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First grow, STRAW : BETTER SUBSTRATE?


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#21 joluvs2gro

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Posted 27 October 2008 - 05:02 PM

I've heard barley straw is just as good as wheat straw. Are you having a hard time finding wheat straw or just trying to identify what it is you did find? I went through that too. typically, wheat straw is gold and will still have some of the wheat on the ends of the straw. It will be dry but it looks just like wheat.

#22 OZZZ

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Posted 27 October 2008 - 05:11 PM

Im sure it is ... the distinction that needs to be made though is the typical hay bails you see here and there on the side of the road(depending on location) is probably not what you are looking to use.

Ive heard the same about Barley straw. Typically though, on mycology boards when someone says straw, they are referring to wheat straw or its substitutes not your standard alfalpha hay.

Hell I saw a thread about people using lawn clippings ... lol ... but for someone new to mycology that wants to have as much success as possible and is not looking to go against the grain or experiement .... get wheat straw.

Earl may garden centers have it year round, hell lots of places sell small bails this time of year for halloween decorations. Michaels has small wheat straw bails. Sometimes you can find it in the craft sections at wally world or other department stores. Some nursuries have it. The best places of course are farms and ranches as its cheap, just make sure its wheat straw.

#23 M&M420

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Posted 27 October 2008 - 05:24 PM

I just used plain ol wheat straw pasteurized in bleach water of half cup to 5 gallons.I let that sit in a cooler for around 12 hours and drain for another 8.I wouldn't suggest squeezing the straw just draining.

#24 sandman

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Posted 27 October 2008 - 05:35 PM

straw is da biggest pain in the ass. It is very annoying to chop it even if you have a chipper/shredder. It gets ALL over you yard and doesnt go away. You've gota presoak it before u can pastuerize it. It doesn't offer very much potential for a 3rd+ flush.

I highly recommend that you try to find a source for good aged horse nuggets. That with a litle coir for filler/booster and your good to go. Or you can just use it straight with some vermiculite.

If you dont want to mess with all that shit then straight coir baby.

Hay is mown mixed grasses like alfalfa, straw is wheat stalks. Don't use hay. Or straw ;)

#25 lucysd

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Posted 27 October 2008 - 05:35 PM

straw and hay are very different

and i believe the best type of straw is wheat straw if thats not the only type

just make sure if you see any green strands of straw to pull them out

straw works well but i beilive it must be compacted

a good method is to lay down a layer of straw about a half inch thick and compact it and then sprinkle the colonized wbs on that

then do another layer of straw followed by the sprinkle of wbs keep it up till you reach the top

as far as wet straw is concerned

well i get pcable myco bags, and i stuff dry towels in them

then i plop them in my pc so they are sterilized

then i take em outta the bag and they are still dry

now i can squeeze excess water out of the straw with sterile towels

#26 Sidestreet

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Posted 27 October 2008 - 06:15 PM

Why not just dump 170 deg. water on dry straw for an hour to pasteurize, then pull out to drip dry for a few hours? The straw isn't so saturated that way...

Is it really necessary to soak to get the moisture content up if you're just going to try and get it back down?

#27 lucysd

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Posted 27 October 2008 - 06:25 PM

Why not just dump 170 deg. water on dry straw for an hour to pasteurize, then pull out to drip dry for a few hours? The straw isn't so saturated that way...

Is it really necessary to soak to get the moisture content up if you're just going to try and get it back down?


the initial soak is to release the endospores that could be present in the straw also removing all the other impurities that lie within


if you dump 170 degree water on dry straw in ten minutes your already below pastruization temp


i know whoever knows this word will vouch for it

but its probably gonna be the oldimers only


RANCO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

WALLPAPER REMOVER (like a steamer)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

heavy duty cooler ( a big ass one)

#28 mushroommaster7

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Posted 27 October 2008 - 06:28 PM

alright, so i take it back... there is a difference between straw and hay... i guess i answered that pretty impulsively.... anywho... OZZZ, will i want my mycelium nice and tightly bound together despite the fact that i will crumble it into the shredded/pasteurized straw later on down the line? this just means that the mycelium is in an overall sturdier condition correct?

#29 OZZZ

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Posted 27 October 2008 - 10:57 PM

The easiest way for the home hobbiest (IMO) to pasturize straw is to put some in a pillowcase, put it in a beer cooler, dump boiling water over it to submerge, shut the lid and leave it for 3 hours.

Take it out and let it drain/cool overnight .. use the next day ..

#30 coorsmikey

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Posted 27 October 2008 - 11:54 PM

Straw works good if you have the patience or in small qty's. Sandman is right, the crap gets all over your yard(I have a nice lawn and it stands out) If you are trying to go big and bulk in qty and you're a noob, it's a PITA. Perfect your smaller teks first. The tek in TMC for pasterizing straw IS a lot of work and planning. If you're just playing 'round and experimenting, Go w/ what OZZZ said above. My $0.02 is that when using straw, you pasterize and not sterilize when you sterilize straw it is much more suceptible to contams in comparison to pasterizing

#31 dragonstud725

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 12:48 AM

Yep straw is a PITA to cut up. But the easiest way I have found to cut it up is to put some in a good size garbage can in the garage and take a weed eater to it.

