Win a copy of Keeping Bees with a Smile this week in the Honey Bees forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Mike Haasl
  • Anne Miller
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Pearl Sutton
  • paul wheaton
  • r ranson
stewards:
  • James Freyr
  • Devaka Cooray
  • Jocelyn Campbell
master gardeners:
  • Steve Thorn
gardeners:
  • Ash Jackson
  • thomas rubino
  • Jay Angler

Help for a mushroom noob...

 
Posts: 96
Location: South Mississippi
17
hugelkultur hunting homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm trying to find out what kind(s) of mushrooms would be best to grow in my area. I am looking at both indoors and outdoor types. I have many types I've seen for sale but don't know which grows well here, indoors, outside, needs full sun, some sun or full shade to even in darkness. So I'll tell you what I want to do and see which ones ya'll think I'd do best with.

 Here is the list (ya'll can add others if you see my area would be better for them) but my list is...
1)  lion's mane mushroom
2)  wine cap mushrooms
3)  shiitake mushrooms
4)  chicken of the woods mushrooms
5)  chanterelles mushrooms
6)  Morel Mushroom
7)  Pearl Oyster Mushrooms
8)  Oyster Mushrooms
9)  edible white caps mushrooms
10) creminis mushrooms
11) portabella mushrooms/portabello mushrooms
12) maitake mushroom

I live in South Mississippi, I have both hardwood and softwood available to grow them in logs, along with mostly pine bark mulch, and compost (2 types of compost) 1st is chicken manure thats been sitting up for 6-12 months and 2nd compost is some of the chicken manure but also has worms in it (vermicucomposting) along with leaf mold, food waste, shredded cardboard and garden debris. I'm in zone 8b so our summers are hot 90-100+ deg F. We don't get much hard frost as temps in winter usually are in 50's-60's with 28 days dipping below freezing at night but mostly in upper 30's-40's and warmer (40-50 deg) daytime temps. Snow is rare here (once every 5 years on average, average is 0" per year) Indoors I usually keep house in both summer and winter around 68-75 deg. F. I have over an acre of mixed woods but not any pines/conifers. I do have poplar, oak (red & white), maple, pecan, sweet gum (I want to cut all these down) and popcorn trees (Triadica sebifera)(I want to kill all these too). We get on average 60 inches of rain annually. Low of 3.8 inches in Oct. to a high of 6 inches in Jan.

I'm mainly interested in growing them to sell along with my veggies at local CSA, and farmers market. I was hoping to add mushrooms to the pine bark mulch I add to my perennial beds and to either the leaf mold or dead trees in the woods (new dead trees as I know old ones will be fighting with local fungi) hopefully some mushrooms would like all the popcorn and sweet gum trees I cut down.
 
gardener
Posts: 2468
Location: Southern Illinois
415
transportation cat dog fungi trees building writing rocket stoves woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
C Rogers,

Well, that is quite a list, but my personal choice for mushroom beginners is the wine cap.  Its like having training wheels for growing mushrooms.

But first a question:  Do you plan to grow the mushrooms for the mushroom's sake?  OR, do plan on making use of the wonderful compost that is left behind once the mushrooms are done doing their thing?

Personally, I like to make my mushroom beds do double duty.  I make a nice raised bed of wood chips, inoculate with wine caps (my preference, but you can use whatever you like) and grow some garden produce in fertile holes in the mushroom bed.

Wine Caps work extremely well for this double-duty purpose as they actually like a bit of sunlight (dappled is considered best) and they positively thrive on neglect.  I grow tomatoes in fertile holes for my first year for the following reasons
1)  Wine Caps like a bit of soil interaction and the fertile hole gives them that soil contact.
2)  The tomatoes provide good dappled shade for the mushrooms
3)  The roots of the tomatoes actually help the Wine Caps grow, and vice versa.  It is really a mutualistic relationship

In the 2nd and 3rd and so forth years, the original mushroom bed will be magnificently fertile grounds for growing vegetables, and if you keep adding a few wood chips every year, you will continue to get mushrooms

ALL of my garden beds are in the process of becoming raised mushroom compost vegetable combo beds.

