Mushrooms grow in natural environments that are rich in biology and organic biomass. That’s why mushrooms popping up in your garden is usually a sign that you’re doing something right!
These mushrooms cycle nutrients, create soil structure, retain moisture, and provide countless services to your plants. Mushroom forming fungi are an important part of the biology present in organic and natural gardening practices.
Are Mushrooms Growing In Your Garden Safe?
While many people are scared or put off by wild mushrooms near their home, there usually isn’t anything to be worried about. Most garden mushrooms are non-lethal and safe to animals, although it is not recommended to consume any unidentified mushrooms. If you are still concerned you can remove the fruiting bodies and place them in the compost. Avoid using fungicides because they negatively impact the health of the soil and may have unwanted health impacts on those exposed.
What Mushrooms Can Be Found Growing in Gardens?
There are hundreds of different types of mushrooms that occur in gardens although some are more common than others. In most cases, mushrooms found within gardens originate from fungi that are decomposing organic substrates within the soil. These substrates usually include manure, compost, wood chips, or other undecomposed materials.
During this decomposition process, fungi are unlocking nutrients that are stored within these substrates. This includes nitrogen, potassium, and all of the important plant nutrients! On top of this, they help mediate positive interactions within the soil food web that are beneficial for your plants.
Some Common Mushrooms Found In Gardens
What Mushrooms Are Growing On my lawn?
Just like in a garden bed many different types of mushrooms can grow on your lawn. Similarly, these mushrooms are usually feeding on rich organic matter stowed within the soil of your lawn. Because of this many lawn mushrooms specialize in decomposing finely composted materials as opposed to woody or less decomposed materials.
Many times “fairy ring” mushrooms occur within lawns in perfect circles. This phenomenon is caused by the preferential fruiting of mushrooms on the outer edge of their mycelial growth. This means the center of the fairy ring is where the mushroom began growing and the center is where there has been colonization. In some cases, you can even see that the grass is greener within the center of the fairy circles due to the nutrients released by the fungi!
Some Common Mushrooms Found On Lawns
Can You Grow Mushrooms In Your Garden?
There are many ways to incorporate mushrooms into your garden. This includes inoculated logs, wood chips, manure, or just by placing colonized grow kits in and around your garden. One of the easiest mushrooms to grow in your garden is the Garden Giant (Stropharia rugosoannulata). This species can be inoculated outdoors using laboratory-grade mushroom spawn and hardwood wood chips. This mushroom is delicious and can grow to weigh several kilos!
Types Of Mushrooms You Can Grow In Your Garden
Mushrooms Growing With Trees In Your Garden
If you live in a forested environment or have many trees around your garden, then you may have mushrooms that grow in symbiosis with their roots. In particular, trees that form these relationships with mushroom-forming fungi include Oak, Birch, Alder, Beech, and many different coniferous species. Mushrooms associated with trees usually grow near tree roots or the base of trees but can also occur many meters away from the tree. Mushrooms that associate with trees are often in the following groups of fungi; Chanterelles, Amanitas, Boletes, Laccarias, and more. These include some of the most choice edible mushrooms out there, but also a handful of toxic ones! Like previously mentioned, never eat mushrooms that have yet to be identified by a professional!
Alternatively, there can also be pathogenic fungi that affect trees in your yard. These either form fruiting bodies directly from the trunks or near the base of the trees. In many cases, these fungi are in a group known as the “Polypores” which are recognized for having a flat pore-filled surface on their underside. These mushrooms can be a potential hazard as they are actively consuming structural tissues within the trees. This is particularly true of “butt rot” fungi that occur at the base of trees. If you have an infected tree near your home, you may want to consider contacting a specialist for removal.
Can You Grow Mushrooms Indoors?
Mushrooms are easily grown indoors due to the fact you can easily control all the environmental conditions. This includes giving your mushrooms the perfect quantity of humidity, CO2, temperature, and more. On top of this, you can reduce the risks of contamination from environmental sources. Most commercially cultivated mushroom species are cultivated indoors.
What Type Of Mushrooms Can Be Grown Indoors?
Almost any type of cultivated mushroom can be grown indoors. This includes Oyster Mushrooms, Shittake, White Button Mushrooms, Portobello, Lion’s Mane, Turkey Tail, Reishi, and much more. Mushrooms that cannot be grown indoors are those which require symbiotic relationships with host trees.