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Master Gardener Scoop February 8, 2017: Fungi

By Felicity Rixmann,
Master Gardener

I know nothing about fungus, but last year I had some really beautiful fungi growing in my yard on some logs and in the grass by the low retaining wall of a raised bed.  I went on-line to try to identify them – I didn’t succeed!  My fault I am sure, but I learned some very interesting facts.  Without fungi – our world would be a very different place.

Yeast is a fungus which is essential for bread and beer making, but on the other hand, without it would there be no yeast infections or athlete’s foot?  Fungi can both kill and cure.  I enjoy eating mushrooms in omelets, soups and as a side dish, but only a slight difference and you are a goner!  Penicillin is derived from a fungus and we all know the benefits of that.

Fungi move around and multiply by spores being blown along by the wind or carried on the feet of people or animals.  Some fungi do not appear on the surface at all, but attach to roots and kill plants.

But we really couldn’t live without fungi – they are natures janitors and without them we would be swamped by waste!

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