Do Beans Like Mushroom Compost?

Do Beans Like Mushroom Compost

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Mushroom compost has a lot of good qualities that benefit many vegetables, but some plants cannot tolerate this type of compost. Beans are a popular garden vegetable because they are nutritious and easy to grow, but do they grow well in mushroom compost?

Beans like mushroom content and will grow well in soil treated with this compost. Beans dislike acidic soil, and mushroom compost can amend the soil to make it better suited for growing beans. Bean seeds should not be planted directly in mushroom compost, as it inhibits germination.

Gardeners are always looking for new ways to boost the growth and production of their garden vegetables, and some change to using mushroom compost. If you want to try beans in mushroom compost, we have some details on whether this will work or if beans do not like mushroom compost.

Can Beans Be Grown In Mushroom Compost?

Mushroom compost is a good choice as compost for the garden, but not all plants like the environment that mushroom compost creates.

Mushroom compost is dense in organic nutrients, minerals, and salts to provide a good growing environment for mushrooms that do not have chlorophyll to convert certain ingredients to food.

The composition of mushroom compost provides the food in a form that is easy for the mushrooms to absorb and utilize to grow well. It stands to reason that the readily available nutrients will also be beneficial to plants, so they do not have to work hard to convert nutrients to food.

Unfortunately, this is not the case for all plants since the environment that mushroom compost creates can negatively affect some plants. The main aspects of mushroom compost that negatively affect some plants are the high salt content and the alkalinity of the compost.

Does Mushroom Compost Provide A Good Environment For Beans?

One of the major benefits of mushroom compost is its ability to amend soil to make it more alkaline. Beans prefer growing in slightly acidic soil, with a pH between 6 and 6.8. 

If your soil is particularly acidic, mushroom compost’s alkalinity can help reduce the acidity to make it more appropriate for growing beans.

The pH of mushroom compost is 6.6 or 6.7, which puts it within the pH sweet spot for growing beans. Mushroom compost has other benefits that make it a good growing environment for beans.

Other benefits of mushroom compost for growing beans include the following.

  • Prevents soil compaction. Beans do not like hard, compact soil, and the organic matter in mushroom compost will add aeration and improve the soil structure to prevent compaction.
  • Good moisture retention. The organic matter in mushroom compost allows it to retain a good level of moisture to keep the surrounding soil moist.
  • Promotes good drainage. Beans do not like soggy soil, and mushroom compost will encourage good drainage in the growing medium.
  • Low nitrogen levels. Beans do not require a nitrogen-rich growing environment, making mushroom compost a good choice. 
  • Rich in calcium. Low nitrogen and rich calcium content are good for fruiting plants such as beans. The low nitrogen levels do not promote leafy growth at the expense of producing fruit, and the high calcium content helps the plant to set the fruit.

Mushroom Compost Makes Good Mulch For Beans

The high level of organic matter in mushroom compost and the structure which provides air pockets in the medium makes it a good mulch material for beans.

Mushroom compost used as mulch will keep the soil warmer in winter and cooler in summer and prevent the upper layer of soil from drying out too fast.

The nutrients in the mushroom compost will provide a slow-release top-down feeding for your beans when used as a mulch. The low nitrogen content in the mushroom compost means it can be used at any growth stage of the bean plant without the risk of hindering the bean plant’s fruit production.

Can You Start Bean Seeds In Mushroom Compost?

While mushroom compost may be beneficial for growing bean plants, it is not a good growing medium for starting your bean plants from seed.

The high salt content and nutrients in mushroom compost are at concentrations levels that inhibit seed germination, prevent seed germination completely, or kill seedlings that have managed to germinate.

Consequently, you should never start your bean seeds in mushroom compost. The only way to avoid the effects of mushroom compost on seed germination is to dilute the mushroom compost in the ratio of 75% topsoil with 25% mushroom compost.

My recommendation is not to use mushroom compost for seed germination but rather use a standard potting mix for germinating bean seeds before planting the seedlings out into the garden or raised bed.

If you are planting your bean seeds directly into the garden soil, which has been augmented with mushroom compost, you should get good seed germination if you have not added too much mushroom compost to the upper layers of the soil.

Adding a 3-inch layer of good quality topsoil to the garden bed or raised garden bed can be an option to give the seeds a mushroom-compost-free zone to sprout and grow. As the plant increases in size, the roots will penetrate the topsoil and access the nutrient-rich mushroom compost below.

Alternatives To Mushroom Compost For Growing Beans

Bean plants are not particularly fussy plants and will grow successfully in a wide range of soil types. The main soil inhibitors for bean plants are compact soil, clay soil, and acidic soil. Any growing medium that addresses these conditions will be suitable for growing beans.

However, there are other growing mediums you can use to help your beans grow better without using mushroom compost. In some areas, mushroom compost is expensive or unavailable, so what alternatives can you use to boost bean growth?

In most cases, a general-purpose, low-nitrogen compost will provide all the support your bean plants need to grow strong and healthy and produce an abundant harvest.

If you are growing beans in a container, a low nitrogen potting mix provides a good growing medium that will promote good growth and fruiting in your beans. Treatment with blood and bone or bone meal mixture before the beans start to bear fruit will help sustain growth during the fruiting stage.


Mushroom compost is not recommended for acidic-loving plants, but beans do not fall into this category. Bean plants can be grown in soil where mushroom compost has been used to prepare the soil for vegetable growing.

Mushroom compost works well for growing beans and producing a good harvest from the plants, but care must be taken when planting seeds where the concentration of mushroom compost is too high. Mushroom compost can inhibit seed germination and harm seedlings because of its high salt content.


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