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Anonymous

overcoming the shortcomings of straw
    #1868464 - 08/31/03 03:47 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

straw doesn't strike me as something that holds a particularly large amount of water.

in mushroom growing, water is usually the limiting component.

straw usually gives only one decent flush.

seems like the cause may very well be lack of water retention in the straw. might adding verm, coir, or pH adjusted peat to it make it much better?


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OfflineJazzMatazz
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Re: overcoming the shortcomings of straw [Re: ]
    #1868493 - 08/31/03 04:00 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

if you use a casing the shrooms will gain water and nutrients from the casing. This is watered constantly, and so your shrooms should give more flushes. Why dont you dunk the straw after every flush?


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Anonymous

Re: overcoming the shortcomings of straw [Re: JazzMatazz]
    #1868697 - 08/31/03 05:28 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

nah.


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Offlineresin
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Re: overcoming the shortcomings of straw [Re: ]
    #1868740 - 08/31/03 05:47 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)


I think straw only flushes 1nce because of the lack of nutes. Adding moisture to the straw after a flush would do nothing. Straw also usually contamns after the 1st flush anyways


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OfflineChromeCrow
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Re: overcoming the shortcomings of straw [Re: ]
    #1868889 - 08/31/03 07:01 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

straw usually gives only one decent flush.






im sorry, but i have NEVER only got one nice flush off of straw. i end up with at least 4 flushes per tray. and the smallest never goes below and ounce and half dried.. maybe i use too much straw ( 2 filterbags overstuffed per tray, or the fact i place a thick layer of wetted/past. verm in before the straw...
which lead to the answer to this question of yours
Quote:

seems like the cause may very well be lack of water retention in the straw. might adding verm, coir, or pH adjusted peat to it make it much better?




so, im not sure that adding verm TO the straw would work, tho i may try, but putting a nice thick layer of past. verm in the bottom, definately doesnt hurt


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Invisibledog
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Re: overcoming the shortcomings of straw [Re: resin]
    #1869008 - 08/31/03 07:54 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

im sorry, but i have NEVER only got one nice flush off of straw.



Me either. I usually get bored with my projects and toss them in the backyard before they are finished flushing.


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Re: overcoming the shortcomings of straw [Re: dog]
    #1869019 - 08/31/03 08:01 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Straw is good for a quick spawn run, with onbly 1 good flush, Poo is good for more flushes, but with a longer spawn run time. I only get 1 good flush, so do alot of other people


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InvisibleATWAR
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Re: overcoming the shortcomings of straw [Re: resin]
    #1869146 - 08/31/03 08:54 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Perhaps it is due to the large amount of spawn (supplemented nutrients in a sense) is why some people get more than one good flush. While I have had more than one flush many times on straw, by the fourth (if they were even kept that long), flushes were getting a little pathetic with more time between them.

Everybody has different results. It also depends on how much the straw was to produce in each flush. A flush that produces only a few mushrooms is only going to use limited amounts of nutrients, leaving more for the next flush. So does depth of the substrate, casing type (log, or tube vs. traditional casing tray), and type (strain or species) of mushroom grown. People have their own definition of a "good flush". With straw, the first is usually always the best flush, then downhill from there. The first one is the "good" one IMO. The later flushes do not even compare to the first, which is why I don't consider them to be good. I don't really think water is the problem so much as the lack of nutrients. Casing layers will take care of the water problem (as long as it is watered, and is thick enough).

The only real way (reliable way) to increase mushroom production with straw is supplement it with more nutrients. The best way of doing so without introducing a greater possibility of contamination, is to use a grain spawn high in nutrition, and more so than you would use regularly.


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Anonymous

Re: overcoming the shortcomings of straw [Re: ATWAR]
    #1869466 - 08/31/03 11:20 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

what about pasteurizing the straw in dung runoff?


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InvisibleATWAR
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Re: overcoming the shortcomings of straw [Re: ]
    #1869935 - 09/01/03 02:08 AM (13 years, 3 months ago)

That would be considered supplementation, and would help add more nutrients. It has been mentioned many times using the run-off from leached manure as a replacement for water (PF cakes, dunking, etc.). It would work just as well in this situation.


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InvisibleSorted
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Re: overcoming the shortcomings of straw [Re: ATWAR]
    #1870422 - 09/01/03 05:26 AM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Definately due to the amount of spawn used in my opinion. Looking through the growlogs you see people who use a high ratio such as 1:3 spawn:straw getting much better results than those using lower amounts.
One other thing I've noticed from reading various logs is how little straw seems to add to the overall yield. In one case I think the overall yield was something like 80g dry, from an amount of spawn that I'd expect to get at least 60g dry from if it was cased on its own. Hardly seems worth using up extra time and grow space with a large tub just for that 20g more.


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Re: overcoming the shortcomings of straw [Re: Sorted]
    #1871590 - 09/01/03 05:08 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Let me just sum up for everybody here now:
We are now at a point of the conversation, where bulking with straw is being considered as "crap".

Thankyou for your attention.


--------------------
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Anonymous

Re: overcoming the shortcomings of straw [Re: JazzMatazz]
    #1871595 - 09/01/03 05:10 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

haha. yes. yes we are.

stamets speaks pretty highly of straw substrates in TMC.


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OfflineFlipmcneil
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Re: overcoming the shortcomings of straw [Re: ]
    #1872127 - 09/01/03 08:53 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

I have been quite impressed with straw casings. Use a large 23 gallon rubbermaid bin and colonize 4-5" of straw and then case it. Never been disapointed!


