Author Topic: Foxfarm Ocean Forest potting soil  (Read 263 times)

pinkturtle

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Foxfarm Ocean Forest potting soil
« on: September 25, 2022, 11:51:17 AM »
Hi all,

I recently change my potting soil to Foxfarm.  I see some yellow fungi growing in the pot.  See pic.  It never happens when I used other brands.  Are they bad for the plants or good? 

Thanks,
Al


« Last Edit: September 25, 2022, 11:54:22 AM by pinkturtle »

pinkturtle

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Re: Foxfarm Ocean Forest potting soil
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2022, 12:32:25 PM »
I think I found the answer. 

From:. Wikipedia

"Leucocoprinus birnbaumii is a common find in greenhouses and potted plants all over the world having been spread by human activity.[44] When Europeans started exploring the tropics and bringing back exotic plant species for study or cultivation they were unwittingly bringing fungal hitchhikers back with them in the soil. The original classification of this species from a greenhouse in England in the late 1700s[45] and the observation from the early 1800s[15] in Prague which gave it the name birnbaumii demonstrate how long this species has been present in Europe. Despite this tropical species likely being unable to survive in these countries in the wild due to the cold temperatures it continues to spread via human activity. The heat and humidity of greenhouses or indoor plant pots evidently creates a habitat in which this species can thrive with garden centres and nurseries serving as hubs to distribute L. birnbaumii all over Europe. Botanical gardens serve as another means of spreading as visitors may unknowingly collect spores on their clothes and bring them into their homes.[31]

However when L. birnbaumii mushrooms suddenly appear in a plant pot which had shown no previous signs of them it doesn't mean the fungus has only just been introduced. Due to the length of time the mycelium requires to grow, it is more likely that the fungus was always present in the soil from the moment the plant (or compost used) was acquired and that the conditions for it to fruit have only recently been met. Mushroom production will occur when the moisture content of the soil and humidity of the air is adequate. Even when no mushrooms are visible the fungus may still be alive and thriving in the soil waiting for the next opportunity to fruit.

As a saproptrophic species L. birnbaumii is harmless to plants. The presence of this fungus in the soil may serve to improve the quality of it as it can help to break down organic matter and provide nutrients that the plants require.[39] However if the mushrooms are appearing regularly it can be a sign that the soil is too moist and that the plant may be being over-watered. Whilst L. birnbaumii itself is harmless to plants, the high moisture conditions in which it fruits can invite a host of other fungi and mold species which may harm the plant and result in root rot. In this regard L. birnbaumii can serve as a useful indicator to help ensure plants remain healthy.[46]"

pagnr

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Re: Foxfarm Ocean Forest potting soil
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2022, 06:05:07 PM »
I had issues with Fungi fruiting in pine bark bases mixes.
Basically the pine bark was not composted before the mix was made, this allowed stage 1 organisms to colonise /dominate the mix.
Properly composted pine bark should be at a later stage, favouring different organisms.
You see yellow fruiting bodies, but underneath there is a mass of hyphae. Sometimes a low %, sometimes a large %.
Some of my pots were dominated by the fungi, lots of pinkish threads and a distinct smell.
Overall there is a balance between protection by the wood rotting fungi from other pathogenic fungi and competition for nutrients with your plant.
Also wood rotting fungi will break down the organic matter in the mix, shrinking the mix and changing the structure.
The issue went on for several years in those pots until the fungal balance changed, and the pot mix went to another stage.
For pot mixes based on pine bark, peat, coir etc there is a benefit to some slight composting activity in the pots, as it promotes healthy microorganisms and disease suppression.
If the hyphae become too dominate they can negatively affect live plant roots.
Using liquid feeds like compost tea, seaweed, fish fertiliser that promote other organisms may restore the microbe balance.
Topdressing with organic fertilisers that need to be broken down may also benefit.
If your plants are growing normally, and not showing signs of slower growth or stagnation, it should be ok.
Also as you say, environmental conditions are a major trigger to fungal activity.


 

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