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Fruiting Thru Gap in Trays...Question


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#1 Triptolemus

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 06:53 PM

Hey all!
I've three bulk trays of Golden Teacher on Worm castings and coir fruiting for 13 days now with a 50 % coir / 50%vermiculite casing.
On the 11 day pinning has started and 2 have already opened up since then. However, the pinning seems to be only taking place around the sides of the trays where the gap has formed from the mycelia consuming the substrate. As of yet there is no pinning appearing on the surface of the casing.
Is my casing to thick?
It is a 1/2 inch and completely covers the substrate, the mycelia is appearing through the surface but is not real dense at this point. However, around the edges where you can see below the casing there is pinning taking place. I mist once a day to keep the casing moist. Temps are around 75-78 and humidty in the mid 90's (I'm using a BB tek terrarium).
Is scratching an option?
Or should I just be patient and wait for the casing to colonize more?
Sorry fot these quesitons but as a relative newbie I'm just anxious and want to be sure pinning will occur as should be and not just be confined to the edges. Thanks in advance!

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#2 wildburr

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 07:17 PM

How is your Fresh air exchange? I would'nt keep the casing too moist, let it dry out a bit before misting again. I see knots there, be patient.

#3 Triptolemus

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 07:22 PM

How is your Fresh air exchange? I would'nt keep the casing too moist, let it dry out a bit before misting again. I see knots there, be patient.

FAE is great actually. I have an air stone submerged in the perlite water, two tyvek side vents and a small computer fan that points upwards. I don't think the casings are too moist, in fact I was wondering if perhaps they are actually to dry.
Is it normal that pinning will occur thru the sides of of the trays? The shrooms that have come to surface have started from below the casing and worked their way up thru that small gap between substrate and tray. Is this normal?

#4 wildburr

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 07:29 PM

Happens all the time. At least for me it does.

#5 Triptolemus

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 07:55 PM

So I take it I've just got ants in my pants so to speak?
I had expected to see heavier pinning or at least a more consistent flush.
Is a first flush normal to have two or three popping up here and there over several days?

#6 wildburr

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 08:16 PM

Some flush like a forest and some are sporadic. Not sure why it happens like that, I've had both scenarios and I try to be consistent with my methods, but some do great others are slow.

#7 golly

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 11:54 AM

Primordia are most attracted to places where air ,moisture and food are optimum..
A more textured casing layer can provide a better micro climate for this, so u could scratch the surface after this flush is in..
Overly saturated casing can force pins to areas with more O2 , like cracks..

#8 Triptolemus

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 04:40 PM

Thanks for the insight Golly!
When you say scratch once the 1st flush is in, do you mean after the first flush has stopped producing?
Will this first flush eventually pin in the center areas of the trays as well?
Regarding the saturation of the casing, they often seem a bit dry on the surface and I give them a light misting once or twice a day. Is it ok if the casing dries out a bit? How do I know if it's too dry?
As of today there is new pinning shooting up and I've had two caps open up fully (one each day for the past two days). However, all this pinning is through the side so far...and there are only 2-3 visible in the gaps of aech tray.
The two fully open caps have been impressive though...2" dia. and 5" high. But where is the full layer of caps??? I want shrooms!!!!

#9 golly

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 06:34 PM

There could be a straggler or two from the middle but gen speaking , once your earliest shrooms are about half mature - u won't see too many new pins from that flush..
So wait till ther're in, then rehydrate and scratch the surface...

Optimum hydration of the casing is a challenge at first but u def don't want it drying out at pinning time, as that could also force pins to form at the perimeter cracks ...

You can still have a super second flush if conditions are right...

#10 Triptolemus

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 07:17 PM

Thanks alot Golly!
I'll be patient and hope there's a bit more action over the next days and then I'll go with a dunk and recase.

#11 twoguysupnorth

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 03:46 PM

they could be pinning from the sides because your trays are clear too. the trays should be darkened so they will sprout from the top. i lined mine with tinfoil but others use paint(outside) or solid colored trays or garbage bags underneith. once the sub starts shrinking, pins will come from the sides too.

#12 Triptolemus

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 10:14 AM

they could be pinning from the sides because your trays are clear too. the trays should be darkened so they will sprout from the top. i lined mine with tinfoil but others use paint(outside) or solid colored trays or garbage bags underneith. once the sub starts shrinking, pins will come from the sides too.


Yup, mine are wrapped with tin foil as well. The pinning is really only occurring at about a 1/2" inside the crack (just below the casing layer).
I'm convinced I have too thick a casing layer and the mycelia just hasn't colonized completely - perhaps I put them to fruit too early.
In any case, I'll finish this flush over the weekend, dunk and recase with less thickness. Hopefully this way I will get a much better 2nd flush. Thanks Twoguysupnorth!

