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Experiment I'm doing for next years kitchen garden  RSS feed

 
Shawn Harper
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Location: Portlandia, Oregon
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This is just an experiment I'm planing on doing next year, I'm posting it and my reasons for doing it, here on permies to see if anyone wants to join me in my experiment.

I'm going to code name this hugel 2.0. The idea is fungi is better than normal bio matter. Since fungo not only acts as a sponge, it trades nutrients between plants as needed, this is of a higher order than plain wood. Since I am currently growing fungi on my north porch in tubs, next spring I'm going to overturn those tubs on the wood chip mulch in my garden. Them I'm going to place a small amount of dirt on top of them and try using thm as a raised bed. For my experiment I'm going to use squash and carrots, as they are an easy control for me( I grow lots of them every year). But I would like to see if others also have any luck with this. Also if anyone has any suggestions or criticisms I'm opening to hearing them before I start growing.
 
Brenda Groth
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i was wondering, a lot of the wood I put in my little baby hugel bed this year has all sorts of fungi growing on it already, shelf and oyster mushrooms, I was wondering if that would provide the fungi needed to provide symbiosis with the plants?
 
Tyler Ludens
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I have also had loads of different little mushrooms coming up in my buried wood beds and wood chip paths. I think these guys are just naturally in wood products, but I bet it wouldn't hurt to try to get some known kinds growing in the beds. I think they may have a hard time competing with the existing fungi, though.

I would love to have edible mushrooms in my kitchen garden, but have not so far had success getting them started.
 
Shawn Harper
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Tyler Ludens wrote:I have also had loads of different little mushrooms coming up in my buried wood beds and wood chip paths. I think these guys are just naturally in wood products, but I bet it wouldn't hurt to try to get some known kinds growing in the beds. I think they may have a hard time competing with the existing fungi, though.

I would love to have edible mushrooms in my kitchen garden, but have not so far had success getting them started.


That's why I'm starting mine in a plastic tub for the experiment. Also I'm using wine caps for my grow beds. I realize some native Fungi might creep in, but that's fine since I can identify the wine caps. I'm just thinking that a fungi based hugel type bed would be more symbiotic than a bacteria based one, plus by inoculating with good fungi, you leave less room for the bad.
 
Shawn Harper
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Location: Portlandia, Oregon
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Brenda Groth wrote:i was wondering, a lot of the wood I put in my little baby hugel bed this year has all sorts of fungi growing on it already, shelf and oyster mushrooms, I was wondering if that would provide the fungi needed to provide symbiosis with the plants?


I don't know if it would, they aren't listed in my sources as symbionts, but I'm sure they are still usefull in ways we silly humans don't yet understand.
 
Max Kennedy
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Not all fungi are symbiotic so one needs to be careful of the species.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Some I have seen mentioned specifically for gardens are Garden Oyster (Hypsizygus ulmarius), Garden Giant (which might also be called Wine Cap) (Stropharia rugoso-annulata) and Shaggy Mane (Coprinus comatus). I planted these in my garden using the "Three Amigos" kit from fungi perfecti, but I think my conditions were not good and so far none have come up.

http://www.fungi.com/product-detail/product/the-three-amigos-garden-pack.html
 
Julia Winter
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I will vote for persistence when it comes to wine caps. Don't give up on them! I got spore and buried it the thick wood mulch I have in between my chicken pen and a line of spruce trees, and it seemed like the chickens (when they were loose, which they are a lot) kept digging it up, exposing the mycelium and drying it out, killing them. However, it's years later now and I get wine caps springing up whenever it rains. I have several hundred square feet of thick wood mulch and the mycelium have spread 30+ feet into the thickest layer of mulch which is in between our outbuilding and the same line of spruces. Trouble is, I need to remember to go searching for them, because they don't seem to last long. They are delightful in an omelette, though. Unlike most mushrooms, they seem to benefit from cooking in chicken broth versus just pan frying, FYI.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Thank you for the encouragement, Julia! That makes me feel like trying again.

