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InvisibleJoshua
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Casing Mix 101 * 1
    #1597724 - 06/01/03 05:10 AM (17 years, 9 months ago)

Please open your mycology minds for another lesson. Today we study the technique of making a casing mix.

The casing layer is a layer covering colonized substrate. I find the casing to serve two primary purposes:

1) To help the substrate retain moisture and provide moisture durring flushes.

2) To increase the surface area available for pinning by creating an ideal environmental interface for pinning to occur.

As always, this is just one technique of the many that are known and will be known with time. I encourage modifications and experimentation.

This mix is called "50/50 +", a term I first saw at The Hawkes Eye many years ago. I will be using a 10:10:1 ratio of coir:verm:crushed oyster shell in this mix. The ratio of verm and coir is not essential. Some have used all verm, some all coir. When I mix my mix I do it by eye. But for the sake of this lesson, I will teach proper measurement.

Casing 101

Ingredients/Supplies

Coco Coir
Vermiculite
Crushed oyster shell
Quart Jars
Plastic Lids for Qt jars
Tyvek
2 mixing bowls
Microwave

Step one:

Break off a sufficient ammount of coco coir into a large mixing bowl.

Coco coir often comes in compressed stratified bricks. To break these apart you find the grain of the brick and break along the grain with your hands or with a knife. These bricks are compressed to 1/10 their original volume. That means the brick will expand to approximately 10 times its original size.

Here is a pic of the brick I used.


Step 2:

Add quite a bit of water. The ammount is not crucial. You can always add more later and the ingredients will absorb an amazing amount of water, that is what makes this a good mix.


Step 3:
Break up the larger chunks so that all chunks are immersed. As the coir absorbs water it will become softer and more workable. Keep breaking the chunks up until the coir is fully expanded.

I usually break the chunks up so they are immersed and wait 15 minutes. Usually the coir will be very soft by the time I return.



Here is completely hydrated and expanded coir.


Step 4:

Measure an appropriate amount of coir and place in the second mixing bowl. I have found that 4 cups coir, 4 cups verm, and 2/5ths cup crushed oyster shell will compact into two quart jars very nicely.

Make sure when measuring volume not to compact the material. Fill the measuring device to the appropriate level with loose material.



Step 5:

Add an appropriate volume of verm to the mixing bowl with the measure coir. In this case I added 4 cups.

I have heard many argue whether large partical verm or small partical verm are better for this purpose. I don't really care myself. I buy what's available. I encourage you to find your own preference with experience. I would probably lean toward large partical verm in this case (ha...ha!).

What you see in this tek is medium grade verm.



Step 6:

Add appropriate ammount of basic buffer. In this case I suggest 2/5ths cup finely crushed oyster shell. Hydrated lime works as well.

As mycelium grows it creates acidic metabolic waste and tends to acidify the casing layer. Contams often like lower pH soil. By adding oyster shell we basify the casing mix and make it slightly basic and we buffer the mix so that when the acidic metabolites are produced they are neutralized by the basic shell.





Here is a pretty shot of all the ingredients and their textures.



Step 7:

Mix all of the ingredients thoroughly. Add water to field capacity. Field capacity is the point at which the mix is at hydration capacity. You want the casing mix to hold quite a bit of water with out turning to a muddy consistancy.
Step 8:

Spoon mix into quart jars and compress. I use a canning funnel for this step. It keeps things clean and makes the job much easier.

I usually add 1/4 cup water to the top of the jar for extra hydration as some will be lost in the microwave step.





Step 9:

Place Tyvek square over mouth of jar and place vented lid over that. See picture.

Tyvek will keep a good portion of water in your casing mix while allowing pressure to escape. I use the same lids that I use for my grain jars. They have a 3/8 hole drilled into the center. I have also used lids that are PF Tek style with 3-5 needle sized holes in them.



Step 10:

Pasteurize/sterilize mix

At this point you may PC the jars or put them into the microwave. I prefer to place them into the microwave. I microwave them for at least two close sessions of 10 minutes. The idea is to at least paseurize the mix by keeping the temp at 170 F for at least 30 minutes. I tend to microwave my mix for 10 minutes, wait 10 minutes and then cool off. Sometimes I'll microwave the next day for another ten minutes.



Several times I have laid down a casing layer onto some nice white and fluffy substrate only to find cobweb or green in a couple of days.

