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1. Does anyone have any personal accounts of the results of using only vermiculite as the casing layer.
2. In the mushroom cultivator it says rye grain can be used as a casing layer. Has anyone tried this and/or what about a sterilized grain/vermiculite 50/50
3. "Supplementation at Casing" is talked about in The Mushroom cultivator and mentions adding soy bean meal, cottonseed meal, and or ground rye, wheat or kafir corn grains. Any of these supplements are to be added at %10 of the dry weight of the substrate. It says that 1/2- 2 lb pr sq. foot. yield increase is possible. Has anyone tried this?
Last but not least there are so many different casing mixtures and I would really like to hear anyones opinion on what has providied the best yield and is easiet to use. They all seem good but some seem to lack nutritive properties (i.e. plain vermiculite in the shroom god tek) Thanks
Hi,and welcome to the Shroomery! Good q's on casings. Looks like you've done some reading.
Verm only as a casing works just fine,and is a very good choice for the first couple of casings that one might try. It is very easy to use and is pretty resistant to contams given that it is in a fairly clean environment.
A basic rule of thumb is that a casing layer should not contain anything that is substantially nutritive as its soul purpose is to provide a source of moisture for developing fruits,as well as to prevent the desiccation of the colonized substrate.
As one gets a feel for fruiting casings the need to experiment usually takes over and many have found that adding things to the casing layer can evoke desireable results. Additives that have a slightly nutritive value can be added to help speed up the colonization rate of the casing layer. IMO the nutrients drawn from here are not going to effect the overall outcome of the yield that much in a small casing. Coir is a good example because it does have some nutrients in it but also serves as a terrific moisure retention element as well. Some use it all by itself as a casing layer. It also changes color from light to dark when properly hydrated making it easy to tell when to mist.
Straight vermiculite sucks ass, unless you like puny flushes. You can't use anything nutritive as a casing layer. I would not worry about SACing if you're growing at home -- it'll just increase your chances of contamination like ten-fold. (I pulled that number out of my ear.)
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