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Thread: Mushrooms in the garden, a problem or not?

  1. #1

    Mushrooms in the garden, a problem or not?

    Fellow green thumbs,

    I thought I'd ask for input about mushrooms that I've recently found growing on the mulch in my garden. I live in Chicago and the garden is East facing with plenty of sun. The mushrooms are growing near the base of bulb plants, mainly tulips, lilies, and between peonies and hydrangeas.

    It appears that there are two different varieties. The first grows in clusters, are brown/yellow, and look like tiny smurf houses. The second is very dainty, brown, has a long white neck, and a feathered cap.

    I am not sure if I should be concerned. Personally, I think they are just totally adorable (I know that's odd), but we have a cottage-style garden, so I like the wild look. But should I be concerned? Does anyone know whether these varieties kill plants or cause other harm? My dog has no interest in them, so I'm not concerned about that in particular.

    Thanks for any help. Here's a link with pictures:

    https://picasaweb.google.com/VQuinta...eat=directlink

    All best,

    Victor

  2. #2
    They could be the magical variety although you would need to print them to be sure You could post the pics here and they would help ID them better than us here: http://www.shroomery.org/forums/postlist.php/Board/3

  3. #3
    I wouldn't be concerned. Mushrooms break down dead plant matter and nourish the soil. I would advise against eating them though, many varieties of mushrooms look a like and could be poisonous.

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  5. #4
    Moderator bromeliad's Avatar
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    I'm afraid that mushrooms are one of the penalties of using a wood mulch; be thankful you don't have artillery fungus. You might want to try pine straw instead.
    Last edited by bromeliad; 05-08-2012 at 05:05 PM.

  6. #5
    Thanks for the help with this. Wow--artillery fungus. The name alone sends me running for cover!

  7. #6
    It's been a while since I have done any mycology (it was just a hobby) but I am not familiar with artillery fungus, what is it?

  8. #7
    Moderator bromeliad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jebediah View Post
    It's been a while since I have done any mycology (it was just a hobby) but I am not familiar with artillery fungus, what is it?
    Artillery fungus pdf

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  10. #8
    Very informative, thank you very much. Makes me glad I don't use wood mulch in my landscaping anymore... Especially because I live in the Pacific Northwest and it is prime territory for pretty much any fungus, bet that artillery mold would thrive out here.

  11. #9
    We have the "smurf houses" growing around the edge of a stump. I agree, they're lovely to look at! We also get the "Brain" variety from time to time (http://moonstar18.deviantart.com/art...in-1-181183406 ) Never thought them to be dangerous though, they just like the rotting wood...

  12. #10
    There's a well-known acronym among mycologists - LBM, for little brown mushroom. They can be very hard to identify and differentiate from look-alikes. Bear in mind that the mushrooms are only the fruiting bodies of the mycelium, which is the actual living organism and stays hidden from view. The mycelium is very good at decomposing organic matter and moving water and nutrients around in the substrate. Many fungi have a symbiotic relationship with trees and plants and are very beneficial to your garden. Because their 'roots' go very deep, they protect plants from drought; by decomposition, they make nutriensts available in the soil; and by 'breathing', they produce C02, which is an essential part of photosynthesis. So, rather than seeing mushrooms as a problem, take it as a sign that your garden is healthy.

    Fungi will save the world!

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