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Andrew Cohen

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since Sep 19, 2019
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Recent posts by Andrew Cohen

Mike Haasl wrote:Andrew, do you know of any plants that benefit aphid parasites?  That would be a great one!

Haha, I was hoping you would ask! they tend to like small and umbel type flowers like sweet alyssum, yarrow, carrot/daucus/anne' lace types, dill, fennel, brassicas/mustards that have flowered (though be warned they can get weedy if left to self-seed.) I find that many of the flowers that attract various parasites are also good at bringing in adult predators (I'm guessing they has high nectar out put but that's really just a feeling)

"Tangle foot" is a natural(?) glue like substance that many orchardist apply to the trucks of fruit trees. It creates an impassable barrier to keep aphid farming ants from transporting aphids to the more susceptible areas of the trees. Its very important to weed and mow vegetation next to stumps so ants don't use it to climb passed the goo. I have heard of savvy ants sacrificing their lives to form body bridges to get passed the stuff.

Are you looking for more detail in some of the already mentioned categories also, like species that bring in predators ect.?
2 months ago
Plant species for aphid parasites have ben helpful.
Neem based sprays have also worked really well for me. Even though I hate the smell, I haven't found it takes much reapplication.

2 months ago
Thanks for all the responses!

I tossed the block, fruit and all, into a freshly hydrated hay bale laced with wood chips and some spare logs and threw at tarp over it. We have some rain and mild temperatures in the forecast so hopefully the mycelium will run.

It looks like spring is coming sooner than usual so, I think this will be the last attempt at an indoor grow until next winter. Until then I'll be where I know I belong, in the soil.

Thanksfor the help again!  
2 months ago
Greetings Permies,

I've been lurking these forums for a while. I have only made one response post but have still learned a ton! Thank you everyone for contributing.

I have been trying to grow mushrooms in my New York apartment since there aren't many plants, I find interesting, to work with in winter. I have been purchasing precolonized mushroom blocks online to minimize contamination but a Shiitake block I just rehydrated for a second flush is hosting a blueish green organism.

I had a really nice first flush with this block. After it stopped fruiting I took it out of the fruiting chamber (just a clear rubbermaid) to dry out before dunking it aerated water. I think I left the block out too long before dunking it and that was when the contaminant got in.

It looks to me that the new flush of Shiitake are coming in nicely but the blue green seems troublesome.  

Im not sure what to do with this block, what to do with the harvest that should be mature soon?

I will be working in a garden I keep this weekend. It is the final resting place for all my finished mushroom blocks. I have a pile of hay with wood chip and logs I got for free from craigslist, I have been composting them there and covering with a tarp. Since New York city has had such a mild winter I have already seen mycelium running through the pile. Worst case this block can always become a garden project...

What do ya'll think?
Thanks in advance!
2 months ago
Hi Sam,
Since your temps and humidity sound good, I would look to see if they are getting enough air and if they are getting right amount of light.
I would suggest adding holes for air exchange. As for light, most mushrooms need around 12 hours and prefer indirect light (*check the needs of the type you are growing). From what I understand pinning/fruiting is increased by the presence of light in the blue range so if you have the means you could buy strip LED lighting online (if you arent afraid of cutting and cliping strip lighting together you can buy reels for very cheap on amazon) within those ranges.
The last thing thing I can think of now that might be inhibiting fruiting could be how the substrate is being watered. Its important that when misting the water is sprayed on the walls of the container and not the actual mycelium. I've read if water is sprayed on the mycelium it can cause pins to abort.
4 months ago