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Growing King Stropharia  RSS feed

 
Jennifer Fox
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Location: Reno, NV
food preservation fungi urban
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Hi All.  I'm an experienced organic gardener, new to the site and just getting into growing fungi. I've purchased a King Stropharia kit that I plan on growing indoors then transferring to a 4x4 foot shaded area in my garden.  I've been doing a lot of reading and chose this variety because it seems to be more forgiving about the substrates in grows on.  My dilemma is this: I live in the high desert and trees are not plentiful. All of the wood chips I'm able to source from local arborists are usually a mixture of pine and softwood.  I do have access to some fruit and hardwood chips but they are NOT fresh.  Which is most important, wood type or freshness?  I also have a lot of aged straw and homemade compost from shredded dry leaves and coffee grounds that I can add to one or the other if it helps.  Any advice is greatly appreciated.
 
John Saltveit
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I would add all of the above, dig a trench and keep it moist during teh summer especially.
John S
PDX OR
 
Jennifer Fox
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Location: Reno, NV
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Ok, thank you!  I'll try the kitchen sink method
 
John Saltveit
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King Stropharia is known mainly for hardwood chips, but I think straw and other things to the degree that they are similar. I agree with you that it is probably the easiest one to grow outside in the yard.  The next easiest if you have success with that one is probably Hypsizygus Ulmarius, the White Elm oyster mushroom.
John S
PDX OR
 
steve bossie
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i have 5 beds of them under my big norway spruces. I've grown them on hardwood chips and oat straw. they say not to grow them on conifer chips. can you get wheat or oat straw? phoenix oysters will grow on conifer chips. could try a bed of conifer and bed of fruit chips. just in case one dosent take. if its very dry you might want to put a wind block/ shade of a tarp surrounding your bed to keep it from drying out. bordering  your bed with logs helps keep moisture too. they take a season to establish and fruit up here. in warmer areas should take less. i agree elm oysters are another one good in the garden.  good luck!
 
Jennifer Fox
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Location: Reno, NV
food preservation fungi urban
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Hmmm...I get my straw from the local feed store.  Since I've always used it as garden mulch, I never thought to question what type it is.  I will call them and ask. I do live in an area with very low humidity so I'm choosing the most ideal site I can in regards to blocking the wind and I have planned on rigging up some shade cloth as well.  It will have the protection of a wall on one side, fence on the other and is partially shaded by a lilac shrub. I also bought a pearl oyster block that I'm fruiting indoors.  Would that do well on wood chips too?  From some brief research it looks like most people grow it on logs which would be difficult for me to get.  If I get Elm Oyster, can I put it in the same area as the King Stropharia or would they compete?  I do have another spot under a cherry tree that I've been considering, but it's a little less protected from wind. I've also read that King Stropharia like growing on the corrugated side of cardboard.  I have lots of that!  I'm guessing that cardboard and straw alone wouldn't have enough nutrition though.
 
John Saltveit
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Oyster, Elm Oyster, and King stropharia could all probably grow on corrugated cardboard, effectiveness in that order, respectively probably. You don't want them next to each other, but you can grow them in 5 gallon buckets. I have for years. They help to retain moisture, and when they're spent, they make good garden mulch.  You probably could pick up a lot of wood chips from Craigs list when you go visit a nearby city.
John S
PDX OR
 
Jennifer Fox
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Location: Reno, NV
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I've actually been scouring craigslist in the Sacramento are thinking that oak is predominant there and I'd surely be able to get some fresh hardwood chips on my next visit.  Doesn't appear to be so.  Oak firewood fetches a good price so they split it and season it.  Even if I bought some oak and chipped it myself, it wouldn't be fresh wood. I'm still on the hunt.  Perhaps in my area this won't be a sustainable pursuit, but I'd like to try at least once. I can always buy alder chips and sawdust from fungi perfecti, but shipping is expensive. I like the idea of growing on the ground so they symbiotically benefit my edible and landscape plants, but wouldn't be opposed to trying some in buckets.  Do you have to sterilize the wood chips for bucket production? Do you drill holes in the bucket for the mushrooms to grow out the sides or just the top?  
 
