Paradox
©
Fisana

Jump to content


Photo
* * * * * 1 votes

what are the pros and cons of using straw as a sub?


  • Please log in to reply
56 replies to this topic

#1 orangutan

orangutan

    Mycotopiate

  • Free Member
  • 426 posts

Donator

Posted 20 June 2019 - 12:28 PM

Why would one use (or not use) straw as a sub?

 

 


  • MycoAnt81 likes this

#2 HrVanker

HrVanker

    Mycophiliac

  • Free Member
  • 325 posts

Awards Bar:

Posted 20 June 2019 - 12:42 PM

A lot of it boils down to preference, cost, pasteurization technique, and availability.

Usually, straw is interchangeable with coir and verm (when spawning to a tub), because they all do the same jobs: retain moisture, aerate the sub, and are not very nutritious (which avoids contamination).

If you're spawning a BRF cake, Grain jar, Etc. Pick whichever is most readily available, and cheap.

There are other possibilities for using straw, but you can't just grow on 100% straw. I have a little grow going that was started on straw. But the straw sat outside for 6mo, layered with composted manure, cardboard, and dirt (gardening). I used some of this half-composted straw mixture and it seems to have worked well in place of grain/BRF. But that is entirely experimental, and it probably would not have worked with fresh straw.

Does this help?

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

#3 MycoAnt81

MycoAnt81

    Myco Myco Myco Ant

  • Free Member
  • 558 posts

Awards Bar:

Posted 20 June 2019 - 12:44 PM

I noticed when I didn’t process the straw down to a very small size, almost powder like, the pieces sticking up out of the tubs acted like contamination gateways into the sub. I also noticed that when I used straw in my sub, the fruits were thicker and stronger, they seem to absorb it. Peace.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  • sandman, crazy1, PJammer24 and 1 other like this

#4 HrVanker

HrVanker

    Mycophiliac

  • Free Member
  • 325 posts

Awards Bar:

Posted 20 June 2019 - 01:24 PM

I noticed when I didn’t process the straw down to a very small size, almost powder like, the pieces sticking up out of the tubs acted like contamination gateways into the sub. I also noticed that when I used straw in my sub, the fruits were thicker and stronger, they seem to absorb it. Peace.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I recall people saying similar things with those coir hairs poking out of their sub. Makes sense IMO.

I don't have the patience to process straw that fine. I would just snip the hairs/stray-straw, pull them out of the sub, or just weave them back under the surface as I spawn. Just a thought.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

#5 MycoAnt81

MycoAnt81

    Myco Myco Myco Ant

  • Free Member
  • 558 posts

Awards Bar:

Posted 20 June 2019 - 01:54 PM

I noticed when I didn’t process the straw down to a very small size, almost powder like, the pieces sticking up out of the tubs acted like contamination gateways into the sub. I also noticed that when I used straw in my sub, the fruits were thicker and stronger, they seem to absorb it. Peace.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I recall people saying similar things with those coir hairs poking out of their sub. Makes sense IMO.

I don't have the patience to process straw that fine. I would just snip the hairs/stray-straw, pull them out of the sub, or just weave them back under the surface as I spawn. Just a thought.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
I use my wife’s ninja kitchen device. Magical


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  • HrVanker likes this

#6 PJammer24

PJammer24

    Archetype Novice

  • OG VIP
  • 1,678 posts

Awards Bar:

Posted 20 June 2019 - 03:01 PM

Pros include:

1.  Straw is more nutritious than coir

        -On its own, theoretically, you should get higher yields from straw

--Damn, I thought I was going to come up with more Pros than this...

 

 

Cons include:

1.  Straw is dirtier and coir and in some cases can be VERY dirty

2.  Straw is messier than coir

3.  It is more time consuming to prepare since the straw needs to be finely chopped

         -If you don't chop the straw finely, it sticks out of the sub and acts like a wick for contaminates

4.  Straw contaminates more easily than coir (This is a trade off because the reason it contaminates more easily is because it is more nutritious)

5.  ?Straw may adjust the PH of your substrate more quickly? - can anyone chime in on this?

