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Winter is coming. What do I do with my mycelium after I'm done harvesting?


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#1 jrh

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Posted 08 September 2020 - 11:34 AM

I've seen teks for growing outside, but it seems like they're on a scale that's unworkable for me.

 

I live in a townhouse with neighbors on both sides. The front yard is completely exposed to foot traffic. I have a small back yard with a privacy fence, but my neighbors can still see most of the yard from their upstairs windows. So that leaves me with a tiny real estate to work with... maybe 2' x 2' or less which would be right up against my house.

 

Is there something small in scale that would survive the winter (zone 7a) that I could do. It would be nice if it were somewhat modular since I'll hopefully have some pe mycelium I'm done with in a couple of months.

 

Thanks in advance.



#2 coAsTal

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Posted 08 September 2020 - 11:45 AM

You could always just till the used subs into the dirt under some bushes and lightly cover it up with mulch. Nobody will be looking under your bushes, and the mulch will cover the additions to the area. If you don't have bushes like that, then just run a foot or so of mulch along the back of the house and put the sub under it. If you have any kids pop up, you can collect them at night.


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#3 TVCasualty

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Posted 08 September 2020 - 11:55 AM

I have not tried it (yet) but one stealth possibility might be to get one of those plastic compost barrels that are mounted on a frame to make it easy to turn (by rolling the barrel) and try an outdoor grow in it. It'd be a raised bed disguised as compost and can possibly be moved indoors at night in cold weather to extend the season. Might need to modify it a bit for more air exchange depending on the design but it seems like it should work well based on what's worked outdoors for me in the past.


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#4 coAsTal

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Posted 08 September 2020 - 11:58 AM

I've seen people use worm composter bins as grow enclosures as well, FWIW


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#5 PJammer24

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Posted 08 September 2020 - 02:03 PM

With temperatures that can get as low as 9f in that zone, you are going to have a hard time keeping your myc in the ground all winter, or in a container for that matter, and having it survive without making it a hybrid indoor/outdoor grow where you bring it in for a month or 3... I would just restart the patch in the spring if it were me...

 

If you grow some non-active species out in your yard, your neighbors will most likely have no clue that one of the patches is an active strain... I would knock on their door and provide them with some oysters or some other non-active species to be neighborly and so they don't start jumping to conclusions as they watch you from their bedroom windows...


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#6 onediadem

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Posted 08 September 2020 - 07:25 PM

You can do straw bales and cover them in winter months.


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#7 jrh

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Posted 08 September 2020 - 07:27 PM

With temperatures that can get as low as 9f in that zone, you are going to have a hard time keeping your myc in the ground all winter, or in a container for that matter, and having it survive without making it a hybrid indoor/outdoor grow where you bring it in for a month or 3... 

 

I'm in the suburbs of Washington DC in the US and our winters have been getting more moderate over the years, so something close to the house with a few inches of mulch on top might survive. For proof of concept, maybe I'll just put them in the ground and mulch.

 

Is there anything I should add to the ground? I'll have plenty of vermiculite.

 

I also saw this composter on amazon which looks like it could be good. 

 

81m3IaMke-L._AC_SL1500_.jpg



#8 jrh

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Posted 08 September 2020 - 07:30 PM

You can do straw bales and cover them in winter months.

 

Is that just putting the mycelium in the ground and literally putting a block of hay on it?



#9 onediadem

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Posted 08 September 2020 - 10:02 PM

No, the bale of straw is your sub. You don't even have to pasteurize it. You can put it in the ground if you want to dig the hole tho.


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#10 jrh

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Posted 09 September 2020 - 09:03 AM

Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I think I'm just going to put them on the ground and dump a bag of (hardwood?) mulch on top.

 

I think these blocks are done. There is a yellowish-orange contamination that does't look right. I looks like one of the overlays that people talk about.

