The cultivation of paddy straw mushroom can be done in a thatched house and also under the shade of a tree. Fresh , disease free paddy straw is the ideal substrate . Ten –fifteen kg paddy straw is necessary for preparing one bed. In recent years, it is cultivated inside plastic film houses to maintain the temperature of around 25 -35 ° C and relative humidity of 75-80 %.
Paddy Straw bundle method
- Prepare a raised platform of about I m in length and 0.75 m in breadth with a deal wood flanks and keep it over a support by arranging bricks on all four corners.
- The paddy straw is bundled into to weigh about kg each.
- Soak the straw bundles in water for 12-18 hr.
- Ten bundles are taken out and drain the excess water
- Place the bundles over the platform with their butt end on one side.
- Build the second layer by placing the butt end towards the other direction. (These 8 bundles make one layer of bed)
- Place the a small quantity of spawn 8-12 cm inside the margin at an interval of 10- 15 cm all along the periphery.
- Apply a spoonful of coarsely powdered dhal powder before placing spawn.
- Place the straw bundles at right angles to the previous layer in cris-cross fashion to make the third layer.
- Place the straw bundles with opposite butt ends to make fourth layer.
- Spawn this layer as stated above.
- Place another layer of straw bundles over this and do not apply spawn.
- Pressure the bed to make it as compact as possible and cover it with a transparent polythene sheet.
- Keep the beds undisturbed for for a few days.
Note: Usually the bed will have the necessary humidity, if the straw bundles are properly soaked. If moisture is found to be less, it may be watered using a rose can. On the other hand, if the moisture is found to be excess, polythene cover is to be partly to regulate the moisture. The success of cultivation depends upon the temperature and moisture in the bed. The optimum temperature of 30- 35 ° C is necessary for developing buttons.
The mushrooms start appearing from all sides in 6-10 days as tiny buttons, which can be harvested in another 4- 5 days. The harvesting is to be done at the button stage itself, since the opened sporocarp will be more fibrous. Usually, 1-2 kg of mushroom can be harvested from 10 kg substrate.
Paddy straw twist method
Instead of bundled straw, twisted paddy straw can also be used for cultivation
- Make the straw into twists of about 5-8 m long and 5-10 cm diameter.
- Immerse the twists in water for 12 hr.
- Take out the straw and drain the excess water.
- Place the place them lengthwise over a platform on a zigzag manner.
- Place a second over this in an opposite direction.(This forms the first layer of the bed)
- Sprinkle the coarsely powdered dhal and place small bits of spawn all along the periphery as above.
- Build another layer as described above and spawn the layer.
- Build up 4-5 layers and spawn as usual.
- Compact the bed by pressing and cover it with a polythene sheet.