Return to the Permaculture Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Homemade Mycorrhizae

Posted by BeeKind12 6b (My Page) on
Wed, Jun 11, 14 at 11:49

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?


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Homemade Mycorrhizae

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.


 o
RE: Homemade Mycorrhizae

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


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Permaculture Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here