#32 TVCasualty

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 08:26 AM

The difference between hays and straws is basically nitrogen content (in the form of protein and fat content). That's why hay is for feed and straw is for bedding. Too much nitrogen/protein in a substrate mix will cause it to putrefy (anaerobic decomposition). You can get away with using some hay, and the occasional green strand or two won't affect anything. Lawn clippings are somewhere in between; they haven't been bred for high nitrogen content like hay but they are not technically-speaking a 'straw' either.

If you shred straw with a shredder, you can use some kind of fine-mesh bag to catch almost all of it as it comes out of the shredder. Even if you don't care about scattering straw bits all over the yard, for some reason whenever you shred straw (or try to fold a large tarp, lol) the wind will suddenly and mysteriously start blowing even if it was dead calm when you started. It's enough to make me superstitious.

#33 lucysd

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 11:23 AM

yeah,

for your first project, hehehe your taking one hell of a bite

well yeah i HATE chopping straw, but if i was using just straw id kill myself

i dont think you need alot of it if its no the only thing your using


you can use like 25 % straw 25% castings or poo and 50% coco verm

but yeah straw is a bitch

when i first started i would just case my grains directly and not do bulk sub

i dont have a yard

and i use a food processor and a coffee grinder

if i do it in the sink theres virtually no mess

if your gonna do it outside with a weed wacker

WEAR GOGGLES!!!!!!!!

#34 OZZZ

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 11:26 AM

Ive been working with supplimented coir (with worm castings/coffee) and coir mixed with hpoo.

I love them both .. so easy. Hell the supplimented coir doesnt even leave an odor in the house. Nice and clean and so far colonization is great ... as others have said.

#35 mushroommaster7

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 11:32 AM

well idk if i'd consider my setup a monotub.... or so they call it... but i could just case my colonized grain like straight out of my tub? or for a tub do i need a substrate such as straw... i'll be honest, most of the equipment i have is from a kit provider... i've just been tweaking things to make it a little more custom and exact. i want to cut the straw up today if thats the case... i have nothing going on... it's october and it's snowing...(i don't live north) lol so yeah i think i'm gonna go do some donuts in the cultisack and cut this shit up, do i wear gloves for handling the straw? it's gonna go rigth back into the burlap sack from which it came.!

#36 lucysd

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 11:34 AM

Ive been working with supplimented coir (with worm castings/coffee) and coir mixed with hpoo.

I love them both .. so easy. Hell the supplimented coir doesnt even leave an odor in the house. Nice and clean and so far colonization is great ... as others have said.



HELL ya

one must always remember when buying coir made for reptile cages, it must be leached of all salts , like using flora clean or something

and if your using horticultural grade coco

make sure you pasturize it or sterilized it long enough casue trich is good for roots so they add trich to the soil

at least i know for a fact that canna coco does that

but i love that shit, its ready to use right outta the bag, causeits non compressed

#37 assmonkey75

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 12:19 PM

Actually no guys, straw and HAY are very different...

...the distinction that needs to be made though is the typical hay bails you see here and there on the side of the road(depending on location) is probably not what you are looking to use...


Thank you for that clarification.

You just saved me a little trouble.

#38 lucysd

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 12:33 PM

i just take my colonized grains and put them in those little foil bread pans

then i case with coco, i cover it with foil, let it recover for a few days

then put it in my fc with a perlite floor

you wont get the same yield but

fuck bulk sub is a mission

and thats just a good way to start out

make sure your cooking your grains and coco right first

then move on

i like to get good at one thing at a time

#39 mushroommaster7

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 06:46 PM

how do you guys feel about ginuea pig poop

#40 sangraal

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 07:36 PM

I don't mind cutting up straw to 1-3" pieces. It's worth it to me. Just grab a handful and some scissors, even that way, it doesn't take that long. Smaller pieces are better, of course, allowing more straw to be compacted upon another, so as not to allow giant leaps of space for your mycelium to jump. You want all of that energy to go into fruitbody production.

Here's how I do it with success.

I soak in hot (hot as tap will get it) for about 30 minutes and wash it with regular dish soap. I rinse a few times and drain. In a large pot, I add 1tbs of lime per gallon of water to use. This brings the pH to around 12 and donates essential nutrients to the straw. Bring the water to a boil and drop in the lime to dissolve. Remove the pot from the burner and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Add in your straw, stir it around and put a cover over it. A tight cover is best- I use my PC for this when making a small casing. Let it sit about 1.5 hours, remove, drain and strain out excess water til it's no longer dripping. When fairly warm, I drop some straw in the tub/container, about 1 inch of it, then a layer of colonized grain spawn, another inch of straw, more spawn, another inch, spawn, and then a final inch. You'll have just over four inches of straw and a layer of mycelium-covered grain between each layer... Then I'll drop a thin layer (about 1/2 inch) of of 50/50 poo/verm over the top and cover...
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