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OfflineNeurogenesis
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Registered: 03/19/06
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Not too much discussion about using compost.
    #5419129 - 03/19/06 05:32 PM (15 years, 6 months ago)

I've been experimenting with growing for the last several months. I heavily researched different methods of preparing substrate, but there is very little talk of using compost. Any particular reason for this? I would think that compost is much easier to prepare than straw/poo.
Is there a colonization/potency issue? What is the deal?


Anyway, Here are some pics of my first attempts. Overall, I have been impressed that this worked at all.


http://www.shroomery.org/forums/usergallery.php/pid/470009/[/image]
This is Mazatepec on PF cake using oat flour.

[image]http://www.shroomery.org/forums/usergallery.php/pid/470008/
http://www.shroomery.org/forums/usergallery.php/pid/470008/
This is my first grow attempt.
Cambodian on PF with oat flour

[image]http://www.shroomery.org/forums/usergallery.php/pid/470007/
http://www.shroomery.org/forums/usergallery.php/pid/470007/
Last but not least, Plantasia grown like the other two.
this if one of my favorite strains. Happy and sociable.

That's all for now. Let me know what you think.


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OfflineSnaggletooth
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Re: Not too much discussion about using compost. [Re: Neurogenesis]
    #5419137 - 03/19/06 05:35 PM (15 years, 6 months ago)

Compost is great to work with.......but rare to difficult to obtain...true compost for mushroom is worth more then gold....


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OfflineNeurogenesis
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Re: Not too much discussion about using compost. [Re: Snaggletooth]
    #5419150 - 03/19/06 05:40 PM (15 years, 6 months ago)

I can get compost without fungicide added for dirt cheap at the local co-op. and yes, Douglass Adams is the man.


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OfflineSnaggletooth
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Re: Not too much discussion about using compost. [Re: Neurogenesis]
    #5419205 - 03/19/06 05:53 PM (15 years, 6 months ago)

+5 Shrooms for you.......for picking up on the DA quote :thumbup:


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InvisibleSimisu
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Re: Not too much discussion about using compost. [Re: Neurogenesis]
    #5419207 - 03/19/06 05:54 PM (15 years, 6 months ago)

yeah i always thought that simple garden use compost should do well...
and isn't too hard to come by anyway...

i'd like to know why people don't use it too!


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InvisibleDarkenshroom
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Re: Not too much discussion about using compost. [Re: Simisu]
    #5419239 - 03/19/06 06:03 PM (15 years, 6 months ago)

If you look up Agar's post history he had a post recently dealing with making homemade compost in a 55 gallon barrel with holes in it.

I'll see if I can't dig it up. Why buy compost when you can make compost?!?

Darken
*smiles*


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~The first and most important step in cultivation of the wonderful mushroom, is the cultivation of patience for without it you doom yourself to failure~


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OfflineNeurogenesis
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Re: Not too much discussion about using compost. [Re: Simisu]
    #5419241 - 03/19/06 06:03 PM (15 years, 6 months ago)

I intend to start a compost experiment, when I move in about 6 weeks. I'll keep a journal to share. Up until now I've been using a ghetto 2 liter bottle of coke as a fruiting chamber. Just perfecting my technique.
I've got a 12 pack of corona incubating 6 Mazatapec and 6 Plantasia on WBS as spawn. It should be interesting.


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OfflineSnaggletooth
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Re: Not too much discussion about using compost. [Re: Neurogenesis]
    #5419244 - 03/19/06 06:05 PM (15 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Neurogenesis said:
I've got a 12 pack of corona incubating 6 Mazatapec and 6 Plantasia on WBS as spawn. It should be interesting.





Damn growing or brewing........lol

Very cool  :thumbup:


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InvisibleDarkenshroom
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Re: Not too much discussion about using compost. [Re: Snaggletooth]
    #5419249 - 03/19/06 06:06 PM (15 years, 6 months ago)



--------------------
~The first and most important step in cultivation of the wonderful mushroom, is the cultivation of patience for without it you doom yourself to failure~


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OfflineNeurogenesis
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Re: Not too much discussion about using compost. [Re: Darkenshroom]
    #5419284 - 03/19/06 06:20 PM (15 years, 6 months ago)

It seems like a scavenger hunt for supplies to make compost.
A scavenger hunt with a huge reward at the end..........
Too much work for a lazy bastard like me.


