Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World by Paul Stamets

This is the last excerpt from my stash of books on loan from our wonderful Powell River Public Library

Companion Cultivation of Mushrooms with Garden Vegetables
Garden vegetables benefit from the activities of both saprophytic (organism that grows on and derives its nourishment from dead or decaying matter) and mycorrhizal (the symbiotic association of the mycelium of a fungus with the roots of certain plants, such as conifers, beeches, or orchids) mushrooms.  First we'll explore the use of saprophytic mushrooms.  After discussing our experiments and experiences with these, I'll move on to using mycorrhizae to aid the garden.

Using Saprophytic Mushrooms to Aid the Growth of Garden Vegetables
...Vegetable seeds seek mycorrhizal fungi immediately upon germination.  (Mycorrhizal fungi are abundant in nature, but many are difficult to collect and only some, like those of the genera Glomus and Rhizopogon are suitable for most trees and plants.)  This pairing of seed sprouts and fungi helps the seeds gather nutrients and prevent parasitization (to infest or infect with parasites).  The fungi benefit from the plant's waste products, sugars, hormones, and dead tissues that flake off.  When seeds are dusted with a mix of mycorrhizal spores (primarily Glomus aggregatum, Glomus intraradices, Glomus mosseae, Pisolithus tinctorius, and assorted Rhizopogon species), the spores and seeds germinate simultaneously, thriving within the protecting and nurturing mantle of mycelium. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

When you visit let us know by leaving a comment. If you have a gmail account you can comment using the google designation in the "comment as" box. If not you will need to scroll down in the "comment as" box until you reach anonymous at the bottom. Click on it as your choice. Write your comment, add your first name or initials and hit the PUBLISH button.