Homemade Mycorrhizae

BeeKind12(6b)June 11, 2014

Has anyone made their own homemade Mycorrhizae soil amendment? It's too expensive for our budget to buy in the amt. we need. There also has got to be a much simpler way to encourage it to grow where you want it to, rather than depending upon commercial products! If it travels in nature, there should be a way to encourage it to where you need it.

We have loads of edible mushrooms growing around our property, but would like this beneficial fungi to grow in our many raised beds to enhance plant development. (Beds consist mostly of compost with a hay mulch cover, and are regularly irrigated via rainwater barrels.)

Last summer we attempted transferring some fruiting mushrooms into one raised bed with no affect. Can you simply grind up dried mushrooms and sprinkle the powder onto plant roots before planting them? How about chopping up mushrooms and putting pieces into the planting hole?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Mycorrhizae fungus is a Mother Nature natural product, the result of plant litter falling to the ground year after year and cold composting. The roots of those plants, shrubs and trees that utilize MF reach their feeder roots upward toward soil surface seeking it.

3 methods for the home gardener to make homemade Mycorrhizae:

1. In vegetable gardens- Read the writings and incorporate the gardening methods of Ruth Stout. Simple. Use hay or straw as a mulch. Never move it except to plant a row or dig a hole. Add all vegetable clippings to the mulch. Repeat year after year allowing it to cold compost and make all those varieties of MF needed for verdant veggie growth. It sounds as though you have already adopted this method. Doubtful that mushroom growth will add anything to your present mix.

2. In flower and shrub type gardens. Every fall rake and shred all leaves, woody clippings, etc. associated with those types of gardens and return the shreddings as mulch to the gardens to cold compost.

3. Every year rake and shred fallen leaves. Set aside an out-of-the-way spot where these shredded leaves can be smoothed into a pile no higher than 5" (inches) and allowed to cold compost. Grass clippings can also be added to the mix.
It helps to outline this spot with tree trunks or sections of wood. When MF is needed to add to a planting project, reach beneath this leaf pile and gently scrape along soil surface which, after a few years, should be ready for use. MF is fragile, so handle these soils gently.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 5:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

SOME, but not all, mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of Mycorrhizae that have symbiotic relationships with plants. (eg chanterelles and porcini are). Other kinds of mushrooms grow on dead plant matter. (eg the button mushrooms from the supermarket...)

Studies have shown commercially packaged Mycorrhizae are beneficial to plants growing in mine tailings but offer no detectable benefits under normal circumstances. If plants have been growing on a spot for a couple decades and it's been a couple decades since the spot has been plowed, all the right Mycorrhizae have probably found their way there already.

For trees and undomesticated native plants, the absolute "gold standard" for Mycorrhizae is soil from a spot in the forest where that plant grows well. That will have the Mycorrhizae that this particular plant has a relationship with.

Commercial products are kind of guessing what Mycorrhizae are best, and even if they guess well the ones they pick may not be the ones your particular plants use. (Different plants use different species of Mycorrhizae.) I also suspect they are also probably influenced by what kinds of Mycorrhizae can be artificially mass produced and can survive in a bag on a store shelf.

As far as how it travels in nature...when two fungus love each other very much (and happen to be growing next to each other) their hyphae meet and make a mushroom. The Mushroom contains DNA from both, and produces spores from the gills at the bottom. (Or burst open and releases spores) The wind carries these spores.

As for what you can do...
1.) Take shovels full of dirt from near your favorite edible mushrooms and near old or wild specimens of plants you are growing in your raised bed. Then pour them in the plating hole when you plant new ones in the raised bed.
2.) If you see an edible mushroom you like, look to see if there are still spores in the gills. If there are, blow them in the planting holes or mix them with compost. (Or better yet, mix them in manure. Grow mushrooms in the manure in your basement, then use the manure as fertilizer).

Although honestly, if you have a healthy mushroom population in your yard, they will probably find their way into your raised beds on their own.

This post was edited by edlincoln on Thu, Nov 13, 14 at 20:42

    Bookmark   November 13, 2014 at 6:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

i had bought a bag of shitake.
i forgot to put them in the refrig, and they went bad
so, i put them in a blender with water, and poured it over a few areas of my yard with lots of leaf litter.
i get 80lb of coffee grounds at a time from Starbucks,
i also get several large bags of grass and leaves every week in the summer and fall, so, my "mulch" is 2 ft deep in spots.
waiting for shrooms :)

i have to think even if i dont get shrooms, it will be good for fruit trees etc...
i have a lot of leaves and UCG they will much on, and degrade.

i also create a bucket of microbes 2-3 times per year.
i take a handful of compost, one of worm castings (live)
throw them in a 5 gal bucket with molasses, cane syrup, protien powder (that went bad), and a spoon of MFungi

aerate for 2 days

supposedly Mychorizal Fungi only activate in the presence of roots, so, i put roots of 5 different plants (weeds mostly)
in a blender and added that too. (with some of the dirt)

    Bookmark   December 27, 2014 at 4:17PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
duck/chicken scratch yard in TX
Hi all, I'm currently raising chickens and will be...
suburban yard - several species in small area
in this pic in my backyard i have papaya, passionflower,...
making my first swale
Hi,people! I think the best solution to my erosion/run-off...
Permaculture in structural pest control
Hi! I'm Sean. I operate Ecological Pest Management...
Grapes in trees
I've been asking this in some of the other forums,...
Sponsored Products
Cuisinart ICE-30BC 2-quart Ice Cream Maker
Cathy's Concepts Personalized Home Brew Beer Growler - 2216NG
$22.00 | Hayneedle
Owl Glass Figure Vase
$34.99 | Dot & Bo
Hammary Vecchio 2 Piece Rectangular Cocktail Table Set
Beyond Stores
Porcelain Pineapple Chalice
$34.99 | Dot & Bo
Safavieh Handmade Ancestral Tree Ivory/ Green Wool Rug (8' Square)
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™