Obviously, my choice for starters is the wine Cap, but I understand that blue oysters are very easy to start with as well.  I am thinking about expanding in that direction.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

Eric


 
C Rogers
Posts: 96
Location: South Mississippi
17
hugelkultur hunting homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Eric Hanson wrote:C Rogers,

Well, that is quite a list, but my personal choice for mushroom beginners is the wine cap.  Its like having training wheels for growing mushrooms.

But first a question:  Do you plan to grow the mushrooms for the mushroom's sake?  OR, do plan on making use of the wonderful compost that is left behind once the mushrooms are done doing their thing?

Personally, I like to make my mushroom beds do double duty.  I make a nice raised bed of wood chips, inoculate with wine caps (my preference, but you can use whatever you like) and grow some garden produce in fertile holes in the mushroom bed.

Wine Caps work extremely well for this double-duty purpose as they actually like a bit of sunlight (dappled is considered best) and they positively thrive on neglect.  I grow tomatoes in fertile holes for my first year for the following reasons
1)  Wine Caps like a bit of soil interaction and the fertile hole gives them that soil contact.
2)  The tomatoes provide good dappled shade for the mushrooms
3)  The roots of the tomatoes actually help the Wine Caps grow, and vice versa.  It is really a mutualistic relationship

In the 2nd and 3rd and so forth years, the original mushroom bed will be magnificently fertile grounds for growing vegetables, and if you keep adding a few wood chips every year, you will continue to get mushrooms

ALL of my garden beds are in the process of becoming raised mushroom compost vegetable combo beds.

Obviously, my choice for starters is the wine Cap, but I understand that blue oysters are very easy to start with as well.  I am thinking about expanding in that direction.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

Eric



My thinking was that the mushrooms would help with my growing veggies, both by helping to incorporate the manure compost I'll be adding (1-3 inch thick layer per year) and to break down the mulch I put on top of that to help keep moisture. So I was thinking that this mulch would then be better if it had fungi breaking it down so instead of it just taking the NPK etc out of the compost and using that to break down the mulch, instead the fungi already started to finished breaking it down and then the next year when I added another 1-3 inches of compost again. I was also leaning to wine caps as I've heard they can handle heat and sun better than many of the mushrooms I have listed. Though to be honest I haven't researched each kind fully so I'm asking here for others to help with which type(s) would do best both in braking down the mulch as well as growing in the conditions I have here locally.

But some mushrooms could also be grown mainly for a "crop" as these would be in their own area that is best for them, such as some mushrooms grow best in hardwood, some in softwood (these would be hugels or similar piles of just hardwood or softwood designed for them (if shade needed or sun I could "build" them where needed. Some other mushrooms grow best in leaf mold or similar conditions. These would be grown "IN" my woods as trying to get the tons of leaf mold out of wooded area wouldn't be feasible as I would have to cut down trees to get my tractor w/ front end loader in there and I'm not wanting to kill most of my trees, just the invasive trees like I mentioned (popcorn and sweet gums). Other than those trees and some oak trees that grew along my southern fence row between me and my neighbor, I don't want to "CUT DOWN" my woods. My plan is to cut down all the invasive trees and try using them either for biochar, hugles or for mushrooms, and slowly clear the fence row of the large oaks that are there. Most of this wood though would be used either for making furniture (quarter sawn oak is beautiful) or to be used in building my hose and some farm buildings. Any smaller parts (branches etc) and the sawdust from the cutting up of these would be used with mushrooms or hugels or used as fuel (pot belly stove) and/or biochar. So I can also have a forest mushroom garden too. If ya'll can tell me which mushrooms would work well there.

So in my head (that can be a good or bad place LOL) I'm thinking that I'll have 4 main mushroom areas.

