Mushroom growers, question for you!

I decided to put my shady part of the yard to work and plant wine cap mushrooms. I try to figure out how much 5.5 pound bag of sawdust spawn will cover. The price is almost the same of NorthSpore and Field & Forest Products. However the NorthSpore says the bag will inoculate 16 sq ft bed, and F&F - 50 sq ft up to 6 inches deep.
To be exactly same bags, 3 times difference in coverage seems strange. How much really it inoculates?Will be more of spawn per sq foot good or bad?What company you have better experience with?

i used field and forest spawn and inoculated a 6’ x 6’ bed of woodchips 10’’ deep, mulched with 6in. of straw in early spring. by fall it had been full colonized and i put out the mycelium under my other mulched trees and bushes covered w/ 4in of fresh hardwood sawdust. by june the following summer i was up to my neck in shrooms.

3 Likes

I would use paypal with Field and Forest. My credit card was stolen after shopping with them. Same thing happened two years in a row with Burnt Ridge. Nurseries must be easy targets for CC fraud.

3 Likes

I’m incredibly jealous! I had no luck with wine caps. Inoculated a bed of woodchips and straw about 4x4 with North Spore spawn, it took for a little while, and then died off without ever making a single mushroom.

Oysters, though, I’ve been stuffing into every stump I can’t be bothered to yank out of the ground (most of my stumps are mulberry). They kill the stump for me and I get mushrooms, so I consider it worth an afternoon of drilling. :slight_smile:

3 Likes

I used field and forest several times and have been very happy. They always send detailed instructions with each shipment. I inoculated a bed roughly 6’x12’ by 6” of hardwood chips. I did not cover with straw. I watered it a few times the first summer. We had more winecaps than I could ever use. I refreshed the bed with more chips for the first couple years. Winecaps lasted 3 or 4 years.



4 Likes

I expect it is just a matter of how fast you want to inoculate a section and have it yield. I put most of a bag of spawn (from F&F I think) under a section of chips about 30 sqft at the end of December and it is starting to look very nicely colonized. I took the last 2 cups of spawn or so and put that under another 20sqft of chips under a big oak, so a very light application, and when I look around in it I can see a little bit of mycelium spreading, but it is very spotty and not nearly as well distributed in the area I put more. I expect both will give me winecaps, but the one with a lot more spawn will probably just yield a lot earlier.

But I’m curious from folks growing them though, have you had any trouble with other types of mushrooms out competing the winecaps or are the winecaps vigorous enough spreaders they always win out? I was wondering about this, since the first place I spread the spawn has had chips on it for years and several types of mushrooms pop up most seasons. This is where I used more spawn and there is a lot of mycelium under the chips, but until I see fruiting I wonder if I can be sure it is winecaps. And this actually just popped up along one edge of the new winecap bed and I have no idea what they are.

2 Likes

depending on what other types are in there and how much w.c spawn is in the bed will make a difference on which species wins out. its very important to use fresh substrate as anything laying around for a few months or more may have another mycelium already established in it.

1 Like

One thing you can do is get a tote box, drill some drain holes, fill it with 20-40 pounds of hardwood sawdust wet it so it is just moist and inoculate that. After 2 weeks at 65 degrees or so you have a whole lot more inoculant for your final location. I’ve mostly done this when the weather has been too cold for it to do much outside, so depending on your current weather it may or may not speed things up.

Also if mushroom mountain has winecap in stock, I highly recommend them as a supplier. I’ve ordered from all three plenty of times and the others are good as well, but MM has the best prices.

Edit: nevermind MM is out of winecaps right now.

1 Like

I’ve read winecaps are pretty good at “evicting” other species. I threw a bunch of old, but still active shiitake and yellow oyster blocks under a tree with some fresh sawdust and now I have winecaps that I did not inoculate there popping up. It can also eat nematodes, so it doesn’t mess around ha.

3 Likes

Winecap mycelium is very aggressive. I dropped a work glove in my chips once. When I found it weeks later, it was thickly coated in mycelium. I think it competes pretty well, but still way better to start with fresh chips.

1 Like

Also, I don’t know what the wood chip situation is in the east, but we pretty much only have fir here, which makes for poor mushroom substrate. Pine would be the same situation. Oak or whatever hardwood pellets you can find make a pretty cheap substrate. I also used corn cob pellets on my most recent batch of oysters and piopinno and it worked great.

Oh also, I think you can trust field and forests recommendations, they are the leaders in outdoor cultivation.

Here’s mushroom mountain guide and they also have 50 sq ft at 6 inch depth. They are the other best source for outdoor cultivation.
Winecap Cultivation

3 Likes

talked to a lady in Alaska that grows wine cap on strait black spruce. dont know how flavor will be affected but it can be done. also heard of layers of cardboard being used.i ve used hardwood pellets for oysters and they work great as well.

2 Likes

That’s good to know, I’ll have to give it a shot on fir.

1 Like

I have seen very similar looking mushrooms coming up in wood chips I’ve spread around some trees, I was also wondering what they are.

A neighbor of mine who does a fair bit of mushroom hunting looked at the ones in my garden and said it looked like one of the jelly type mushrooms, sometimes called cup mushrooms. He said it was similar to the wood ear mushrooms that people eat, but he wasn’t completely sure so of course definitely don’t eat them. He took a couple with him and might send me a further ID after looking at books and I’ll pass that along if I hear more.

3 Likes

ive seen them here as well. used to know the name.

1 Like

I think I have my first winecaps! They hadn’t opened yet, but when I tore one open I could see the gill shapes on the top of the ring. I had a ladder on this area and they came up under the ladder.

I can’t imagine they are anything else but I’ll admit I’m a little nervous to eat them.

4 Likes

they look like it to me. only way to be sure is do a spore print on one. google it to be sure but i think its light gray.

1 Like

They are early for you! Nothing in my bed yet

me neither. we 1st see them here in june. did find a couple shitakes coming out of a old log i inoculated 6 yrs ago. mostly spent now.

1 Like