Friday, October 14, 2011

Mushrooms after rain—good or bad?

Today I’m doing something I’ve rarely done. Post about a topic I know practically nothing about. But I’m hoping you experts out there can chime in. Please leave a comment at the bottom of this post.

Last week we had the first real rain of the season, and within days mushrooms started to pop up in various places around the yard. Now, I like mushrooms as food and I think they’re pretty cool in general, at least in the abstract, but in my mind there’s always a lingering doubt as to whether their appearance en masse is a sign of something troublesome happening.

I know that mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of fungi that exist in the soil. Those fungi help break down decaying matter, and after a heavy rain they begin to “bloom,” hence the mushrooms appearing above ground.

Realistically, there should be no cause for concern, but I can’t help shake this feeling of unease when I see these alien-looking things appear seemingly out of nowhere. Maybe I’ve seen too many bad sci-fi movies!

So, please take a look at these photos and tell me that these mushrooms are neither poisonous (especially to our dog who eats everything) or detrimental in any other way.

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Mushrooms growing at the base of an aloe are definitely a strange sight!
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There must be a lot of fungal activity in this particular spot!
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This one looks like a regular button mushroom from the store. Is it?
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This one has a concave cap as if it was trying to collect water
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It’s growing in one of our vegetable bed (currently bare), together with many others

5 comments:

  1. I can't speak for the toxicity, especially to dogs, but mushrooms are rarely a bad sign in the garden, except when seen growing on living trees -- that usually means there's some rotting going on inside.

    Besides, you just have a few of them. The year I used the community mulch pile mulch on my bamboo I had a veritable carpet of mushrooms. It was pretty amazing, and stinky once they started rotting.

    Plus, they're oh, so pretty! You need to get down low and take some ground-level macro shots. If you have a point-and-shoot with macro mode they're great for that.

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  2. We have mushrooms coming up around the yard also. Some small, some large that look like your first two pictures! Now at Maggie's house there were beautiful vibrant red mushrooms! I got some pictures of them.

    I would have gotten up close and personal, but didn't want to get down in the wet grass! Yes I'ma wuss!

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  3. I don't know, I don't think you want mushrooms showing up in your cactus bed. Yank those puppies out.

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  4. Not a bad sign at all :) Quite interesting what shows up in the garden from time to time, and their presence are short lived so it's great when you get the chance to take photos of them.

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  5. While generally Mushrooms are not harmful in the garden, etc., if you have them coming up in large masses or in areas where there are low water plants I would suggest taking a look at things to see if something is wrong with a plant or if the soil is not draining correctly. And yes Mushrooms of any type are extremely toxic to dogs.

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