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bottom watering

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#1 shiftingshadows



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Posted 31 May 2022 - 11:26 AM

Interesting trays are now available for sprouting and growing micro greens; and dunking is sometimes used between flushes, when growing mushrooms. So it occurred to me that substrate in an inner basket, in combination with an outer tray from which water can easily be filled and then easily drained, might present interesting possibilities. Has anyone experimented with this?


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Edited by shiftingshadows, 31 May 2022 - 11:28 AM.

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#2 TVCasualty


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Posted 31 May 2022 - 02:12 PM

That would work, but cleaning that setup between uses might prove challenging unless you just let it soak in a strong bleach solution until all the residue stuck to the inner basket dissolves, or use an electric pressure washer. It's not a deep tray so it would also force you to use a thin substrate, which does work but IME I get more mushrooms from thicker subs and the prep labor is roughly the same.


I grow bulk subs in either kitty litter trays (only the type linked due to their design) or oil change/concrete mixing tubs. Some litter boxes/trays also have strainer baskets and are a little bit cheaper than trays for greens and are a lot deeper (link).


When I dunk I just pour water around and on to the sub until it floats, let it sit ~12 hours, then drain it by pouring the water out while holding the substrate in with a piece of plastic "egg crate" light diffuser grid cut to fit in the tray (they are commonly used in offices with fluorescent lights). The grid prevents the sub from falling apart while draining the tray.


I gently press the grid on to the sub by (gloved) hand to hold it in place and pour out the tray, then dip the grid in a dilute bleach or Iodophor solution between trays (I prefer Iodophor).


It's easy to clean the grid since the mycelium doesn't grow through it like it would in a tray/basket setup (it will likely be tenaciously attached to the liner basket by the time the sub is spent).


Incidentally, an electric pressure washer is a tool that I consider essential to growing bulk subs efficiently since nothing else cleans the gear (including quart jars) as fast or thoroughly and being electric means it doesn't strip your skin off when it hits the hand holding whatever you're washing.




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