I have been messing around with something in between indoor and outdoor mushroom growing. I make up a cased tray just like I was going to fruit it in an FC indoors, except I put it in a bin and cover it with a wet towel and put it outside instead.
This isn't particulary complicated, and frankly is a radical departure from my normal way of doing things (start as complicated as possible then slowly whittle it down to something cheaper and simpler). I suppose I'm getting wiser as I get older, which would be good.
- A white towel (let's more light through)
- Spring clamps
- Spray bottle
- Tray of cased substrate
- A bin it can fit in. (I suggest clear, but opaque works too if enough light gets through the towel)
- Hydrogen peroxide is optional but recommended
Launder the towel but don't put it in the dryer. Use bleach if you feel like it, but it's not necessary. Wash the bin well, dishsoap and water is adequate. Put the tray in the bin, clamp the towel to the top. Sometimes you need to fold the towel, which helps it stay wet longer and is good, I've found. Keep the towel wet. Keep out of direct sun. Keep out of reach of children. That's it!
You can clamp window screen on first to insure no flies or ants sneak in, or to help hold up the towel if using a large bin with a wide opening (use different clamps so the screen and towel can be removed separately; I prefer small 'binder clips' from the office supply store for the screen if I use it).
Picture of the pinset I got during a week of 102-105 degree weather (lows around 78) with 35% humidity during the day. I had to water the towel three times a day, but never lifted the towel except to take the picture. The towel allows perfect fresh air exchange and humidification:
48 hours after taking the picture of the pins, I came out and found this:
A closer look:
I sometimes need to mist the casing itself (between flushes, or if I accidentally let the towel dry out), and I like to add a little H2O2 to the sprayer. When I rehydrate the towel, if it's bone-dry I just take it off, dunk it in a bowl of water (with a lot of H2O2 added), wring it out and reattach as quickly as possible. Window screen is helpful here to keep flies out. If it's still a little wet I spray the towel heavily with the spray bottle. 4-5 flushes are common before trich or something sets in.
BTW: The towels have never grown mold, and I have done this for several years. I think the evaporation rate is too high to support mold on the towel, there is a lot of reflected sunlight hitting it, and I add H2O2 to the water I hydrate it with. Also, I wash it first in the washer with some bleach and remove it before the rinse cycle so it starts out very clean.
Edited by TVCasualty, 07 September 2020 - 11:00 AM.