Also known as the Garden Giant or King Stropharia this is an ideal mulching mushroom grown in a layered bed of woodchip participant will need to source 1.5m3 of woodchip, predominantly hardwood.
To grow this mushroom a bed is made by layering the spawn with a lignin based substrate, ideally woodchip, predominately hardwood, and the use of cardboard. Sawdust can also be used but works best in combination with woodchip. The woodchip should be fresh no more than a couple of weeks after being chipped. If the woodchip has been left for more than a few weeks and no more than 2 months, it can still be used but should be treated through cold water fermentation. This is a simple process of submerging the woodchip in water for at least 10 days.
A site is cleared of vegetation and any pernicious weeds removed. A sheet layer of cardboard is applied and thoroughly saturated with water. If the water is polling anywhere, make holes in the cardboard. The spawn is scattered over the carboard followed by a 2-3cm layer of woodchip. You proceed in this fashion beginning with another layer of carboard biut this time not sheet layer but using ripped up pieces of card to allow for infiltration. After 3-4 layers a final mulch of straw is added on top.
The bed will last for 2 years until it needs to be replenished.
The bed will take 4-6month until it will fruit. The fruiting temperature range is between 12-20c. This means fruiting usually occurs at the beginning and end of summer after rainfall.
The cropping is dependent on seasonal conditions although it is possible to try and initiate fruiting artificially with the use of watering. This means that it is likely that a 10msq bed will produce a total 10-20kg of mushrooms over a period of 2-3 weeks around May and at the end of August.
Once established you can easily propagate more beds by making cardboard spawn from the stem butts of the fruit bodies, or simply taking the mycelliated substrate from and existing bed.