For the real mushroom aficionado, this method is more involved but you will be rewarded with the best of both worlds: Fast abundant crops that keep coming year after year!
Plant any time from the middle of Spring until the middle of September.
1 – Carboard
2 – Hardwood Wood Chips (enough to cover 25 square feet, 4″ deep )
3 – 5 lb Wine Cap Sawdust Spawn Bag
4 – Straw (enough to cover 25 square feet, 2″ deep)
Wood chips: Age wood chips for at least a month and up to 3 years. Softer woods like poplar, willow and birch are easier to digest, so the mushroom mycelium colonizes quicker and fruits faster, but they don’t last as long. Ideally a 50/50 mix with harder woods like maple, oak or beech is preferable. Don’t use conifers or chips with green leafy material. Soak the wood chips in water for 3 to 5 days. Drain and spread into a tarp or screen to let it dry 2 to 24 hours.
Straw: Soak the straw in water for 3 days to drown all aerobic fungi and bacteria. Drain and spread into a tarp or screen to let it dry 2 to 24 hours to kill any anaerobic bacteria. Use fresh and clean straw with little seeds or weeds. Do not use hay as it is too rich and it decomposes too quickly.
1. Select your bed location in a partially shaded area. Contrary to most of the other mushrooms we grow, Wine Caps do better with some sunlight exposure.
2. Dig a 5″ deep hole, at least 18″ wide and as long as material/design permits. This is your time to get creative; any shape and size works!
3. Place a single layer of cardboard at the bottom of the hole. The cardboard acts as a protective layer from worms and other insects, but lets the water pass through. Mushrooms will happily decompose the cardboard after the mycelium is established.
4. Add a 2″ deep layer of wood chips. Crumble half of the Wine Cap Sawdust Spawn with your fingers and sprinkle over wood chips. Rake gently to mix in.
5. Add another layer of wood chips and the other half of the spawn.
6. Finish with a 2″ deep layer of straw. Water the bed thoroughly and cover with a tarp for 5 days to conserve moisture. After 5 days, remove the cover and keep an eye for fruiting bodies.
7. If planting early in the season, add a layer of wood chips mid fall. Add a fresh layer of seasoned straw the following Spring. Follow these two steps every year for continuous production.
This method also works with raised beds (no digging!).