We can supply bags of spent coffee substrate once our oyster mushrooms have finished cropping, for use as soil improver and mulch for garden and allotments.
Ideal for adding a nutrient rich organic matter to vegetable beds, soft fruit and trees.
During the process of mushroom production the Oyster mushroom mycelium brakes down the coffee grounds, effectively pre-composting it and making it much better for garden use than fresh coffee grounds. The mushroom composted coffee is close to a neutral Ph. unlike fresh grounds which can be quite acidic.
Because the mycelium binds the coffee together bags need to be broken up before adding to the garden. One of the best ways to use it is as a winter mulch for vacant vegetable beds. A good layer of up 3 or 4 inches applied in autumn or winter can help suppress weeds and will continue to break down ready for spring planting. Worms absolutely love the myceliated coffee and you will definitely notice increased worm activity in treated areas. You can also mix in woody plant prunnings, straw, wood chips or cardboard which the oyster mushroom mycelium will help to break down over time.
A good mulch layer, especially if more woody material or cardboard is added, will also most likely result in at least one crop of oyster mushrooms after rain. These can be harvested when they appear – but beware, the slugs love them too. Or if left to grow they will attract invertebrates who will lay eggs, whose larvae which will attract more birds to the veg patch, whose droppings will add more nutrients to the soil, all helping to create a diverse living soil that plants love.
Pictured is one of my no-dig beds in October displaying a healthy crop of mushrooms.