I have no problem nuking my mix thoroughly.

If PCing the mix, 30 min to 45 min @ 15 PSI should do the trick. If I PC them I usually do them along with some grain jars.

Step 11:

Apply mix to substrate surface. At this point I spray the substrate surface with a 1.5% sol'n of peroxide. I loosely lay down the casing mix over the substrate to my desired depth (1/2 inch - 1 inch), and then spray the top of the mix with more 1.5% peroxide sol'n.

1 qt of compressed casing mix will cover a 3 Gallon Rubbermaid worth of substrate.

Enjoy!

Joshua


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Edited by Joshua (01/23/04 07:23 PM)


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Offlinekindkesey
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Re: Casing Mix 101 [Re: Joshua] * 1
    #1597843 - 06/01/03 09:53 AM (17 years, 9 months ago)

Very nice !  Joshua, u rock!    :smile: 


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OfflineDank420
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Re: Casing Mix 101 [Re: kindkesey] * 1
    #1597955 - 06/01/03 11:56 AM (17 years, 9 months ago)

Thanks man, you practilly just wrote another FAQ. This will really help me in the future when I want to do casings.


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OfflineRaedon
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Re: Casing Mix 101 [Re: Dank420] * 1
    #1597985 - 06/01/03 12:24 PM (17 years, 9 months ago)

making the casing slightly basic is something I've never tried.. I'm gonna try that out! Great guide! Have some shrooms!


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Invisibletak_old
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Re: Casing Mix 101 [Re: Dank420] * 1
    #1597992 - 06/01/03 12:29 PM (17 years, 9 months ago)

This is great. You always have awsome flushes, this knowledge is priceless. Keep it coming.


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Offlinefugu
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Re: Casing Mix 101 [Re: tak_old] * 2
    #1598033 - 06/01/03 01:13 PM (17 years, 9 months ago)



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OfflineSmoly
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Re: Casing Mix 101 [Re: tak_old] * 1
    #1598064 - 06/01/03 01:35 PM (17 years, 9 months ago)

Thanks for the info!

Friend will be doing first casing soon and not sure which to use: crushed oyster shell or crushed limestone?
Also, where can you get crushed oyster shell?


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OfflineAnnoA
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Re: Casing Mix 101 [Re: Joshua] * 1
    #1598071 - 06/01/03 01:39 PM (17 years, 9 months ago)

> Field capacity is the point at which the squeezed mix only releases a few drops
>of water and no stream of water is able to be squeezed out.

Sorry, no.

Field capacity = nearly dripping wet

"The field capacity of a soil is the amount of water held in the soil when percolation of water down through the soil has stopped. If you think of soil like a sponge, field capacity is like the amount of water the sponge can hold before some water starts to drip out."




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OfflineDrAzure
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Re: Casing Mix 101 [Re: Anno] * 1
    #1598171 - 06/01/03 02:27 PM (17 years, 9 months ago)

Nice casing tek! Another thing I've found to help is to sprinkle a small amount of lime right on the surface of the casing after you apply it to the substrate. This concentrates a high ph right on the surface where the contam spores land.


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InvisibleJoshua
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Re: Casing Mix 101 [Re: Anno] * 1
    #1598417 - 06/01/03 04:42 PM (17 years, 9 months ago)

Thanks for the feedback/correction.

Joshua


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Offlinefugu
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Re: Casing Mix 101 [Re: Joshua] * 1
    #1598440 - 06/01/03 04:48 PM (17 years, 9 months ago)

From: ph_plus

L?tfen yeni bir mikoloji dersi i?in dima??n?z? a??n. Bug?n casing yapma tekniklerini ?al???caz.

Casing , kolonize olmu? substrat? kaplayan tabakad?r. Casingin 2 temel amaca hizmet etti?ini d???n?yorum.
1) Substrat?n nemli kalmas? ve hasatlar esnas?nda daha fazla nem sa?lamak
2) Pinning i?in gerekli y?zeyi artt?rmak ve pinningin ger?ekle?mesi i?in ideal ko?ullar? olu?turmak

Herzamanki gibi, bu da ?u ana kadar bilinen ve ileride bilinecek olan tekniklerden yaln?zca biri. Modifikasyonlar? ve denemeleri destekliyorum.