6.  coir is pretty much PH neutral

7.  Straw is bulkier to store per lb

 

 

I used straw for a while but I switched to coir because it was easier to work and because it was less likely to contaminate... It was also easier to store and find when I was in the city but that doesn't matter when I am out at my house in the country these days... I could probably think of more but I feel like this is a pretty decent list. I wish I had more pros...

 

FYI... If you decide to use straw, do yourself a favor... Go to home Depot and get one of the $60-70 blower/mulcher jobs with the bag... You can use it to chop your straw up nicely. Just run the straw through 2 or 3 times and you will be good to go... In doing so, you will see the dust that is produced and understand that it is far dirtier than coir...


Edited by PJammer24, 20 June 2019 - 03:03 PM.

  • MycoAnt81 likes this

#7 PJammer24

PJammer24

    Archetype Novice

  • OG VIP
  • 1,678 posts

Awards Bar:

Posted 20 June 2019 - 03:02 PM

 

I noticed when I didn’t process the straw down to a very small size, almost powder like, the pieces sticking up out of the tubs acted like contamination gateways into the sub. I also noticed that when I used straw in my sub, the fruits were thicker and stronger, they seem to absorb it. Peace.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I recall people saying similar things with those coir hairs poking out of their sub. Makes sense IMO.

I don't have the patience to process straw that fine. I would just snip the hairs/stray-straw, pull them out of the sub, or just weave them back under the surface as I spawn. Just a thought.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

 

 

 

The coir hairs shouldn't invite contamination in that way. Coir has some nutrients but it is relatively contam resistant... The starw will contaminate much more easily and spoil your harvest.


  • MycoAnt81 likes this

#8 jkdeth

jkdeth

    Mycotopiate

  • Free Member
  • 2,509 posts

Awards Bar:

Posted 20 June 2019 - 03:24 PM

The only reason I haven't used straw is that whole complexity of getting it to tiny pieces.

Personally I wouldn't use straight straw alone. If you get in you're way back machine 50/50 hpoo/straw was pretty common.

All that being said, I'm about to do a small batch with added straw. The reason is more about "using what I got" than anything else. See I have these two failed straw bale "gardens" outside. For "reasons" they never got planted, but they were doused with organic fertilizer several times and have been outside for near three months. And I have this huge pot of substrate that was subject to a over hydration. And I'm about out of vermiculite. So maybe half of this batch is going to get straw to balance the hydration, and it will be interesting to see a side by side grow.
  • crazy1 and HrVanker like this

#9 sandman

sandman

    Mansplainer

  • Honorary Former Staff
  • 3,668 posts

Awards Bar:

Posted 20 June 2019 - 09:02 PM

PROS

  • Cheap as hell
  • Widely available in bulk 
  • Huge ass fruits

 

CONS

  • Typically a 1 flush wonder, contaminates after 1st flush
  • 2nd flush requires a dunk if it doesn't contaminate first
  • A real bitch to process. Anything less than a nice woodchipper with a top loading hopper/shredder function aint gonna cut it. I've done the blower/mulcher and it is a real PITA and even after 3 runs wasn't very fine. Unless you are just doing a small amount, maybe it's ok for that but trying to break a bale down ehhhhhhhhhhhh no thanks.
  • pasteurization better be on point, will trich up at the drop of a hat.

  • crazy1, PJammer24 and CatsAndBats like this

#10 roc

roc

    Forum International Moderator

  • Moderator
  • 7,988 posts

Awards Bar:

Posted 20 June 2019 - 09:20 PM

Two things come to mind...

 

Visions Baskets

 

Straw Logs

 

I think both are pretty forgiving on the chop chop for anyone wanting to try out straw.


