I was going to report my results on my first grow log thread, but I wanted all info to be together in a more concise format. I was also going to do more work with them using this style, but life sometimes gets in the way, and I will not have time for much growing in the near future. Plus, I believe I have done enough to prove that this is a viable means of growing pans. I am sure there is room for improvement here, but I will not have the opportunity for a while.
By only using BRF/manure cakes and cake style growing, one can successfully grow pans very easily with minimal effort. This can allow other grower’s not yet comfortable with grain spawn or bulk to grow some pans. One will not expect huge yields this way, verses standard procedures, but if you are looking for an easier way to grow them, this is for you.
The recipe used is pretty standard for dried ingredients for a BRF cake:
2 parts verm (Coir or a combination of both will work fine)
1/2 part manure (Black Kow composted manure brand from Lowes or Home Depot works great and is what I used here)
1/2 part BRF
The standard water amount would be 1 part H2O, however, I just do not trust recipes when looking for field capacity. I add water slowly until I feel field capacity with my hands. If you make it too wet, just add small amounts of verm or coir until you have it just right.
Add the mixture to the jars and as normal, clean the top layer of the jar and cover with a dry layer of verm. Sterilize at 15 psi for 45 minutes and after cooled, inoculate with a spore syringe, LC or slurry, using standard cake procedures.
Allow them to colonize at room temperature until all jars are finished. The higher temperatures recommended are not necessary. I have grown pans from start to finish at 68-75 degrees for a few years now and have never had an issue with room temp. They will grow a little slower, but not that much. After colonized, allow them to consolidate for 3-5 days. Consolidating the cake is optional, but recommended.
Now prepare a small plastic container by drilling several holes for some FAE. And take a zip-lock baggie and punch several holes in there as well.
Bring some 50/50 coir/verm or 50/50 peat/verm to field capacity and sterilize at 15 psi for 45 minutes or pasteurize at 140-160 for 60-90 minutes and let it cool (I did not use plain verm but I am sure it would work too). If you would like to add some lime for pH, that would be better but not mandatory.
Now pour a thin layer into the bottom of the drilled container. This will act as a moisture reservoir/casing for your cakes.
There are 2 avenues you can take here:
1). Scrape off the dried verm layer, birth into the container and double end case.
2). Scrape off the dried verm layer, birth, dunk for 12-24 hours, then roll in field capacity coir/verm or peat/verm (or plain verm) and put into the container.
Then place the zip-lock baggies loosely over the top and set and forget. But of course, you want a good light source 12 on 12 off. An indirect fan blowing gently in the grow room will help a lot (thanks Jammer for the advice). However, I did not use one for this grow. So you do not need one, but it is highly recommended. Note: I did grow these cakes in a room with central heat and air conditioning, so I had some air flow. If you do not have central air, a fan would be paramount here. If by some chance they begin to dry, gently mist the cakes and containers as many times as it takes per day to keep the FAE to RH balanced (I doubt this will happen). But completely stop all misting upon pins forming. Pans do not like a lot of water on their fruit and will abort if too much H2O exists without proper FAE and evaporation. So it is better to be safe rather than sorry.
These pics are an example of the double end cased cake:
These pics are an example of the dunked and rolled cake:
Using either method clearly works and proves that pans can be grown invitro style. It is a very easy and simple procedure to get some nice results. And since all 3 cakes I worked with fruited under these conditions, that is all the proof I need that this procedure is sound. Happy pan growing to all!