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Seeds from Italy

How to grow mushrooms

Growing Fungi Prataiolo – Cultivated Button Mushrooms.

This is a dried mushroom spawn (seed) impregnated onto grains, for sowing in homemade or shop bought mushroom compost (not spent compost). The spawn will produce for about 6-12 months depending on conditions. This is a versatile mushroom ideal for frying, slicing, adding to ‘frittata’ and general culinary use.

Instructions to make the compost:

For 100 grams (4 ounces) of spawn you will need 5kg (13 lbs) of fresh horse manure (max 30 days old). Indoors, mix 20% clean straw to the manure which previously had been left in a wet heap for two weeks. This will help it break down better. Wet the compost well and form a mound. After a few hours the temperature will increase.

After four days, break down the heap and form three to four smaller heaps. This will help aerate the compost. The heaps should be turned weekly until the temperature stops rising (you will probably have to turn it 3-4 times). Wet any dry patches when you turn the heaps. The compost will appear dark brown in color, soft without any bad or ammonia smells. Squeezed between your fingers, a few drops of water should come out. The compost will be alkaline (PH 7.2 – 7.4).


Sprinkle the heap with the crumbled spawn, pushing it down deep with your fingers and cover it. 

After about two weeks, a white mold will form. Put the sown compost in containers, trays, soil or gabs, press and cover the compost with 4-5 cm (2-2 ½ inches) of 4 parts peat, 2 parts very fine gravel and 1 part lime (calcium carbonate) mixed well together. Keep the earth damp but not wet.

In about 20-30 days you will see the first mushrooms appear. The compost can also be sown under shady grass on your lawn.

 

Growing Funghi Pleurotus -Oyster Mushroom and Funghi Pioppini -Pholiota Aegerita
Dried mushroom spawn (seed) suspended on grains.

To sow onto straw:

Take some good quality, clean straw, chopped into 2-3cm pieces and wet for 3 days, mixing it regularly. Let excess water drain out ) When the straw does not drip unless squeezed, take four 5 litre plastic bags and mix the wet straw with the spawn. Place a clean sponge in the neck of the bag and secure with a rubber band so the mixture can breathe. Keep the bags at 80-85 degrees for 30-40 days until the straw is covered with a white, sweet smelling mould.

Take the whitened compost to an area of the garden protected from direct sunlight and strong wind, and cover with a layer of fìne soil. Keep the earth damp & within 15-20 days the first crop should appear

To sow onto logs:

(Fungi Pioppino) Innoculation is possible all year, but is best between Apr-Jun., planting the logs out from Aug-Oct and production from Autumn-Spring for three consecutive years. Mushroom production is equal to about 20% of the weight of the green wood (1/2 the first year, 1/3 the second year, and 1/6 the third year). The wood of all broad leafed trees may be used but best results are obtained with poplar.

Incubation & inoculation: Use a clean corner of a cool, little used, dark cellar/shed. Spread clean cardboard on the ground, wet and sprinkle it with crumbled spawn (don't trample or
dirty the spawn). Drill some holes in the logs. Arrange a first layer of logs, crumble
more spawn, place more logs, etc, until a maximum of 5 layers is reached. On the last
layer , sprinkle the remaining spawn and cover with cardboard. Cover the heap well
with washed sacks or waste textiles, wet & cover the heap with a sheet of plastic without sealing. You'll begin to see the spawn developing in about 2 weeks. At the end of the incubation (2-3 months), the logs will be covered with a white, pleasant smelling mould which often spreads to the sacks (which will also produce mushrooms). Incubation temperature must be between 70-85F. Remove the plastic briefly, as things will get too hot. Bury the logs to ¾ of their diameter in the shade and protected from wind, and keep
damp.

 

Fungho dell’Oro - Golden Mushroom

Dried mushroom spawn (seed) suspended on grains.

To sow onto straw:

Take some good quality, clean wheat straw, chopped into 2-3cm pieces and wet for 3 days, mixing it regularly. Let excess water drain out.

When the straw does not drip unless squeezed, take four 5 litre plastic bags and mix the wet straw with the spawn. Place a clean sponge in the neck of the bag and secure with an elastic bag so the mixture can breath. Keep the bags at 70-85F for 30-40 days until the straw is covered with a white, sweet smelling mould.

Take the whitened compost to an area of the garden protected from direct sunlight and strong wind, and cover with a layer of fine soil. Keep the earth damp & within 15-20 days the first crop should appear.