Woodchip Bed Cultivation
Choosing a Location
You are looking for a semi shaded spot in your garden, somewhere that you will pass often enough to notice when the mushrooms begin to grow. It also needs to be somewhere reasonably protected from other people or animals walking over it. You may also want to consider making the bed among fruit bushes or fruit tree as it makes and excellent mulch. You just need to remember that you don’t want the bed to dry out.
Sourcing your Substrate
Firstly, try to use cardboard without too much ink especially coloured ink as this can contain heavy metals and it’s best to take off the cellotape or any other plastic attached to it. For the woodchip you looking for hardwood and ideally without leafs. This is one of the advantages of making your bed in spring and autumn. You want wodchip that is not more than 6 months old. The fresher the better. The easiest way to get hold of woodchip if you don’t have trees and a shredder is to call up your local tree surgeons and landscape gardeners and ask them to drop round any woodchip they migh have from their work. Often they have to pay to get rid of it. Why take a load, use what you can for your woodchip bed and the rest use for mulch or add to your compost.
Inoculating your Woodchip Bed
1. The best time to start your Garden Giant Mushroom Bed is late March but anytime from March to September is possible. For 1.5kg Begin preparing your bed by clearing an area 2-4 sqm in a partially shaded location in your garden. Cover the ground with a layer of card board and saturate with water.
2. Begin by casting the spawn onto the cardboard it into small islands using 1/3 of the spawn and cover evenly with 3cm of woodchips. Now create a second of cardboard but this time use smaller pieces or strips of card and repeat the process of casting the spawn and covering with chips. Repeat this and make a third layer. Finally cover the bed with a layer of straw and water.
3 Water every day for first week then every other day for weeks 2 – 4 and once a month there after unless there is enough rain to do the job for you. Key an eye on the bed when the fruiting conditions are good; around 14 – 18c after rainfall.
4. After 4 – 8 months the mycellium should have grown through woodchip check often when condition for fruiting are right, they can grow fast! Be sure to identify your Garden Giant mushrooms, fortunately they are easily recognised and should be the only mushroom growing in your garden giant bed.
5. Once your garden giant bed is established just keep adding a 5 – 10 cm layer of woodchip and a layer of straw each autumn. You can also easily propagate more beds by taking the spawn from your original bed and using it to make another by following the procedure above. You can also propagate more cardboard board spawn using the base of the mushroom stems.