An even casing depth is important to achieving maximum yield and performance from
all cased substrates. Regardless of how level (or un-level) the substrate surface
is, the following tip will help insure consistent casing depth. An evenly laid
casing (measured in depth to substrate level, not as in parallel to the floor)
helps casings to colonize faster and more evenly, promotes even pin sets and therefore
increases yield. An even casing depth causes the casing to colonize at the same
rate across the tray so that mycelium reaches the surface at the same time. This
can reduce pin initiation period compared to an uneven casing colonization, and
it will definitely aid in pin set.
Applying an even casing layer becomes increasingly difficult on larger trays,
uneven substrate surfaces, or casings in the bottom of deep bins (shroomgod
straw bins for example). Making sure that the depth of the casing is the same
over the whole tray, regardless of the substrate surface being actually level
or not is the goal of this tip. This can be done by using depth rings.
1. Some type of tube (large diameter PVC pipe, tennis ball tubes, even paper
towel tubes or rings made of durable paper)
2. Utensil for cutting tube material
3. Ruler for measuring
4. One colonized tray of substrate ready for casing
5. Casing material of choice
Cut rings of large diameter PVC, tennis ball tubes, even paper towel tubes
to the width that you want your casing depth to be (I'd say somewhere between
.5 and 1.25 inches for most people, with deeper substrates calling for deeper
casings). Make enough rings to spread out over the substrate surface without
too much space between them.
Lay these rings over the substrate surface, then apply casing material of choice
to the tops of the depth rings. Gently remove the rings after casing is applied.
This ensures an even casing depth relative to the substrate surface. Simple
Oh yeah, the more level the substrate is to begin with, the easier things will
be. But, nothing ever goes perfectly.