Bu kar???m?n ad? "50/50 +" ,ilk seferinde y?llar once Hawk's Eye'da g?rd???m bir teknik. Bu kar???mda Cococoir, vermikulit ve istiridye kabuklar?n? 10:10:1 oran?nda kullan?cam.

Casing 101

Ingredients/Supplies

Coco Coir
Vermiculite
Crushed oyster shell
Quart Jars
Plastic Lids for Qt jars
Tyvek
2 mixing bowls
Microwave

1. Ad?m;

Kar??t?rma kab?n?n i?ine yeterli miktarda cococoir k?r?n.

2. Ad?m;

??ine bir miktar su koyun. Bu miktar ?ok ?nemli de?il ??nk? daha sonra istedi?inizde ekleyebilirsiniz. Kar???m inan?lmaz fazla su emecektir. Bu kar???m? iyi bir kar???m yapan da budur.

3. Ad?m;

Kar???m?n i?indeki topaklar? par?al?yarak b?t?n cococoir in suyu emmesini sa?lay?n. Suyu ekledik?e cococoir yumu?ay?p daha kolay ?al???labilir bir hal alacakt?r. Ben genellikle topaklar? tamamen k?r?p 15 dakika dinlendiririm, b?ylece d?nd???mde genelde cococoir i ?ok yumu?ak bir ?ekilde bulurum.

4. Ad?m;

Haz?rlad???m?z kar???mdan bir miktar al?p farkl? bir kar??t?rma kab?na al?n. (Cococoir, vermikulit ve k?r?klanm?? istiridye kabu?unu 10:10:1 oran?nda, yap?ca??n?z casing in miktar?na g?re kar??t?racaks?n?z)
Hacimleri g?z?n?nde bulundururken maddelerin s?k??t?r?lmam?? hallerini baz al?n.

5. Ad?m;

?kinci kaba koydu?unuz cococoir kadar vermikulit ekleyin. (vermikulit le ilgili hangi boyunu kulland???n?z ?ok ?nemli de?il ama bu teknik i?in tercihan orta boy kullan?n)

6. Ad?m;

Gerekli oranda iyice par?alanm?? istiridye kabu?unu ekleyin. (hidrate edilmi? kire?ta?? da kullan?labilir) Mycelium b?y?d?k?e ortam?na asidik metabolik art?k b?rak?r. Bu da substrat?n acidik etki g?stermesine sebep olur. Ve contaminantlar d???k ph seviyelerini (asidik ortamlar?) tercih ederler. Kar???ma ekledi?imiz istiridye kabu?u kar???mda bazik bir etki yapar ve asidik ortam seven kontaminantlar ?retildik?e istiridye kabuklar? taraf?ndan n?tralize edilir.

7. Ad?m;

Kar???ma gerekli oranda su ekleyerek kar??t?r?n. (s?k?ld???nda birka? damla ak?cak kadar)
Ben mikrodalga da buharla?aca?? i?in, en sonunda kavanoz ba??na 1/4 bardak fazladan su eklemeyi tercih ediyorum.

9. Ad?m;

Kapa??n alt?na Tyvek filtre yerle?tirin. (suyun i?eride kal?p bas?nc?n d??ar? ??kmas?n? sa?lar.......v.s.:)

10. Ad?m;

Kar???m? pastorize veya Sterilize edin. Bu a?amada ister bir PC kullan?n isterseniz mikrodalga. Ben mikrodalgayla past?rizasyonu tercih ediyorum. Yakla??k iki kez, 10 dk. aral?kla, en y?ksek ayarda 2 sefer pi?irin. Ama? 170F de en az 30 dk tutmak. Bazen ertesi g?n tekrar ayn? i?lemi tekrarlar?m. Mikrodalga ile hi?bir sorun ya?amad?m. E?er PC kullan?yorsan?z 30-45 dk sterilize edin.

11. Ad?m;

Kar???m? substrat?n ?zerine eklemeden ?nce ben substrat? %1.5 peroxide kar???m?yla sprayliyorum. Daha sonra kar???m? gev?ek bir bi?imde substrat?n ?zerine yerle?tirin. Son olarak casing layeri da ayn? kar???mla sprayleyin.


for istanbul people


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OfflineLostMetropolis
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Re: Casing Mix 101 [Re: fugu] * 1
    #1598700 - 06/01/03 06:00 PM (17 years, 9 months ago)

5 stars for you! Great tek! Just what I was looking for too. Very easy to follow, and doesn't go off into paragraphs upon paragraphs unlike some of the casing teks I've found. I think i'll use it, thanks!


