(IJCH) Even Trichoderma has its place and purpose (or How I used mushroom cultivation failure for success in the garden)

(IJCH) Even Trichoderma has its place and purpose (or How I used mushroom cultivation failure for success in the garden)

(IJCH) Even Trichoderma has its place and purpose (or How I used mushroom cultivation failure for success in the garden)



IJCH - Inside JaiChai's Head (Meaning: My Warped, Personal Opinions and Musings)


From the Author:


I am JaiChai.

And if I haven't had the pleasure of meeting you before, I'm delighted to make your acquaintance now.


I invite you to interact with everyone, learn, and have as much fun as possible!

For my returning online friends, "It's always great to see you again!"



What is Trichoderma?



Trichoderma is a genus (Hypocreaceae) of fungi that inhabits all soils. Being very robust, they multiply quickly and are one of the easiest fungi to culture in the lab.



The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly



Depending on the circumstances, Trichoderma can be Good, Bad, or just plain Ugly!

For example...


The Avenging Angel (Good for Gardeners)



Trichoderma kills several major root rot fungi: Pythium, Rhizoctonia, and Fusarium (employing a process called mycoparasitism).

It is used around the world to prevent lethal fungal infections in plants; or if the plants are already infected, Trichoderma is called upon to save precious crops and other valuable plants (e.g., popular vegetables and flowers).

When introduced into soil that contains offending fungi, it's like watching Archangel Michael (or Gabriel) swooping in and wreaking havoc on the enemy!


It's a quick and highly effective biocontrol; secreting enzymes that literally dissolves the cell walls of opposing fungi (Can you say "The Walls of Jericho"?)


The Bad - The Bane of Mushroom Growers



Sooner or later (usually sooner), EVERY serious mushroom grower has to deal with Trichoderma. And if they say they haven't, they're flat out lying!

Seriously, Trichoderma is THAT opportunistic; contaminating petri dishes, liquid cultures and bulk substrate (e.g., grow bags, tubs, jars, etc.) faster than Genghis Khan's DNA!

It took me quite awhile to accept the fact that even the most meticulous mushroom grower will have Trichoderma contamination in a portion of his projects - no matter how strictly aseptic technique is adhered to.

Think of this.

Even the CDC and USAMRIID with their expensive, high tech laboratories can not achieve 100% contaminant free cultures, 100% of the time.

So, realistically, the goal for any sane mushroom grower is to follow procedures that keep contamination levels as low as possible.

But to be honest, it can get quite frustrating.


I mean, who wouldn't get pissed off when, for no apparent reason, whole batches from a certain day or even one whole week suddenly show signs of Trichoderma contamination!?


The Ugly



Like I said earlier, I would be a liar if I ever touted that I've never had cases of Trichoderma contamination in some of my petri dishes...


in a few of my liquid cultures (the right, greenish specimen)...


in my grain spawn jars...


and in a couple dozen of my grow bags (the "b" substrate).


But all was not lost.

Remember the title?

"Even Trichoderma has its place and purpose (or How I used mushroom cultivation failure for success in the garden)"

I really can't take credit for the "garden success" that resulted from my failures (the Trichoderma contaminated projects).

You see, a gardener friend visited me a couple weeks ago while I was dumping my failed specimens into the compost pile (fungal inoculated compost completes its cycles super fast).

He asked me a strange question.

"Hey Man, how much for the green mold? Or can I give you some vegetables if it saves my plants? Dude, a few of them got bad fungal rot pretty bad!"

Of course, I didn't charge him for the Trichoderma specimens that I was just about to dump into the compost heap a few minutes earlier.

Today I got a text from that friend.

It read:

"Dude, that Trich was awesome! Making good on that veggie offer very soon. Thanks a lot, Bro!"

Imagine that?

FUN (gi) On!


By JaiChai


Really Appreciate You Stopping By.

Truly hope to see you again!


About the Author


Believing that school was too boring, he dropped out of High School early; only to earn an AA, BS and MBA in less than 4 years much later in life – while working full-time as a Navy/Marine Corps Medic.

In spite of a fear of heights and deep water, he performed high altitude, free-fall parachute jumps and hazardous diving ops in deep, open ocean water.


After 24 years of active duty, he retired in Asia.

Since then, he's been a full-time, single papa and actively pursuing his varied passions (Writing, Disruptive Technology, Computer Science and Cryptocurrency - plus more hobbies too boring or bizarre for most folk).

He lives on an island paradise with his teenage daughter, longtime girlfriend and three dogs.


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I'm a single papa actively enjoying my varied passions (e.g., Writing, Disruptive Technology, Cryptocurrency, plus more hobbies too bizarre for most folk). I live on an island paradise with my teenage daughter, longtime girlfriend and three dogs.

(IJCH) Life, People, and Philosophy
(IJCH) Life, People, and Philosophy

IJCH - Inside JaiChai's Head (Meaning: My Warped, Personal Opinions and Musings on Life, People and Philosophy)

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