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InvisibleDarkenshroom
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Re: Not too much discussion about using compost. [Re: Neurogenesis]
    #5419289 - 03/19/06 06:22 PM (15 years, 6 months ago)

Good compost is worth 2 times it weight in mushrooms in the hands of a good grower. Seeing as how the optimal bio efficiency of mushrooms is 200%. That 55 gallon scavenger hunt would be one hell of a pot of gold at the end of your rainbow.

Darken
*smiles*


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~The first and most important step in cultivation of the wonderful mushroom, is the cultivation of patience for without it you doom yourself to failure~


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Invisibleagar
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Re: Not too much discussion about using compost. [Re: Neurogenesis]
    #5419358 - 03/19/06 06:49 PM (15 years, 6 months ago)

The preparation of mushroom compost is usually done in two stages. The breakdown of raw ingredients begins in Phase I. Phase I is characterized by building the raw ingredients into long rectangular piles approximately 2 m high called "ricks" or "windrows". These stacks are then periodically turned, watered, and formed. This phase is essentially a microbiological process resulting in release of energy and heat.

To favor the development of relatively high temperatures, aerobic conditions are maintained by aerating the compost during repeated mixing or turning. Temperature fluctuations during this phase are paralleled by similar changes in the numbers of thermophilic (heat loving) bacteria. These organisms start to grow rapidly and release energy in the form of heat. Thermogenesis by microorganisms initiates the heating of Phase I and also produces heat in Phase II.

The internal temperature of a compost pile can reach up to 80oC. Traditional Phase I composting lasts from 7 to 14 days depending on the condition of the material at the start and its characteristics at each turn. It is considered complete when the raw ingredients have become pliable and are capable of holding water. The odor of ammonia should be sharp, and the color of the compost is dark-brown in color, indicating caramelization and browning reactions have occurred.

It is primarily the control of the environment that distinguishes Phase II from Phase I. Typically, compost is loaded into wooden trays, which are stacked, and then placed in specially designed rooms where the environmental conditions can be manipulated. Phase II is commonly referred to as peak-heating and may be initiated by steam. Pasteurization is accomplished early in the Phase II operation and is necessary to kill many insects, nematodes, and other pests or pathogens that may be present in the compost.

Pasteurization requires air and compost temperatures of 66oC for a minimum of 2 hours. Once pasteurization is accomplished, cool air is introduced into the Phase II room to assure adequate oxygen, and to help dissipate ammonia. An important function of Phase II microbes that survive the pasteurization process is the conversion of residual ammonia into protein. Because ammonia is lethal to the mushroom mycelium, it must be removed by the end of Phase II.

A stage is reached when the available food supplies for organisms inhabiting the compost become quite limiting, hence their activity decreases. The substrate is now set for spawning, and the substrate is said to be 'selective' for the growth of mushrooms. Once the odor of ammonia is no longer present, Phase II is over and the compost temperature can be dropped to 24oC for the addition of any type grain spawn. Completed compost should have a C/N ratio of around 17 to 1, with N in the area of 2.6.

Initially raw compost will have an alkaline pH. When mature and ready for inoculation the pH should be between 7.0 and 8.0. As the mushroom and mycelium grows there will be a drop of pH from the excreted metabolites until the pH reaches 5.0-5.5 at which time mushroom production will generally cease.

Optimal cubensis compost has this finished makeup: carbon / nitrogen ratio <17:1, nitrogen 2.6%, phosphorus 0.2-05%, potassium 1.5-2.5%, calcium 1.5-2.5%, available boron <2 ppm, available ammonium <10 ppm, soluble salts 3.0-5 OdS/m.

I. Guidelines for calculating pre/compost nitrogen (N) content:
Calculate the starting N content of pile to be 1.5 to 1.7% before composting. The starting N for a synthetic compost formulas may be slightly higher than the wheat straw horse manure formulas. The percent N will increase throughout Phase I composting and Phase II and at spawning time the N content of the compost should be 2.1-2.6 %.

Knowing the N and % moisture of the bulk ingredients and supplements will increase the accuracy of the calculated and finished nitrogen content. If supplements are added by volume, occasionally weigh volume added to confirm calculated formula.

At the end of Phase I and again at the end of Phase II, compost may be analyzed for N, ammonia, ash and moisture. It is important to take a representative samples, several small handfuls thoroughly mixed. When taking a sample do not shake the compost.

II. Examples of Mushroom Compost Formulas

Horse manure pile
Ingredients Wet Wt. Dry Wt. %N Tons N
Horse manure 80 T 50 T 1.2% 0.6 T
Poultry manure 7.5 T 6.0 T 4 % 0.24 T
Brewers Grains 2.5 T 2.5 T 4 % 0.1 T
Gypsum 1.25 T 1.25 T 0 0
59.75 T 0.94 ? 59.75 = 1.57%


Synthetic pile
Ingredients Wet Wt. Dry Wt. %N Tons N
Hay 15 T 12.8 T 2.0 % 0.26 T
Cobs 15 T 12.8 T 0.3 % 0.04 T
Poultry manure 3.8 T 2.4 T 4 % 0.09 T
NH4NO3 0.3 T 0.3 T 32% 0.10 T
Potash 0.3 T 0.3 T 0.0 0.00
Gypsum 0.6 T 0.6 T 0.0 0.00
29.2 T 0.49 ? 29.2 = 1.68%


Horse manure-synthetic blend
Ingredients Wet Wt. Dry Wt. %N Tons N
Horse manure 15 T 10.5 T 1.2% 0.13
Hay 7.5 T 6.3 T 1.1% 0.07
Corn Cobs 7.5 T 6.4 T 0.3% 0.02
Brewer's grains 3.0 T 3.0 T 4.0% 0.12
Poultry manure 2.0 T 2.0 T 4.5% 0.09
Urea 0.1 T 0.1 T 44.0% 0.06
Potash 0.2 T 0.2 T 0.0% 0.00
Gypsum 1.0 T 1.0 T 0.0% 0.00
29.5 0.49 ? 29.5 = 1.66%

III. Suggested watering procedures during composting:

Add as much water as possible without run off during pre-wet conditioning or during the first two turns. Avoid adding too much water early during Phase I, always be able to control moisture. Add only enough during next turn or turns to wet dry spots. Bring up compost moisture to desired water content by adequate watering just before filling.

During pre-wet it is advisable to flip or turn the compost every day. After the rick or pile is built, the compost should be turn every other day unless pile temperatures have not peaked.

IV. Changes in organic matter, carbohydrates and nitrogen during mushroom composting.

Soluble carbohydrates are simply adsorbed by the micro-organisms and it is converted into new living matter or provides energy for the cells. As these micro-organism grow energy in the form of heat is released.

As the pile heats to temperature above 150o F the activities occurring within the pile change from biological to chemical reactions. It is at these higher temperatures that carmelization takes place. Carmelization is the process where water is eliminated from the carbohydrates and carbon is concentrated. This process can be compared to boiling sap down to make maple sugar.

V. Phase I is considered complete when as soon as the raw ingredients become pliable and are capable of holding water, the odor of ammonia is sharp and the dark brown color indicates carmelization and browning reactions have occurred.

Moisture content at filling should be 70-73%. Water should drip from compost squeezed in the hand. But a good rule of thumb to follow is: the longer, greener or more coarse the compost then more moisture it can take. The shorter, more mature or dense the compost the less water it should have.

The shorter or wetter the compost, the more loosely it should be filled into the beds or trays. The longer or greener the compost, the more it can be firmed into the beds. Attempt to fill uniformly in both depth and compaction. Edges or sideboards should be packed slightly tighter, whereas the center should remain looser.

VI. Phase II composting has two objectives:

Pasteurization - elimination of undesirable insect pest, microbes and pathogens.

Conditioning - Creation of specific food for the mushroom and creating a selective and suppressive compost to favor the growth of the mushroom.
VII. Insure adequate ventilation during Phase II. When in doubt, ventilate. A flame should be burn at all times.

The higher the nitrogen content of compost, the greener the compost or the more dry weight at filling time, the greater the ventilation required. When outside temperature is high as in summer or early fall, more ventilation is required than when Phase II occurs during the cold winter weather. This is especially important when the grower does not have a forced air ventilation system.

VIII. During Phase II keep compost in the temperature range where microorganisms grow best (115-140o F).

Microbes convert ammonia and ammonia containing salts into protein and other nitrogen compounds the mushroom uses for food. The growth of these microbes depends on having the available food, adequate moisture, sufficient oxygen and suitable temperature. A shortage of one of these requirements will limit growth and often results in incomplete conditioning.

IX. Heat up (pasteurization) for insect kill early in Phase II (perhaps 1-4 days after filling) so as to avoid a second heating cycle of the compost.

A good indication that the compost is ready to pasteurized, is the subsiding of microbial activity, which is indicated by a decrease in compost temperature at the same air temperature.

