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Mushrooms in the Planty Garden

Are mushrooms popping up in your Planty Garden? It's probably because you've had some wet weather.

Mushrooms in the garden are actually a good sign. Here you'll find more info about what - and if - you should do anything about it.
paddestoel in moestuinmix
Uninvited mushrooms in the Planty Garden
It seems like they come out of nowhere: mushrooms in the vegetable garden.

I get emails from readers who see mushrooms growing in the soil mix. They wonder, how does it happen, is it a bad thing, and how do I get rid of it?

Why do mushrooms appear?

The soil mix contains a lot of compost, which is pure and organic material. Since it's made from leaves, branches, and wood chips, it always contains fungal threads (mycelium). Because the composting process produces heat, these threads can develop really well.

If the MM-mix stays moist for a long time, these fungal threads will grow into mushrooms.

This is actually a good sign because it shows that harmful bacteria have been killed off during the composting process. Otherwise, no mushrooms would come up.

Some compost is killed with chemicals to prevent mosses or animals from entering the bags over time. Of course, no mushrooms will grow in that either.
Small mushrooms in the MM-Mix: a good sign
When the summers are hot and humid, mushrooms appear everywhere in our garden. Not just in our garden boxes, but in the wood chips around them too, in the grass and under the trees.
So, the fact that mushrooms appear in your garden boxes doesn't necessarily mean that they come from the soil mix itself.

Last year we had lots of mushrooms in the garden but almost none in the garden boxes. This is actually the first time I've had such a huge mushroom in my garden box.

Is it a bad thing?

No, not at all. Mushrooms help to break down organic material, so they're a sign of a healthy environment.

In fact, because of pollution and excess fertilizer use, there are fewer and fewer mushrooms. With your Planty Garden, you help rectify this.

They appear in your garden boxes because the soil mix holds retains moisture. When it rains a lot the mushrooms feel right at home there.
Mushrooms growing between the beets

Can you eat them?

No, I wouldn't do that. There are only a few species that are edible. There are also only a few species that are truly poisonous. Most species are in between: not edible but not poisonous either.

The poison in the dangerous mushrooms only really starts working when you eat them. Touching them and then putting your fingers in your mouth - if you want to - usually won't do you any harm.

How do you get rid of them?

If the mushrooms bother you, just pick them or cut them off. Then throw them on the compost pile. I would definitely do that if you have small children running around who put all kinds of things in their mouths.

If you leave them alone, the mushrooms will disappear when it gets sunnier and drier.

Until then, I'll just enjoy them 🙂

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