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Offlineshirley knott
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Re: overcoming the shortcomings of straw [Re: Sorted]
    #1872190 - 09/01/03 09:19 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

Sorted said: In one case I think the overall yield was something like 80g dry, from an amount of spawn that I'd expect to get at least 60g dry from if it was cased on its own. Hardly seems worth using up extra time and grow space with a large tub just for that 20g more.


no?

straw ROCKS. since my first time with straw, after fiddling with non-bulked substrates for a year, my yields increased approx. 5-fold. it depends if you want your best shroom to weigh 20g or 120g, i suppose.


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InvisibleATWAR
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Re: overcoming the shortcomings of straw [Re: JazzMatazz]
    #1873325 - 09/02/03 03:59 AM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

JazzMatazz said:
Let me just sum up for everybody here now:
We are now at a point of the conversation, where bulking with straw is being  considered as "crap".

Thank you for your attention. 




That is not at all true. While some have had negative comments on the potential of straw, I don't think anyone has said straw is crap. Compared to other substrates, straw is lacking in the ability to support multiple flushes, with high yield potential over the duration of output (IMHO). Straw is a good substrate to use as bulk. It is cheap, easy to prepare, fast to colonize, and is very selective towards mycelium growth. But, how straw compares to strait grains, or manure/compost based substrates and how to overcome this shortcoming of yield potential is the point of this thread.

Thank you for your attention.   :rolleyes:

I have had a few casings that have gone many flushes on straw, over 5+. These casings usually produced well on the first flush, but most of the time they were producing very poorly past the third (I had one, that was 1:1 millet:straw that produced one mushroom on the sixth which was the best straw casing I ever had, and I attribute it to the high amount of spawn). If I remember correctly, most straw casings that I have done, never made it past three flushes before results became really pathetic (one or two mushrooms). This is much less than what I could expect from a manure substrate, or a composted straw based mix for that matter (which have regularly exceeded 5 flushes with acceptable yields through the duration). In order to increase the yield potential of straw, you must add more nutrients (and, as pointed out by another, water the casing layer).

You can go about this in many ways, some better than others. The best and easiest way would be to add more grain spawn that is high in nutrient content. You can find a very good list in GGMM. Another method would be to supplement the straw during spawn time. This increases the contamination risk, exponentially the more nutrients added. If you add too much, then traditional pasteurization will not be effective, and the substrate will need to be sterilized. I find one of the best ways to increase the potential of straw without sacrificing spawn or increasing risks, is to mix in a bit of manure (my favorite "all-around substrate is a manure/shredded straw mix"). A manure/straw mix is one of the best substrates for many species. Yet another way that has good potential to increase yields without risk, is composting the straw. Usually a recipe is used, that combines many ingredients to supplement the final substrate further beyond composting the straw alone. This can be very effective, leaving a very rich substrate perfect for the growth of mushrooms. While an excellent substrate, it can take over a month to create with compost accelerator (up to six months or more without), and takes space and extra care (turning, further supplementation at proper intervals, etc). I recommend anyone who wishes to have the best substrate available, look into a good compost blend. There has been several recipes posted here, and many can be found on the internet.

Your best bet to increase yield is to use more spawn. There is no added risk of contamination, and the substrate will colonize faster (theoretically). You could supplement the straw slightly with grain flour with the addition of spawn, but I would advise against getting too greedy unless you sterilize the straw, and are very clean. Check Stamets GGMM for listing of acceptable supplements, and their respected nutrient content. A bottom layer of moist vermiculite or your favorite casing mix could help as well. Even dunking the casing could help, even more so if poo water, or some other nutrient based liquid was used between each flush.



I hope somebody will look upon this thread in a positive note, instead of focusing on turning it negative.  :shake:
       


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Anonymous

Re: overcoming the shortcomings of straw [Re: ATWAR]
    #1873636 - 09/02/03 10:12 AM (13 years, 3 months ago)

i think he was just pointing out that the conversation was drifting pretty far from reality.


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Invisiblemycofile
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Re: overcoming the shortcomings of straw [Re: ]
    #1873667 - 09/02/03 10:30 AM (13 years, 3 months ago)

I think anybody who has a problem with straw needs to look more at their cultivation skills/methods than the substrate. Straw holds plenty of water, when hotwater pasteurized it comes out at about 75% water. Straw also has plenty of nutrients, although of course benefitting from higher spawn rates. Even with relatively low spawn rates, yields of 150% Biological Efficiency are easily achieved. Any substrate capable of yielding over 100% BE is far from crap. Heavily spawned straw can reach over 200% BE.

All that said, if you can't use only 2 cups per square foot of spawn on a 6 inch deep bed and get AT LEAST 3 "holy shit" flushes, then YOU aren't doing something right. It's not the straw.

On the comment about straw not adding much, I think it's a rare case of too high of a spawn rate. If you are mixing straw and spawn at 50% by volume, you are wasting your time. The little extra yield probably isn't worth the effort. Straw rocks because you can easily and quickly turn a small volume of spawn into a large mass of mycelium. Without the benefit of this much larger mass, the benefits of bulk substrates are not realized.

Anybody who can follow directions and has questions about the potential of straw should follow shroomgod's incredibly simple tek. And prepare to shit yourself if you are a skeptic.


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Re: overcoming the shortcomings of straw [Re: mycofile]
    #1873707 - 09/02/03 10:59 AM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

using the run-off from leached manure as a replacement for water (PF cakes, dunking, etc.).




I think that dunking cakes in any kind of nutritous solution would present an unnaceptable contamination risk.


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OfflineJazzMatazz
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Re: overcoming the shortcomings of straw [Re: ATWAR]
    #1873975 - 09/02/03 02:00 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

easy! I was just in a funny mood, and so I posted that. That's all!


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