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Mushrooms! You are nice, but why are you in my soil?
June 10, 2012 11:56 AM   Subscribe

I just opened a brand! new! bag of potting soil, and there are a bunch of mushrooms growing in it. Is this a sign that I have amazing! potting soil full of vitality, or a sign that I should return it to the store?
posted by ambilevous to Home & Garden (8 answers total)
 
I'd return it, because I don't want mushrooms.
posted by SMPA at 11:57 AM on June 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Compost is a natural product that you get when you allow bacteria, fungi and other organisms to break down vegetable matter. That some mushrooms are growing in it only illustrates that the dark, humid bag has provided the right environment for the fungal spores in the compost to develop into mushrooms.

Once the potting soil is out of the bag, conditions will be very different, and it's unlikely that you'll see any further sign of them. I wouldn't worry.
posted by pipeski at 12:18 PM on June 10, 2012 [7 favorites]


Unless of course there were so many mushrooms you feel you got cheated out of some of the soil you paid for.
posted by TheRedArmy at 1:33 PM on June 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


What kind of mushrooms? A friend spread out some bark one fall and in the spring was rewarded with an unexpected bounty of morels. That would sweet.
posted by LarryC at 2:09 PM on June 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I ended up sorta digging through the bag, getting the visible clumps of mushrooms out, and I've lost maybe a cup and a half of mushroom'y dirt, which is probably not worth the effort of dragging it back to the store.

As for the mushrooms, they're, kinda undelicious looking as mushrooms go - they're all stalk with tiny caps. Kinda the same sorta size and proportions as enoki, but tangled instead of clumpy. Certainly not morels (:
posted by ambilevous at 2:31 PM on June 10, 2012


I wouldn't worry about it. Chop them up and mix them in the soil. Organic matter is good!
posted by checkitnice at 4:47 PM on June 10, 2012


I don't know. Potting soil is supposed to be sterilized, and the presence of spores in the bag is a pretty clear indicator that yours wasn't. I would be worried about other pathogens—blight, mosaic, etc. I'd take it back.
posted by bricoleur at 6:56 PM on June 10, 2012


bricoleur: "Potting soil is supposed to be sterilized, and the presence of spores in the bag is a pretty clear indicator that yours wasn't."

Potting soil is not sterilized. It has weed seeds killed. That's a long, long way from being sterilized, and fungi are resistent to many things that would kill plants.
posted by IAmBroom at 10:40 PM on June 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


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