Mushrooms in my soil bed...Good or Bad?

greenepastures(9)April 8, 2014

These brownish / gray-ish mushrooms are popping up in my garden bed? Is this a sign of fertility, nutrient imbalance, or is it some sort of bad omen?

I do add compost tea on a regular basis. Other than manure & worm castings, I also add about a cup of mushroom compost in the tea bag. But even when I don't use the mushroom compost, I still get them.

Only my second year of organic gardening so please take it easy on me (lol)...

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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

When I see mushrooms popping up somewhere, usually in the grass where a stump is rotting, it happens when the soil it wet.

I don't think they indicate anything other than wetness and usually rotting wood. Perhaps you have introduced mushrooms sprores from the compost.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 12:00PM
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Not a problem. Just pull them up and toss them on the dirt to decay.

Will not harm your plants.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 1:33PM
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Mushrooms are just the fruiting bodies of various fungal organisms. And fungal organisms are present in all soils. The presence of mushrooms just indicates some ongoing organic matter decomposition (doesn't have to be wood) and the right combo of temperature and moisture.

95% of the mushrooms that appear in soil are harmless. It's the ones that are not very obvious that can cause problems :-)

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 2:27PM
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Well there's lots of OM in the area where I've seen them. OK..what a relief.......and soil is usually on the moist side and decently mulched.

so just pull them up and allow them to it...

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 7:47PM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

You don't even need to pull them up. Just let them deliquesce on the spot. They'll be gone petty quickly. As gardengal48 said, the thing you can see is just the fruiting body, the main part of the organism is in the soil and pulling up the toadstool has no effect on it.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 6:37AM
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Pull them up and throw them out ? ? ?

Where's the fun in that ? They are not hurting anything and just don't last all that long.

Your other option is to enjoy them. Watch the life process they go through, learn to identify them or not, but I've found I now can mark the parts of each season by which of my various mushrooms pop up and disappear. I've even gone to the extreme of picking up tiny starts of any new mushroom that has not already set up shop in my garden. Many then reappear forever. Others don't happen to love what I'm providing and don't come back the next year.

You'll know when you've gone too far. If you look forward to your patch of dog vomit slime appearing each year, to watch it's whole process, well.... ;)

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 7:20PM
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greenepastures(9) they'll remain in the bed then. Mind you...they are not thick fact they are slim and spindly and quite delicate to the touch...

On another note.... I read somewhere that mushrooms can be used as an inoculant to assist in the breakdown of OM, particularly wood chips...any insights?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 8:06AM
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toxcrusadr Clay Soil(Zone 6a - MO)

Yes they can. The initial decomposition of wood is generally a fungal process, which breaks up the cells and fibers, after which bacteria can continue the process. Not all fungi are wood digesters but many are.

What you have there are referred to by mushroomers as 'LBMs' or 'little brown mushrooms'. Some are edible, but there are so many, and some of them are very toxic, that they are not the best category to look for good eats. :-]

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 1:24PM
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It is very rare that you need to inoculate organic matter to cause it to decompose. Unless you are trying for a specific decomposition product, or maybe your desired goal is the decomposer itself.

In other words, if you want to make beer, bread, yogurt, cheese or miso, you should inoculate. If you want to grow specific mushrooms, then you have to inoculate with the right spores. And you may even need to sterilize first to kill of competing spores and bacteria.

But if you just want organic matter to decompose, you don't need to inoculate it. The decomposers are out there already just waiting.


    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 1:17AM
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