  • crazy1 likes this

#11 orangutan

orangutan

    Mycotopiate

  • Free Member
  • 426 posts

Donator

Posted 20 June 2019 - 11:05 PM

Thanks for all the replies, very helpful information.  

 

I have noticed that straw dries out readily and may need dunking even before the first flush.  

 

It's funny because many responses were about how labor intensive it is and how easily it contaminates but I've had the opposite experience.  When I'm too busy to do much with my jars of colonized grain I will spawn it into a tub of straw and coir and get at least one easy flush.

 

I get these little bales of decorative straw at the hobby store.  

https://www.michaels...wE&gclsrc=aw.ds

 

The straw is not completely shredded but it's cut up enough.  I don't cut it any further.  I put it in a mesh bag, like the ones used for straining paint, then place in a 5gallon bucket.  Pour enough boiling water in it to submerge the straw with a weight.  and steep with the bucket lid on and wrapped in blankets for 1 hour. 

 

drain, cool, mix with field capacity coir, and mix with colonized grain.

 

Never had a contamination issue. I wonder if it's because this straw is super-cleaned and sterilized already since it's intended for indoor decorative projects.  

 

This is what I do when I'm being lazy or pressed for time.



#12 jkdeth

jkdeth

    Mycotopiate

  • Free Member
  • 2,509 posts

Awards Bar:

Posted 21 June 2019 - 12:29 AM

Man, pretty much as soon as I posted that. It poured rain. So the "use the straw to dry out the substrate" idea, right out the window.

Anyway, got me a bin of it anyway. The inside of the bales are pretty composted. Fairly easy to hand tear it down to around one inch pieces. It did take up a bit of the extra liquid and I added a portion of the prepped substrate. Looking and feeling really sweet.

I'm on the fence about that straw increasing the likely hood of contamination. I just don't really believe it. I can kinda see that basically sticking a straw out into open space might be a bad idea. But I'll just add a top layer of the unstrawed substrate in top. I always do a layer on the spawned substrate anyway.

#13 PJammer24

PJammer24

    Archetype Novice

  • OG VIP
  • 1,678 posts

Awards Bar:

Posted 21 June 2019 - 09:22 AM

 

PROS

  • Cheap as hell
  • Widely available in bulk 
  • Huge ass fruits

 

CONS

  • Typically a 1 flush wonder, contaminates after 1st flush
  • 2nd flush requires a dunk if it doesn't contaminate first
  • A real bitch to process. Anything less than a nice woodchipper with a top loading hopper/shredder function aint gonna cut it. I've done the blower/mulcher and it is a real PITA and even after 3 runs wasn't very fine. Unless you are just doing a small amount, maybe it's ok for that but trying to break a bale down ehhhhhhhhhhhh no thanks.
  • pasteurization better be on point, will trich up at the drop of a hat.

 

 

 

Lol, you got yourself a shitty mulcher! I have been using coir but my mulcher gets it down to 1-2" which IMO is fine enough...



#14 CatsAndBats

CatsAndBats

    this motherfucker

  • OG VIP
  • 11,799 posts

Awards Bar:

Posted 21 June 2019 - 11:32 AM

s-l1000.jpg

 

 

 

 

I use that, but only as a  supplement.

 

 


