THE GREAT OUTDOORS!
Nan's Nook : Archives : Misc Tek : OGBDLichentek : Growing Outdoors
Toss all those sterility complexes that indoor growing has burned into your brain right out the window and listen up.......if you like things to be simple, and are more of a green-thumb mj grower kind of person rather than a mad lab scientist.......then this is the technique for you.....
The reason growing indoors is so difficult and failure-prone, is the fact that in doing so, you are pulling the shrooms out of their habitat. Mother Nature is a complicated machine......recreating Mother Nature is an uphill battle, but massaging nature, milking her, is a different story all together, and can prove much more fruitful.
We, as p. cubensis growers, are lucky that this is a very tolerant mushroom. It is actually VERY easy to grow compared to most other mushrooms. But that is even true when you are trying to recreate the environment sloppily in your dirty house with poor air exchange on rice cakes instead of dung...imagine how potential they could have outdoors in their habitat! And there is very little maintenance.
Step one is finding a source of unlimited Poo....I like horse, it's more airy than cow. You need a box and trash bags and you need to spend an hour or two collecting all the dung you can fit in your car. Don't stop till you have 3-5 trash bags full of dried, golden brown and grey patties with interwoven grass. There may be some fungi growing too, that's a good sign to the quality of the dung, but avoid those patties. You should find plenty.
If the weather is getting warm, and the frosts are long gone, its time to begin. Changes upon where you live. You want to time it so it's getting sort of hot around fruiting time, but there is still time left in the summer and fall for more flushes.......
Now the hard manual labor.....
Get a shovel and dig off the top layer of sod in the desired area of your patch. Toss the sod, and till the soil underneath and remove some until you got about a 4-6 in deep depression. Now stuff with patties and water the shit out of it with a garden hose. Let it soak in for a minute and you got your perfect moisture (not that it matters much outdoors). Spawn with an estimated 20 percent grain spawn. Did I mention you were supposed to be doing grain to grain transfers all winter until you got oodles of spawn? I have heard some mention that grain spawn attracts bugs and slugs, but who gives a crap, they are going to come anyway, and I assure you, it really doesn't matter.....but if you are paranoid, I suggest you use Pf cake substrate, or spawn dung or worm castings.
You can use a little bit smaller of a spawn ratio outdoors, b/c the race to beat contams is non-existent. So if you're spawn is precious, use less. Now the next step is to buy some black garden plastic stuff from Home Depot and roll it across your patch. Weigh it down with bricks on 4 corners tautly, so air can enter thru the sides.
Now....you have to be patient with your patches, for they will take a long time to spawn. I promise you it's well worth it. You should lift the plastic every 3 days or so and check the moisture, but only when it's been arid. If the humidity has been high, or it has rained, leave the patch alone. You can water the patch if it's dry with a sprayer garden hose nozzle. Don't worry about damaging anything, this is nature.
when you see lots of colonization on the surface, its time to case. Use whatever you want....I used the soil from my yard, which seems to support the many other species of mushrooms that grow naturally in my yard, and happens to be good for cubies as well, with a little verm , and leaf debris mixed in. Optionally (a good idea), after applying the casing you should spread rye grass seed all over the casing. Grass is good, it hides the patch and provides a microclimate for the primordia to form. I got the idea from a post by monkeyod a while back. Thanks!
This is the important part. You have to keep an eye on your patch every day. If it rains everyday, then you are lucky that the gods are watching out, but if not, you have to water. A watering can works well, so does a garden hose with a spray nozzle. Again, no worries about damage or panning or overlay or trich, just spray it like a plant. You don't want the surface to dry out at all during the casing run/fruiting. Those of you who don't have time to tend everyday I suggest you use a timed sprinkler. They kick ass.....
The mushies will come FAST, like 24-36 hours to full maturity, and they will be FAT. Solid fibrous stems and huge golden caps. I mean, you can throw one at someone's head and it would bruise THEM, not the mushroom.
After the flush examine the casing and keep it wet. I ended up finding dozens of fucked up looking deformities growing underground, trying to reach up to the surface. Like crazy knotted cube stems in the shape of odd tubers. I threw those monstrosities out, they were probably fine, just looked too funny to me. If you see any inky cap pins REMOVE THEM quick.....
Your mileage may vary......I'm beginning to think I just have a mushroom-friendly yard. I have seen so many different mushrooms pop up in my yard it's unbelievable. And none of them took over my patch! That why this is so easy......in the wild cubensis is AGGRESSIVE as hell.....it could kick almost any organisms ass on properly composted horse dung. It will always win. As long as you use DUNG. Grey patties, naturally composted. No synthetic compost, brewers grains or straw and you will most likely succeed. Good Luck!
