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What to do with 'bound up' spawn plugs

Posts: 965
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
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I have several sheets of shiitake spawn plugs with styrofoam backing that have turned white, which I'm told means that the spawn is 'bound' and isn't worth the time and effort of putting into logs.

Any ideas of what these may be good for?
Posts: 125
Location: Westport, CA Zone 8-9; Off grid on 20 acres of redwood forest and floodplain with a seasonal creek.
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Hi Travis,

I am doing a lot of research and reading about mushrooms right now and I have not come across anything referring to bound spawn. I assume the mycelial mat has started running which has connected all the plugs and the Styrofoam together making it difficult to remove the plugs for use without damaging them.

Ideas of use:
1. Remove small amounts from the edges doing the least damage possible. Use this to inoculate new plug spawn. You should be able to generate more spawn than you had before.
2. Cut fresh logs, make slices into them that you can pack some of the plug Styrofoam mix into. Seal over and hope and wait.
3. Try to start and outdoor patch using sawdust or wood chips. Lay down a couple of inches of fresh chips/dust and water well. Strategically place sheets across pile. Put more chips/dust on top and water again. Hope and wait.

If you have enough I would give all three a shot with one being the most important so you do not waste the original spawn.

Good Luck,

Posts: 152
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That's the first time I have heard of the term "bound" as well. I think what it really means is that the spawn is OLD. The older a spawn is, the less vigorous it becomes. It goes into a resting, hibernation state, as it uses up the nutrients available to it. It can be woken from this state, and can still produce good results, but it is weaker than fresh spawn.

Fresh spawn is actively growing, still expanding into its growth medium, and so it "hits the ground running" so to speak.

I am assuming that your spawn is a sawdust-based spawn. Sawdust spawn will have a shorter shelf-life than wood plugs because the mycelium can digest sawdust quicker than solid wood.

Give Jeff's ideas a try, especially the first two.
Diego Footer on Permaculture Based Homesteads - from the Eat Your Dirt Summit
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