 
Shawn Harper
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Max Kennedy wrote:Not all fungi are symbiotic so one needs to be careful of the species.


That's why I chose wine caps, my sources list them as a secondary decomposer and a symbiont.
 
Shawn Harper
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Tyler Ludens wrote:Some I have seen mentioned specifically for gardens are Garden Oyster (Hypsizygus ulmarius), Garden Giant (which might also be called Wine Cap) (Stropharia rugoso-annulata) and Shaggy Mane (Coprinus comatus). I planted these in my garden using the "Three Amigos" kit from Fungi Perfecti, but I think my conditions were not good and so far none have come up.

http://www.fungi.com/product-detail/product/the-three-amigos-garden-pack.html


From my understanding garden giant is not the same as wine cap, but a related species. I could be wrong though. Don't give up Tyler, from my understanding outside ouside mushrooms are more finicky and take longer to establish. Also you don't have as favorable mushroom growing conditions.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Thank you Shawn. No, severe drought is not good for mushrooms, though I have a bunch of mystery mushrooms in the garden right now, so mushrooms are possible here, just difficult.

 
Calvin Mars
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You can pretty much assume that most mushrooms are going to be beneficial to plants one way or another because they are often decomposers, thus making certain nutrients available in a plant soluble form. When I hear direct symbiosis I immediately think of endo and ecto mychorrhizal mushrooms. These are very different. Unlike most mushrooms that we are familiar with, they don't make their primary living decomposing dead material. They join with plant root exchanging nutrients in exchange for sugar or antibiotics for instance. My source for these are "plant success tabs" from Fungi Perfecti, however, there are a slew of gardening products out there that are of similar ilk. I would imagine the rooting gels probably work the best.

This difference is why certain mushrooms are cheap and some are very expensive. It's super easy to cultivate oysters on logs, but it's very difficult to cultivate a morel. You need to find the right kind of host trees (elm), typically have to create a large fire, wait for the elm to get super stressed out, and then hope that the mushroom fairy arrives sometime in the next five to ten years after you rattle bones and burn a bunch of incense. This shouldn't stop you from using the mychorrhizals. The ones that you'll buy for gardens are not edible, nor poisonous, but will start working right away if conditions are good.

I've had interesting results cutting the bottoms of the mushrooms I buy in the store and sticking them in the garden somewhere. Oyster mushroom is definitely, by far, one of the easiest types to get results from. Plants are going to benefit from them mostly because they are breaking down organic matter in a way that plants can eat. I suspect if the mycelium has spread large distances that they would buffer the system by transporting water, as well. Oyster is the best for breaking down wood. King stropharia is probably the best for living in the soil as it eats bacteria, wood, and poop. I've heard it also eats nematodes, but I haven't confirmed that. Its also really pretty and edible (though I would avoid mixing alcohol with it).

Another technique that I use purely for my own entertainment is to take a spore print of a mushroom I will soon eat and then bury or situate the piece of paper in a garden spot I think the spores might have a chance. Put the cap on a piece of paper, wait a few hours. When it's done, you'll see a print that looks like the underside of the mushroom made out of gazillions of spores. It's fun!

I also transport felled tree limbs of fairly significant size from deep in the woods back to my place. The weirder looking they are the better, bonus if they are covered with lichens and parasitic ferns. You know that they're completely covered with thousands of different mushroom type spores by virtue of previously being a part of a forest denizen.

You know, you really don't have to do anything. If you leave a bunch of wood in direct contact with the soil, you have a fair degree of protection from the sun and receive decent rain, some type of mushroom is going to move in whether you like it or not.

 
Shawn Harper
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Location: Portlandia, Oregon
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Yes but you can't forget that some mushrooms can fit in more than one category. From what I've read I think that wine caps might be one of them. Even if not, they do thrive on a variety of mulches, which is one of the main reasons I picked them.
 
Marc Troyka
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Trichodermas can act both like mycorrhiza and as saprophytes. You can't eat them though .
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