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Stinkhorns in Woodchip Mulch

 
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I have been collecting wood chips and leaf mulch all year and adding it to my garden. I have inoculated them with mushroom slurries multiple times consisting of reishi, oyster, and lion's mane mushrooms each time. Well, the only mushroom I am getting fruit from is the stink horn mushroom, Mutinus elegans.

Besides being inedible, is this fungus still as beneficial to the decay of the wood chips as the edible ones like oyster, wine cap, and lion's mane?

Should I just roll with what I've got and be happy?

Thanks!
 
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They do still decompose wood. Beyond that I cannot say, except they also smell, and look unpleasant.

If you want an edible mushroom and don't mind some work, and if it doesn't clash with whatever you might already be doing in the space, I would consider tarping the area off for the sunniest part of the year with a black tarp or pond liner and solarizing the bed. That way, you'd give a competitive edge to the fungi in the next slurry you apply.

If this is too scorched earth for your liking, I would suggest perhaps flipping whatever of your mulch you can onto a tarp or hard surface, to dry it out and maybe do some of the solarization of the mulch on which the stinkhorns are growing.

You might also, if you can find a large quantity of mulch to add, top up the beds with more mulch suitable as mushroom substrate, and inoculate with compost extract and fungal slurry, but I would suggest making the fungal slurry from a single aggressive species. I would look to oyster, first off, but some with more practical experience than I have might suggest wine caps. I suspect that in your case, the three types of mushroom might have caused eachother a competitive disadvantage against the established native fungi.

You shouldn't need to give the oyster much of a boost. It's usually a good choice because it deals with competition well.

Let us know how you proceed, though, and good luck.

-CK
 
Hamilton Betchman
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Chris Kott wrote:They do still decompose wood. Beyond that I cannot say, except they also smell, and look unpleasant.

If you want an edible mushroom and don't mind some work, and if it doesn't clash with whatever you might already be doing in the space, I would consider tarping the area off for the sunniest part of the year with a black tarp or pond liner and solarizing the bed. That way, you'd give a competitive edge to the fungi in the next slurry you apply.

If this is too scorched earth for your liking, I would suggest perhaps flipping whatever of your mulch you can onto a tarp or hard surface, to dry it out and maybe do some of the solarization of the mulch on which the stinkhorns are growing.

You might also, if you can find a large quantity of mulch to add, top up the beds with more mulch suitable as mushroom substrate, and inoculate with compost extract and fungal slurry, but I would suggest making the fungal slurry from a single aggressive species. I would look to oyster, first off, but some with more practical experience than I have might suggest wine caps. I suspect that in your case, the three types of mushroom might have caused eachother a competitive disadvantage against the established native fungi.

You shouldn't need to give the oyster much of a boost. It's usually a good choice because it deals with competition well.

Let us know how you proceed, though, and good luck.

-CK



Thank you very much for this insight. I have plenty of access to more mulch, so I think I am going to top everything off. The weather has been perfect for mushrooms, what with all the mild temperatures and rain , so I think I am going to head into the woods this weekend in search of the fabled oyster mushroom.

Thanks again, and I will update later with pictures.
 
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Chris Kott wrote:You might also, if you can find a large quantity of mulch to add, top up the beds with more mulch suitable as mushroom substrate, and inoculate with compost extract and fungal slurry, but I would suggest making the fungal slurry from a single aggressive species. I would look to oyster, first off, but some with more practical experience than I have might suggest wine caps. I suspect that in your case, the three types of mushroom might have caused eachother a competitive disadvantage against the established native fungi.



This is a timely posting and good advice. I have a large bed filled with downed tree logs, sawdust, wood chips, and leaves edged in logs that I've been "saving for later" after it starts really rotting down. I have Clathrus columnatus coming on big-guns in this bed. Yesterday, I was sleuthing through the yard trying to find out what smelled so bad, and that was it! I'll plan to let it go until maybe July, then tarp it as you suggest and plan to innoculate with wine caps on wood chips later.

This is what these babies look like. They start off looking like puffballs.





Clathrus_columnatus_Bosc_849632.jpg
Clathrus columnatus
Clathrus columnatus
mlw04th004f01.jpg
Right before they sporulate and start stinking to high heaven
Right before they sporulate and start stinking to high heaven
 
Hamilton Betchman
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Diane Kistner wrote:

Chris Kott wrote:You might also, if you can find a large quantity of mulch to add, top up the beds with more mulch suitable as mushroom substrate, and inoculate with compost extract and fungal slurry, but I would suggest making the fungal slurry from a single aggressive species. I would look to oyster, first off, but some with more practical experience than I have might suggest wine caps. I suspect that in your case, the three types of mushroom might have caused eachother a competitive disadvantage against the established native fungi.



This is a timely posting and good advice. I have a large bed filled with downed tree logs, sawdust, wood chips, and leaves edged in logs that I've been "saving for later" after it starts really rotting down. I have Clathrus columnatus coming on big-guns in this bed. Yesterday, I was sleuthing through the yard trying to find out what smelled so bad, and that was it! I'll plan to let it go until maybe July, then tarp it as you suggest and plan to innoculate with wine caps on wood chips later.

This is what these babies look like. They start off looking like puffballs.







Same grow zone, same region, same problem!

I'm glad to know I am not alone. Those things REEEK.
 
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Most stinkhorns are actually edible in the egg stage at least. but do check if the type you have is before adding them to dinner.
 
Diane Kistner
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Skandi Rogers wrote:Most stinkhorns are actually edible in the egg stage at least. but do check if the type you have is before adding them to dinner.



Well, goodness! Who would have thought? Yes, I'll go check on this one.

 
Hamilton Betchman
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Skandi Rogers wrote:Most stinkhorns are actually edible in the egg stage at least. but do check if the type you have is before adding them to dinner.



How do they taste?

I may not have the guts to try this one myself.
 
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Did you make the mushroom slurry with tap water or filtered/ purified water? I'm wondering if chlorine from the tap water, and water molds, out-competed the fungi you were trying to establish.

I would think leaf mulch already has a lot of molds and spores in there, compared to a fresh-cut log that could be inoculated.

I feel like getting certain mushrooms to start can be problematic if their environment isn't controlled. Maybe Mother Nature is pretty determined that the stinky mushroom needs to be the one that's there first.
 
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