Fungi are nature’s communications networks.
Mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of the mycelial networks for some mushrooms, many of the beneficial ones like those responsible for legumes being nitrogen fixing plants do not create visible fruits above the soil. Fungi provide plants with the ability to absorb nutrients that they would not be able to access on their own. This is the case because the mycelial network in the soil can penetrate far deeper than the vegetables alone, and therefore, the vegetables receive many of those nutrients if they are in a symbiotic relationship with the mushrooms.
There are a few mushrooms that are easy to grow outside and considered a companion for vegetables and trees, these are usually grown on wood chips, wooden logs or straw. Other species are more suitable to restoring eco systems, improving vegetable growth (but not eating) and some are even used for pest control. Below is a quick reference guide for mushroom companion planting (a short list but a work in progress):
|Elm Oyster||Hypsizgus ulmanarius is a different species to other Oyster Musrhooms. Paul Stamets has reported a 2-fold increase in brassica yields and a 3-fold total food production increase when the vegetables were grown in the same|
bed as elm oyster mushrooms.
|Morel||Morel mushrooms will grow on hardwood chip beds, under trees and shrubs, or any shady spot. Wood and / or trees like ash, oak, maple, beech, elm, old apple orchards, etc. will work, and in your vegetable garden with perennials such as Jerusalem artichoke or asparagus.|
|Oyster Mushrooms||Oyster mushrooms, Pleaurotus, can be used to improve the soil and clear up contaminated areas but are not recommended for use in vegetable beds for example.|
|Shiitake||Shiitake mushrooms are easy to grow on hardwood logs and can therefore be incorporated into the garden wherever there is a shady spot.|
|Wine Cap||Also known as Stropharia rugosoannulata or kind Stropharia are edible, delicious and can be planted (in wood chip beds) under most vegetables, corn, fruit trees and shrubs. You can also create a bed in swales, other moist spaces or under a deck.|