pruning against mold


weeding/pruning forest floor stacks (new shiitake logs)

One of my most neglected tasks is managing the log stack environment.  It is important to finesse humidity and air circulation in order to encourage growth of your mycelium while discouraging molds and competing fungi.  Molds build up when you have too little air circulation and high humidity, and can inhibit mycelium and mushroom harvests.  Mycelium thrives on the humidity, but it can tolerate more air movement than mold.  Hence my recent efforts to improve air movement in forest floor stacks (above) and shade structure stacks (below).

 


landscape fabric controls grass in shade structure log stacks (new shiitake and oyster logs)

For the latter I put down landscape fabric, since the grass is so vigorous.  I’m hoping the forest plants will take longer to recover and I won’t need to do more than occasional pruning/weeding.  How did I think to make these changes?  Mold of course, which I found in sometimes generous swathes along the bark and sometimes at the log ends.  The good news is that most of it was white mold and that the mycelium also seems to be thriving, which I can see from the white sections on the log ends which line up to the inoculation points (below).  I’ve found a few logs with blue/green mold, which is more malevalent.  I try to isolate all moldy logs – since they bring up the mold counts for the laying area altogether – but I make a special effort with logs with blue/green mold.  I have a “bad children” pile for this purpose that is a hundred feet or more from the other logs.  These moldy logs can still be quite productive, but they won’t infect the others.

 


mycelium growth at log ends and corresponding inoculation points (new shiitake logs)

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