Shaggy Mane Cultivation
This grow kit is designed to give you a fun scientific experience in addition to delicious edible mushrooms. It’s made up of living mycelium, substrate, and water. It’s intended to be used for outside cultivation.
The shaggy mane (Coprinus comatus) is an excellent edible mushroom that appears in rich soils and lawns. When mature, its white, mealy, ovoid cap reaches up to 5 cm in diameter and 10 cm high. This one blackens and liquefies quickly. Its white foot reaches about 10 cm for a diameter of 2 cm. Its blades under the hat are first white, then pink, and finally black. The shaggy mane must be cooked and eaten the same day of the harvest, frozen or dried. Specimens that have started to blacken are not fit for consumption.
Before starting, wait until the substrate is fully colonized; the pinkish-white mycelium should almost reach the bottom of the bag.
1. Choose the location
The grow kit contains enough mycelium to cover an area of 1 meter squared to a depth of 15-30 cm. Cultivation should be done in an accessible, humid, and well-drained area. Lawn areas are appropriate.
Propagate from May to October. The shaggy mane thrives in a substrate of 50% cow/horse manure and 50% hardwood straw/chips.
Dig a plot of about 1 m² and 30 cm deep. Place alternating layers of substrate and mycelium to reach a thickness of 30 cm. Finish with a layer of substrate. Water abundantly and cover with a layer of cardboard.
Water regularly to maintain a level of humidity comparable to that of a vegetable garden. After 4 weeks, remove the cardboard and spread an even layer of about 5 cm of garden soil or peat moss. This will protect the mycelium from dehydration and provide a suitable environment for fruiting.
The shaggy mane usually fruits in late summer or before the first fall frosts when the temperature reaches 10oC a few hours a day. If conditions are favorable, the first mushrooms will be harvested after a few months, or even a few weeks, especially if the propagation is done in the spring. If the propagation is done in the fall, it will be necessary to wait until the following year for the first harvest. Mushrooms grow in clusters following a rain or a heavy watering. The mushrooms are picked by turning the stem. The addition of 10 cm of substrate in the spring and fall will promote the recurrence of crops.
Be certain of the identity of the mushrooms you are consuming. As a general rule, mushrooms should be cooked before eating.