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OfflineLizard King
King Lizard

Registered: 10/04/99
Posts: 1,998
Loc: GA
Last seen: 10 years, 9 months
Re: Lizard King --Need you opinion on casing please
    #23754 - 07/10/00 01:23 AM (16 years, 11 months ago)

Hello Wildman,

I don't think I'm really worthy of my own casing tek, I don't do anything that unique in my casing methods. I've just learned through experiance, a few tips on how to case properly. There are many different ways(teks) to case. Most all of them will do very well if you follow a few basic parameters. The biggest thing for first time casers to keep in mind, is that the mushroom will pull most all it needs from the casing. Over humidification is a common mistake. Airflow is a major factor in mushroom development. A big mistake is to keep things sealed up with high humidity as you would when fruiting cakes. This will promote mold growth on the casings and you will rarely ever make it past the first flush. Not to mention that over humidified mushrooms tend to be long, gnarly, skinny, and in some cases, bloated.

About your questions. No I don't sterilize my casings. Many expert growers warn against sterilizing your casings because it invites contamination. Its just not natural for mycelium to live in complete sterile conditions, it leaves it wide open for attack. With some casing materials you'll still want to pasteurize. This is usually only needed when using peat, straw, compost, and dung. If using plain vermiculite or potting soil, its been my experiance that there is no preparation needed to use it. Just scoop it out of the bag and use it.


About your other question, I leave the lids on my trays until I see the first sign of mycelium coming through the top layer. Then I provide plenty of fresh air and gas exchange to keep the casing from becoming overlay. I still keep the lids on so nothing can fall onto my casings from above(dust) I just keep the lid loosely fitted on the tub and maybe even sitting to the side a bit. I make sure to mist the casing lightly when I see the top layer start to dry out. This usually happens a few times a day due to the fresh exchange.


Just remeber, don't let your terrarium/tub/tray get to humid inside. If you have water droplets on the sides from condensation(not misting) then its too much. Fresh air is the key.


Good luck to your FOAF,


The Lizard,



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Anonymous

Re: Lizard King --Need you opinion on casing please
    #23756 - 07/10/00 04:24 PM (16 years, 11 months ago)

I have to agree with Lizard King on this one!!! Not too long ago I noticed an experiment where colonized Timothy Hay cob was cased with un-pasteurized Miracle Grow Potting soil (1/4") and placed in a sealed 5 gallon aquarium. A bubbler was added to the inside, it was placed in a pickle jar. After which a layer of wet perlite was added. The thinking being that mushrooms obtained moisture from the water particles in the air. This was later disproved....
The casing quickly became contamed with cob-web mold. Which was disapointing as the casing had over a 100 pins. After a short battle using H2o2 the mold won. About 1/4 oz was salvaged and the rest was ravaged and eaten by the mold. Rather than throwing it out it was placed out side in indirect sunlight with extreme heat (over 100 degress on certain days) with zero rain and almost zero morning dew. Three weeks later, 2 giant mushrooms were found growing from the side of the casing spouting to the top. The casing was rock hard. Upon closer inspection, it was noticed that 7 large mushrooms had formed underneath the casing between the container and the straw. Talk about a treasure find. I brought the casing back inside and injected distilled water to replenish the straw as it was rather dry from the mushroom formation. I must say I was shocked and very happy at this finding. The heat killed the cob-web mold on top and allowed the mushrooms to form beneath the surface drawing all water from the substrate itself. I would have to attribute the enormous size to the fresh air available, as aquarium fruits in my opinon tend to be tall and skinny due to the lack of fresh air.


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Anonymous

Re: Lizard King --Need you opinion on casing please
    #23757 - 07/10/00 10:15 PM (16 years, 11 months ago)

Thanks guys for a really good discussion on casing. This leads me to my next question. Sorry Lizard King, I am still fascinated with your post and pictures on DroolDonkey that were never covered. :smile:
So, on with the questions that are open for debate. What role does CO2 play in the post-casing/pre-pinning stage? If CO2 is signifigant, will it build up enough inside the container without a lid and below the casing's surface(let's say for these purposes that the container is a 12" by 5" Rubbermaid container) to benefit its growth? If Lizard King's flushes were so grand with no lid at all, it seems that this would be the way to go because most, if not all, casing contaminates thrive on high humidity (which is not needed due to the role that casing plays in adding moisture) and low air flow. Both of these could be eliminated without lids. In fact, every time my friend has had contaminated casings it happened in the pre-pinning/post-casing stage. One time he had to go out of town so he had to leave the cover off of his terrarium. He thought that he would be better having lower humidity than stale air. He came back 3 days later and had some monster 8" fruits. These were in the days when he hadn't a copy of TMC and thought casings should be treated as cakes.
To make a long post short (too late for that, huh), I think Lizard may have been on to something with his post and am trying to dig deeper into the subject. If no conclusive evidence is in favor of one or the other, it may be experimentation time. :smile:Thanks.
Peace,
Wildman


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OfflineLizard King
King Lizard

Registered: 10/04/99
Posts: 1,998
Loc: GA
Last seen: 10 years, 9 months
Re: Lizard King --Need you opinion on casing please
    #23758 - 07/11/00 12:43 PM (16 years, 11 months ago)

If your referring to this picture below, I did have a lid on that casing. I still think there is a need to to semi-proctect the casing with a lid until it pins. Once pin set has occured, the casing is pretty resistant to contamination.

You ask if co2 will build up without the lid?...not at all. This is the reason for taking the lid off, to prevent co2 build up.


You really still need the lid when growing indoors. It shouldn't be sealed tight, but it needs to be there. The problem with not using a lid at all, is the mushrooms will crack and bruise them selves sometimes due to low humidity. I've had it happen several times during the winter when the furnace is running all day. There needs to be moisture in the air for good mushroom growth. It is true that the mushroom will pull most it needs from the casing, but when the surrounding air is on the dry side, the rule of osmosis still applys to the mushroom. It is made up of nearly 90% water, it will begin to dry out and crack.

So you do need to retain humidity some how with casings, you can't just grow them like a center piece on your kitchen table with no lid or means of retaining humidity. The trick is keeping the air moving while keeping your humidity up. Not too much humidity, just enough to keep the caps vicid(slimey) It can be a tough thing to do sometimes, especially in the winter time when relative humidity is low. Thats why when the temp is right, I take my setup outdoors and let mother nature do all the work. A small green house works wonders.

About the best way to fruit a casing indoors that I've found through experiance, is to let the casing rely on the moisture it already has. No additional humidification is needed. The container your fruiting in should be tall enough to grow mushrooms in and still have a top. Don't seal the top(poke holes, fit loosely, whatever) just don't seal it. If condensation starts to beed, its sealed to much. You want the lid to slow down evaporation as much as possible. As long as the casing isn't drying out quickly, and is moist ontop, the humidity in the air is about perfect for mushroom developement.


The Lizard,

------------------
End the War on Drugs...Vote Libertarian
http://www.lp.org

[This message has been edited by Lizard King (edited July 11, 2000).]



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Anonymous

Re: Lizard King --Need you opinion on casing please
    #23759 - 07/11/00 01:43 PM (16 years, 11 months ago)

Actually, here is the pic I was refering to.

It is found at this address. http://mushrooms.drooldonkey.org/noncgi/Forum2/HTML/000312.html
I really appreciate this discussion. Very nice indeed. You have given my friend a lot of information, more than he's ever seen in any other post. About your signature, I've been voting Libertarian since 1996 and don't plan to stop now.
Peace,
Wildman


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