Springtime in the mushroom patch

Despite the lingering snowdrifts, today felt like a good day to finally get our hands into the garden and establish a new bed of King Stropharia (aka Garden Giant or Wine Cap) mushrooms!

Anticipating a future full of softball-sized, grill-ready fungi, we set to work preparing the space. After constructing a box out of slabwood and locating it in a prominent spot in the garden, we established a base layer of cardboard.

1. cardboard base layer, partial woodchip base layer

Next came a roughly 2-inch deep layer of chipped alder and willow.

2. woodchip base layer complete

We spread the spawn over the entirety of the bed, allowing some big chunks of well-myceliated sawdust to remain, crumbling the rest into smaller particles.

3. spreading spawn4. close up of spawn

These were covered with another 2-3 inches of willow chips, then the whole bed was given a good soaking with collected rainwater.

 5. second layer of woodchips

Finally, to protect the bed from wind-drying and the investigations of wilder critters, we added a final layer of cardboard and paper leaf bags.

 7. top layer of cardboard - bed complete

If we’re lucky, the ’shrooms might begin to pop up as early as this autumn – we’ll keep you posted!