Fungi forum: What does it mean if you have lots of different fungi in your yard?

Page 1 of 2 • 1 2
Views: 824, Replies: 29 » Jump to the end
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
Image
beckygardener
Jan 11, 2015 7:47 AM CST
I am seeing more mushrooms/fungi in my yard this past year than I have in the past 20+ years here. What does that mean?

Should I be pulling them up and tossing them or leave them alone?

I had read somewhere that fungi is a good sign about your soil. Is that true? I have fast draining sandy soil that I have been amending for years with tons of trees surrounding the outside of my property. I would like more information, please!
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
Image
needrain
Jan 11, 2015 8:02 AM CST
I think seeing mushrooms is probably a healthy sign. They can be symptomatic of something not good going on, but those that pop up as you're seeing them do are doing their bit by breaking down organic material underground. In any case, pulling up what you are seeing above ground wouldn't accomplish much. Most growth is underground - the part (mushroom) you see is just the fruiting part. The largest known organism in the world is a fungus in Oregon called Armillaria ostoyae. It's estimated at well over 2000 years old and covers more than 2000 square miles. Fungus wasn't a misprint, but I'm not sure how they determined it was a single organism. You can find all kinds of articles about it if you google 'the largest mushroom in the world'.
Donald
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
Image
beckygardener
Jan 11, 2015 8:18 AM CST
Donald - I have seen so many "different" fungi this past year all in my backyard. Many I have never seen before in my life. Even some in the sun in my front sand garden bed. Or maybe they were something else as they looked like small rocks until I touched them and pulled them up. They were soft and had the underground roots like a mushroom. I did use mushroom compost/soil a few years back around my garden areas. Could that be where such a variety of fungi came from? Are the spores the "seeds"? It is really quite cool when my garden beds get a lot of rain and then all these different fungi growths bloom above the surface of the soil. They are fascinating organisms! The Slime mold was the weirdest one of all and covered a sizable area on my cypress mulch path.

So most fungi are a good sign? I am also seeing a few more earthworms. They were rare to see here before because of the awful soil in my yard. I still have a long way to go to get the ground soil in healthy shape, but I didn't know mushrooms/fungi was a good sign. Correct?
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
Image
needrain
Jan 11, 2015 9:20 AM CST
Personally, I tend to class fungi as a positive thing. Very much in the way I perceive soil microbes, earthworms and certain kinds of termites (not all are bad). Those things are evidence of active life which is evidence of nutritious soil. I get the slime mold on the cypress mulch, but I got even more of it from the chipped up debris from clearing the overhead utility lines. I have a big pile of that in exchange for letting them park equipment in my field for the time they were working in the area. Because all of that came from high growth, it doesn't have much in the way of weed seeds. I was surprised to see the fungi. I do think you can transport fungi in via compost, mulch and the like. There are thousands of different types of fungi with there own requirements and cycles. You might see one only once and never again. As the organic material is breaking down, it may change for one type of fungi and become more suitable for another. Spores are the equivalent of a fungus seed, I think. I'm no expert and there are too many types of fungi. I'm not sure that even those that study them know everything in their life cycles.
Donald
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
Image
woofie
Jan 11, 2015 11:09 AM CST
I tend to agree with Donald; mushrooms like nice organic soil, so you're probably doing a great job of improving your soil. Smiling And adding that mushroom compost is very likely the source of your new little friends. The spores are indeed the "seeds" for mushrooms. By getting rid of the mushrooms, which are the "fruit," you are getting rid of the "seeds," but not the plant.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Jan 11, 2015 11:40 AM CST
They are not bad for your soil and not a bad sign of anything. The only thing that is bad about them is that some can be very toxic. So if you have small children or pets, you should be diligent to ID them or destroy those within reach before they play outside. My son ate a mushroom once while playing outside and I had to feed him that syrup stuff and make him vomit. It was a rough time for him. Luckily I seen him eat it, or who knows what could have happened. My little poodle likes to chew on things sometimes too.
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
Image
woofie
Jan 11, 2015 1:25 PM CST
Oh, yes, you definitely don't want pets or small children (or yourself, for that matter Smiling ) munching on them without knowing what they are. There are a few that are quite deadly. Amanita phalloides and Amanita ocreata spring to mind. (Heh, I probably misspelled those.)
http://www.mushroom-appreciation.com/death-cap.html
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
Image
beckygardener
Jan 11, 2015 2:21 PM CST
Thanks, y'all! I am definitely NOT interested in eating any mushrooms grown in my yard! I was just wondering what it means to see so many different varieties growing in my garden beds and along my mulch path. I do pull them up because I have dogs and the younger dog might be crazy enough to actually chomp down on a mushroom! So .....
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Jan 21, 2015 5:24 PM CST
beckygardener said:I am seeing more mushrooms/fungi in my yard this past year than I have in the past 20+ years here. What does that mean?
...
I have fast draining sandy soil that I have been amending for years with tons of trees surrounding the outside of my property. I would like more information, please!


Fungi depend on organic matter in the soil as their sole source of energy and carbon compounds. So it seems like a signal that you finally got 'enough" organic matter into your soil. Of course, microbes and insects and other small organisms are constantly EATING that soil organic matter, so you probably still need to keep adding it.

