[COMPOST] Growing mushrooms in woodchips to aid in decomposition

Submitted by 6c_6f_76_65 in Gardening (edited )

If I introduce wood loving mushrooms to woodchips would that accelerate the decomposition?

I currently have 80 cubic yards of woodchips and my current schedule has me receiving 10-20 additional cubic yards each week.

I would like to accelerate the composting as much as possible. I currently pickup coffee grounds twice a week which adds about 80lbs and I add leaves and grass whenever I can find them. I have several landscapers who dump grass but that has been a mixed bag. A lot of the grass they dump is mostly brown and I feel is it doing more harm to my C:N ratio.

I am looking into pickup green wastes from grocery stores but every one I have visited so far have strict rules about giving food wastes to individuals.



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ziq wrote

Yup, for sure. From permies:

Mushrooms mushrooms mushrooms! Colonize with types you love to eat, and they will break down the wood into components that bacteria can eat, which are consumed by flagellates, which create bio available nitrogen when they die. If you really want to get things going, spray liquid fish and black strap molasses on the mulch to give the fungus and bacteria a boost. Alternative to consumeable mushrooms, you can buy a root dip and mix with water, the one from Paul Stamets has 30 or so different mushroom types which help roots of plants and many are sapotrophic, or you could buy "effective microbes" or do compost teas. You have many options to help nature along.


Tequila_Wolf wrote

I wonder what the story is with those mushrooms that eat plastic and why those aren't mainstream yet in landfills and dumps.


6c_6f_76_65 OP wrote

Couple entries I dug up... it does not seem it has really become widespread nor is it tied up in any kind of patent. I found a few companies that make designer decisions based on the marketing of the mushroom: Pestalotiopsis microspora



Both of those are fairly old... 4+ years


Here is an article that Kyoto University found plastic eating bacteria: https://www.sustainability-times.com/environmental-protection/mircobes-to-the-rescue-cleaning-up-plastic-waste-with-fungi-and-bacteria/

A more recent article but no reports of mass usage here either: https://yupthatexists.com/pestalotiopsis-microspora-plastic-eating-mushroom/

I searched for a few minutes but could not readily find any national or global waste management companies that are using the fungi as remediation. A bit sad that we don't have heavily funded projects attempting to use this to clean up landfills. I will try my newbie google foo to see if I can find any Nordic studies on this.


MHC wrote

Add thousands of worms, and so do vermicomposting.


6c_6f_76_65 OP wrote

Oh, I am vermicasting as well. I produce about seven to eight pounds of vermicastings a week. This stuff is garden gold!

I changed my entire setup. I had to cut back on the mulch when most of it was sticky pine and other garbage softwood. I have a new company who only dumps hardwoods for me.

I still pickup coffee grounds but it has become such a chore and the kids their are doing a horrible job of not putting food or recycle waste in the bin. I already have so little time it has moved into being a choir having to pick out plastic and food stuff before I scatter the grounds.

I also pickup once a week from a food florist. She uses fruit to make art. Pretty cool and I get all of her rinds and any pieces she can use. This works out to about 60-80lbs a week. I created several large bokashi buckets that I fill, allow to ferment for four more weeks, then I bury it for two week, and then it given to the worms with coffee grounds and shredded paper. Some of the bokashi just stays burried and becomes amazing jet black soil.

The only downside I have noticed are the amount of frogs and large worms that congregate around the bokashi burying. The damn frogs invited the copper heads and I am not too happy about that. I have not run into rattlers or cotton mouth. I need to find a pet mongoose.


6c_6f_76_65 OP wrote

Should have mentioned... I believe with all my worm bins I am somewhere betweek 300,000 and 700,000 worms. I also have an outside compost bin that I am testing with the worms. I started with a 3x4x4 hole, laid a 3-4" layer of ripped and wet newspaper, added some grains, coffee, mushroom compost, shredded paper, worms, more compost, couple inches of food scraps, and then cover with newspaper sheets and cover that with mulch. Finally irrigate the entire pile so it stays moist but never dripping wet.


MHC wrote

Try passing the grounds through a coarse sieve.