....damn I wrote a lot.....I must be stoned
if I fucked up writing or you got questions just tell me
I've used almost the identical method before with amazing results. I'm a straw tek addict myself so I save my spent straw from my last winter batch and mix that in real good with the dung. The fungus LOVES it, it goes nits.
I had never imagined saucer plate sized caps until i saw TONS of them popping up in my patch. I'm hoping to find a suitable place for it this year too!
If ya have the room, privacy & a bit of spare lumber around, you can even rush spring a bit.
Three ....... 8 foot long 2 x 12's, one cut in half ( = 2, four footers).
That will create a 4 X 4 X 8 foot bedding box, a foot deep if you use some long sheet rock screws to screw it together with.
For a lid, three 2 X 2's, one cut in half (= 2, four footers).
Cover that with any clear or semi/clear plastic & staple or screw it down with lathe.
Build or set bedding box in a good level semi/shaded spot (a garden hose will reach).
Lay down a piece of landscape clothe under it (the kind water will drain through) & nail it to bedding box bottom (helps keepo out the slug/bugs).
Fill with 6 or 7 inches of mulched aged dung/straw combo -- compost (or whatever) inside box & water well.
(about 1/2 P/U truck load)
Mix it up & let it settle & drain a day or 3.
Spawn with a lot of WBS spawn (G2G can create 100's of quarts - quick).
Cover substrate surface with black plastic & apply with lid to bedding box.
Wait until substrate colonizes & case with a good pH balanced peat based potting soil (or - whatever - you have handy).
Remove black plastic from interior surface.
Cover with lid & water as need be.
Bedding frame & lid will work like a hot house & hold in a good RH.
Sprinkle slug bait around ALL the base.
Water & babysit as need be.
Then, just be patient.............. Gardening is wonderful............
(but, don't be showing your bedding box off, to anyone)
Another good idea would be to use a kiddie pool inverted and slightly cracked or tilted to allow fresh air and protect from the sun. The RH will be off the chain under there. You will have mushrooms pop up under it even if you don't put any there. Or use the kiddie pool by drilling tiny holes in the bottom for water to drain, fill to the brim with dung , compost whatever and spawn w/ WBS cover with a tarp. Use some dowel rods to make a mini tent just above the surface of the colonizing sub maybe an inch or two. Kiddie pool will be filled w/ gargantuan fungi in no time
EZ Outdoor Bed Tek
All of the methods herein were developed by persons other than myself and all references go to them.
I only put the afore mentioned teks together to achieve my goals. The goal of this project was to make a coherent tek for growing outdoors with a minimum of effort.
The quantities of materials needed are up to you
colonized substrate (pf cakes, grain jars, mycobags, etc)
a large rubbermade or sterilite tub,~ 50 quart works best
bulk substrate (chopped straw, manure or composted manure)
commercial, bagged, composted cow manure (about one bag per tub)
I'm breaking this down into steps to make easier understanding.
1) Pasteurize bulk substrate-place chopped straw/manure, 50/50 ratio, into a 100%cotton pillowcase. Put a towel on bottom of pot to keep pillowcase from touching bottom. Place pillowcase in a large pot of water. Place a brick or other heavy object on top of pillowcase to keep it submerged. Heat to 150-180F for 1-2 hrs depending on amount. Remover pillowcase from pot and hang on a nail or hook to drip and cool for approximately 12hrs.
2) Remove colonized substrate from container and crumble into marble sized chunks
3) Mix pasteurized bulk substrate (test for water content by squeezing firmly, you should only see a few drops of water) and colonized substrate chunks at a ratio of roughly 1:5(1part mycelium chunks:5 parts straw/manure)
4) Place mixture in rubbermaid or sterilite tub packing down firmly but not so tight as to push out all air space. Allow this to colonize until it becomes a solid block of mycelium.
5) Pick a spot for your bed (shady spot under a tree or bush) and put an approximately 1-2 inch layer of composted manure (no need to pasteurize, it's outside anyway)
6) Dump block of mycelium onto manure layer
7) Pour a 1-2 inch layer of manure over the block
8) Water lightly till manure is moist but not dripping wet
9) Pick shroooms
Many times this method results in continuous fruiting (you'll have shrooms to pick every day) If things dry out quickly or you live in a low humidity area you may have to add water occasionally.