I am sowing seeds in 3.5 inch square plastic flower pots using Greenall
Organic Potting Soil. I place the pots in 1020 treys with clear plastic
domes and keep them near a window at a constant seventy degree
Most of my pots are growing volunteer mushroom fruiting bodies in the
time it takes for the seeds to germinate (about five days).
I discussed this situation with experienced gardening neighbors and
friends. They had never heard of such a thing. My nursery man had not
seen this either, but offered to exchange or refund the soil.
My quandary is this: I am planting in container boxes and I don't relish
the thought of live mycelium competing with my plants for territory. I
will discard these 48 plants to get a clean start on the growing medium,
but to do so will put me three weeks behind schedule.
My question is this: Is there a possibility the mushroom contamination
of the potting soil will also be contaminated with other negative
factors as weed seeds, bad bugs, mold, etc. I will not plant these guys
if there is any possibility of a problem from it.
I am really saddened at this situation because the plants are vigorous
and happy to be here working for me. But the garden project is a serious
affair for me and that takes precedent.
I have thought to give them to other people to plant in the ground, but
I don't wish to gift that which I will not use.
If anyone has advice or suggestions for me to consider I would sincerely
appreciate hearing from you.
Central California twelve miles from the ocean
Separate Posting to Newsgroups: rec.gardens and rec.gardens.edible
For my own information, why would you want to sterilize? In the real
world fungi and plants live in symbiosis. Mycelium is your friend. It is
part of the reason not to dig or rototill your garden (see lasagna
Speaking of lasagna:
1 small head of cabbage
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes or 2 cups favorite herb-style
tomato sauce or a combination of the two
6 ounces cheese such as Gruyere, Monterey Jack, Fontina,
provolone or mozzarella, shredded
1/2 cup Asiago or Parmesan cheese, grated
For seasoning fresh tomatoes:
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cloves garlic, peeled, minced
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
thyme mixed with 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Cut the core out of the cabbage and peel off the individual leaves.
If they do not come loose readily, put the cabbage head in the heating
water for a minute or so, then remove to a bowl where it can drain;
pull off the leaves.
Salt the water and blanch about 6 or 8 cabbage leaves at a time for
about 1 minute.
Remove with tongs or a strainer and drain. Set aside.
If using fresh tomatoes, cut them crosswise into slices and place in a
bowl. Season the tomatoes with balsamic vinegar, sugar, garlic, salt,
pepper and herbs.
To assemble the lasagna:
Use at least a 2- to 3-quart casserole dish or 9-by-13-inch glass baking
Line the bottom of the dish with a layer of cabbage and distribute a few
tomato slices (or about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of the sauce) on top of the
You will not be covering the cabbage completely.
Sprinkle about 1/2 of the shredded cheese of choice; again, you will not
be making a complete layer.
Repeat the layering with the remaining cabbage, tomato and shredded
The last layer should be cabbage.
Sprinkle the top with the Asiago cheese.
Bake, uncovered, for about 30 minutes or until bubbling hot.
Remove from the oven and garnish with sprigs of
thyme or parsley.
Makes 6 servings.
I used homemade spaghetti sauce with ground turkey, and used low fat
mozzarella for my cheese.
Is the company who made the soil anywhere near a mushroom farm? I had a
similar experience with potting soil and compost I got from a local organic
supplier. Turns out they were getting the mushroom compost from Ostrom's
Mushroom Farm. It was great stuff, it started out as composted and heat
sterilized horse manure (At that time from Longacres Race Track and a
several of the other larger horse farms in the area. They now use poultry
manure and straw.), then the mushrooms are grown, the mushrooms are
harvested and the spent growing medium is taken away by organic gardening
suppliers to sell as compost (which it is) or mixed to make potting soil.
The little mushrooms are just the errant spores left behind from the
harvest. I just picked them out in seed trays or left them go in the garden.
I didn't experience adverse results of any kind.
Perhaps you'll find an 800 number on your soil packing. Give them a call and
see if they are using mushroom compost in their potting soil.
BTW, if you are near a mushroom grower give them a call and see if they sell
their spent mushroom compost. After finding out about the Ostrom's farm I
called them and found out they'd fill a pick-up for $10. That stuff is just
black gold. Since the composted manure has been completely sterilized you
won't get a single weed coming up in it, just a few occasional mushrooms.
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