Outdoor Mushrooms In Less Than Ideal Spaces
First you need a basic understanding of what mushrooms need to grow and fruit.
Air, water, humidity, nutrient source, protection from the sun, etc.
This will help you develop a suitable habitat to cultivate indoors or outdoors.
First you will need:
A plastic tarp
Ok a shady spot away from direct sunlight is desired for best results, but when that isnít available we must improvise.
First dig a shallow bed about 8-10 inches deep.
If possible line the bottom with med to large sized rocks, to help the bed drain.
Then add dung until the bed is full.
Soak the dung for at least 12 hours, to ensure full hydration. Note the dung does not require pasteurization.
Once the dung is hydrated, break up any large chunks with the shovel. A well broken up consistency is ideal but not required.
Now add as much spawn to the dung as available. Old casings and cakes make great spawn, even if SLIGHTLY contaminated.
If indeed they are contaminated break apart and soak in a solution of water and h2o2, 3 to 1, for 20 min.
Now dump the spawn on the wet dung and spread over the surface of the dung bed.
Now ďcut inĒ the colonized spawn, by overturning the underlying dung.
Once thoroughly mixed lightly pack the dung with the shovel to make an even surface.
Now this part is optional but you will see a better harvest if followed.
If possible add a casing layer of verm/coir or 50/50/lime. If not then add a layer of topsoil which also works well.
Only an inch of casing or topsoil is needed.
Now soak the entire bed and its surrounding area.
If you donít water the surrounding plant life/ dirt plants will suck the water right out of your bed.
Now add 3 inches of dry straw, and soak.
Add another three inches and repeat.
Now allow the bed to colonize for at least a week, depending on the amount of spawn to dung ratio you used.
3 days isnít uncommon to see a bed at 100% but allow a few more days.
Three days after spawning you can see mycelium growing out of the bottom casing here-
Water the bed every other day, if in direct sunlight, everyday.
Now, when you want to check on the beds progress, first check to see if you notice pins poking through the straw. If you do not, gently pull back the straw casing being careful not to disturb the earth underneath.
If you see mycelium poking thru the bottom most casing its probably ready to fruit.
Remove the top 3 inches of dry straw and water thoroughly.
Now place your tarp over the bed, but not on it.
You want it to supply shade and help keep in the humidity but still allow for air to enter.
This is not nessascary if your bed is already in the shade, this bed is not.
It is in direct sunlight almost all day.
Continue watering until pins appear. If in sunlight mushrooms may only be present in the morning or at night, so check regularly.
Here is the beginning of the fruiting cycle.
An early mature fruit, and pins emerging from the straw casing.
Happy cultivating, and many hearty harvests to all!