GROWING MUSHROOMS IN OUTDOOR BEDS
Some mushrooms prefer to grow in an outdoor bed in your garden. These outdoor beds are usually made from either fresh woodchips or compost.
The main species grown on woodchip beds is Wine Caps / King Stropharia (Stropharia rugoso-annulata). Shaggy ink cap mushrooms (Coprinus comatus) are grown on rich compost or rotted animal manure. Black Morels (Morchella importuna) can be grown a patch of soil mulched with pine bark chips.
The process is fairly simple. Firstly, you’ll need some spawn. We supply spawn here. All of our outdoor patch spawn comes with printed instructions for the species of mushroom that you're growing.
Approximately 1kg of spawn is recommended per 1m x 1m of mushroom patch.
A bed can be prepared by digging a shallow hole (5-10cm deep) and filling it with fresh woodchips or fresh compost / other substrate according to species. For wood loving mushrooms like wine caps, woodchip from non-coniferous trees works best. Morels, on the other hand, like coniferous mulch or bark, with a layer of dense loamy soil underneath.
This substrate layer should be around 10cm deep. Where space is an issue, this same process can be done in the likes of a fish crate / plastic storage bin (black or opaque) with drain holes cut in the bottom. Or even a large flower pot will do the job as well.
In general, a 'spawn sandwich' approach works pretty well. As in, put half of your substrate down onto the ground, then spread the spawn over top of that, and then cover the spawn with the remaining half of the substrate.
After this, simply make sure that the patch doesn't dry out completely. Water it with the garden hose during dry spells. A patch does not need to be kept totally damp all the time - mushrooms have evolved to cope with dry periods and then crop when environmental conditions are right, as evidenced by the multitude of mushrooms that grow in the wild in spots entirely untended by humans. After a few months to a year, you should notice some good crops of mushrooms pop up when conditions are suitable!
To keep the mushrooms growing, top up the patch with fresh substrate each winter, to keep the fungus well fed for the next season.