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Mushroom slurries on wood chip pathways in between veggiebeds

 
pollinator
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Location: France, Burgundy, parc naturel Morvan
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I'm planning on getting wood chips incorporated onto the plot of land i've started to develop last year with my farmer neighbor, he's a bio free range cow farmer or something. I am the crazy permie guy who is coming up with all these ideas. One of them is that he gets a wood chipper and we're going to harvest some alder for fire wood and the branches can get chipped. He agrees with me now that it would be a good thing to do, so i see that happening within a year or so.
I am thinking of using these chips in the beds a bit, but mainly on the path ways in between. It is now covered with old hay to keep the weeds down. The idea is that they will start to decompose and i would like it if there would be mushrooms growing. Would alder oysters be the go to mushroom or king stropharia? Or should i just continue getting soil from beautiful trees in the forest and spread those soil food webs around and inoculate some logs at first?
Any ideas/comments/criticism welcome..
 
gardener
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Location: Galicia, Spain zone 9a
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Hugo, unless you are going to get an extraordinary amount od woodchips, wouldn't  they be better on the beds with gravel on the paths? Really I'm just jealous that you have such an accommodating neighbour!  Collecting mulch seems to take up 50 percent of my gardening time!
 
Hugo Morvan
pollinator
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Hi Mandy, i am very lucky to have such an accomodating local neighbor, i work hard and therefore gained  his respect, being a foreigner and oozing urbanism, it didn't come naturally... Gravel costs money and will sink into the ground, the alder mulch takes time, but it will ensure the wood supply for the farmer and me. I proposed him to ask gardening companies for wood mulch, they have to pay to get rid of mulch, he says they'll bring whatever they feel fit and doesn't want it on his land. At the minute i feel more for green manure in the beds, clovers, phacelia, vetch and plant in between that, just some wood chips here and there to up the carbon content and the little sponges they'll become in the soil won't harm it. I might opt for straw or hay as a mulch in future if green manure fails or takes up too much time, straw is  good for bacteria, veggies prefer bacterial life, the trees, shrubs and hedges i'll mulch with wood chips for sure for the mychorrizal fungi connections.
 
pollinator
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Location: Redwood Country, Zone 9-10, 60" rain/yr,
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Good idea! One way to reduce your time and effort is to use unchipped woody debris on the bottom layer, then chips on the top few inches. You can also divert runoff from buildings and ideally animal housing into the woody debris path basins. best of luck!
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gardener
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Great ideas Hugo, The only thing I am a little confused by is your reference to veggies preferring bacteria over fungi.
Most vegetable plants have to have some fungi in the form of mycorrhizae to thrive.
Bacteria are the dissolvers in the soil world they exude chemicals and enzymes to break down the minerals and soil borne compounds into the elemental forms for their food supply.
Leftovers are greedily sucked up by fungi and plant roots but many of these minerals would remain outside the root structure if the fungi were not there to bring those elements inside the root cellular walls.

I almost always recommend people shoot for a 50/50 mix of bacteria and fungi in their soil, the plants will, through the use of their own exudates, select which bacteria and fungi they want around their root systems.

Redhawk
 
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The very first mention I remember of the care and feeding of wood chip paths suggest that in active soils, an annual digging out may be required, depending on circumstance.

I have lost the thread, but we were talking a while back about this very thing, and the idea that wood slash left on the ground by the forest industry, as opposed to being "cleaned up" by dragging into windrows and burned, led to an incredible increase in the aeration of the ground underneath and around it. The suggested mechanism of action was the decomposers that broke the debris apart into soil.

Personally, I like the idea of paths doing multiple-duty as soil life bioreactors, acting as a soil life nursery, soil generator, and keeping my feet out of the muck.

-CK
 
Hugo Morvan
pollinator
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Location: France, Burgundy, parc naturel Morvan
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Ben thank you for the photos; great ideas. Did you cover this drainage pipe with wood and earth later? It sure seems to be working well, nice even distribution! The buried wood strip works great as well it seems.
Bryant Redhawk, thank you for the explanation, your picture is clear and whole.
Chris that thread sounds interesting, i pass those piles of gathered wood after a clear cut regularly in my car,many times they even burn them.  
 
Ben Zumeta
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Hugo, I surrounded the pipe in the trench with woody debris (up to 3” thick), and then topped with 6” of woodchips for a path. Duck pond overflow runs through it during the wet winter season. About two years out and it’s beginning to look a lot like compost. I would like to try it using less pipe and just see how the wood drains on its own.
 
Hugo Morvan
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Thats's a fantastic idea Ben! How about making it shaped like an expanding snake. for a steady stream like grey water.
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Hugo Morvan
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Or an up side down tree if you like if you got like big floods of water. Torrential rain that's just running down hill. Like this it will get caught up in the ground, it will soak the wood reallly good and then the wood will keep releasing over time.
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Ben Zumeta
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Those are good descriptions Hugo. I figured a snaking path would not work so well on my narrow property with tree roots in a lot of places. So in watching one of Paul's rocket mass heater videos about inversion chambers under benches that catch rising heat and then allow overflow to be exhausted , I flipped the idea upside down for diversion basins branching off the main stem that will stop and drop sediment between raised beds. I'd describe it as like an alder leaf's veins.
 
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I think that snaking would be good on a steep landscape. For one with very little slope, I would go straight if you want drainage to occur.

I think that Stropharia rugoso annulata Wine cap Garden Giant King Stropharia would be better than oysters for the chips, but both would probably work to an extent.  

Cool ideas.  

Vive La France!

John S
PDX OR
 
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