Volume 4 Part 1 Article 1: Shake-Up Spawning

Volume 4 Part 1 Article 1
Year 1960
Title: Shake-Up Spawning
Author: C.R. Rasmussen


The technique discussed in the following and which has been called “shake -upspawning” is new. The dicovery, as explained later, is more or less due to various “accidents”. These were, however, followed up by experiments and hypothetical but also by logical thinking.

The final conclusion may be summarized in a few words: An increase in the total surface area of hyphae in the compost, thus increasing the “activity” (the “mycelium-compost balance”) should in all cases extend the possibility for the spawn to “absorb” the maximum of nutrients from the growing medium and thereby lead to higher yields.

An increase in the total surface of the hyphae can be achieved in different ways e. g. by ensuring absolutely optimal conditions in the compost. This method naturally l~ads to a more compact growth. In some cases more original spawn per unit is used. “Through-spawning” (1) or “mixed spawning” (2) increases the number of inoculation points thus giving a quicker full growth and no doubt (because of some kind of competition) at the same time leadil1g to¬∑ more dividing or branching of the single hyphae, which results in a larger mycelium surface.

It is often reported that an increase in the amount of spawn has led to higher yields. It is, however, fairly expensive to use more spawn (2-3 sq. metres per 1 litre carton is considered very heavy spawning in Denmark) and so far the large amounts used for original spawning seem to be almost the only explanation for a higher yield – as compared with the normal amounts used in the same compost.

As explained later “shake-up-spawning” acts in the same way as the use of heavy original spawning, but the spawn is produced in the compost. 7-14 days after spawning (depending on conditions) the compost is “shaken” up exceedingly thoroughly in the beds or trays or tipped into special mixing machines (1), (2). After this treatment the mycelium has more or less disappeared to the naked eye, but it is soon reestablished showing a very vigorous growth. The first pin-heads are formed at the normal time and total yields appear to increase considerably. This must obviously be due to the increased “hyphae surface” and the stronger activity in the mycelium compost balance.

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