Companion planting

This is a post from a while back that didn’t get published at the time.

These days we’re coming to think of our garden as a tiny created ecosystem. I’m now trying to expand what started with companion planting and the chickens to another kingdom: fungi. The idea of foraging for mushrooms is a tempting one, but comes with its dangers. Foraging for spore-bearing mushrooms for companion planting had many of the benefits without the risk!

The ink caps are endemic it seems and grow on decomposing matter. We have a ready supply of decomposing matter in our chicken manure, so I hope to be able to keep a colony supplied. And curiously, structures in the fungus are damaging to nematodes. Nematodes are a natural part of the soil, but some species eat vegetable roots.

We have what appears to be a species of ink cap that grows naturally in the garden:

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Using some shaggy manes (I think!) that I found in a garden, I’ve inoculated my garden beds.

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Hopefully they’ll flourish and I’ll have a poo-digesting, nematode-busting, soil-stabilising and curiously autodigesting ally in the garden!

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