The mushroom cultivator. A practical guide to growing mushrooms at home

Paul Stamets. The mushroom cultivator. A practical guide to growing mushrooms at home. - Agarikon press, 1983

Содержание

FOREWORD by Dr. Andrew Weil

PREFACE

I. INTRODUCTION TO MUSHROOM CULTURE

II. STERILE TECHNIQUE AND AGAR CULTURE

III. GRAIN CULTURE

IV. THE MUSHROOM GROWING ROOM

V. COMPOST PREPARATION

VI. NON-COMPOSTED SUBSTRATES

VII. SPAWNING AND SPAWN RUNNING IN BULK SUBSTRATES

VIII. THE CASING LAYER

IX. STRATEGIES FOR MUSHROOM FORMATION (PINHEAD INITIATION)

X. ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS: SUSTAINING THE MUSHROOM CROP

XL GROWING PARAMETERS FOR VARIOUS MUSHROOM SPECIES

XII. CULTIVATION PROBLEMS AND THEIR SOLUTIONS: A TROUBLESHOOTING GUIDE

XIII. THE CONTAMINANTS OF MUSHROOM CULTURE: IDENTIFICATION AND CONTROL

XIV. THE PESTS OF MUSHROOM CULTURE

XV. MUSHROOM GENETICS

APPENDICES

GLOSSARY

BIBLIOGRAPHY

INDEX

PHOTOGRAPHY AND ILLUSTRATION CREDITS

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

OCR
1 30/The Mushroom Cultivator
ample of symbiosis. These same bacteria give the casing a natural resistance to competitors. In this respect, a sterilized casing lacks beneficial microorganisms and has little resistance to contaminants.
4. Nutritive Value: The casing is not designed to provide nutrients to developing mushrooms and should have low nutritional value compared to the substrate. A nutritive casing

supports a broader range of competitor molds. Wood fragments and other undecomposed plant matter are prime sites for mold growth and should be carefully screened out
of a well formulated casing.
5. pH: The pH of the casing must be within certain limits for strong mycelial growth. An
overly acidic or aklaline casing mixture depresses mycelial growth and supports competitors. Agaricus brunnescens prefers a casing with pH values between 7.0-7.5. Even
though the casing has a pH of 7.5 when first applied, it gradually falls to a pH of nearly
6.0 by the end of cropping due to acids secreted by the mushroom mycelium. Buffering
the casing with limestone flour is an effective means to counter this gradual acidification.
The optimum pH range varies according to the species. (See the growing parameters for
each species in Chapter XL)
6. Hygienic Quality: The casing must be free of pests. pathogens and extraneous debris.
Of particular importance, the casing must not harbor nematodes or insect larvae.

Materials
To better understand how a casing layer functions requires a basic understanding of soil components and their specific structural and textural characteristics. When combined properly, the
soil components create a casing layer that is both water retentive and porous.
1. Sand: Characterized by large individual particles with large air spaces in between, sandy
soils are well aerated. Their structure is considered "open". Sandy soils are heavy, hold

little water and release it quickly.
2. Clay: Having minute individual particles bound together in aggregations, clay soils have
few air pockets and are structurally "closed". Water is more easily bound by clay soils.

3. Loam: Loam is a loose soil composed of varying proportions of sand and clay, and is
characterized by a high humus content.
Agaricus growers found that the best type of soil for mushroom growing was a clay/loam.
The humus and sand in a clay/loam soil open up the clay which is typically dense and closed.
The casing's structure is improved while the property of particle aggregation is retained. The
humus/clay combination holds moisture well and forms a crumbly, well aerated casing.
There are two basic problems with using soils for casing—the increased contamination risk
from fungi and nematodes, and the loss of structure after repeated waterings. Cultivators can reduce the risk of contamination by pasteurization, a process whereby the moistened casing soil is
thoroughly and evenly steamed for two hours at 1 60 0 F. An alternative method is to bake the
moist soil in an oven for two hours at 1 600 F.

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