Mycoponics

What is “mycoponics”?

Mycoponics is a method of using (mutual) benefit of growing plants and mushrooms side by side. This principle has been used for quite a long time already in various ways such as putting some bagged mycelium (fungus) in with your plants, but not really a type of edible fungus for producing mushrooms.

However I am exploring a different version, a more elaborate system: the use of separate mini greenhouse tents (called “martha’s” in mushroom cultivation) and the ventilation of carbon dioxide (CO2) rich and humid air from the mushrooms into another a second tent which facilitates the plants.

What is the advantage?

Mushrooms produce a lot of carbon dioxide. They also use up oxygen, but this is not as important. They have to be grown in very high humidity. I take advantage from this by growing plants next to this in their own martha and specifically plants which like or need a humid atmosphere which is otherwise not easy to provide constantly where I live.

During the day plants love a lot of carbon dioxide (CO2) and convert it to oxygen. At night (meaning in the dark since I grow indoors) they breathe oxygen, so I probably shouldn’t ventilate the same way when it’s dark.

What are some challenges?

Just like the mushroom martha itself I will need to dial in this part of the system and tune it so that all the conditions are right or fair at least. The plants must not get too humid or it will promote all sorts of problems like pests and disease. Fungus gnats which are like small flies love wet decaying organic matter (including just wet soil) and they would be bad news for the mushrooms too.

I am working on a natural predator to control fungus gnats, namely nematodes which are like microscopic worms.

The lighting needs to be waterproof. I am in the process of acquiring parts for very efficient and waterproof LED lighting and will be upgrading lighting for the mushrooms in the process. More on this later!

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