Tag Archives: mushrooms

Mushroom Shelf Cover

A few weeks ago, I moved my mushroom-growing project to a different part of the back yard. While I did that, I changed the boards I was using for the shelves, so the cover I was using to keep the sun off them was not wide enough, anymore.

I found a big board that was by the side of the garage. On its side, it is almost tall enough to shelter the shelves. On its side, it was also far too wide. It caught the wind a couple of times, and fell over. My uncle-in-law offered to cut it for me, if I do the measuring and marking.

So it’s been waiting for me to go out there and do that, basically since I put it up. The offer was open “until it snows”.

It’s one of those “added to the list” things that’s been hanging over me. Not a big job, but one of those things it’s easier to do, if one escapes from the kids for a few minutes

When offered some time to get something done today, I chose this. It doesn’t take very long, and once it’s done, it shouldn’t reappear on the to-do list. So I measured and marked it, and uncle cut it, and I stood it back up. Looks like I did the line at close enough to a right angle, it stands up and doesn’t look like it leans over. It’s shading the shelves very nicely. At the angle it’s at, it’s comfortably below the window. At the suggestion of my uncle, I shored it up with a couple of dense planks (I say planks, they might not be wood, and they’re not particularly long, but hopefully they’ll be enough to help keep the board up in the wind).

Today’s the day where I’m out for a big chunk of it, so I don’t expect to get much done at all at home on a Tuesday. It’s nice to have something accomplished.

Garden Update

As we descend into the end part of the growing season, it seems a good time to make notes on how things have gone this year.

I picked up a pack of strawberry popcorn at a choiry event, and planted some. It has tried to be enthusiastic, but I’m not sure it has had time to grow the actual corn part before the weather gets too cold. Don’t remember when I planted it, but if we grow corn, growing it earlier would seem to be a good policy. Maybe try starting it indoors even earlier, then it might have a chance to get big enough to grow some beans up them, with the squash around them, like the Three Sisters is supposed to be.

The squash around the corn… I know some squashes grew, but I’m not sure if it was as many as we ought to expect. Harvesting hasn’t really been my thing this year.

I heard today of someone’s corn being plagued by earwigs. I know I’ve seen some earwigs this year, don’t know if they’ve touched the corn or not. Should look into what companion plants might repel earwigs, and plant it around the corn.

Tried adding peas in extra places, to help some plants. Seems to have been a good move. The stuff by the house dried up a bit, but the back fence seems to be a good place.

Mint is doing very well around the fruit trees. Might need to make a note of what we’ve got where, and move the mint we like eating least, to around the trees at the front, and extend the others to various places at the back. Fill in the holes, as it were.

Tomatoes seem to have done very well this year. The seed ones better than the already-started ones. Whatever we did this year, we should do again next year.

One of the three Arctic Kiwi plants has survived – we need to weed around it now. And try to find a bunch of females to plant around the male we have, for next year.

The new raised beds have done very well, probably want to add some more soil to them next year, and the second year should be more productive than the first. The one that ended up being more my thing turned insanely productive: the marshmallow grew above the washing line, a couple of the squashes turned giant, and a load of beans grew. Spotted a couple of echinacea flowers.

Some of the new trees we’ve planted have done better than others. Some died, some seemed to die then tried growing new trunks from lower down. Looking forward to the apple and pear trees that we planted last year, to grow to the point of producing fruit. Hope the new peach trees get enough life in them to grow a bunch of branches, and start producing. Hope the old peach tree hangs on long enough for some overlap.

After a worrying start, the grape plants have taken off. Hope they fill in a bunch of fence, and of course we’re looking forward to them producing, too.

The blackberry plant that we planted where the compost pile used to be, has taken off. We planted it a bit away from the fence, but it grew right to the fence. It has wanted to just continue its limbs through the fence along the ground, we’ve tried to encourage it to row up the fence. Hopefully we’ll get more of an edge in that battle next year. I haven’t spotted any fruit on it yet, not sure if that’s not a first-year thing, or what.

Three of the four raspberry plants that we transplanted from the mountain, have survived. Hopefully they’ll send up new stems next year, as they’re supposed to. Only got a few raspberries off them this year, possibly because of when we transplanted them.