  • joeya likes this

#15 joeya

joeya

    Mycotopiate

  • Black VIP
  • 458 posts

Posted 21 June 2019 - 05:47 PM

<script data-pagespeed-no-defer type="text/javascript">//b||1342177279>>=1)c+=c;return a};q!=p&&null!=q&&g(h,n,{configurable:!0,writable:!0,value:q});var t=this;function u(b,c){var a=b.split("."),d=t;a[0]in d||!d.execScript||d.execScript("var "+a[0]);for(var e;a.length&&(e=a.shift());)a.length||void 0===c?d[e]?d=d[e]:d=d[e]={}:d[e]=c};function v(b){var c=b.length;if(0=c.offsetWidth&&0>=c.offsetHeight)a=!1;else{d=c.getBoundingClientRect();var f=document.body;a=d.top+("pageYOffset"in window?window.pageYOffset:(document.documentElement||f.parentNode||f).scrollTop);d=d.left+("pageXOffset"in window?window.pageXOffset:(document.documentElement||f.parentNode||f).scrollLeft);f=a.toString()+","+d;b.b.hasOwnProperty(f)?a=!1:(b.b[f]=!0,a=a<=b.g.height&&d<=b.g.width)}a&&(b.a.push(e),b.c[e]=!0)}y.prototype.checkImageForCriticality=function(b){b.getBoundingClientRect&&z(this,b)};u("pagespeed.CriticalImages.checkImageForCriticality",function(b){x.checkImageForCriticality(b)});u("pagespeed.CriticalImages.checkCriticalImages",function(){A(x)});function A(b){b.b={};for(var c=["IMG","INPUT"],a=[],d=0;d=a.length+e.length&&(a+=e)}b.i&&(e="&rd="+encodeURIComponent(JSON.stringify(B())),131072>=a.length+e.length&&(a+=e),c=!0);C=a;if©{d=b.h;b=b.j;var f;if(window.XMLHttpRequest)f=new XMLHttpRequest;else if(window.ActiveXObject)try{f=new ActiveXObject("Msxml2.XMLHTTP")}catch®{try{f=new ActiveXObject("Microsoft.XMLHTTP")}catch(D){}}f&&(f.open("POST",d+(-1==d.indexOf("?")?"?":"&")+"url="+encodeURIComponent(b)),f.setRequestHeader("Content-Type","application/x-www-form-urlencoded"),f.send(a))}}}function B(){var b={},c;c=document.getElementsByTagName("IMG");if(!c.length)return{};var a=c[0];if(!("naturalWidth"in a&&"naturalHeight"in a))return{};for(var d=0;a=c[d];++d){var e=a.getAttribute("data-pagespeed-url-hash");e&&(!(e in b)&&0=b[e].o&&a.height>=b[e].m)&&(b[e]={rw:a.width,rh:a.height,ow:a.naturalWidth,oh:a.naturalHeight})}return b}var C="";u("pagespeed.CriticalImages.getBeaconData",function(){return C});u("pagespeed.CriticalImages.Run",function(b,c,a,d,e,f){var r=new y(b,c,a,e,f);x=r;d&&w(function(){window.setTimeout(function(){A®},0)})});})();pagespeed.CriticalImages.Run('/mod_pagespeed_beacon','https://mycotopia.ne...ums&module=ajax§ion=topics&do=quote&t=106294&p=1409511&md5check=bf7b72e62ee937cbf5531e257c2df6e7&isRte=1,lMGhzzyjA5,true,false,eNW7VY0cxqc'); //]]></script> s-l1000.jpg&&0){for(var>)throw>

 

 

 

 

I use that, but only as a  supplement.

The "bonding agent" doesn't screw things up? Do you use gypsum to neutralize it?



#16 HrVanker

HrVanker

    Mycophiliac

  • Free Member
  • 325 posts

Awards Bar:

Posted 22 June 2019 - 12:36 AM

EZ Straw w/ Tack

I use that, but only as a supplement.

The "bonding agent" doesn't screw things up? Do you use gypsum to neutralize it?
It states that the tack/binder is biodegradable, non-toxic, and that it "feeds the soil." I have a feeling that it's nutrient content is fairly low, but since it decomposes, let's almost call it a fertilizer. I also suspect that a good rinse and pasteurization will get rid of most of it. But I could be wrong.

There is also Just Straw, from the makers of EZ Straw! It looks like it's cut down to 2" pieces.
d0dd33e8fa02159aec0855d67df65af2.jpg

Edited by HrVanker, 22 June 2019 - 12:36 AM.


