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Originally Posted by pondering_it_all
It's really all about the mycelium.
You could say that the mycelium is the base for fungi. And as we all know, it's all about that base...



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I think it needs a little something MOAR...


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Cowbelles?


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OK back to the topic. What do y’all make of morels? I know they are supposed to be the bomb but I don’t think I’ve ever eaten them.


Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.
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I think they went out with ethics...

My bad! I've never tried them either.


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poisonous look alikes

I found most of these toxic look alikes in a very moist early summer in Maine. There is always an impulse to think you recognize the high prized schroom like the King Bolete (porcinis) and the highly esteemed Yellow Morels, and there is the dangerous temptation to ignore small inconsistencies in identification when you think you have one of the prized ones. Unfortunately there are lots of False Morels, that I just regard as ImMorels. To the novice, they have a dangerous resemblance to the Yellow Morels. Morelity is easy to determine in mushrooms, but much harder in humans!

I collected quite a few specimens, after imaging their locations, both to find them again if they were edible, and also to determine if their growth site was appropriate for the identification. I actually never ate any of them, but many were cautiously tasted, which is one of the techniques involved in identification. This may sound dangerous but it is safe if instructions are carefully followed. A small sample, like the head of a match, is placed on the tip of the tongue to see first if it has a very caustic or disagreeable taste or sensation. If no bad reaction is detected the sample can then be chewed to determine more characteristics. NOTHING is swallowed, and the mouth is then rinsed with water several times and spit out.


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Getting back to what's really important, it is decision time to try to figure out the best way to overwinter my veggie raised beds, with conflicting threats. Cucumber beetle crushed my cuke crop this and last year, and they reportedly lay their eggs there, and hope I replant a curcubit related crop so that their larvi can feast on the roots before they become adults and attack the plant stems, and inject a lethal bacteria that crumps the entire plant in a day or two.

I have been avoiding rototilling, after evaluating the no-till data. I dont want to disturb the soil biomes by churning them up, but I still want to get at the eggs waiting deeper in the soil below the freeze line, whatever that may be this year, it had to predict nowadays if we will have a good killing frost season.

I have for many years been using a scorched earth policy at the end of the growing season and removal of all surface plant matter. I use one of those handy dandy propane weed torches that connect to the standard BBQ propane tanks. I figure flame is a good way to destroy whatever bad fungal spores etc is on the surface, though probably offing some beneficial nematodes in the process, though the near surface one would probably freeze anyway.
The torch is also fun/exciting/satisfying for us pyros devil and has many other uses from edging the driveway to searing and crisping raw appearing fat on a sous vide steak! When curious neighbors observe this. I explain, while their dog is looking for a place to relieve itself on my lawn, that I avoid all herbidices because pets lick their feet and get much larger doses of herbicides than the humans get. They seem to appreciate this and favor my lawn as it's more pet friendly than other neighbors with suspiciously weedless lawns without my very prominent diverse floral "lawn". More importantly they invite me over to scorch their weeds when the dandelions are in puffball seeding phase, and my lawn has very few.
I will rotate crops anyway, but I only have 7 4x8' beds. I'm planning on surrounding my cuke plants with sacrificial zucchini plants as I dont like zuks anyway. I dont hate them they just aren't worth my effort, as many folks are trying to give their extras away. Maybe I would like them with more MSG. I'm naturally hesitant to encourage cuke beetles with more food.

They and the fungi won this year, but I will be back next year, fully armed with my proprietary compost tea, that provides a biofilm on leaves and stems and into the soil, and may help by filling the fungal niche with beneficial fungi. If you cant beat them, join them amungus!
MOAR FUNGUS LATER!!!

TAT


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So where's biochar in your arsenal?


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Undecided!
TAT

Biochar, is there a dark side?

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The less popular drawbacks

Unfortunately for each of the listed benefits above, a counterargument or drawback has been found:
- In some cases, yields may decline because of the sorption of water and nutrients by the biochar, which reduces the availability of these resources for the crops. Biochar has also been shown to inhibit germination.
- The sorption of pesticides and herbicides by the biochar can reduce their efficacy.
- Some biochars can act as a source of contaminants, such as heavy metals, VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), PAHs (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons), and DOC (Dissolved Organic Carbon).
- The reduction in nitrous oxide emissions is not universal and emissions even increase sometimes.
- The fine ash associated with biochar is the perfect source for dust, posing a risk for respiratory diseases.
- Long-​term removal of crop residues, like stems, leaves and seed pods, to be used for production of biochar can reduce overall soil health by diminishing the number of soil microorganisms and disrupting internal nutrient cycling.
- The increase in cation exchange capacity depends on the composition of the soil: it is minimal in soils with high clay or organic matter content, especially at realistic rates of biochar additions.
- In high pH (alkaline) soils, an increase in soil pH is not desirable as crops only tolerate a certain range of soil pH.
What’s next?

We hope that the above listing has convinced you that, yes, biochar might have some potential, but let’s be cautious. Before proceeding with the promotion of biochar as a soil improving amendment some things need to be figured out:
- Most studies have been done under laboratory conditions and in the short-​term (< 2 years). Hence, long-​term field trials of biochar additions need to be conducted.
- There is a broad spectrum of biochars and a lack of standardization among the currently available biochars, leading, in part, to the divergent effects. Hence, a rigorous definition and standardization of what a good biochar is, needs to be established.
- Since there are many benefits and drawbacks associated with different biochars, thorough trade-​off analyses are necessary. For example, to which soil and/or crop should we add which biochar? Do we want to produce biochar purely for biochar without the additional benefit of energy production?
- It is very pertinent to assess the economic and logistical feasibility of biochar applications at larger scales under field conditions.

Currently, many researchers are starting to address these issues and are working towards drafting recommendations for the use of biochar. The overall goal is to ensure that farmers get the most out of the potential benefits of biochar while avoiding the many potential drawbacks. Only when all of this has been figured out, will we know to what degree biochar really is beneficial. Currently, it is looking like the claims of its benefits have been exaggerated
.


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biofungicides
Quote
Some of the most common biofungicides include:

Bacillus amyloliquefaciens
Bacillus subtilis
Trichoderma harzianum
Streptomyces lydicus

Biofungicides are often applied as a biological control within an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program.

I used Streptomyces lydicus, (Actinovate) the last time fungi were getting the upper hand. It worked and I used it along with compost tea until the problem was controlled. Then I slacked off using it, and that and climate change allowed Fusarium and others to rear their ugly heads again. Streptomyces species have been battling fungi in compost forever. I am considering all of the above organisms. I do worry about what will happen in my composting when these get into it. Luckily, they actually seemed to work out a cooperative stratergery in the piles taking turns as the pile composts. Many of these bugs have been developed and tested in the nearby Cornell Ag school labs, and they are scientifically reliable!
The various organisms work in interesting different ways and likely will work even better in combinations, or they could just kill everything starting a fungal pandemic that the neighbors will blame on me grin

TAT


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