Jdawg
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re: mycelium for raised veggie beds??

Hi all

If this has been posted and answered before, my apologies.

I'm building some raised veggie beds, and will be adding topsoil along with many other amendments (seaweed, cardboard, straw, woodshavings/straw, manure, compost, fava beans as a cover crop) in a week or two. My plan is to let our mild Victoria winter rains turn this mixture into a wonderful pile of organic mass into which I can grow some food plants next spring/summer.

I've heard that innoculating veggie beds with mycelium (type?) can have multiple benefits for soil health/veggie production.

Anyone have opinions on this? If so, which type of mycelium to use and where to purchase up here in BC (Canada)?

thanks in advance!!
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tomc
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Re: re: mycelium for raised veggie beds??

Jdawg wrote: I've heard that innoculating veggie beds with mycelium (type?) can have multiple benefits for soil health/veggie production.

Anyone have opinions on this? If so, which type of mycelium to use and where to purchase up here in BC (Canada)?
I don't (buy mycelium), and would not. Mycellia are dispersed by wind. Time and providence will supply all the decomposition vectors your organic material needs.

It is very american to hold the beleif you can buy your way out of any perceived (or imagined) difficulty.

My end of this argument is a liberal supply of yard waste and perhaps a little brush laid of top of those autumnal leaves will go a very long way, to your goal of a productive garden.

In the third world where every scrap of organic material is either fed to live stock, or used as fuel to cook with, organic practice is problematic. Here, its much more of a question of useing material up that is too often hauled away to a land-fill.
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Agree about not needing to buy additives to have rich organic soil and about the importance of keeping useful materials out of the waste stream.

Re the third world countries: If you have nothing else to compost, you always have humanure. And I would imagine there would be some plant waste (corn stalks or whatever) that is not suitable for feeding to live stock. Voila, compost pile. I think compost toilets could save the world! :) China used "night soil" to maintain their soil fertility for millenia.
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There is such a thing as making soil too rich.

Question: What type of bottom (if any) will these raised beds have?

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applestar
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Personally, I like the reading materials at www.fungi.com
They do offer a myco-mix that they say have been researched to be beneficially symbiotic with vegetables/garden plants but I have no experience using it.

Another great fungi/myco resource (and sorry these are both in USA but possibly may ship to Canada considering their locations) is www.fieldforest.net

Good luck and please keep us posted on what you decide to use and details on how you are going about it. I'm very interested. 8)

Oh, and so far, I've only intentionally tried spreading spent oyster and shiitake mushroom spawn in the raised bed mix and/or incorporating it in the compost pile. Neither of these processes were intended to grow the oyster mushrooms in the bed as symbiotic source (that's a whole another project that you can read about at fungi.com).

I also regularly add what is sold as "mushroom compost" -- spent mushroom compost from the mushroom industry. There are some pros and cons including likely use of pesticides if the source is not an organic farm.

In addition, many higher end potting mixes now contain mycorrhizae so I imagine when I use them to uppot transplants, they get introduced into the garden beds as well.

Since I use fungi-promoting fall leaves, sticks, branches, hay, straw, cardboard, etc., my garden beds all sport some kind of naturally introduced fungi/mushrooms. This is typical, and you may see this happen in your garden bed at some point too.

Ha! I keep thinking of new things to add to this post! :D
I think Fava beans as cover crop is a great idea. Make sure to cut the stems at ground level after harvesting and leave the roots and their N-containing rhizobium nodules in the ground to break down and release. As some have commented, this all sounds like makings of a very rich (i.e. Nitrogen-rich) mix. It will probably be a good idea to give some thought into WHICH crops you will want to plant in this bed in spring. :wink:

tomc
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john gault wrote:There is such a thing as making soil too rich.
There are dimishing returns to large amounts of anything. Your FL location makes it likely you could have two seasons growing, and may need to compost-manure twice yearly. Florida sand and warm average temperatures means any compost you apply is going to break down awfully quickly.
Question: What type of bottom (if any) will these raised beds have?
Depends on how close abutting trees grow. If your garden is well outside trees drip edge, maybe not.

Hm, then there are critters. If armadillo can-do visit, hardware cloth (and fencing) could well be in your gardens future.
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Jdawg
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re: mycelium for raised veggie beds??

Thanks all for your responses, much appreciated :)

After a little more research, it sounds like adding a basic mycorhizzal fungi in with the soil might be the way to go. It can foster any potential mycelial-type relationships that may be already present in the materials I'm going to be building soil with, and bolster food plants (aside from brassicas) defenses while giving them nutrients they might not otherwise receive.

To answer one question, the beds are going to be a foot deep. I'm underlining them with landscape fabric (not because I want to), but because the yard has a massive problem with bindweed and buttercup. Both are VERY tenacious weeds.

And I'm in Victoria, BC, Canada, not Florida, just a small fyi.

Cheers all!
Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much. Oscar Wilde

Artemesia
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Ectomycorrhizal and Brassica

Be sure to get both ectomycorrhizal and endomycorrhizal. Since these are new beds, you can speed up colonization by purchasing spores. After the initial colonization, just try to keep working in plenty of partially decomposed matter. Most of these fungi will survive in saprophytic phase until the right roots come along in crop rotation. If some die off, the spores are in the air to recolonize. There is new evidence that ectomycorrhizal fungus form relationships with Brassica and even some grasses. Probably even some other vegetables.

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You might want to read the Helpful Gardener's article about [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/tips/03/fungi.html]mycorrhizal fungi[/url]. It's an article about mycorrhizal fungi that was written by Scott, The Helpful Gardener, our article editor.

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