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Amazon Shop for: Paul Stamets, Peat, Vermiculite

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OfflinePipes of Pan
journeyman
Registered: 08/17/99
Posts: 18
Last seen: 7 years, 7 months
Polymers in casing?
    #310437 - 05/06/01 11:54 AM (15 years, 7 months ago)

I know I have seen some posts in regard to using polymers in cultivation, but I don't think I have erer seen anything definitive as to how it worked or failed. So, I have some of these polymers and would like to try them in a casing. So, if anyone has any feed back on this, I would be appreciative of hearing of your experiences.
I have two kinds of polymers. One is quite fine and makes a kind of slurry when mixed with water and the other one is more granular and makes what for all the world, looks like crushed ice when mixed with water. My thoughts are to use the fine kind and mix it into the peat and vermiculite plus lime buffering, plus the water and pastuerize it prior to using it as casing. I would hope the polymer would keep this mix from drying out as readily as casing without polymer. This stuff is supposed to be non toxic and I don't think the heat to pastuerize should be enough to break it down.
Any thoughts, suggestions, experiences? Thanks.



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OfflineElektrolurch
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Registered: 05/02/00
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Re: Polymers in casing? [Re: Pipes of Pan]
    #310500 - 05/06/01 01:47 PM (15 years, 7 months ago)

Hi,

i don't have experience with polymers, but I have maybe some thoughts about it. What kind of polymere are you talking about? SGS-polymeres (Spatial Globular Structure http://wwwstud.rz.uni-leipzig.de/~che94beq/rgseng.htm)which are used in filtering systems?

If yes, then:
this polymere is capable of storing a lot of water and capture a lot of heave metals (including the radioactive ones) . The problem is that it is high permeable for fluids (like water and gases), which means that the stored water will get lost very fast. On the other hand it has a big "holding capability of dispersed systems" (it captures soluted molecules or complexes). This means that it will hold some important molecules and/or complexes which may be of importance for the mushroom. The casing needs evaporation, which ensures that minerals, etc. from the casing get to the maturing mushrooms (condensed mycelium which has a higher need in such minerals than fluffy mycelium). This ensures that the mushrooms mature correctly (Stames & Chilton, TMC). Such a polymere could enhance the evaporation rate, but it could not let the supply of needed minerals be in the same degree as needed by the maturing mushrooms.

Final:

Maybe a small amount of it will enhance the casing, due to its high porosity. Especially in deep casings it could help for the areation of the mycelia under the casing. Maybe a small amount will provide a chance to apply thicker casings without anaeration or overheating effects of the mushroom.
Too much wont help the mushrooms beacuse the casing will dry out faster without transport of minerals to the maturing mushrooms.

Elektrolurch

p.d. just some thoughts arising from founded information and applied to mushroom cultivation, nothing tested...
30 to 80 $/kg pricy, is it worth it, or plain shreded cocosnut fibers do a similar trick?



--------------------
"For all the time spent in that room
The doll's house, darkness, old perfume
And fairy stories held me high on
Clouds of sunlight floating by.", Pink Floyd '67


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Offlineegghead
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Registered: 04/25/01
Posts: 1,054
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Re: Polymers in casing? [Re: Pipes of Pan]
    #310707 - 05/06/01 06:47 PM (15 years, 7 months ago)

On page 200 of GGMM, Stamets says that "water crystals" (the ones that look like crushed ice) can be used in this 'alternate' non-nutrative casing.

In reply to:


50/50 vermiculite/water crystals.

Mix vermiculite and water crystals when dry. Add water until fully saturated. This mixture can hold up to 90% moisture until its carrying capacity for water is exceeded. Apply a 1/4-1/2" layer as a casing to the surface of the mushroom myselium.



Sounds like he's recommending an awfully thick casing layer..



--------------------
Where there's skill, there's a better way..


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OfflinePipes of Pan
journeyman
Registered: 08/17/99
Posts: 18
Last seen: 7 years, 7 months
Re: Polymers in casing? [Re: egghead]
    #311189 - 05/07/01 10:13 AM (15 years, 7 months ago)

Thanks for the thoughts and information.As far as what type, I don't really know much about these polymers that I have. All I really know is that they are used to go around the roots of plants to hold water that the roots can utilize. I was unaware of the reference in Stamets' book as well. The casing that I need to make will be quite thin and that was part of the reason that I feel that the addition of some polymer could be of use to maintain the moisture content. I remember some posts in the past of use of polymers in growing, but I honestly don't remember if they were being used in the substrate or in the casing.



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Offlineegghead
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Registered: 04/25/01
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Re: Polymers in casing? [Re: Pipes of Pan]
    #311203 - 05/07/01 10:55 AM (15 years, 7 months ago)

Errr.. I don't know what I was thinking, but that doesn't sound too thick for a casing at all. Sorry.

The polymers only get a brief mention by Stamets. I think because organic growers frown on using them. They're not easily remediated and won't decompose.

BTW, I have the 3rd edition of GGMM. Not sure if it's in the older ones.



--------------------
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Mushrooms, Mycology and Psychedelics >> Advanced Mycology

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