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Offlinefugu
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Re: Casing Mix 101 [Re: LostMetropolis] * 1
    #1599548 - 06/01/03 11:00 PM (17 years, 9 months ago)

sorry guys i don t know how to use *---here for istanbul people--***
if some one help me i will edit my post.this is better for all off us


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Offlineshroominsmurf
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Re: Casing Mix 101 [Re: fugu] * 1
    #1599833 - 06/02/03 12:13 AM (17 years, 9 months ago)

Just Put "Turkish Translation"


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Offlineshroominsmurf
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Re: Casing Mix 101 [Re: shroominsmurf] * 1
    #1599836 - 06/02/03 12:15 AM (17 years, 9 months ago)

You Should Put it on the top of the translation instead of at the bottom


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Offlinefugu
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Re: Casing Mix 101 [Re: shroominsmurf] * 1
    #1606185 - 06/03/03 10:31 PM (17 years, 9 months ago)

how do i do that


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Offlinedizzim
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Re: Casing Mix 101 [Re: fugu] * 1
    #1606328 - 06/03/03 11:27 PM (17 years, 9 months ago)

thanks for the info.
couple of quick questions though.

what is a good depth of substrate and do you use casing in the bottom of the tray also?

I have a bag of lawn lime...does anyone know how much of this to use in place of the oyster shells?



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OfflineRobbyrob
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Re: Casing Mix 101 [Re: dizzim] * 1
    #1606345 - 06/03/03 11:35 PM (17 years, 9 months ago)

be careful with the lime that you use.. I know that dolimite lime for example will burn the mycelium


Rob


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InvisibleJoshua
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Re: Casing Mix 101 [Re: fugu] * 1
    #1606381 - 06/03/03 11:50 PM (17 years, 9 months ago)

Edit Reply Quote
_____________________

In the top right of your post you will see the above buttons. Press edit, this will allow you to change your post. It is suggested you put "Turkish Translation" at the beginning of your post.

Joshua


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"Life After Death is Saprophytic!"


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Offlinefugu
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Re: Casing Mix 101 [Re: Joshua] * 1
    #1606439 - 06/04/03 12:12 AM (17 years, 9 months ago)



URL Email Image
List Start List Item List End
Poll Start Poll Option Poll Stop
Bold Italics Quote
Code
which one and how ..sorry


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InvisibleJoshua
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Re: Casing Mix 101 [Re: dizzim]
    #1606455 - 06/04/03 12:15 AM (17 years, 9 months ago)

Limestone is OK
Oyster shell is OK
Calcium Carbonate is OK
Hydrated lime is sometimes OK

Here is the archived original THE 50/50 + casing tek.

And a relevant quote:

Quote:

IMPORTANT NOTE:
Be sure you buy horticultural hydrated lime, not dolomitic or other kinds, or it will burn the mycelium and they wont grow. So look at nurseries for horticultural hydrated lime, it usually says "to sweeten the soil on the bag".
NEW UPDATE:
Although most people including us have great success from using horticultural hydrated lime, some do not. They end up burning there mycelium or the mycelium just never colonizes through to the casing soil. We think perhaps the hydrated lime they are buying has a much higher alkaline level then then the Hi Yield brand we are using. Hi Yield brand is our preference and works great for us. But just to play it on the safe side, we are going to suggest you buy calcium carbonate. A ground calcium carbonate is a gentle buffer. Some brands of hydrated lime are not. Calcium carbonate is basically ground up limestone, a soil sweetener. It works just as good if not better then horticultural hydrated lime. Its a much safer bet as well. You should be able to find calcium carbonate in just about any garden supply store.




Joshua


--------------------
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Great books for inquiring minds!

"Life After Death is Saprophytic!"


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InvisibleJoshua
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Re: Casing Mix 101 [Re: fugu] * 1
    #1606464 - 06/04/03 12:17 AM (17 years, 9 months ago)

Here------------------------------------------------------------------------------/\

PM me if you have any more questions.

Joshua


--------------------
The Shroomery Bookstore

Great books for inquiring minds!

"Life After Death is Saprophytic!"


