Can You Compost Mushrooms?

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Quick Answer: Can You Compost Mushrooms?

Yes, you can compost mushrooms along with other kitchen scraps to speed up the decomposition process. You may need to balance with an appropriate amount of brown materials. Avoid adding cooked mushrooms soaked in oil, butter, and sauces to prevent the invasion of pests. It is recommended to turn the compost pile to break the mycelium threads growing in the compost.

This guide will analyze if you can compost mushrooms. Read along to understand how to compost mushrooms!

Can You Compost Mushrooms?

Yes, you can compost mushrooms. The peels and stalks of the mushrooms rot down quickly in the compost pile. Whole mushrooms may take a little longer time to decompose. They contribute to improving the soil quality.

One concern with composting fungi is the potential sprouting of the spores in the compost heap. Pick them early to stop them from sprouting.

Few fungi, including birch polypores, will take a longer time to decompose due to their tough and woody caps.

You may fasten the decomposition process by wetting them and breaking into smaller pieces.

Some mushrooms are poisonous to ingest. So, it is preferable to cover the compost bin so that animals and kids can not enter and get affected.

Otherwise, they would not affect the compost as they get decomposed.

Here is an informative video on composting mushrooms:

How To Compost Mushrooms With Ease?

Mushrooms help speed up the decomposition process and maintain the heat within the compost pile. It should be offset with an appropriate amount of brown ingredients.

The different steps to compost mushrooms with ease are mentioned below:

  • Prepare the mushrooms– Collect the mushrooms. You may chop or crumble up whole mushrooms into smaller pieces before adding them to the compost pile. It helps to break them quicker.
  • Throw them into the compost pile- Spread them evenly into a compost pile. Add an appropriate amount of brown materials, including shredded newspaper, dry leaves, and straw to prevent the compost from becoming soggy.
  • Maintain the pile– Turn the pile thoroughly to maintain the heat. Add adequate moisture to the compost pile.

What Are The Benefits Of Composting Mushrooms?

Mushrooms are a good source of vitamins, copper, phosphorus, potassium, and selenium. They contribute to adding valuable nutrients and fungi to the compost heap and improving the soil ecosystem. They help in speeding up the decomposition process.

Mushrooms break down the decaying matter and speed up the decomposition process. The compost also gets hotter and kills harmful pathogens.

Also, they contribute valuable nutrients across a large surface area.

How To Deter Mushroom Growth In Compost?

Mushrooms may sprout up in the compost pile and take over the pile. There are different ways to deter mushroom growth in compost. One tip is to keep the carbon and nitrogen ingredients at a balanced level.

Mushrooms grow well on newspaper, cardboard, sawdust, and leaves if they are wet.

You may turn your compost pile regularly with a fork or shovel to aerate the mix and reduce the moisture levels. Also, it will break the mycelium threads that grow in the compost.

Fungi are encouraged by low temperatures and high moisture levels in the compost pile.

So, keeping an optimum heat level inside the pile will deter the fungi from growing in the compost pile. Use a compost thermometer to ensure optimal heating inside the pile.

Can Mushroom Compost Burn Plants?

Yes, mushroom compost can sometimes cause leaf burn. The plants may withhold water due to the high salt content of the compost. It may lead to yellowing or browning of the leaves. It may cause the roots to rot and the eventual death of the plant.

You can prevent leaf burn by minimizing the amount of mushroom compost. Mix the compost well with the soil before using it on the plants.

Do not use them on delicate plants and potting mixes. You may also dilute the salt content by mixing the mushroom compost with organic materials, including bark chippings.

Can You Add Poisonous Mushrooms To The Compost?

Yes, you may add poisonous mushrooms to the compost pile. One concern is that there is a possibility that animals or kids that could add mushroom scraps could get sick if they consume poisonous mushrooms.

If you are not sure about the safety of the mushrooms, you may use the lid to cover the compost pile.

These mushrooms may decompose and add their nutrients to the compost without harming the plants.


How long does it take for a mushroom to decompose?

Mushrooms may take anywhere between a week to months to decompose completely. It depends on the climate and compost pile conditions. A well-tended compost pile may break down mushrooms within a week. Also, they can be added to the worm bin for faster decomposition.

Can you add cooked mushrooms?

Yes, you may add cooked mushrooms. But avoid adding sautéed mushrooms with too much oil, butter, or dairy. It may decrease the airflow and invite unwanted vermins to the compost pile. It is preferable to wash them before adding them to the compost pile.

Can you add mushrooms to your worm bin?

Yes, you can add mushrooms to the worm bin. But, avoid adding mushrooms heavily coated in butter or oil as it may create anaerobic conditions. It will lead to rancid smells in the enclosed bin. Also, add them in moderation.

Bottom Line

I hope this guide has highlighted the benefits of composting mushrooms and how to compost them at ease.

Please do share your suggestions for composting these!