The raised beds we but soil from our garden in, got rather weedy. The ones we just put soil-from-bags in, have done better in that regard.

We put a bed in the front, and planted a whole load of seeds, I don’t think we got much in the way of grown-on-purpose stuff in there at all. There’s one plant I’m pretty sure is comfrey, but that’s about it.

The mushrooms haven’t produced as much volume-wise as I hoped, and I’m just starting to get some mushrooms from a second tub (out of the seven that are out there). Still, to have gotten anything is pretty promising, hopefully can start figuring out some tricks to increase output there.

In summary, I think we’ve had a lot of production this year, which is encouraging, and we have lots of potential for more production in the future, with the perennials and other recurring plants.

We’ve had a lot of drinks with mint or lemon balm from the garden. More herbs will be a good way to go, lots of peas round things was a great move. Something viny and fast-growing up the side of the house, after mulching down there, will be a great step (especially towards keeping the house cool in summer – it hasn’t seemed too hot this year, thankfully). Hops have been suggested, and that’s not a bad idea.

A lot of work done, a lot more to do, but it all seems promising.

Adventures in Mushrooms: Growth and Stagnation

A week ago, I posted some pictures showing the first sign of actual mushrooms growing in any of my mushroom tubs.

As this is  my first time doing this, I’m not quite sure what I should be expecting. Still an experiment, so this is the documentation.

Here’s a picture from last week’s post:

Ees so leetle!

The other places I’ve heard about growing mushrooms in coffee grounds, one suggested 5 gallon buckets, another place did them in 2 gallon containers. I’m doing them in 1 gallon ice cream tubs, I don’t know if size affects results.

Considering last week’s pictures as “Day 1″ (of actual mushrooms), here’s Day 2:

Mushrooms, day 2

In just a day, they went significantly past the top of the tub. Cool!

Day 3:

Mushrooms, day 3

I think the growth has slowed, at this point, and it’s not just the light: they have gotten a little darker.

Day 4:

Mushrooms, day 4

Not really a whole lot different. I don’t remember what days I gave them water, I tended to go by if I could still see water if I tilted the tub. And sometimes it depended on whether I had much space for outside time, during the day.

Day 7, yesterday:

Mushrooms, day 7

Here, it seems that maybe they’ve even gone a bit darker, but haven’t grown very much at all. Even the smaller ones don’t seem to have tried very hard to get to the size of the bigger ones.

Not knowing what to expect, of course, one wonders what will happen. One did rather hope that the tub would become full of mushrooms.

The mushrooms here seem to have grown in the part where there are gaps in the crust. You can see through the tub here, but not so much from the top of the picture, that I dug in to the tub with a trowel, to break up the crust away from the mushrooms.

In real life, these cuts are visible from the top, brown gaps between white islands. Today (didn’t get a picture), I saw the white fungus already start creeping in to those brown gaps.

Hope I get more mushrooms.

I pretty much drowned the tub with water, today.

I do wonder how big these mushrooms are suppose to grow. I had it in my head that they were probably supposed to grow bigger than that.

One of the other tubs in particular, is now starting to get a white surface.

I hope to one day know what I’m doing.

Adventures in Mushrooms: First Sprouts

I have been attempting to grow mushrooms in coffee grounds, in 1-gallon ice cream tubs.

The ones in this tub are Oyster mushrooms. A neighbour gave me a bit of her spawn. If I kept the right lid with the tub, the label says this is the second Oyster tub I started. I started them in different places before moving them all to the shelf I built, so maybe this got a bit of an advantage.

The whole tub

This tub looks a bit like an alien landscape, doesn’t it? Or possibly like it’s covered in marshmallow or meringue. It’s been looking like this for a while. I took a big scoop out of this one a couple of weeks ago, to get the next tub started. That white crust was only around the outside, and round the edge there it’s very thin, and I filled the hole in with more coffee grounds and stirred the tub a bit. It didn’t take long to look just like this again.

That tub I mentioned that I started a couple of weeks ago, I decided was finished today – you can see that hiding in the top-right of this picture.