One in the woods (no mushroom compost taken from here), a 2nd area either in shade or not just for mushrooms (this one can have mushroom compost taken from it), 3rd area is the mulch used in garden (compost of this will stay where it is but will be utilized by veggies) and a 4th area in my house in a controlled temp area of 68-75 deg. (compost from this also can be added to veggie/crop production)
 
Eric Hanson
gardener
Posts: 2468
Location: Southern Illinois
415
transportation cat dog fungi trees building writing rocket stoves woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
C Rogers,

Your thinking sounds a LOT like my own.  Firstly, I am pleased you are thinking about stacking functions--use a bed to grow mushrooms and vegetables at the same time all while you make increasingly better "soil" for your garden beds.  And yes, Wine Caps are a really good starter mushroom as they are not terribly picky about growing conditions like some other mushrooms.  I hear that blue oysters are voracious consumers of wood, maybe even more so than Wine Caps, but Wine Caps are just not picky about their location, and given the heat and humidity you have, I think a Wine Cap would be an excellent starter mushroom.

I too have some wooded acreage on my property and I too am loath to cut it down for just about any reason (I have dead trees standing I should cut down but have not brought myself to do so yet!).  Instead I use my prolific Autumn Olive trees that seemingly grow everywhere around here.  Mostly, mine grow along my fence row and while I actually like a living fence, they are terribly invasive and I need to cut back 1-2 feet from a 10-15 foot living fence/hedge.  That 1-2 feet of cutting along a nearly 800' fence line gives me an enormous amount of branches to chip up each year!  I typically rent a 12 inch chipper once every 1-2 years and go on a chipping spree.  All those Autumn Olives make mountains of chips that eventually get spread into my garden beds.  At present I have 3 main garden beds, beds 1, 2, and 3.  bed 1 got inoculated in the spring of 2018 (actually 4/10/18).  The bed sides were made of old oak and hickory logs left over from a storm.  Those logs were iffy when I started the mushroom bed 18 months ago.  They are terrible now!  I need to get those beds better supported soon.

My bed #2 I raised, filled with chips and inoculated this spring.  On this bed I used 2x10 lumber painted with a masonry product called DryLock which is supposed to be impervious to fungi but not toxic to them either.  We will see how the sides hold up.  But the chips are breaking down faster in bed #2 this year even faster that bed #1 last year, no doubt because I used more spawn to start with.  Actually, I need to get some more chips on the surface.  

Bed 3 was actually a heaping pile of wood chips at the beginning of the spring, the very same chips that were mostly moved over into bed #2.  That pile had been about 5' high and 12' long.  I moved all but about 4-6 inches of the pile.  On a lark, I used some extra spawn and mixed it in with the left over chips.  I also planted a few crops and they grew well, but the weeds grew better (I got lazy).  Next year's plan is to raise bed #3 with 2x10's painted with DryLock (you can get it at Home Depot), fill completely with wood chips to a depth of about 12-14 inches and inoculate properly, depending on how well decomposition takes place this winter (at this rate, the spawn is spreading so fast that additional spawn may be unnecessary.).

If things keep going to plan, then in the spring/summer of 2021 I will tear apart what remains of the log edges for bed #1 and add their remnants to the bed itself.  I will replace the logs with still more 2x10's painted with DryLock.  There is one complication though.  Beds #2 and #3 are both about 12-15 feet long, and I lengthen them slightly to 16' using standard dimensional lumber.  I just measured bed #1 and it is 32' long!  This will mean I will have to use 2 2x10's butt jointed.  I may have to do some leveling, but the bed is going to be huge!  If I can get all 3 beds raised up, fully inoculated and ready for planting, then I think I will have enough growing space for all my gardening needs.  These should be extremely fertile beds and provide me with plenty of produce.  

My overarching goal for my garden is to use exactly zero outside inputs.  I want my land to provide everything.  I currently plant comfrey for additional fertility, and I may well expand those plants this spring.  At present, my comfrey plants have a very nice and thick layer of woodchips near them acting as a very nice mulch.  I don't know why I did not think of this earlier, but next spring I am going to inoculate those chips with mushrooms as well.  I also plan on expanding my comfrey plants to double or triple the current number simply by dividing part of one plant.  The plan is to take a long, narrow trenching shovel and push it into the healthiest comfrey plant and aim to take about 1/4 of the plant.  In the hole that remains, I will fill with finished mushroom compost and top off with even more chips.  Then I will spread around the root cuttings and keep them under a nice layer of woodchips inoculated with spawn.  I occasionally add my own urine to the mix and get some really healthy green comfrey to add to the mix.

