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Ester

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Everything posted by Ester

  1. Sound like a good area for container gardening. Maples are famous for dense shallow root masses. I would suggest you would be fighting a losing battle to try to cultivate that area. Much easier to be successful with pots for begonias, impatiens, and other showy shade plants.
  2. I tried high pH water and I tried baking soda... seems to slow it but not a full cure as it kept coming back. I know my house is dry enough. Lost the plant; so I want to be prepared for next time.
  3. The logs need to "cool off" after they are cut, so I waited 2 weeks and I made a point of collecting them and getting them off the ground, so nothing else could contaminate them. I stacked them on pallets. Then I "seeded" them and put them back on the pallet. I also covered them loosely to help keep the moisture in them. Tight bark is important - don't bother with logs that have loose hides. I have them outside in a shady spot and have been havesting Shitakis for 3 years so far... When the logs are ready (3 - 6months usually), I roll them into a pool I make by digging a ditch and lining it with pond liner (I can move the location easily) If you select your log size by imagining yourself on the ground, trying to roll a soaking wet log out of the pool, you will hopefully not choose logs too big for you. I took my 4ft. long giants and cut them down to 2ft. cuz I just couldn't handle them. I use http://www.fungiperfecti.com/ for information and product. I copied this from their site: Plug Spawn prefers to grow on hardwoods, with the exception of the Phoenix Oyster, which grows well on firs. Most species can be grown on either logs or stumps. Non-aromatic hardwoods such as oak, poplar (cottonwood), elm, maple and similar woods are very good candidates for log cultivation. Alder is a good wood for the cultivation of Oyster and Shiitake mushrooms, but must be kept above ground because it will decompose quickly in contact with the soil. (We do not recommend using aromatic woods such as cedar or pine.) Thick-barked woods are preferable over "paper-bark" woods such as birch, and any log that is shedding it's bark should not be used. Logs should be cut at least two weeks in advance of plugging. Cutting your logs in the late Winter or early Spring helps to insure that they have a high sugar content, although this is not strictly necessary. Freshly-cut logs should not be immediately inoculated; trees naturally produce anti-fungal compounds, which degrade in two to three weeks from cutting. Aged deadwood is also not recommended for plugging, as it has a poor nutrient base for supporting mushroom growth. Logs or stumps with fine cracks (called "checks") running through them are more quickly colonized with mushroom mycelium than those without. By using the fungiperfecti dowels to inoculate cut hardwood logs or stumps, mushroom mycelium can be encouraged to grow throughout or colonize the wood. Once the wood is fully colonized (typically 9-12 months) mushrooms will spring forth from cracks or channels in the wood. Generally, the best time of year to inoculate logs and stumps is in the Spring, after your last hard frost. However, you can inoculate your logs any time up to 30-45 days before consistently (i.e. 'round the clock) freezing temperatures set in for the Winter. The idea is to allow the mushroom mycelium growing on the Plug Spawn time to establish itself in its new home before it goes into dormancy over the Winter. Logs can be left outdoors over the Winter, under a layer of straw or a burlap tarp, shade cloth or other vapor-permeable cover (do not use plastic tarps: this can cause mold to form). In areas where the Winter is exceptionally harsh, logs can be stored in a shed, barn, garage or other outbuilding. Logs should be cut to lengths of 3-4 feet, and are best if they do not exceed 14 inches in diameter. Use a 5/16" drill bit in a high-speed drill to drill 2-inch deep holes no more than 4 inches apart, evenly spaced in a "diamond" pattern along the length and around the full circumference of the logs. Stumps should be inoculated along the circumference of their face, in the border between the bark and the heartwood. Insert 1 plug per hole and whack it in with a hammer. A 3-4 foot log can take 50 or more plugs, while stumps usually hold 30-50 plugs The more plugs you use per log, the faster the wood will be colonized with mushroom mycelium. Holes can be sealed with cheese wax or beeswax to protect the mycelium from weather and insects while it is growing; although this step can be helpful, it is not absolutely necessary. They have a great catalog too. Good luck and good eating!
  4. Time to start thinking about seeds for this year

  5. It's beginning to look alot like Easter, heh? Maybe winter will still show up. Glad I'm not in Alaska!
  6. This fall I brought my pet plants in from the outside. I brought mites (I know how to kill them) in. I brought scale in (I know how to kill them) AND I brought powdery mildew in without a tool in my kit I was willing to use. Most chemical formulations are not acceptable inside my house. I brought all the plants in at the last minute, so I couldn't very well take them back outside to treat. Any suggestions?
  7. Just to clarify, I was speaking of cultivated mushrooms from known sources, not mushroom hunting in the wild. Too much room for error in the wild for any newbie...
  8. Perhaps you were a little late getting the pruning done. It has been my experience that you need to get to it before the plant starts the spring flush. I've had the same issues with pruning lavender - early is ok; late has been disastrous!
  9. For some reason I thought that redbud, dogwood, and magnolia are best pruned right before spring activity begins. . . Something to do with the wound being "raw" and moist for the shortest amount of time before healing starts. Is this another hallucination or an exception to the rule?
  10. I am stunned! While I have to admit I expected fantastic photos and flawless content, I still didn't expect to be able to use it. I am as far out in the sticks as I can get, so I thought I'd time-out, lose out and fail to load. BUT This web site works on my slow computer with a strangled land line that strings out so far to get to town it gets the hiccups every time it rains. What a gift! Thank you so much for all you do!
  11. can I spell? can you change the last e to an s in the title of this topic?.....
  12. Would "Mushrooms and their cultivation" be an appropriate topic? I'm actively growing (edible) mushrooms with good results. Shitaki photo attached. I would like to expand my knowledge and cultures.
  13. I'm all for Bag Balm slathered on thick and covered with gloves for sleeping, but there are other issues. Skin abuse is the norm, rather than the exception. Here's my tip list: Cover your skin, as much as possible, whenever you expose yourself to big temperature dips - yes, I mean put the gloves on everytime you leave the indoors, before you open the door to exit. Run a humidifier in your house OR hang all your laundry to dry all over the house (this also saves on the power bill) Then anytime the house feels dry, just dip anything handy and hang it back up, repeat until proper humidity is restored. Reconsider your dishwashing liquid and bathing bars... I'm using Dawn with Oil of Olay for dishwashing at my sister's suggestion and I don't have a single crack in my cuticles. (I'm usually tearing off big snags and bleeding daily at this time of year) I also have figured out that all the hand lotion I buy doesn't do much good if I forget to ever apply it!
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