A Karen’s Corner Blogette
By Karen Dunn
The other day someone wondered why I would grow my own mushrooms when I could go and forage out in the forest. And although we do love going into the woods to forage for wild mushrooms, I am also keen to grow them in my garden
Besides the fact that I’m a passionate gardener and will plant anything that might take root, there are other reasons for cultivating mushrooms. They have an amazing underground network of mycelium. In the garden, mycelium helps to increase nutrients available to plants, improve water efficiency, reduce erosion by acting as a cellular net, and promote root growth by adding oxygen to the soil and releasing nitrogen, phosphate, and other micronutrients.
I’ve placed my mushroom beds in the shade of our big old apple trees…a space that would otherwise be unused. There are many different varieties of mushroom that can be grown and some of them will even spread throughout the garden. I love the idea that I may be able to go out to the garden at the last minute to pick a handful of fresh mushrooms for dinner. Random mushrooms popping up here and there will add interest to garden beds.
I planted red winecaps in one mushroom bed, yellow oyster mushrooms in the next. Chickens optional but highly recommended.
Karen Dunn gardens on Quadra Island all year long and loves to share her tips and tricks for making your garden awesome! She participated in a mushroom growing workshop offered on Quadra Island this spring by ICAN (Quadra Island Climate Action Network) and the Quadra Island Garden Club.