Edited by Joshua (06/04/03 12:18 AM)


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Offlinedizzim
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Re: Casing Mix 101 [Re: Joshua]
    #1607690 - 06/04/03 01:18 PM (17 years, 9 months ago)

thanks for the info. The lime i have ( been in the basement since i moved in) says "will NOT burn" . So i think it should do the trick.

dizz


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Re: Casing Mix 101 [Re: dizzim]
    #1669576 - 06/28/03 03:42 PM (17 years, 8 months ago)

Can Coco Coir be found at a local garden store? I live in a city and was just wandering where you got your Coco Coir. Also will straight vermiculite and oyster shells work?

One thought...oyster shells is composed of mainly calcium carbonate. Can oyster shells be substituted for baking soda instead? Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate but still neutralizes acids...just a thought.


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OfflineSnobrdr311
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Re: Casing Mix 101 [Re: mindXplorer]
    #1669624 - 06/28/03 04:14 PM (17 years, 8 months ago)

You can buy coco coir at PetLand or most pet stores under the name "Forest Bed". It's used for an expandable bedding meterial for reptiles. Look in the reptile section, it comes in a brick that expands in water.


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OfflineSnobrdr311
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Re: Casing Mix 101 [Re: Joshua]
    #1669635 - 06/28/03 04:17 PM (17 years, 8 months ago)

Joshua wouldn't you agree that you don't need a PH buffer if you use Coir and Verm mixed together? PH buffers are generally only used for Peat Moss casing layers which do need adjustment. My neighbor uses Coir and Verm with no buffers and has great results


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Re: Casing Mix 101 [Re: Snobrdr311]
    #1669844 - 06/28/03 06:48 PM (17 years, 8 months ago)

buffer is a necessity when using peat. without the peat, it's not absolutely essential, but it'll help keep the pH in a healthy range while the mycelium ages and produces acidic wastes.


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Offlinecd666cd
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Re: Casing Mix 101 [Re: ]
    #1669953 - 06/28/03 07:49 PM (17 years, 8 months ago)

nice tek Joshua, first, where can i get oysters shell???? second, with this type of casing layer, what would you recommend as far as bulk substract ??????


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Re: Casing Mix 101 [Re: cd666cd]
    #1670563 - 06/29/03 01:53 AM (17 years, 8 months ago)

Compost is the #1 best bulk substrate, but it varies a lot depending on how long it's been composting and what the ingredients are. Other than that good old dry aged horse dung works wonderful. I haven't tried straight straw yet, i've heard a few rumblings about the fruits not being as potent though? Horse Dung is awesome though, and pretty easy to come by.


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Re: Casing Mix 101 [Re: Snobrdr311]
    #1682675 - 07/03/03 05:28 AM (17 years, 8 months ago)

I just noticed these posts.

You all have answered each others questions accurately.

Verm/shell can be used as a casing, however it is extremely messy and hard to clean.

The shell does help to neutralize acidic metabolic wastes produced by the fungi.

I prefer a slightly composted horse manure/bedding mix. I find it to provide an excellent texture and appropriate water retention. The flushes are usually very good and several in number.

I have friends who use a straw/compost mix with excellent results. The straw allows quick substrate colonization because the hyphae travel through the straw very easily, like cars through tunnels.

Joshua


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OfflineJonnyBravo
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Re: Casing Mix 101 [Re: Joshua]
    #1717075 - 07/15/03 03:31 AM (17 years, 7 months ago)

In your casing set up how deep do you make all of your layers? and how do you keep it moistened and how do you keep the temperature right? sorry so many questions it is my first time casing and I am trying to get a good feel for it before I start


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InvisibleJoshua
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Re: Casing Mix 101 [Re: JonnyBravo]
    #1721341 - 07/16/03 01:18 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

The substrate layer may vary from 2 inches to 8 inches. I try not to exceed 6 inches too often. My casing layer is 1/2-1 inch. Once the substrate is moistened in the preparation it does not need to be moistened again until it starts drying out. I usually use a mist bottle a few times a day to rehydrate dried out casings.

Durring the winter I use a space heater for heat. During the summer I use nothing.

