Saturday, 23 July 2011

In a pot of bother

Three days ago, I discovered a new arrival in the garden. Fungus. Mushrooms are on my hit list of bad vegetables, second only to tomatoes (yes yes ok, it's fruit, but that's not the point. It's top of the list).

These 'shrooms were discovered hiding in a small pot I'd neglected on the ground with an experimental pot red onion. Now, it might not seem normal to grow an onion in a pot, but if you can grow it in the ground and it's not as big as a pot, then why not try?

Containers are the saviour of all balcony-dwellers and Londoners, except Nigel Slater who's kitchen garden I'm reliably informed is 'massive' (thanks Coco). But he, like every other individual with a nice house in every weekend supplement, lives in North London.

If you're in possession of a 'how to grow' book, there will be a container section. I imagine it's because people in South London also want to garden. And anything can be a container. An old sink, a bucket, a pair of wellies, hell even the compost heap. You can really get creative and move things around. Said books also have lovely photos of nearly arranged containers, full-to-bursting with veg, herbs and fruit. 

My take on it though is a bit more, um, haphazard. In my garden you'll find all manner of pots and containers littered around, moved because they were 'in the way', or because once potted  I saw something I wanted to photograph instead and got distracted never to return.

The moment you neglect a pot on the ground it is at the mercy of rogues...oh yes, we all know about them now. And this poor onion has got itself surrounded:

Weeds to the left of it, mushrooms to the right, here it is stuck in the middle with

A snail. 

And it doesn't get much better for Mr Onion as tonight I'll be transferring it to a different sort of pot...

Just one question? Can you eat this particular mushroom?


Esther Montgomery said...

No knowledge of whether you can eat your mushroom but I doubt it.

I have lots of pots too - and the kitchen fills with them at night to preserve them from snails et al.


linniew said...

Tom, one can eat most anything, but some things are a better choice than others. Resist it!

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

Mushrooms are a sign of "living" soil. Seeing them is a good thing, in my opinion.

Don't eat those ones, or any other mushroom you're not 100% sure is safe.

Edward Tuddenham said...

As earlier commented one should never eat a 'shroom' unless positively identified. Identification of fungi from photographs is chancy as many necessary features are not available, such as smell, taste, spore print colour and so on. At a guess the fungi are of the bonnet genus Mycena. There are over one hundred mycenas it could be. They are not poisonous but generally not worth eating as too small and not having much flesh or flavour. Ted Tuddenham. Amateur mycologist.

The Hapless Kitchen Gardener

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I only feel hapless because some people make it look easy to grow 10 ft marrows or a banquet of greens whereas my courgettes got nabbed by killer slugs and I only got one raspberry. So tips and stories from people less hapless than I are more than welcome. As a disclaimer though, none of my comments should be taken as expert advice on which you can rely! © Unless stated otherwise, and with the exception of guest content where that guest retains copyright, all photos and posts are the copyright of Tom Carpen and may not be used without permission.