Hey Dude, Scotty, and the fabulous Guru- Hope all is well. Survived the Hurricane. What a Phreakin’ mess. Finally got my power back today. I’ve been waiting for power to provide the crew with a good short post on beneficial mycelium, why you want it in your soil and how to grow your own very inexpensively.
Let’s cover what it is. Mycelium is the vegetative part of a fungus. It is a network of cells living within and throughout almost all landmasses on Earth. It is the neural network of nature. Mycelium is classified into three different categories based upon how they obtain their food from other organisms. 1) Mycorrhizae, receives nutrients from living plants in a mutually beneficial relationship. 2) Saprophytic, absorbs nutrients from dead organic matter. 3) Parasitic, feeds off living host.
As cannabis farmers, we want to utilize mycorrhizae as most of us know. It attaches itself to the root of the plant and maximizes the plants surface area. This gives the plant access to nutrients it otherwise would not have been able to reach. The plant photosynthesizes the sun’s energy and turns it into sugar, providing carbohydrates for the mycelium. What most folks don’t know is what crop the mycelium itself can produce. Some examples include Chanterelles and Morels both of which are connoisseur grade mushrooms that come from mycorrhizae. Shitake mushrooms are an excellent example of the fruit of saprophytic mycelium.
Promoting the existence of healthy fungus in your garden brings a load of benefits. There is an enormous amount of information on this subject. Go to Google Scholar and type mycelium symbiosis and you’ll see white papers dated as far back as 20 years ago.
In this post, I want to inspire you the way I have been inspired. I have come to the realization that I could just repeat information that was already out there rewriting it in my own voice. That’s not going to cut it. What I want to do is show you how to use this knowledge the way I have this past year. I want to show you how to make mycorrhizal fungi on your own. You could go out and buy it as I did originally but what if there were no Amazon.com? So Phud, what’s the easiest way to add this into my soil mix? It’s so simple it will make your head spin & it will cost you all of $15 to cover hundreds of square feet of soil.
For the batch I have pictured, which I layered into a 15 gal fabric pot for a transplant, I started with two pounds of worm castings combined with a small amount of existing mycorrhizae from the garden. Then sprinkle a ½ cup of 2 row malted barley ground into a powder on top. Next, spray with filtered water (No Chlorine). Put a towel over it & put it in a very warm place, like the garage right now. You can see the results in 72 hours. I’ve done this very same thing on a 4’ X 8’ raised bed. Instead of a towel I covered it with wheat straw. It takes a bit longer but you end up with a beautiful thick mat of nature’s neural network that you cover with a layer of compost. When you are ready, you simply plant seed right into the bed. Water in some RECHARGE 10 days after your crop sprouts and Mother Nature takes it from there.