At any rate, you see my project, and I hope that it helps your's.  Never hesitate to ask if you have any questions, and I certainly like your plans as they sound now.

Eric
 
Posts: 28
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
2
cat fungi trees
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Regarding the trees you want to take out, oysters are supposed to work really well on sweet gum.  Not sure about popcorn trees, but oysters eat a wide variety of hardwoods, so they might work well on that as well.  I have some oysters eating cherry laurel stumps right now.  If you do decide to try oysters, make sure to look at their fruiting temperatures, as some strains work better in warm or cold climates.
 
gardener
Posts: 6621
Location: Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
1271
hugelkultur dog forest garden duck fish fungi hunting books chicken writing homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
hau C. Rogers, Every species you listed will grow in your area, not every sub species however as has already been noted by Jonathan. Eric has some good experience with winecaps which means he can give first hand experience recommendations.

For me in Arkansas I grow most of your desired species (no morel, cremini or chanterelles yet), those come in the  next two years.
I don't bother with portabella or white button, they are far to easy to find at the farmer's market for me to bother with growing my own.

Wine caps are awesome and once you get an area like eric has setup and growing, all you have to do is toss on more chips every year, or spread them all over the place. (mine do best in shade from noon on to dark).

Redhawk
 
Posts: 9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi all, thanks for the ideas of growing mushrooms in woodchip/leafmould - makes a lot of sense when you think about it. We had the most amazing flush of wild fungi (sadly mostly poisonous ones)  in our wood this year, never seen so many in 30 years of living here, and so I am tempted to try it as a culture.

I have heard about using solid hardwood logs for some types but not woodchip, which we have a big pile of from a large ash which came down earlier in the year. Would that be suitable do you think, and what types would anyone suggest trying - temperate wet west of England, rarely seem to even get frosts these days, and just the occasional blast of wet snow for a day or two. Summers we struggle to get much above 80.

Any ideas or thoughts gratefully received.
Chris
 
Eric Hanson
gardener
Posts: 2468
Location: Southern Illinois
415
transportation cat dog fungi trees building writing rocket stoves woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Chris,

Just untangle my foggy mind for s minute. I am still on my first cup of coffee this morning and I am up early.

So are you saying that you have a pile of woodchips?  If so, then I would say you are in luck!

At this point, I have had a very good deal of luck with wine cap mushrooms.  My suggestion (and truly, this is only a suggestion as this is your project and you are the person on site) is that you collect some/all of your woodchips and make them into a bed 6-12 inches deep.  Then inoculate, soak down and wait.

I have an entire thread documenting my journey with wine caps that I have kept up to date.  It is located here:

https://permies.com/t/82798/composting-wood-chips-chicken-litter

At present, the thread spans about a 2 year time frame, and was last updated yesterday.  At the beginning of the thread I was a complete fungal neophyte and I understand the uncertainty you might have about starting a project like this.

But fear not!  You can do this, and the mushroom I would suggest for you would be the wine cap.  It is a very good starter mushroom, thrives on neglect, and is not especially picky about where it grows.

And before I finish, to better help you, could you give me a couple extra details, such as is the area sunny or shady, do you want to grow vegetables as well (you can and I can help walk you through the process) or just mushrooms.  Do you have plans for the wood chip remnants after the mushrooms are finished (I will tell you right now that mushroom compost is incredibly fertile stuff) or do you just want the mushrooms.

Good luck on your fungal journey.  If you need any help, don’t be afraid to ask, and by all means, please keep us updated.

Eric  
 
"Don't believe every tiny ad you see on the internet. But this one is rock solid." - George Washington
Greenhouse of the Future ebook - now free for a while
https://permies.com/t/138620/Greenhouse-Future-ebook-free
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic