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Mushroom cultivation => Cultivation => Topic started by: Trips509 on October 06, 2007, 08:13:30 PM

Title: ?'s about casing grains
Post by: Trips509 on October 06, 2007, 08:13:30 PM
Ok so I have some jars with grains that are almost ready and i'm going to case them.  First time with grains and I was wondering, when I case them should I break up the grains/mycelium or just case them with out breaking up?

Also I went to the store today to buy peatmoss and verm, I did a 60/40 casing before with cakes. But, there was no peatmoss and they have no idea when they're getting more. So I got Expert Gardener Perfect Mix All Purpose Potting Soil. My question is, is this a suitable substitute?

It contains sphagnum peat moss, horticultural perlite, fast-release plant food, slow-release plant food, special wetting agent, and a buffer to raise ph.

I'm wondering, is the "plant food" and fertilizer like nitrogen and phosphorus in potting soil that is good for plants, bad for mushrooms? Like, will the chemicals kill the mycelium? Has anybody used potting soil with nutrients for plants as a casing? Also if I do use this, should I add any limestone flour and or crushed oyster shells since it says that it already contains a buffer for ph? Or could I just use the verm by itself as a casing. If the casing is only for moister retention, why not just use verm and not have to mess with adjusting ph as verm is already neutral?

Ahhhhhhh........sorry for the barrage of questions but thanks for any answers.
Title: Re: ?'s about casing grains
Post by: anno on October 07, 2007, 07:40:55 AM
>when I case them should I break up the grains/mycelium or just case them with out breaking up?

If you can get the mycelium out of the jars in one piece, you can case them whole, or you can break them up.

> I got Expert Gardener Perfect Mix All Purpose Potting Soil. My question is, is this a suitable substitute?
>It contains sphagnum peat moss, horticultural perlite, fast-release plant food, slow-release plant food,
>special wetting agent, and a buffer to raise ph.

Sounds ok.

>I'm wondering, is the "plant food" and fertilizer like nitrogen and phosphorus in potting soil that is good for
>plants, bad for mushrooms? Like, will the chemicals kill the mycelium?

Unlikely, the concentration of those should be low enough to not harm the mycelium.

>should I add any limestone flour and or crushed oyster shells since it says that it already contains a buffer for ph?

Yes, since you want a pH between 7 and 8, and the potting soil is always under 7.

>If the casing is only for moister retention, why not just use verm and not have to mess with adjusting ph
> as verm is already neutral?

When the mycelium grows through the casing layer, the pH sinks towards 4 if there is no buffer in the casing. Besidesm, vermiculite alone is very difficult to keep at the correct moisture when used as a casing-
Title: Re: ?'s about casing grains
Post by: Trips509 on October 07, 2007, 01:16:01 PM
Wow. Thanks for answering everyone of my questions. In about a week or less I will be casing and I guess I have everything I need. Thanks again for the help.