When it comes to gardens and lawns, fungi sometimes get a bad rap. Too often do we hear horror stories of harmful fungi getting into your lawn or garden and causing some major problems. Fungi, once present, are nearly impossible to get rid of. But did you know that without beneficial fungi, your garden or lawn would be in sad shape? Fungi are a very important part of the soil structure. Let’s take a look at how helpful fungi can give your garden a major boost.
Give Your Garden a Boost with Helpful Fungi
The most basic form of a fungus is what is called the mycelium. These are similar to the roots in your favorite plant, with a few differences. Genetically, each mycelial cell is identical to any given cell found in a finished mushroom. Beneficial mycelium work in conjunction with the root systems of plants. Mycelium form long net-like structures that essentially extend the natural root system of the plant, drawing water and nutrients from far away, allowing the plant to take advantage of nutrients that aren’t within it’s normal range.
Many mushrooms found in the forest are only found in the root zones of certain trees. For example, the famous King Bolete (Boletus edulus) is typically only found growing in conjunction with new root growth in certain pine trees. The fact that fungi species co-exist and benefit plant life is a bit of a surprise to many.
Seeding a bed of sawdust, leaf litter, and wood chips with mushroom mycelium can result in some pretty cool side effects. First, you might just grow yourself a bed of edible gourmet mushrooms (take care extreme care that any fungus that you harvest for culinary use is properly identified by a professional). Second, as the fungal mycelium grow, they break down the organic matter, the wood chips or leaf litter, and unlock nutrients that enrich the surrounding soil. This benefits the soil structure, and yields more available resources for your garden.
There are fertilizers available that contain mychorrizal fungi that benefit the root systems of your plants. Companies produce root dips that coat the root bulb in mycelium, automatically giving the plant a leg up on the competition when it is planted.
Don’t think that the word “fungus” is something catastrophic when it comes to gardening. The right fungi have a very positive impact on your plants. Additionally, using one of our products, such as Green Thumb, can feed your plants and prevent disease, giving you one more advantage in your garden.