|Posted on Tuesday, May 07, 2002 - 05:02 am:||
This is certainly nothing mind-blowing or controvertial, I'm sure, but I think it is important to note. I'm not sure if I am repeating information that is already part of the bulk of our collective knowledge (aka archives), but I think that it bears repeating for newbies having trouble with the green meanies.
For the past 7 or 8 months I have had a lot of problems with the green fuzzy contams, aka trichoderma. I have never had trouble growing out my jars and I get fine first flushes and usually good second flushes, but after the second (and sometimes first) flush I would get hit hard with trich, whether I dunked or not, and once one cake showed the first signs of contams it was only a matter of days before most of the others were gone, and that was the end of the batch. This is especially disheartening if you've only gotten one flush out of your cakes. My goal has been to have a batch of cakes that run out of fuel before they succumb to contaminants, yet I could never even get to a third flush.
For the past two months I seem to have had much success using pickling lime to slow down/stop the progression of trich in the terrarium. I won't go so far as to say that it is the lime's doing yet, as I have only been liming for a short time, and also I have been keeping things more sterile thanks to some of eatyu's suggestions: spraying lysol before I open my terrariums each time, scrubbing my hands and fingernails very very well with a scrubbrush and antibacterial soap to remove any loose dead skin, rubbing alcohol on my hands and letting it evaporate before touching any cakes, spraying my carpets (and walls) liberally with lysol (trich apparently likes to live in carpeting). Also, it is good hygiene to clean your terrariums between flushes, and this includes at least rinsing perlite if not baking it for an hour or replacing it. Lately I have been getting at least four or five flushes (although a 'flush' is subject to the grower's interpretation, and so is the number of flushes) which is a big improvement, although it is difficult for me to say if this turn-around is because of my cleanliness or the lime. One thing is for sure, though, once the trich hits it definately spreads slower now.
Some of the things i have done which seem to slow down the contamination: sprinkling lime on top of the perlite or mixing it in with the perlite along with some H2O2; when I first see signs of contamination, removing the infected cake and sprinkling lime on top of the top vermiculite layers of the remaining cakes; if I smell the musty smell (I stop smelling the sweet mushroom smell that indicates healthy cakes) that usually preceeds any visual signs of contamination, sprinkling lime on the top vermiculite layers of all cakes and/or mixing/sprinkling lime in both the bottom and top layers of vermiculite.
The lime that i use is pickling lime, available in the canning section of the grocery store. I have tried using horticultural lime, but that effects the cake's fruiting abilities (because of the Mg-Ca ratio). Unless you are willing to hunt for Mg-free lime at the hardware store, it's probably best to stick with the pickling lime. I believe that the principles behind using lime to treat trichoderma are in the archives if anyone is interested, so I will not repeat information that is already available here.
I have only been using lime to treat cakes that i beileve have been or would soon be infected with trich. I have not tried mixing lime in the vermiculite layers when I first make the jars or when I first apply new vermiculite casings as a preventative measure, but I imagine these are things I could try in the future to see the results. I have not yet designed an experiment to methodically test for the effectiveness in lime in treating cakes, and I'm not sure if that would be necessary.
I have no proof that any of the things I have mentioned in this post will control trich problems, only theory and a couple of good run-throughs, but I know that I have had a lot of trouble with trich and I am sure I am not the only one, so if you are at your wit's end, might I suggest lime.
|Posted on Tuesday, May 07, 2002 - 02:25 pm:||
i worked a bit with lime, as you suggest.
it does seem to help a little, but i've also seen trich growing right thru a big pile of pure lime so it's not all that.
i imagine your improved sterile technique has alot to do with the improvement in your results.
you might consider adding a little bleach dipping/misting to your routine, it seems to be very effective even for less-than-sanitary types like me.
seriously, thx for the nice write-up, your post is bound to help someone.
|Posted on Tuesday, May 07, 2002 - 03:35 pm:||
Does trichoderma produce any toxins? If I recall humans have quite a bit living on their skin. Although I may be thinking of staph.
Dr. Cubesis III (Newbieshroomer)
|Posted on Tuesday, May 07, 2002 - 07:52 pm:||
Thanks for the reminder....
I always seem to get reminded of the importance of cleanliness and sterility at the last minute :D
Meaning... when everything is already green!!!
|Posted on Tuesday, May 07, 2002 - 11:28 pm:||
Someone also posted a thread on the success they were having with bleach flash dunks in a 5 gal. bucket. That sounded good as a preventative measure as well as a cure. I wish I could try that, alas have lung issues that prevent bleach in my home. I am very lucky tho, the trich fairies have not made a house call to me. It sounds wonderful. Hats off to Hippie for being such a mad scientist.
|Posted on Wednesday, May 08, 2002 - 05:53 am:||
a real common cause of trich is poor air exchange coupled with excessive humidity. lime is pretty much limited to mixing in with peat. straight lime directly on cakes is not good. it can burn the mycellia. if you're dble end casing cakes, try sterilizing you're casing mix. most of all, fan it good at least twice a day every day. your best bet with trich is to avoid getting it in the first place