The culture of mushroom is gaining popularity in the Philippines. Mushroom is a delicacy and isreally accepted as vegetable. Its present cultivation in this country is limited, perhaps due toinsufficiency of planting materials and the limited local knowledge about its culture.Mushroom growing requires little space and time and farmers can make use of their rice strawsfollowing harvesting. Mushroom can be grown the whole year round provided a good storage of rice straw is prepared.This article illustrates the fundamental techniques involved in the culture of banana or rice strawtype of mushroom, Volvariolla volvacoa. The vegetable and Legume Crops Section of theBureau of Plant Industry is now producing mushroom spawn in abundance.
Materials and Methods – I
Dry rice straws and banana leaves are the most common types of bleeding materials. However,other materials like cotton wastes, jute sacks, corn stalks, water hyacinth, sugar baggasse andabaca waste materials may also be used for bedding materials.Sufficient water supply and soaking tank or any similar container are used. Plastic sheet of gauge No.6, empty cement bags and sacks are used to cover the beds.
1.Gather long, clean and well dried rice straws and banana leaves, preferably those that arestill standing in the field. Avoid using old and contaminated bedding materials.2.Bundle the bedding materials 6-8 inches in diameter. If rice straws are used, arrange buttends together.3.Cut the bundle materials 1.5 to 2 ft. long.4.Soak the bundled materials in water for at least 3 hours but not more than 10 hours untilenough moisture is absorbed by the materials.5.Foundation as support for the bed.6.Set the soaked-bundled materials, closely knit the together, evenly and compactly.7.Water the bed well with the urea or ammonium sulfate at rate of 1-2 tbsp. per gallon of water. Add sugar at the rate of 33 grams per gallon of water to improve the yield of mushrooms.8.Press the layer to level of surface. Stop watering when the water starts to drip off the bed.9.Insert thumb-size spawns around the bed, four (4) inches from along the side and four (4)inches apart from each other. Never plant spawn at the middle of the bed.10.Set the second layer of straw on the top of the first layer. Put the butt ends together in twoopposite direction. Water and press down. Follow the same procedure until a six-layer bed is attained.11.Cover the entire bed with plastic sheet gauges No. 6 or cement bags or sacks for sevendays after which it is removed.
The growth of mushrooms on the bed come in flushes. With adequate maintenance and care, thefirst flush usually comes and flushes from 13 to 15 days following seeding. When a flush is onwatering must be avoided. Watering is resumed when the flush is over. Harvesting is done in thefollowing manner: