This method will provide you with 1 to 3 years of mushrooms, with the first crop starting around 90 days from inoculation. With wood chips, you can plant any time from the middle of Spring until the middle of September.
5 lb Wine Cap Sawdust Spawn Bag
Hardwood Wood Chips (enough to cover 25 square feet with 4″ deep beds)
Straw (just a little to preserve moisture)
1. 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.
2. Soak the wood chips in water for 3 to 5 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.
3. Select your bed location in a partially shaded area, in direct contact with the soil. Contrary to most of the other mushrooms we grow, Wine Caps do better with some sunlight exposure. Best spots are the rows between your vegetable garden, flower beds or around trees.
4. Spread the wood chips in a single layer, 2″ deep, at least 18″ wide and as long as material/design permits.
5. Crumble the Wine Cap Sawdust Spawn with your fingers and sprinkle over wood chips. Gently rake to mix the spawn with the wood chips.
6. Add another 2″ layer of wood chips. Water the bed thoroughly and cover with a thin layer of straw to preserve moisture.
7. If planting early in the season, add a layer of wood chips mid fall. Do the same in the Spring of the following season.
Established Wine Cap beds can be used to start new beds by shoveling inoculated chips into fresh (seasoned as directed above) wood chips. You can also “walk a bed” by adding fresh material 50% on top of the existing bed and 50% right next to it, on the soil.