I recall Paul Stamet growing oyster mushrooms in wood chips over top of contaminated soil to break down the hydrocarbons. Maybe what they mean is that they're so aggressive that you can't expect other plants to co-exist? Or that they wouldn't like being disturbed by you doing planting in the wood chips - which wouldn't be a problem with a perennial like asparagus. Would the oyster mushroom decide to decompose the asparagus roots instead of playing nice?
So this is all surprising to me as it counters virtually everything I have heard about oyster mushrooms up to this point.
Eric Hanson wrote:7/17/2021
One of the placed that had the dense mycelium just pushed up a nice, dense colony of actual mushrooms--in July! And they did not look at all like a Wine Cap though they were fairly large mushrooms at about 4 inches across (just eyeballing here). I quickly checked here at Permies for help, did an internet search, purchased a mushroom ID app for my phone and eventually narrowed the list to 3 possibilities. The first two were related species, and basically harmless and edible (but not exactly culinary quality) while the third variety was called the Destroying Angel! Its toxin is the same found in the Death Cap! Yikes!
The more I watch my garden, the more I agree - cardboard or some other light blocking material is great to smother plants you really don't want, but as soon as they're dead or knocked back, planting something - anything - that will out-compete them seems to be really important. Something low and broad-leafed would help to shade the soil and conserve water (or at least use the water to grow biomass instead of it just evaporating). Something that's easy to chop and drop. Something that you wont regret 2 years from now! Many "cover crops" use grass-like things, but this is permies and we're allowed to think outside the box. A friend planted cabbages in her 4'x6' raised bed one year and 4 cabbages pretty much took over the whole bed. Last year I planted one in an oversized pot. I planted 1 cabbage and some short season bush beans. The cabbage took over when the cool weather came and the beans were done anyway. The pot was filled with punky wood surrounded by duck-shit contaminated wood chips topped with some finished compost.
And while I may use cardboard, it will be to temporarily smother weeds but not be a permanent fixture in the garden. I may experiment with cover crops so as to encourage root growth and to smother undesirables.
Comfrey was exactly one of my thoughts - the only downside is that comfrey can be invasive in some areas - very difficult to get *all* the roots out if you know longer want it in a specific location. That said, if chops soooo... easily, that I have difficulty believing that there aren't permaculture ways to exhaust those roots if you need them gone. It just might be a multi-season or even multi-year process using a mixture of cardboard and chopping.
Eric Hanson wrote:Jay,
You mentioned chop n drop and I have all these comfrey plants growing right next to my garden. This might have a new use very soon!
Eric Hanson wrote:As far as getting Wine Caps re-established, if things work out I might try to get some new spawn this Fall and add it to the bed under some straw and see if I can get a fairly quick crop of mushrooms growing in some straw placed on top of the chips, hopefully reconstituting the bed again.