop fungal infections….. benomyl, thiabendazole and chlorothalonil. Doug Green (link below) identifies some of these chemicals as “persistent” meaning they do not leach out of the compost or soil.
Sure I prefer organic in my garden and on my table. But I am not all-organic. Still, this is non acceptable. So the mushroom compost tea brews in the huge tote, lid on to stop mosquitoes from using it, while I decide how it can be used. Something non-edible that will not mind a high dose of chemicals.
Nothing in my neck of the woods wants it, literally. Well crap.
Only organic mushroom compost will do
How did I end up with this stuff? Hubby went to the garden center for me…. the organic garden center. And he called me to list what they had that I could make tea out of for my experiment. Bison dung. Horse manure. Mushroom compost. I said, “That one, the mushroom.” I did not ask if it was organic. And it was not. And now I have about twenty-gallons of it in a tote in the middle of my vegetable and flower garden.
The high point is that the bison and horse manure or compost could have the same chemicals. Unless organic of course.
The other low point is that mushroom compost tea has negligible nutrients across the board. So why bother anyway?
Mushroom compost tea…
- is not made from mushrooms.
- is made from materials that are “organic” though may not be chemical-free or remain that way for long.
- may or may not be heated enough for the seeds to be killed, so one may be fertilizing and planting hay seeds among others.
- will have a nutrient level so low one will ask why they bothered unless there are additions to the mix.
- will probably add high salts and heavy metals to the garden.
In conclusion, mushroom compost tea is not worth the risk. I shall take up a different compost for my gourd experiment. And I will use the customizable AGGRAND fertilizers for today on everything.
Doug Green’s Garden post “Why I Don’t Recommend Mushroom Compost”