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How does one introduce mycelium into hugel mound?

 
dan long
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I have a few questions and i know that they are the most basic of the basic. Perhaps that is why i can't find info on it, because it's so glaringly obvious that nobody thought anyone would be stupid enough to not know the answer. I guess i't "that guy".

First, how does one find beneficial fungus to put into their garden short of buying the stuff. It comes from SOMEWHERE so one should be able to gather t rather than purchase it. Am i wrong?

Second, how is the ground/ mound/ wood innoculated? Should i be shaking sproes out onto the media i want to innoculate? Should i chop up a mushroom and drop it in? Should i throw muchrooms into a cold compost pile? Is it going to fnd its way in all by itself?

third, is ALL fungus desirable in the garden or is some of it bad? Will I get mysef into trouble indiscriminantly allowing all fungus into my hugel mound?

fourth, do edible muchrooms provide the same benefits as other non-edible funguses or fungus that does't produce muchooms? It would seem to me that if ther all get the same job, then i might kill wo birds with one stone to innoculate my hugel mound with an edible type of muchroom. On that subject, does anyone have any suggestions as to what kind of muchroom to innoculate?

I know that different funguses break down different things. My head is spinning from all the information out there and i haven't quite got the information in my head in order, but it almost seems like one needs white fungus, brown fungus and other stuff. Is anyone willing to simplify this area for me?

Thanks for reading through all that! I look foreward to all of your helpful insights!

 
Craig Dobbelyu
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As long as you're not dealing with a totally sterile situation, there is already fungus there. It's already gone to work and you needn't do anything. Also, spores travel in the air and fall all over everything all the time so don't worry about good or bad fungus. They are all there all the time. As you said, each one has it's purpose and eventually they find the right balance. That being said, if you wish to inoculate with edible species, go for it. There are many species that you can buy online for just this purpose.
Don't get too caught up in the details... Nature pretty much dictates these things just fine. There are also many threads here about edible fungus which can help you choose the best ones for your situation.

Best of luck
 
John Elliott
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dan long wrote:
First, how does one find beneficial fungus to put into their garden short of buying the stuff. It comes from SOMEWHERE so one should be able to gather t rather than purchase it. Am i wrong?



Fungi have evolved over billions of years to find decaying matter to eat. They were around long before money was invented, so the concept of you "buying" them to put on your garden is really a novel one. Given the right conditions they will find and colonize your garden.

Second, how is the ground/ mound/ wood innoculated? Should i be shaking sproes out onto the media i want to innoculate? Should i chop up a mushroom and drop it in? Should i throw muchrooms into a cold compost pile? Is it going to fnd its way in all by itself?


Fungal spores are small, on the order of the size of bacteria, so they travel very well by the currents in the air. Of course, not many spores can land on your pile at a time, so that's where you can move the process along by inoculation. And yes, you have the right idea, chop up mushrooms and drop them where there is stuff to eat. But I would recommend adding a third thing to "chop&drop" -- "chop, drop&water". Fungi really need 100% humidity for best growth, and that humidity is found (1) during a rain (that's why mushrooms pop up during a rainstorm) and (2) in the air spaces of moist soil.

third, is ALL fungus desirable in the garden or is some of it bad? Will I get mysef into trouble indiscriminantly allowing all fungus into my hugel mound?


No, you don't want potato blight fungus or fire blight of pears or Fusarium wilt. But here's the thing about pathogenic fungi: they almost never form fruiting bodies -- what non-scientists call mushrooms. They usually bear their spores in small numbers on a stalk and a breeze on a potato or pear tree leaf is enough to dislodge them and carry them on the air currents. If you have looked closely at a piece of moldy bread, you may notice that the green mold has a fuzzy appearance. That "fuzz" is a bunch of spore bearing stalks (called conidia), ready to dislodge the next generation of spores. So pretty much any mushroom is a beneficial one, and is saprophytic (living on decaying vegetation) or mycorrhizal (forms symbiotic relationships with plant roots.

Probably the best mushrooms for a general chop, drop & water operation are the ones that pop up under oak trees that have a spongy underside. Those belong to the order Boletales and they are both symbiotic and mycorrhizal. Some of them are pretty good eating too, just stay away from the ones that turn blue when you bruise them. Which brings us to

fourth, do edible muchrooms provide the same benefits as other non-edible funguses or fungus that does't produce muchooms? It would seem to me that if ther all get the same job, then i might kill wo birds with one stone to innoculate my hugel mound with an edible type of muchroom. On that subject, does anyone have any suggestions as to what kind of muchroom to innoculate?


Whether they are edible is pretty much independent of the role they play in your garden. If you are fortunate, then you will have lots of edible ones on your hugel. If you are like me and you collect your hugel mushrooms at the local mall, you will not be as fortunate, as all the boletes I find there bruise blue. But if you get all your hugel mushrooms from the grocery store, portabellos and oyster and shiitake and even the wood ear fungus you find dried at the Chinese grocery store, then yes, you may set it up so that you get flushes of edible mushrooms after a good soaking rain.

 
dan long
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Thank you so much, guys. That was really helpful!
 
2017 Appropriate Technology Course at Wheaton Labs http://richsoil.com/pdc
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