John Saltveit
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Yes you drill holes in the buckets, and you almost surely want to pasteurize the chips in the buckets for Elm and other oyster.  No you aren't advised to cook in ground chips for stropharia, because they need the soil based bacteria to make them grow.

I realize Portland has more rain/trees than Sacramento, but you might want to consider waiting and checking.  I don't buy my spawn until I get the substrate free first, then I buy the spawn.  I often have to wait.  Often someone gets 9 yards from a tree company and has too many, but they say you have to take that much.

John S
PDX OR
 
steve bossie
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Location: Northern Maine (zone 3b-4a)
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Jennifer Fox wrote:Hmmm...I get my straw from the local feed store.  Since I've always used it as garden mulch, I never thought to question what type it is.  I will call them and ask. I do live in an area with very low humidity so I'm choosing the most ideal site I can in regards to blocking the wind and I have planned on rigging up some shade cloth as well.  It will have the protection of a wall on one side, fence on the other and is partially shaded by a lilac shrub. I also bought a pearl oyster block that I'm fruiting indoors.  Would that do well on wood chips too?  From some brief research it looks like most people grow it on logs which would be difficult for me to get.  If I get Elm Oyster, can I put it in the same area as the King Stropharia or would they compete?  I do have another spot under a cherry tree that I've been considering, but it's a little less protected from wind. I've also read that King Stropharia like growing on the corrugated side of cardboard.  I have lots of that!  I'm guessing that cardboard and straw alone wouldn't have enough nutrition though.
king stropharia grow very well on straw and cardboard so does all oyster mushrooms.  make sure you shred them into small pieces. you can take your oyster block , after its done fruiting and break it up into wet cardboard / straw. put in a card board box or burlap sack. put it in a moist dark area outside directly on the ground. must be in contact with soil. i also put a piece of cardboard on top of the burlap sacks to keep in moisture. keep moist but not soaking. in 8 to 10 weeks the sub. should be all white and start to fruiti on the bottom and out the sides. poke a few holes in the sides of the box once you see them fruiting out of the bottom. usually get about 3 flushes out of it. throw whats left in your compost pile. best to keep elms and king stropharia separate but they will grow together . one will win out over the other tho. i use logs to separate the beds. they will fruit best near the logs. good luck!
 
steve bossie
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Location: Northern Maine (zone 3b-4a)
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for some reason , if you grow outside you don't have to sterilize. I've never have and never had contamination like you get indoors as long as there is soil contact. must be the fungi in soil that keeps green molds at bay. i much rather do a outside grow than indoors. its a pain inside. use a higher ratio of mycelium to sub. and the sub. gets colonized very quickly before the molds can get a hold. good luck! let us know how it goes.
 
Ken W Wilson
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Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
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I'm growing my first spawn on sterilized grain sorghum seeds. I purchased the liquid culture separately and inocullated about 5 days ago. It's growing great. We are having a heat wave here. I was wondering how to expand the spawn indoors to plant it outside later. Once it's fully colonized, could I mix it 50/50 without sterilizing the substrate?
 
steve bossie
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Ken W Wilson wrote:I'm growing my first spawn on sterilized grain sorghum seeds. I purchased the liquid culture separately and inocullated about 5 days ago. It's growing great. We are having a heat wave here. I was wondering how to expand the spawn indoors to plant it outside later. Once it's fully colonized, could I mix it 50/50 without sterilizing the substrate?
what species are you growing? you would have to sterilize your sub. indoors but if you mixed it into wet sawdust in a cardboard box or burlap sack set outside on the ground in a shady location , it will colonize without contamination in 8 -10 weeks. if you want to spread it further don't let it fruit. just break it up again into prepared beds of sawdust for k. stropharia or elm oysters. you will have much better success outdoors than in if you don't have a sterile area to work..
 