 

Down at the bottom of the block 

 

IMG_20200909_094055.jpg

 

On the side of the block

 

IMG_20200909_094026.jpg

 

If they are contaminated, does that mean they should go in the garbage instead of outside?

 

Thanks in advance.



#11 TVCasualty

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Posted 09 September 2020 - 10:04 AM

That is a wild looking block. And the yellowing looks like metabolites to me, but it's hard to tell for sure. Let them mature a bit more and harvest as the veils begin to tear. Then dunk and repeat but if they start to look obviously contaminated it's time to put it outside.

 

IMO the only time to put a sub in the trash is if you can't otherwise dispose of it discreetly outside somewhere. Spent or contaminated subs are just moldy compost, basically.


Edited by TVCasualty, 09 September 2020 - 10:04 AM.

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#12 jrh

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Posted 09 September 2020 - 10:22 AM

That is a wild looking block. And the yellowing looks like metabolites to me....

 

So, I was an idiot. I got a second flush off of them, dunked, then then put them back in the fruiting chamber upside down, figuring since the whole thing was colonized, there must be stuff on the bottom too. After a couple of days of that, I was pretty certain I'd made an error, so I flipped them again. That's why the mushrooms there are squished.

 

I guess I'll always remember these two blocks whether I go deep into the hobby, stay at the beginner level, or abandon things altogether. I've abused the poor things terribly, but they've still taught me a lot, and it looks like they're willing to put up with me a bit longer.


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#13 PJammer24

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Posted 09 September 2020 - 10:24 AM

You can do straw bales and cover them in winter months.

 

Is covering the bales enough insulation in zone 7?

 

Where I am, we have prolonged periods of subfreezing temperatures... I would not be able to leave bales out and expect the myc to survive. Zone 7 is warmer but I would have thought it was still too cold to leave things outdoors year round, even when covered.

 

I feel like zone 7 is on the fringe where leaving things outdoors all year is concerned but I could be mistaken...  You may leave bales out that survive winter in some years while other years they do not...  

 

ODD, how many days of subfreezing temperatures do you think a colonized cube  bale can withstand when covered? Not the best question considering it depends how far below freezing it gets...

 

ODD, Oysters are good chilly weather fruiters, which oyster is the most prolific cold weather fruiter?

 

This has made me want to do some oyster bales in the spring!  

 

Viva la pleurotes!!



#14 PJammer24

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Posted 09 September 2020 - 10:39 AM

Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I think I'm just going to put them on the ground and dump a bag of (hardwood?) mulch on top.

 

I think these blocks are done. There is a yellowish-orange contamination that does't look right. I looks like one of the overlays that people talk about.

 

Down at the bottom of the block 


 

If they are contaminated, does that mean they should go in the garbage instead of outside?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

The yellowing looks like metabolites as TVcasualty had said... Metabolites are being expelled by the mycelium at all times but when they are in high quantities, the mycelium is either past prime, struggling with competitors, or both...

 

It is not uncommon for projects to fruit from the bottom similarly to what you made happen, I wouldn't sweat that they are a lil sm_oshed...

 

I don't see any glaring contaminates. Excess metabolites often means bacteria and there are a few of your fruits that appear darker and maybe starting to rot a little but its always so hard to tell in photos. If it were me, I would likely roll out the 3rd flush and call it a day while planning my future escapades...


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#15 jrh

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Posted 10 September 2020 - 08:53 AM

If it were me, I would likely roll out the 3rd flush and call it a day while planning my future escapades...

 

Yes, I think it is time to release these blocks into the wild. Today is supposed to be rainy so that should give them a good start.

 

My next project is two similar kits inoculated with pe. I just gave them a good mix so I need to wait for the substrate to colonize before I can do anything else.



#16 stmhunter

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 02:58 PM

I put them in the flower bed in my front yard, nobody is going to have a clue what they are i don't worry about it.



#17 stmhunter

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 02:59 PM

fixing too start 16 tubs.






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