I ordered the "Three Amigos" spawn kits from Fungi Perfecti: Hypsizygus ulmarius, Coprinus comatus, and Stropharia rugoso-annulata. I am hoping to put these in the hugel beds I've been building in my kitchen garden. Should I make special beds for each kind? The instructions for Hypsizygus ulmarius and Coprinus comatus say to inoculate mulch or partially decomposed compost. The Stropharia instructions say to use wood chips. Should I avoid putting compost or mulch in the Stropharia bed and just use logs and wood chips? Can I put soil in the Stropharia bed?
Thanks to anyone who can give me more information how to plant these guys correctly and not kill them, they were a bit of an investment for me!
Try and follow the directions as closely as possible. I have not grown any Stropharia or Coprinus comatus, so take my suggestions with a grain of salt.
I would put each one in a separate bed. Avoid adding any dirt, if possible. These mushrooms are decomposers, they eat dead plant material, not dirt.
If you use mulch with the Stropharia, don't use too much - keep it mostly woodchips. Keep any mulch separated from the spawn by the woodchips.
I would suggest building "sandwich beds" - first, put down a layer of cardboard, then your woodchips (or mulch), then your spawn, then more woodchips (mulch). (See Paul Stamets' book Mycelium Running for details.)
The Hypzigus ulmarius will do fine with woodchips or mulch - I would suggest mixing some woodchips in with the mulch to get a longer lived bed. (Which will hopefully inoculate your Hugelculture logs for a self-perpetuating bed.) I have grown H. ulmarius with just sawdust and woodchips and must say that it is one of the most vigorous and productive mushrooms I have ever seen.
I got three more kinds of mushrooms to try. These are in the "plug spawn" form to pound into logs. I got Shiitake, Pearl Oyster, and Chicken of the Woods. The only one I have serious concerns about is the Chicken of the Woods which is a NW variant for growing in certain conifers like spruce. But I think I am going to have to try it in oak and elm because I don't have any spruce.