Mushroom Bed Experiment
I put a raised bed in a couple of weeks back and took a few pictures of the installation. I'm growing tomatoes in the bed, along with wine cap stropharia mushrooms. While I've made up spawn on my own, I just ordered a couple of sacks of spawn from an internet vendor. I did not follow the instructions that come with the spawn, hence the Experiment title. The spot. Pay no attention to the Frankenstein mix of St Augustine and native wild grasses that cover my back yard. I've had the frame a while, it's getting old. I'm getting old, so I just took a few inches of top soil off, and then broke the underlying clay up with a fork. There's some tree root in there, which the mushrooms will like. On the left is lightly composted chicken manure. On the right, cottonseed hulls. Stropharia mushrooms occur on wood chips, but can break down any decent source of lignin. I'm trying to encourage the mushroom mycelium to grow down into the soil and accelerate the breakdown of nutrients in the manure. Probably not necessary. All mixed up. The blue things are supposed to be biodegradable kitchen waste bags. This is a five pound block of sawdust spawn. It can start a ten foot square patch, and I used this one, and about a half of another. It's probably cleaner to break it up in the bag. Be sure to wash your hands before handling!! This is after putting down a layer of spawn, and an additional layer of cottonseed hulls. It's my hope that the hulls will also help the bed retain some moisture. I plan on continuing this bed using a no-till method. As long as I keep feeding the bed wood chips, the stropharia colony will survive--up to ten years, possibly. I should be able to keep things going by laying down successive layers of chips and supplements. This was covered with a layer of loamy soil, which was seeded with parsley, lovage and some edible chrysanthemum.