Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon May 11, 2009 9:14 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Mushrooms taking over garden - coprinellus disseminatus

I built a planter box out of rosewood (3' x 1' x 1'), and have 1 row of tomato plants (3) and 1 row of lettuce (6), each started from seeds. Used organic potting soil and no fertilizers. A few weeks in, some mushrooms started to appear. I'm told this is a good sign of healthy soil and biodiversity. However, they are now coming at rapid rates and release black, gewy ink onto the leaves of the baby plants. I'm concerned that they will interfere with the health of the vegetables if they don't slow down. Is there anything I can introduce into the soil that will slow down/eliminate the mushrooms (sans chemicals)?

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2097
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 11:27 pm
Location: Mid Ohio

There is not much you can do about the mushrooms. They won't hurt anything. But your system overall is very unhealthy.

1) That mushroom grows en mass in unfinished woody compost. You rarely see it in good brands of potting mix that have been composted to completion. You will see a few mushrooms pop up out of potting mix that has been kept too wet.

2) The fruiting stage indicates that the fungal body has depleated the medium of nutrients (eaten all it can) and so is ready to reproduce. The good news is that it means the mushroooms won't be around long.

3) A 3'x1'x1' planter is large enough for about three lettuce plants or one compact variety of tomato. And with that one tomato you would have to water it every day, sometimes twice a day when it matures.

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