Is Mushroom Compost Good for Your Lawn?

Mushroom compost is a great soil conditioner to boost your lawn’s growth in the spring and summer. Add it as a thin top dressing to your lawn in spring, gently raking in so it reaches the soil. It will add extra organic material and will feed worms and soil bacteria. Mushroom compost is a great gentle fertilizer and soil conditioner for bright green, healthy lawns.

Mushroom compost is the leftover material from mushroom farms. Each mushroom farm will use a different mix so it is difficult to know what exactly is in it. There is a large amount of composted bark mulch usually and it may contain manure fertilizers.

If you find a good quality mushroom compost it is amazing for lawns and will help to feed the roots. Some mushroom composts have reportedly had salt added but I have not had any problems adding it to lawns, my soil or as a top dressing around fruit trees or own lawn.

How to apply mushroom compost to lawns

To apply mushroom compost to lawns use a wide spade or mulch shovel to sprinkle it across your lawn in a light layer. Make sure you can still see the blades of grass so that the lawn can continue to photosynthesize.

For larger areas, pour the mushroom compost onto your lawn into piles and rake it over evenly. Always rake the mushroom compost across the lawn to break up any large pieces and to make sure it is spread evenly.

Always water the compost into the lawn thoroughly straight away to let the compost reach the soil and the roots of the lawn. This will wash of the lawn blades and prevent the compost from drying out and blowing away.

Mushroom compost should be moist when you open the bag. Wear gloves if you are planning on spreading it by hand.

When to add mushroom compost to lawns

The best time to add mushroom compost as a top dressing for lawn is once per year in spring. Take the time aerate your lawn first, using a lawn corer to help the compost make its way down to the soil.

You can use a garden fork to make holes in your lawn over a small area, remember to watch out for any irrigation pipes that you have running through your lawn.

Benefits of mushroom compost for lawns

Mushroom compost has many benefits for your lawn. It is low cost, easy to apply and a gentle soil conditioner.

1. Feeds and adds soil bacteria

Mushroom compost will contain a wide variety of good bacteria that can be added to your soil. They will work with the soil bacteria in your soil to break down the organic matter in the compost making the nutrients available for your lawn roots.

The mushroom compost will feed the natural bacteria that exist in your soil creating a healthy soil microbiome and improving soil health over time.

2. Feeds worms

Mushroom compost adds extra food for earthworms. The mushroom compost will add extra moisture and encourage worms to dig up from the deeper layers of soil to feed. The worms will break down the organic material in the compost as well as digesting the soil bacteria.

All of this works to break the compost down into the nutrient components that are great for your lawn.

3. Adds lots of organic matter

Adding compost adds organic matter to the soil to improve it over time. Soils high in organic matter will grow great lawns by improving the soil bacteria population, feeding worms, adding moisture, allowing good drainage and even helping to stop weed growth.

4. Add small amounts of nitrogen

Adding mushroom compost will add small amounts of nitrogen to your soil. While it does not replace your regular lawn fertilizing regime, it will gently feed your lawn. This combined with a good quality lawn fertilizer will give you bright green blades of grass and a healthy, thriving lawn.

5. Helps to aerate the soil

Adding mushroom compost as a top dressing to your lawn helps to add extra oxygen to the soil. This allows aerobic bacteria to break down organic matter quickly and for the lawn roots to get the oxygen they need to thrive.

Adding extra air pockets by coring and topping with mushroom compost allows the lawn roots to reach out, grow strong and stay healthy.

Can you use too much mushroom compost on lawns?

It is possible to use too much mushroom compost on lawns. It should be added as a thin layer so that most of the blades are still poking through. If the blades of grass are completely covered, this can decrease their rate of photosynthesis, which reduces the amount of food the lawn is able to make for itself.

Adding too much mushroom compost can slow lawn growth, turn the blades yellow or brown over time. Only add a thin layer of compost when top dressing lawns, always water it in well and don’t forget to fertilize your lawn in spring.

Is mushroom compost good for your lawn? | Summary

Mushroom compost is great for lawns if it is applied thinly and watered in well. Coring your lawn with a machine corer, coring shoes or garden fork will allow the mushroom compost to work its way down quickly to the lawn roots.

Always complement any top dressing of compost with fertilizing your lawn with a good quality lawn food. Lawns need lots of nitrogen to continue to grow well throughout the year. Lots is used up with the growth of leaf blades that are trimmed regularly.

Remember when mowing your lawn, you can mulch small amounts of the lawn clippings back into your lawn to add extra organic matter. Any leftover lawn clippings can be added to your compost bin, or worm farm.

Mushroom compost can be a great addition to your garden. Use bags mixed with homemade compost to make a new no-dig garden bed.

For more on this check out my article here: How long it takes cardboard to break down in soil (Guide for No Dig Gardens)