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Mushrooms in the veggie garden

 
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Hi there! Newbie here.

I've seen a little bit of talk on this forum about this, but I was wondering if there are folks here that incorporate mushroom growing into their more intensively managed edible gardens, either for the purpose of improving the soil and/or for eating? I've found lots about starting a mushroom bed on its own for compost or for a future garden bed, and a few examples of growing mushrooms in garden pathways. Maybe this question isn't as simple as I thought, but if there's enough leafy plants casting shade later in the summer, would something like inoculating some edible mushrooms on the surface of a mulched bed be a viable idea?
 
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Yes it is possible. If you want to look into this detail get Paul Stamets book Mycellium Runnning he trails growing various fungi with garden plants to see if there are beneficial relationships in terms of yield of which there do appear to be some very significant advantages and some drawbacks. I had garden giants popping up everywhere here for years around vegetables until recently, problem was I had little time to replace the wood they were decomposing.
 
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Hi Hayley,

If you have a permaculture garden, and you have a lot of woody material/ sources of manure, it is entirely possible that you already have mushrooms growing in your environment.
They also prefer growing under perennials.
If they occur naturally they will likely move over your site, depending on the state of your substrate. There are also different kinds of mushrooms that will occur throughout the seasons depending on the moisture of the soil, also primary, secondary and tertiary decomposers.
Fungi form mycelial networks in the soil that provide a food source for micro organisms ensuring healthy soil. They also release water as a byproduct of reproduction- so you can think of them as a low maintenance irrigation system.
They will grow together with plants and like to live in the microclimate of the plant canopy.
Plants put out exudates that are a food source of fungal hyphae in exchange for specific plant required nutrients - that the plant receives from the mycelial network, so they also move nutrients around in the soil based on the needs of plants.
I would suggest growing them under long lived annuals like capsicums that live about 5 years or shrub layers (perennials)
If you're planning to do them under annual, I'd probably suggest going with a primary decomposer. Maybe something in the coprinoid family.
It can take a few years fro mushrooms to fruit.
Its a game of patience and observation.
Also know that they will not pop up where you plant them. they're not like plants in that way. They will run in the soil until the are under threat to fruit and sporulate for continues existence.
Inoculating and planting logs may give you a more predictable crop.
 
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Hayley,

As Leigh and others point out, mushrooms can make excellent companions for your garden veggies.  Personally I grow Wine Cap mushrooms in raised beds filled with wood chips that I chipped up from my own land.  The Wine Caps do a fine job of breaking down the chips into a nice, very fertile bedding material that is really second to none.  On top of that, the mushrooms are a tasty bonus as well.

If you are interested, there are a lot of threads that can help you with mushroom projects.  I have two long-running threads that I keep updated if you are interested.

Eric
 
Hayley Stewart
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Hey Eric!

Yes, I think it was one of your posts that actually spawned (heh heh) this question. I'll take a look more in depth at your trials and go from there!

Eric Hanson wrote:Hayley,

As Leigh and others point out, mushrooms can make excellent companions for your garden veggies.  Personally I grow Wine Cap mushrooms in raised beds filled with wood chips that I chipped up from my own land.  The Wine Caps do a fine job of breaking down the chips into a nice, very fertile bedding material that is really second to none.  On top of that, the mushrooms are a tasty bonus as well.

If you are interested, there are a lot of threads that can help you with mushroom projects.  I have two long-running threads that I keep updated if you are interested.

Eric

 
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