Ken W Wilson
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Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
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It's Stropharia rugosoannulata.   That's interesting that it works so much better with ground contact. Have you ever tried to simulate that by adding soil?

How do you sterilize? The substrate I bought was autoclaved. CouId I just boil some grain?

I assume it's too late to fruit outdoors this year?

I'm growing some morel spawn, M rufobrunnea, too, but it hasn't done anything yet.

I planted M. importuna outdoors this spring. The substrate was grain on bottom and sawdust on top. The directions said to throw the grain part away. I added it to a bag of sterile substrate instead. It grew but had contaminants. I planted in outdoors in a Earth Box planter. It was doing great last time I checked. The outdoors seemed to cure it. I hadn't thought about it being the soil that did it. I think it was in purchased compost but it had been outside a long time.
 
steve bossie
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Location: Northern Maine (zone 3b-4a)
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Ken W Wilson wrote:It's Stropharia rugosoannulata.   That's interesting that it works so much better with ground contact. Have you ever tried to simulate that by adding soil?

How do you sterilize? The substrate I bought was autoclaved. CouId I just boil some grain?

I assume it's too late to fruit outdoors this year?

I'm growing some morel spawn, M rufobrunnea, too, but it hasn't done anything yet.

I planted M. importuna outdoors this spring. The substrate was grain on bottom and sawdust on top. The directions said to throw the grain part away. I added it to a bag of sterile substrate instead. It grew but had contaminants. I planted in outdoors in a Earth Box planter. It was doing great last time I checked. The outdoors seemed to cure it. I hadn't thought about it being the soil that did it. I think it was in purchased compost but it had been outside a long time.
i haven't had to sterilize since i got my outdoor beds established as i just mix more chips in to keep them going. I've tried mixing in compost and it still doesn't work as well as ground contact for some reason. in your area it should fruit a lot sooner than our zone up here. it takes a full year to produce but once established you get flushes from late may to frost. usually add new material in the fall so they produce next spring. i top dress my beds with some oat straw to keep in moisture. but they produce well with no straw under my bushes and trees. many years i have so many i can't get rid of them fast enough . i dry a lot of them for winter use. our soil is too acidic for morels up here.
 
Ken W Wilson
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Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
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How do you like to cook the Stropharia? How does the flavor compare to portabellas and other mushrooms?
 
John Saltveit
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stropharia taste good if you get them before they spore, so you have to watch them closely when they're fruiting. Like twice a day. I like them about as well as portabellas but they're way easier to grow and as such, much more beneficial to your garden.
John S
PDX OR
 
steve bossie
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i use mine as you would button or portobellos. they aren't as flavorful as oysters but are a very hearty mushroom. pick them before the gills turn black for best flavor. i love them best in the button stage before the cap starts to unfold. they're nice and firm and slice beautifully!!
 
Ken W Wilson
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Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
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Can SRA stand cultivation at all? I've got spawn ready to plant. I'm thinking about putting at least one bag in a 6x12 raised bed. It's got squash in it now. Next spring I'll probably spade it up, and plant my earliest sweetcorn there.

Can chickens hurt it much after it's established?

Thanks!
 
Ken W Wilson
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Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
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Can SRA stand cultivation at all? I've got spawn ready to plant. I'm thinking about putting at least one bag in a 6x12 raised bed. It's got squash in it now. Next spring I'll probably spade it up, and plant my earliest sweetcorn there.

Can chickens hurt it much after it's established?

Thanks!
 
steve bossie
Posts: 284
Location: Northern Maine (zone 3b-4a)
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chickens LOVE the mycelium and will dig up the whole patch to get at it!
 
Ken W Wilson
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Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
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Thanks! That's good to know. I guess I'll add some small rocks. That's how I keep them from scratching out my strawberry plants.
 
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