We are experimenting with cultivating this interesting species of the same genus of the closed cup/chestnut/portabello, the Agricus bisporus. Similar in appearance and flavour it’s easier to grow than the bisporus and, potentially, has more health benefits. However, it requires warmer temperatures so we are suggesting that this can be grown alongside tomatoes (or other crops) in a greenhouses and or polytunnels. Participants will need to provide 1.5 cm3 of good, finished compost.


A good quality fresh compost is sufficient to grow this mushroom. Techniques can be used to create ideal composted substrate using different animal manures, leeched cow manure is of particular interest. However, the use of a well prepared garden compost will suffice or indeed municipal compost supplimented with straw and manure pellets.


A trench 20cm x 20cm can be made in April. The sawdust spawn in broken into small clumps and and layered into the trench with the substrate. Tomatoes can then be planted alongside this trench. A final covered layered of straw ensure less moisture loss.


The bed will take around months to fruit. The fruiting temperature range is between 20-25c. This means that in a polytunnel you can expect to see a first flush in June or July.

Cropping Cycle:

The cropping may be sporadic, however it is likely that a first flush of a well prepared a 5msq bed will produce over 5kg of mushrooms during a period of 1-2 weeks.


Stem butts are removed and can used for propagation. Ideally eaten fresh this mushroom also has value dried and sold for use medicinal applications.


Once established the fungus will continue to thrive in a polytunnel environment under areas of mulch. This means that subsequent inoculations require less spawn. Spawn can be made by the grower using the stem butts after harvest.

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