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Oyster tinkering

 
Landon Sunrich
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Is it just me or are mushrooms hilariously fickle? The massive pile of Alder I have cooking shows no signs of fruiting and is replete with ants and pillbugs. Meanwhile the several chunks I was sure had dried out and died and thus pulled from the pile to use as edges for my raised bed and are mostly buried in soil are flushing for the first time round this year. Something tells me I'm going to spend all evening fiddling with my main mushroom stash, breaking it apart and burying bits here and there.
 
Dan Tutor
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Location: Zone 5, Maine Coast
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Landon Sunrich wrote:Is it just me or are mushrooms hilariously fickle? The massive pile of Alder I have cooking shows no signs of fruiting and is replete with ants and pillbugs. Meanwhile the several chunks I was sure had dried out and died and thus pulled from the pile to use as edges for my raised bed and are mostly buried in soil are flushing for the first time round this year. Something tells me I'm going to spend all evening fiddling with my main mushroom stash, breaking it apart and burying bits here and there.


Mushrooms are definitely fickle, and obviously funny! So yes.
What is your method of innoculation, and what is the environment like where your chips are? Are you talking about burying oyster spawn, spore mass, liquid spawn, etc?
Generally speaking I would increase your rate of spawn to substrate, and maybe do something to limit your beds contact with the native soil, like lining your bed with wet cardboard first, or mulching with pasteurized straw. Including chopped pasteurized straw in your substrate will definitely favor mycelial growth.
Best of luck!
 
Landon Sunrich
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See, that's the thing... the ones I gave up on and pulled out of the main pile and then buried in native soil are the ones that are fruiting! Cheeky buggers. My method of inoculation was to layer 6 inch by 8 foot alder rounds with colonized straw wood chips and grain spawn then add a layer of alder and so on and so on until I got a pile around 5 foot x 8 foot x 4 foot. Lots of spawn went in I'm sure they'll start showing me shrooms eventually. Its raining again and its that time of year for sure.
 
Dan Tutor
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Landon Sunrich wrote:See, that's the thing... the ones I gave up on and pulled out of the main pile and then buried in native soil are the ones that are fruiting! Cheeky buggers. My method of inoculation was to layer 6 inch by 8 foot alder rounds with colonized straw wood chips and grain spawn then add a layer of alder and so on and so on until I got a pile around 5 foot x 8 foot x 4 foot. Lots of spawn went in I'm sure they'll start showing me shrooms eventually. Its raining again and its that time of year for sure.


Sounds like you are on the right track!
Fickle little buggers...
 
Daniel Clifford
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Location: Eastern Massachusetts
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Hi Langdon,
Mushrooms definitely are fickle, from my understanding of the fungi life cycle I have a theory as to what happened there.

The mycelium in the primary bed has a ton of food, that sounds like a massive substrate When you grow mushrooms indoors in jars you wait until the mycelium has fully colonized the sealed substrate and then wait an extra week before you pop it out of the jar and into the humid fruiting area. In indoor cultivation this is primarily to limit competition from other airborne microbial contaminants colonizing the substrate but I believe it is also part of the simulation of the fungi life cycle.

So what I am saying is that the mycelium will only activate the fruiting of the mushrooms when it is out of food in its current environment. So they are doing fine I think just too busy eating to make mushrooms, they will do that after more of the cellulose and lignin in the pile has been consumed.

The ones that fruited likely did so because you removed them from the food source, they started to die or at least realize and say "like hey where'd the food go?" So in this environment in order to survive the mycelium induced sporulation.

Anyhow that is my take I hope it helped a little bit and it's entirely possible I am wrong just my own little theory

Daniel
 
Landon Sunrich
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Daniel Clifford wrote:Hi Langdon,


Anyhow that is my take I hope it helped a little bit and it's entirely possible I am wrong just my own little theory

Daniel


Theory or not thanks for sharing it. An interesting thought indeed.
 
Landon Sunrich
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Another point in favor of Daniels theory.

I moved the entire pile last week because they where just sitting there and had done the job of soil building/choking out the grass I had wanted to and I decided to put them in a shadier more moist position. A couple rains later... and there are some huge oysters a-poppin'. I've got plenty from the woods so I'm just leaving them be/ taking a few and breaking them up over the rest of the pile. It seems like the pile is doing its job and is too busy to be bothered with fruiting yet unless shocked.

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