If the soil were less well aerated, the organic matter might last longer.

Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Jan 21, 2015 5:30 PM CST
>> I am also seeing a few more earthworms.

They also need organic matter to eat, but some species can grab bits of leaves from the surface and drag them down underground to rot. I think the worms are also a sign of improved soil. maybe when you have more worms, they will eat more of the OM and the fungi will be less prolific.

My theory about fungal spores is that they are all already everywhere. They drift on the air and stick to dust that flies around. I;'m sure before any leaf falls to the ground, it already has fungal spores on it.

Wouldn't commercial mushroom compost be mostly just the one species that the mushroom grower was cultivating? I'm just speculating.

Maybe the spent mushroom compost is SO favorable to the growth of ALL fungi that, as soon as it hit your sand, the spores that had already been in your soil, say a few spores of each species per cubic foot of soil, went into population growth overdrive and were soon popping up fruiting bodies of every type and color.

Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
Image
beckygardener
Jan 21, 2015 5:55 PM CST
Rick - Interesting theories you have for my mushroom population explosion. Any of those theories seem possible. I take it that fungi growth is likely a good thing. I wished I had taken photos of all the different mushrooms popping up during the rainy season last year. Some were the usual, but many were mushrooms I had never seen before in my life. Nor have I seen any like them around here locally. Which is why I wondered if spores of different species might have come in the mushroom compost I had bought a couple years back and spread around my garden beds. I was quite amazed at what I saw! I so wished I had taken photos. They were really cool to see!

I am thinking commercial mushroom compost is where they dump ALL the soil/compost from mushroom farms and mix it all together and bag it up to sell. This is the brand of mushroom compost that I purchased:
http://www.blackkow.com/_html/mushroomcompost.htm
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
Image
beckygardener
Jan 21, 2015 6:01 PM CST
I just read this very informative article about mushroom compost:

http://extension.oregonstate.edu/gardening/mushroom-compost-...

Apparently not as good for the soil as thought to be. Hmmmmm ..... I guess it should be said to research before you buy!
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Jan 21, 2015 6:16 PM CST
beckygardener said:
I am thinking commercial mushroom compost is where they dump ALL the soil/compost from mushroom farms and mix it all together and bag it up to sell. This is the brand of mushroom compost that I purchased:
]http://www.blackkow.com/_html/mushroomcompost.htm


I see your point. It's not like Mushroom Farmer Old McDonald dumped a truckload of last month's batch in your yard. Black Kow probably collects it from several states and blends it.

Plus, any dust that touches the compost during transport and processing adds hundreds or thousands of new spores.

Personally, I assume that any kind of rich compost or partially aged manure is "too strong" for seeds, seedlings and many young plants. I would mix any of those more thinly with soil than 50% or 25%, tilling it in well. Even as top-dress-mulch, I would rather use aged compost or just an inch or so per application.

I think many people who grow in straight compost make it with lots of "browns" like leaves or paper or sawdust. But some people grow in straight compost or even straight manure and swear by it.

There are few hard-and-fast rules in gardening! Usually there are some particular circumstances under which a "universal" rule fails to apply.
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
Image
beckygardener
Jan 21, 2015 6:37 PM CST
I agree I usually just top dress my garden beds with compost.

I am now exploring and trying my own worm bins. In fact, I just started my two today (officially). The bins were set up over a week ago, but the worms didn't arrive until today. I am going even more organic with worm castings instead of commercial fertilizer. I wonder if the mushrooms will like worm castings? LOL!
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Seedfork
Jan 22, 2015 7:58 AM CST
beckygardener,
I did my research on mushroom compost when I was thinking of adding some last year. I read several articles that convinced me not to use it, then I was made aware of the many different levels of mushroom compost quality. It appears that the state of Pennsylvania (best I recall) has some of the best mushroom compost and that it is much better for the soil. So don't be too quick to write it off, there may be some available that would greatly benefit the garden.
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
Image
beckygardener
Jan 22, 2015 4:37 PM CST
Larry - I did read that, but probably finding a "good" source in Florida might be an expensive challenge. I am mainly thinking that the mushroom compost that I did use came with mushroom spores and that might be why the unusual variety in my yard last year.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Seedfork
Jan 22, 2015 4:43 PM CST
It might be that the mushroom compost you get in Florida is imported from Penn. it seems there is only one mushroom farm left in Florida.I guess you can always check the bags.
http://www.mushroombusiness.com/content/news/detail/283/quin...
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
Image
beckygardener
Jan 22, 2015 4:48 PM CST
Hmmm .... that's interesting. I don't know where Black Kow gets their mushroom compost from. (Which is what I used.)
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Jan 22, 2015 4:53 PM CST
Black Kow says it is only available in 10 states, unless you special-order!
They also say they are "working hard to keep up with demand and are expanding distribution.".

http://blackkow.com/_html/mushroomcompost.htm

Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
Image
beckygardener
Jan 22, 2015 4:55 PM CST
But the question is ... where did the mushroom compost come from? From the 1 mushroom company in my state or were the bags shipped in from other states?
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden

Page 1 of 2 • 1 2

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Fungi forum
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Today's site banner is by dirtdorphins and is called "Lilium 'Pink Perfection'"