X. After pasteurization slowly lower compost through the temperature ranges of the microorganisms. A general rule is to lower compost temperature no more than 4-5o F. per day.

Provided that enough food, water and oxygen the microbes will continue to grow. Different microbes use different compounds and grow at different temperatures. Therefore it is important to make sure all areas of the beds and room gradually drop through all temperatures ranges.

Thermophillic fungi grow at lower temperatures and are important because they are able to grow into denser areas of compost.

XI. Composting is considered compete when no trace of ammonia odor can be detected and the compost has a uniform flecking of white colonies of actinomycetes, called fire-fang. The N content on a dry wt. basis should be in the range of 2.0 to 2.6.

As the mushroom and mycelium grows there will be a drop of pH from the excreted metabolites until the pH reaches 5.0-5.5 at which time mushroom production will generally cease.


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OfflineNeurogenesis
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Re: Not too much discussion about using compost. [Re: Darkenshroom]
    #5419362 - 03/19/06 06:50 PM (15 years, 6 months ago)

All that I was trying to say is that I'd rather have someone else make the compost. I will be happy to pay for the finished product.
refer to ---> I'm a lazy bastard. (not really, just limited time because of school)


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OfflineSnaggletooth
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Re: Not too much discussion about using compost. [Re: Neurogenesis]
    #5419402 - 03/19/06 07:02 PM (15 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Neurogenesis said:
All that I was trying to say is that I'd rather have someone else make the compost. I will be happy to pay for the finished product.
refer to ---> I'm a lazy bastard. (not really, just limited time because of school)






Dont we all...... :wink:



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Edited by Snaggletooth (03/19/06 09:19 PM)


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OfflineNeurogenesis
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Re: Not too much discussion about using compost. [Re: agar]
    #5419455 - 03/19/06 07:14 PM (15 years, 6 months ago)

Agar, That is exactly the reason why someone else is making it.


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InvisibleSwan Song
Registered: 02/08/06
Posts: 559
Re: Not too much discussion about using compost. [Re: Snaggletooth]
    #5419484 - 03/19/06 07:22 PM (15 years, 6 months ago)

ive been working on a pile for a few months now, i had a huge load of horse and cow manure and mixed it with hay and leaves as well as chicken poo and old mushroom compost from the store.
i started an outdoor bed with it in a shady spot on my yard.
i put some old b+ substrate into it and have already seen a huge growth in mycelia and it is well below fruiting or incubating temp where i live.
but due to the heat from the pile the outer layers are already colonized .
it does work well.

i have even thought of pasturizing it for indoor grows as an experiment.
but i want to wait for the fruiting to begin before i decide.


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Invisibleagar
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Re: Not too much discussion about using compost. [Re: Neurogenesis]
    #5419508 - 03/19/06 07:27 PM (15 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Neurogenesis said:
Agar, That is exactly the reason why someone else is making it.




LOL,

Thanks for letting me know that.
(agar makes 20 ton batches & it's called MYCO-NITRO? :grin:


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Offlinescatmanrav
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Re: Not too much discussion about using compost. [Re: agar]
    #5419607 - 03/19/06 07:48 PM (15 years, 6 months ago)

Compost is tough to found made right. It should look like Agars pictures there. Not many can find or make something better then horse poo (which DOESNT need STRAW added), especially when you throw in some coir and chunky verm. Its easy to find horse manure, free, or at least cheap..even online. Just add water, add coir and verm, and your go to roll, almost as good as compost.


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"life is like a drop of rain getting closer and closer to falling into a lake, and then when you hit the lake there is no more rain drop, only the lake."

Growing with bags, start to finish (including my new grain and substrate prep)
Anyone looking to start bulk tubs/mono tubs/shotgun hybrids? Good tubs to use..
How I do grain (old still good tips)
Turn your closet into a fruiting chamber
Casing layer colonization and overlay


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InvisibleTippinthru
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Re: Not too much discussion about using compost. [Re: agar]
    #5419965 - 03/19/06 09:12 PM (15 years, 6 months ago)

This is one for the Archives! Time and knowledge put to use!!!

Be careful baby! :pirate:


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Perfection is attained by slow degrees; it requires the hand of time...
[


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OfflineEquilibriuM
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Re: Not too much discussion about using compost. [Re: agar]
    #5420065 - 03/19/06 09:49 PM (15 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

(agar makes 20 ton batches & it's called MYCO-NITRO? :grin:





:ooo: how can I get some?


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HELP!!!!!!!!!


Edited by EquilibriuM (03/19/06 09:50 PM)


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