Please helpno mushrooms, minimal warming

Aurora, IL

Hi, I'm in Chicagoland. I started conditioning my bales about a week before the big rains hit, and I'm wondering if I need to start over.
I did two rounds with a pellet fertilizer before I realized that it's slow release. Karsten says that shouldn't matter because bales get a lot more water during conditioning that the fertilizer is designed to withstand. However, I worried about it, so I bought a liquid fertilizer. Then the rains hit and we had 6.6 inches of rain over the course of a few days, during which I didn't fertilize. After the rains, I finished the process. However, I haven't seen any of the signs that good composting has happened--mushrooms, heat.

What do you recommend?

Monte Vista, CO(Zone 4a)

Are your bales in full sun? The heat helps. All that rain will certainly help your bales; the outside will dry out but they'll still be wet inside. It probably wouldn't hurt to put some more diluted liquid fertilizer on them. With bales, it's just a waiting game, sometimes. Do they seem to be loosening up at all?

Wake Forest, NC

The bales will prepare themselves just fine WITHOUT any nitrogen additives if you just keep them moist, not soaking wet, but moist.

The last 2 years I straw baled, I didn't use ANY, just plain old water, and let nature take its course.

That's why I advocate putting the bales out 30 - 60 days (or longer) before you plan to transplant into them.

The bales are much more manageable to work with (make the cracks), and you don't have to worry about any sort of Preparation Recipe.

You'll get sprouts and mushrooms in due time.

So, just keep'em moist and the bales will do just fine.


Aurora, IL

Thanks. About a week after I posted this, I checked them again and discovered that they were at least heating up some. I'll probably plant in them this week. I appreciate your responses.

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