This document describes the cultivation and links to the available information on the net about the cultivation of Psilocybe azurescens and similar species (Psilocybe cyanescens, Psilocybe subaeruginosa, Psilocybe bohemica, Psilocybe arcana, Psilocybe serbica, Psilocybe moravica ... )
The outdoor cultivation of Psilocybe azurescens is somewhat more complex and takes more time from start to harvest compared to the indoor cultivation of Psilocybe cubensis, but it is also easier in some aspects since major parts of the cultivation are done outdoors by mother nature. In addition he outdoor yield can be substantial.
All the wood loving Psilocybe species essentially have the same cultivation parameters.
The most important requirement for a successful outdoor cultivation is that you live in the correct climate. The Autumns should be cold and moist to enable fruiting, the summers preferably not too dry.
Outdoor cultivation of the wood lovers is possible in the plant hardiness zones 6, 7 and 8.
You can find out in which Plant Hardiness Zone you live by using the maps underneath:
The cultivation consists of the following 3 steps:
Time line for the cultivation of wood lovers
March, April, May (as soon the snow melts):
(September), October, November, (December)
Maintenance of the patch
Once you have an established patch, you can simply mix fresh wood chips into the patch every spring and thus extend its lifetime for years. It is also possible to take some colonized wood chips from the original patch and create a new patch t a different location.
The most accumulated info on cultivation of Psilocybe azurescens can be found at Erowid (click on the images to see the individual grow reports), a very good document also at Historical P. azurescens cultivation notes by TEONANACATL
How exactly did you prepare the wood chips to be used as spawn?
Beech smoke chips are simmered for 1 hour in order to soak them, then strained for 10 minutes and pressure cooked for 45 minutes in jars. After they cooled down the jars were inoculated with the Psilocybe azurescens grain spawn.
Can cedar wood be used for the outdoor bed?
Cedar is a conifer and its wood is very rich in resins which inhibit mycelial growth. There are other conifers which can be used, for instance Douglas fir or spruce. Some other suitable tree species :
What should I look for when selecting a location for the patch
One of the important criteria is that the location stays moist throughout the year. In the vicinity of a creek the micro climate is usually quite moist. Be careful not to place the patch too near a creek in case it floods, since this would carry your patch away. A good moisture indicator are mosses. If moss grows on the forest floor it shows that the ground is moist and it will support a patch very well.
Does it matter if the ground freezes solid during the winter?
No, it doesn't matter. Here in Austria the winter temperatures go down to - 20°C for short periods of time, usually it's a few degrees below the freezing point for about 3 months in winter. The mycelium is quite hardy and once the bed is established and colonized it survives very low temperatures. Just to be sure, you can cover the bed with a fresh layer of chips, straw or cardboard before winter.
Can I directly inoculate a pf cake with a wild print syringe?
If the syringe is clean (which CAN be the case if you worked clean when you were taking the print and the mushroom itself was clean) then it works. Otherwise you will see contamination grow. Psilocybe azurescens colonizes normal PF cakes in ~3-4 weeks at room temperature.
Can I inoculate fine wood chips straight from a spore syringe?
Hardly. Spores germinate very poorly on wood chips and seem to take forever. Inoculation on something more nutritious (grain, pf cake) ) is needed if you want to see results in a reasonable time.
I am not in one of the hardiness zones, should I give it a shot?
If you are in a hardiness zone less than 5, you could potentially still have success by letting the substrate colonize outdoors during the summer, and then move it indoor in a cold cellar when the temperatures fall under the freezing point.
It's summer already, can I still inoculate the outdoor bed?
You can begin anytime of the year.
Would it be a good idea to cover the bed with cardboard to keep it moist?
Yes, you can do this through the hot summer, although it is not essential. Definitely uncover it in Autumn.
How often should I water the patch?
Depends on the weather. If it rains at least one a week in the summer, you probably won't have to water it at all. Water it in times of prolonged droughts. Best what you can make though is to choose the location of the patch wisely, somewhere in deep shadow, possibly along a creek where the conditions are naturally moist throughout the year.
Is the point of being outdoors is to have the full environment?
Yes, the point of colonizing them outdoors is to expose them to natural conditions. It seems as they profit greatly from this, since "normal" indoor cultivation attempts are difficult to successfully accomplish.
Does my patch need a casing layer?
The wood lovers don't require a casing layer, but they do benefit from one.
Is indoor cultivation of Psilocybe azurescens possible?
Yes, it is possible , but one needs a dedicated controlled environment. Here is how it can be done:
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