Joshua


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OfflineKingBolete
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Re: Casing Mix 101 [Re: Joshua]
    #1746180 - 07/24/03 11:44 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

Hey there,

You know I have shopped around plant nurseries, Home Depot, Lowe's, online hydro and garden centers and I don't remember seeing bags of crushed oyster shell. Do you remember where the 25lbs came from there Joshua?:mushroom2: The small size vermiculite is hard to find nowadays. I have only seen coir bricks in hydro shops or online.

Best regards,

King Bolete

   


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InvisibleJoshua
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Re: Casing Mix 101 [Re: KingBolete]
    #1747023 - 07/25/03 05:09 AM (17 years, 7 months ago)

I got my first batch of crushed shell at a feed store. I got the ground shell I use now at a local garden center. I seem to have no problem finding oyster shells. I know of a friend who went to a restaurant that served oysters and asked for the leftover shells. I live in a coastal state, perhaps that helps.

I buy whatever vermiculite is available. I haven't developed a preference for fine, medium, or coars verm.

Joshua


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"Life After Death is Saprophytic!"


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OfflineTheHobbit
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Re: Casing Mix 101 [Re: Joshua]
    #1747300 - 07/25/03 09:16 AM (17 years, 7 months ago)

Most helpful, and pretty easy to do; nice to hear that microwaving is sufficient, and of course people should remember that a PLASTIC lid is to be used :smile: Just out of curiosity, did the plastic lids come with the quart jars; the ones I buy always have the metal lids. 


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InvisibleJoshua
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Re: Casing Mix 101 [Re: TheHobbit]
    #1761119 - 07/29/03 11:13 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

I bought the lids seperately.

Joshua


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OfflineJazzMatazz
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Re: Casing Mix 101 [Re: Joshua]
    #1868535 - 08/31/03 04:22 PM (17 years, 6 months ago)

How essential is the oyster shell? Do you think I can use coco-soil?
I cant find the bricks, and it look identical when wet.
thanks Josh,
jazz


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Offlinelysergic
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Re: Casing Mix 101 [Re: JazzMatazz]
    #1869031 - 08/31/03 08:07 PM (17 years, 6 months ago)

Crushed oyster shell is used for chicken feed and other bird feed, 50 lbs of it costs around 8.00$


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OfflineJack_Straw
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Re: Casing Mix 101 [Re: lysergic]
    #1869102 - 08/31/03 08:30 PM (17 years, 6 months ago)

This casing mix works great but it sucks to bite down on a piece of oyster shell....


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Offlinealienated
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Re: Casing Mix 101 [Re: Jack_Straw]
    #2264162 - 01/22/04 11:17 PM (17 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Jack_Straw said:
This casing mix works great but it sucks to bite down on a piece of oyster shell.... 




LOL!

sorry to bring up this thread again, but i was just reading over it and read that, and HAHA i can imagine.

nice tek joshua, using it now :smile:


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InvisibleJoshua
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Re: Casing Mix 101 [Re: Jack_Straw]
    #2265517 - 01/23/04 01:19 PM (17 years, 1 month ago)

You are not supposed to eat the casing mix.
:lol:
Joshua


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Great books for inquiring minds!

"Life After Death is Saprophytic!"


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Offlinealienated
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Re: Casing Mix 101 [Re: Joshua]
    #2265760 - 01/23/04 02:38 PM (17 years, 1 month ago)

he's talking about pulling the shrooms off the casing layer and having a chunk of it stuck on the dried shroom.


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-m.

I dont even grow these things... I just post for this guy that knows a guy, who's sisters boyfriend dumped about 2 months ago.


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InvisibleJoshua
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Re: Casing Mix 101 [Re: alienated]
    #2266564 - 01/23/04 07:15 PM (17 years, 1 month ago)

I think it is common practice to clean ones fruits before consumption, I guess it's not safe to assume much of anything though.

Joshua


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Great books for inquiring minds!

"Life After Death is Saprophytic!"


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OfflineGr0wer
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Re: Casing Mix 101 [Re: KingBolete]
    #2266975 - 01/23/04 11:16 PM (17 years, 1 month ago)

I get coir bricks from petland, there sold at most pet shops for lizards bedding.


Edited by Gr0wer (01/23/04 11:18 PM)


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OfflineDeviant
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Re: Casing Mix 101 [Re: Joshua]
    #2268479 - 01/24/04 04:37 PM (17 years, 1 month ago)

Nice. This will be very helpful. Definatly adding this to my favorite threads. Nice work.


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