#13 Triptolemus

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 06:34 AM

Here are some pics of the few caps opening on day 16 of fruiting. At this point I only see a couple of pins yet to open up and they're still only forming around the perimeter gap...a rather "fruitless" effort I must say. After all, below the casing there is a very thickly colonized substrate that should offer much more pinning. The casing is not to dry and not to moist, cool and humid to the touch but not saturated by any means (although I am suspect to believe that in the first days of fruiting I may have let the casing dry too much...but perhaps not).
More and more I am convinced that this low yield is due in large part as a result of using to thick a layer of casing and not enough colonization of this thick casing before fruiting. If anyone cares to shed some light on this assumption I would greatly appreciate the input.
Upon setting up this casing procedure I followed BB's Complete Tek, however, upon studying it further I see a small detail that escaped my attention. In the tek it is suggested a casing layer of about 1/2" but reading further into it, it also suggested to allow visibility of the underlying mycelia. This being said I used the half inch as my guideline (although I did not pack the casing and laid it loose as BB stated) and as a result I created a complete layer that did not allow any mycelium to peek through the surface. Upon reflection of this procedure I can understand 1/2" to include the hills and valleys of the textured casing material and not necessarily to be a uniform layer. My error.
Fortunately I still have some healthy trays and will begin a dunk and recase on the weekend.
I'll use a cliche offered up by one of the supposed great architects of our time, Mies Van de Roe, to sum up this situation...."God is in the details!"
Fortunately I possess endless patience and a capacity to endure defeat beyond the errors of my ways.
Please...any feedback on my questions would be greatly appreciated, or at least a confirmation of the conclusion I have arrived at.
Thanks all!

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#14 Myc

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 09:20 AM

Take a fork and "fluff" up that casing layer. Golly called it scratching.
After the first flush, mist that casing layer (lightly) a little at a time...several times a day until it is rehydrated.

If you still feel the casing is too thick perhaps you could remove some when you scratch it.

#15 abbr.

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 10:24 AM

I personally don't think a half inch casing is too deep.
In the pics. from the first post, it appears the mycelium
is coming up quite evenly through the casing.
But they also look a little dry.
I would pick whats there, and dunk, then fruit again.
I usually don't bother re-casing for the second flush.
Scratching up the surface is a good move as suggested earlier.
Also, sometimes when the sub. dries out it pulls
away from the edges of the tray.
Leaving a gap for light and fresh air to induce pinning
in that spot. (just my personal observation)
Is your sub properly hydrated?
If not a dunk will take care of that.

I noticed you mentioned your temps are 75-78
That might be a little high, I shoot for 70 in my GH.

Hope I was some help.
Keep at it and you'll have full trays in no time :thumbup:

#16 prism

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 10:26 AM

Agreed on the dryness...:weedpoke:

#17 Triptolemus

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 10:33 AM

I decided to scratch up one of the trays and moisten it some. Turns out the layer of casing is indeed thick and has created a sort of unified layer that IMHO appears to have blocked the mycelia from growing through the surface well.
I scratched enough to lift up all of the casing, leaving more of the original substrate exposed below.
I'm going to leave the others for two more days as they are to see if there is any difference in growth compared to the fluffed tray.
Cheers Bro!

#18 Triptolemus

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 10:38 AM

I personally don't think a half inch casing is too deep.
In the pics. from the first post, it appears the mycelium
is coming up quite evenly through the casing.
But they also look a little dry.
I would pick whats there, and dunk, then fruit again.
I usually don't bother re-casing for the second flush.
Scratching up the surface is a good move as suggested earlier.
Also, sometimes when the sub. dries out it pulls
away from the edges of the tray.
Leaving a gap for light and fresh air to induce pinning
in that spot. (just my personal observation)
Is your sub properly hydrated?
If not a dunk will take care of that.

I noticed you mentioned your temps are 75-78
That might be a little high, I shoot for 70 in my GH.

Hope I was some help.
Keep at it and you'll have full trays in no time :thumbup:


I've been looking at various casing pics today and you indeed appear to right, though they are not overly dry they do need more moisture. I'm misting a bit more starting today and have scratched one tray as mentioned previously. If there is no new pinning in two days I'll take your advice and dunk without applying new casing. As a side note, I have already lowered the temps into the low 70's.
By the way...where is Buck in all this?

#19 abbr.

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 10:55 AM

Tripto, I should have stated above, I just personally operate my greenhouse within 68-72*F.
Not saying 75-78 is wrong, I just thought I
remembered recommended temps. a little lower.
At any rate, 68-72 has worked well for me.

#20 Triptolemus

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 11:02 AM

I decided to dunk this morning and it was then that I discovered what is clearly the problem with this low yeilding flush.
OVERDRYNESS.
Due to this thick layer of casing my misting was never really being absorbed by the substrate below. The top portion of the casing is damp but underneath it is quite dry. No signs of anything out of the norm, no smells, no strange colors, etc. so I have begun to dunk them directly in their respective trays with a couple of lids to hold the cakes down. I also removed a portion of the casing layer as it had become somewhat crusty and thus not allowing CO2 and moisture to penetrate below it's surface...hence no pinning.
This afternoon I'll drain and start over with my fingers crossed and a lesson about proper hydration chalked up to the learning experience. Hopefully I don't get to paranoid and begin to give too much water but knowing the other end of the spectrum I think I have a good idea of what to shoot for.




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