I wanted to write a quick article outlining how I created another mushroom patch over the weekend. As I said in my previous article (Making a Mushroom Patch: King Stropharia (Garden Giant) Mushrooms), this is an experiment, for as far as I can tell, there has not been any mushroom cultivation on this island in the Azores. The Azoreans as a whole are fairly fungophobic (please see my article on Fighting Fungophobia for more details). If there has been mushroom cultivation on any of the Azorean islands, I am fairly certain it was not for edible, gourmet mushrooms, if you know what I mean.

For those of you who have never attempted growing your own mushrooms, the idea can seem a bit overwhelming. I will take you through how I set up my patch, step by step. It is really rather simple. In my opinion, there should be at least one Mushroom Patch in every garden around the world.

As I explained in my previous article, I ordered my mushroom spawn from Fungi Perfecti. This fantastic company has always had great customer service and quality products. I highly recommend them. Also, I plan on performing a number of experiments with a variety of mushroom species. I started with Stropharia rugosoannulata, also known as the King Stropharia, the Garden Giant, Wine Cap Stropharia, and Burgundy Mushroom. This project is with Coprinus comatus, also known as the Shaggy Mane and the Shaggy Ink Cap. I wrote a more indepth article about the Shaggy Mane mushroom which you can read if you are interested. It is very common around the world. The genus, Coprinus, literally means “living on dung”. For the Shaggy Mane, this means it grows well on rotted or composted manure which is what I am using for my project. The 6-12 months it takes for the mycelium to spread through and breakdown the manure before it produces mushrooms is plenty of time for harmful pathogens to be die off. Also, mushrooms should be cooked!

However, Shaggy Mane mushrooms can also grow in rich compost if you are nervous or repulsed by using manure. This is also considered one of the easiest mushrooms to grow outdoors.  I would agree after setting up this Mushroom Patch. Let me show you…

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This is how the box shipped from Fungi Perfecti.

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Inside the box was this plastic bag filled with wood chips and sawdust, white with Shaggy Mane mycelium!

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Here is the location of the mushroom bed. Just on the other side of the compost bin is my initial King Stropharia Mushroom Patch. For the same reasons, I placed this patch next to my compost bin. Close enough for regular monitoring and watering (if needed), but out of the way.

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I removed the grass and any sticks and large rocks from the area. It is about 3 feet square (0.9 meters).

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I piled on a load of moderately well processed compost, a thin layer of straw/crass clippings, and then about fifteen gallons of manure. The manure was probably about 1-2 weeks old. I rescued it from a corner of an open barn where cattle and sheep were being raised.

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Next, I crumbled the mushroom spawn (the white block in the photo above) over the patch and watered everything until the pile was wet.

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Finally, I mixed all the layers together very well to evenly distribute the spawn, and then I watered it all again very well. I then covered it in some dried garden clippings. And now I wait…

 

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Photo References:

  • All photos (other than the one of the mushrooms) are mine. Please ask if you would like to use them. Thanks!