I brought that tub and a new tub out, and grabbed this tub to start the empty one – and I was surprised to see that the mushrooms had started to sprout. I used some of the just-finished tub to start the new one (enough mycelium seemed to have spread to do that).

One thing I’ve noticed – when I water the mushrooms, the water that stays on the surface soon turns red. I’m not sure if that’s down to the coffee or the fungus. Then when there’s less water left on the surface, it’s more a yellow colour. And when the top is drier, there doesn’t seem to be red or yellow residue left on the top.


Ees so leetle!

You see a little bit of the yellow here. And look at the mushrooms, they’re so little!


Alien landscape mushrooms

And this shot of the other bunch looks more like an alien landscape.

The lid says I started this one on the 11th of May (the first one I was ultra-specific and said “early May”). It’s the 14th of July, so that’s just over 2 months for them to start sprouting.

This experiment seems to be working out. I’m feeling rather encouraged.

Adventures In Mushrooms – first wastage and general update

I have been attempting to grow mushrooms in coffee grounds. I had a couple of one-gallon tubs on the go with white mushrooms from the store, and some with oyster mushrooms from spore.

Today I had to throw away the white mushrooms, for three reasons.

1: There was no sign of any mushrooms growing. Not even the fungal root structure (mycelium).

2: They were starting to smell bad.

3: They were growing something, but not something I wanted. Attempting to say it delicately, they were growing fly larvae. Yuk.

I found a place to dump those, and I rinsed them out good and proper with the hose, and wiped out any remaining bits of coffee. Those tubs will be washed, and hopefully I something I intend to grow, will show up next time.

This leaves me four tubs outside, and one in, but nearly full enough to move out.

The first oyster spore tub I think is doing great. It has funal mass growing all over the top and all round the sides. I used some scoops from this to start the most recent tub, stirred it up and added a few new coffee grounds into it to make up the lost mass, and it’s looking just like it was before. Hopefully, we’ll get some actual mushrooms out of this.

The second remaining tub is also from oyser mushroom spore. It’s coming along more slowly, but after stirring it up, it looks like it’s making progress.

The third tub, is definitely oyster, I think I used up the last of the spore on this, but it may have been scoops from the first tub, the mycelium is definitely spreading.

The fourth tub out there was St George mushroom, but I think I took too long planting it, and I suspect it may end up going the way of the first two tubs.

The inside tub was oyster mushrooms, a few scoops taken from the first tub and mixed in with a few new grounds. I took a bunch of filters out of it today – I’d waited a bit too long, and had to leave 3 in there, but I tried to mix them up good – the mycelium was growing through the filters. Mixed that up, it’s almost time to start a new a new tub inside.

So, today felt like a bit of a setback, but I’m hoping that white fungal crust will suddenly start springing up and giving me Food.

Adventures in Mushrooms – the unintentional

A while ago, I listened to an episode of The Survival Podcast about mushroom cultivation – Episode 1326 – Peter McCoy on Mushroom Cultivation via Radical Mycology – and in that episode an easy way of growing mushrooms was suggested: growing them in coffee grounds.

Right now I have 6-and-a-bit 1-gallon ice cream tubs on the go, all with coffee grounds and mushrooms of one type or another, and only one is making a serious effort at looking promising. And that one has lots of fungus, but nothing looking like the classic mushroom shape just yet.

Today’s post isn’t about that. In our new raised beds, we have some volunteer mushrooms that have shown up in a couple of spots. We’re not entirely sure where they came from, I think we’re currently taking their presence as a sign of good soil health.

We have two patches of this stuff:

mushroom growing wild in our garden

I tried searching online for mushrooms that looked like this, but I didn’t get any results that I was happy with.

Mother-in-law thinks they’re poisonous. She’s probably right. And even if she isn’t, it’s best to assume they are if you’re not sure.

Near one of these patches, another, closer-to-traditional-looking mushroom has appeared, and compared to these things that stick close to the ground, it’s pretty tall. How-did-we-not-notice-it-when-we-noticed-the-others tall. And it’s also probably poisonous.

Hope my on-purpose, edible mushrooms decide to Do Something soon.