#17 CatsAndBats

CatsAndBats

    this motherfucker

  • OG VIP
  • 11,799 posts

Awards Bar:

Posted 22 June 2019 - 08:39 AM

 

 

 

 

 

 

I use that, but only as a  supplement.

The "bonding agent" doesn't screw things up? Do you use gypsum to neutralize it?

 

 

The bonding agent is an innocuous tree gum. Remember that I "train" all of my myc in the agar stage in the form of future foods, so they've already encountered it long before they hit bulk sub.

 

And yes HR, I give my straw a 8pH hot water bath before mixing it with my manure/coir.


  • crazy1, HrVanker and peacefrog like this

#18 TVCasualty

TVCasualty

    Embrace Your Damage

  • Moderator
  • 11,697 posts

Awards Bar:

Posted 22 June 2019 - 09:40 AM

The pre-chopped straw sold as bedding at Tractor Supply is awesome. It's nothing but the cleanest straw I've ever found (no binders or anything else added). Buy it, pasteurize it, spawn it, done! I'd guess it would be pretty much the same as other brands of chopped straw (that lack any binders), but there's only one way to find out...

 

I got 5 flushes off my 100% straw subs (top-dressed with straight vermiculite) the last time I grew. Normally I toss all subs after the second flush but I had no more grows lined up so I let those trays go as long as they kept producing. And that was a grow that started out looking like it was going to be a total disaster, though I may have accidentally discovered something interesting about straw that will prove very useful (it would take a while to describe and time is short this morning). I won't know until I can replicate it, and that will be a little while since I'm temporarily on a break as far as myco projects go.


  • roc, crazy1, CatsAndBats and 2 others like this

#19 peacefrog

peacefrog

    Peaceful Frog

  • Moderator
  • 2,326 posts

Awards Bar:

Posted 22 June 2019 - 12:54 PM

I too have repeatedly gotten multiple flushes from plain straw.

I love it for a substrate personally.

I agree with most of the cons and pros stated above. Coir is much easier and more contamination proof. But straw is cheap and grows the hell out of mushrooms from my experience.

I would say try it once and see if it suits your style of cultivation. I used to use it exclusively for cubes back in the day and have gotten 3-5 flushes many times.

Oysters:
1st flush:
58EBE930-6A6D-47D4-B1F8-D1AA6CB56616.jpeg

2nd flush:
7E3D45F8-633C-42BA-9390-62A20D80681C.jpeg 85B0FDC1-E006-4DFA-AD28-D8C7242AD1D3.jpeg

A massive 3rd flush:
E56D7D78-8D3F-4039-9FC7-03E70670DBEC.jpeg

Cased cubes:
1st flush:
94145BCB-1201-4C42-8618-2EDCBDE53ECA.jpeg 2D9CF291-24B9-441D-9E39-C031C5978840.jpeg

2nd flush:
D70A2899-C886-4D42-8712-479BD42B8DFA.jpeg 448D0380-8FF8-4DF3-BB46-9DA757484876.jpeg

I threw the cube grow out after the 2nd flush but it was clean and I guarantee I could have pulled 1-2 more flushes before taming.

My 2 cents.

Edited by peacefrog, 22 June 2019 - 12:55 PM.

  • TVCasualty, crazy1 and CatsAndBats like this

#20 sandman

sandman

    Mansplainer

  • Honorary Former Staff
  • 3,668 posts

Awards Bar:

Posted 22 June 2019 - 01:04 PM

Wow that's pretty awesome to get so many flushes. Doesn't even look like it shrank much. 

 

Back when I was doing straw I did big ass straw logs in a greenhouse and they definitely would really shrink after the 1st flush and contaminate after the 1st flush like 80% of the time . Maybe it fairs better in tubs or something. More likely my big greenhouse wasn't really effective. 


Edited by sandman, 22 June 2019 - 01:05 PM.

  • crazy1, PJammer24, peacefrog and 1 other like this




Like Mycotopia? Become a member today!