Can I use vermiculite as a casing layer?
Another excellent casing material is vermiculite. Vermiculite is an inorganic material typically added to soil to help potted plants retain moisture. It’s also very resistant to contamination, meaning it can be added directly to the top of the substrate without any consideration for sterilization or pasteurization.
How thick should a casing layer be?
The optimal layer thickness is 5 cm, this kind of layer holds a sufficient amount of water and creates a favorable microclimate for mushroom growth.
How do you make a mushroom casing layer?
Common casing recipes
- Straight vermiculite: 100% vermiculite.
- 50/50: 50% vermiculite and 50% peat moss.
- 50/50+: 40% vermiculite, 40% peat moss, 5% agricultural hydrated lime and 15% crushed oyster shell.
- 60/40 Vermiculite and Coco Coir: 60% vermiculite and 40% coconut coir.
How do I apply a casing layer?
After removing the clamp from the bag of colonized substrate, dump a small portion of the casing mixture into the bag with your block of colonized substrate. You only want to form a 0.25-0.5 inch casing layer on top of the colonized substrate so only pour a small amount of casing into the bag.
Is a casing layer necessary?
The Benefits of a Casing Layer Not all mushroom species require a casing layer. But in the words of Stamets and Chilton, In all species where the use of a casing has been indicated as optional, yields are clearly enhanced with the application of one.
Can you use vermiculite as substrate?
Coco coir is often mixed in a 1:1 ratio with vermiculite to form a suitable mushroom substrate. Vermiculite is an expanded mineral that provides structure to the substrate and retains water, though it is nutritionally inert.
Are casing layers necessary?
Why is casing important in soil?
The casing soil is a protective layer with a specific microclimate which helps in the development of fruit bodies. This layer differs from compost in its nutritious properties; it can hold a great amount of water and give it up when necessary.
Can you microwave vermiculite?
The dielectric characterisation carried out on the different vermiculite samples shows that the vermiculite mineral structure is effectively transparent to microwave energy, but it is possible to selectively heat microwave absorber, which is the interlayer water in the vermiculite structure.
How do you make casing soil?
The soil used for casing process should be free of stones and stubble and has to be sterilized before casing. The soil is taken in a mud pot or a vessel and steamed in an autoclave or pressure for 45 minutes. (Soil can also be mixed with a little quantity of water and sterilized for this purpose).
What is casing soil?
Casing soil is made up of peat. Peat consist of many small and larger pores which act as communicating structures that affect the flow of water. The very tiny (micro) pores absorb water very slowly, but retain it for a long time. The larger (macro) pores can absorb water faster but release it again very quickly.
Do you have to rinse vermiculite?
You can chemically sterilize PURE vermiculite or PURE perlite by soaking in a 1 part Clorox to 20 parts water solution. After soaking (at least 15 minutes…and stirring the mixture every few minutes) rinse several times with clean water.