Saturday, June 16, 2012

Using Mycelium in Gardening

Using Mycelium in Gardening
By Mark Wilkes

When I talk about mycelium I am referring to the Body or Roots of the actual fruiting body of a mushroom. These roots are actually considered the supporting body that travels underground. Mushrooms that digest decaying tissue are classified as saprophytes. They consume anything carbon based as soon as its life force has left. The job of the mycelium is to turn everything into soil, and to feed the plants and trees around them. The mycelium wraps its roots around the roots of the plants or trees and feeds them directly by breaking down further decaying tissues and minerals into so called bite size pieces so as the plants can assimilate them easier.

Stropharia rugoso-annulata in particular digests dead debris, companions with plants and creates healthy living environments for other more delicate microorganisms and fungi to strive.The basis of pedology.

When we add this particular mushroom into an environment a rapid digestion process begins.  When there is no “extreme heat” being used, all the microorganisms don’t die off from being burnt and as well as the mushroom breaks down the tough lignin and cellulose fibres leaving the area with humus. This black matter is what we look for when we harvest quality topsoil for sales. That topsoil may have taken hundreds of thousands of years to create.

We can speed up this process dramatically by first chipping wood so as the surface area is optimized and the mycelium can digest it quicker. We also use straw or small branches (if the piles of chips are deeper than 3 inches) to layer with the chips to keep the pile cool so as to not burn the fungi. A forest doesn’t compost it digests. We lose large volumes of water, carbon and Co2 by mass composting or especially burning. A natural forest recycles everything. This is also why high altitude burning of debris is so devastating!

When we apply this method in our gardens we create an ecosystem like in a forest that grows soil full of all the necessities of life. The Garden Giant Mushroom does not require shade to grow and only needs small supplemental amounts of water to strive. When we install the patches on ornamental or vegetable gardens there is a dramatic decline for irrigation requirements. I water my Greenhouse up the 3 times per Month!!! Most people water every day!

The advantages of growing soil and plants in companion with mycelium:

1. Water Retention- up to 90% more than nursery bought soil/compost
2. By feeding the roots directly, fungi digest larger particles making them into more accessible forms for the plants to uptake
3. Creates food chains effects with dramatic results
4. Recycles woody waste products like saplings and branches after pruning
5. Is the premier choice for establishing new land after clearing for disruption
6. Creates bumper crops of delicious mushrooms

Funguy Gardens is based on the Sunshine Coast, in beautiful British Columbia. We offer companies and private landowners proven techniques in land reclamation and cultivation. If you have field of gravel, sand or clay we look at them basically all the same- We introduce the mycelium and the microbes with the addition of food and you have production again!
Give us a call
at 604-886-3388

Happy Growing!!!