Volume 4 Part 1 Article 8: Pot Culture of Mushrooms in the Small Laboratory (The Role of Ammonia in Composting and other Illustrations of the Method)

Volume 4 Part 1 Article 8
Year 1960
Title: Pot Culture of Mushrooms in the Small Laboratory (The Role of Ammonia in Composting and other Illustrations of the Method)
Author: G.W. Chapman

Abstract:

Principles Involved

Waksman (et. all) (6) carried out extensive incubator studies on the decomposition of organic matter and grew mushrooms in beakers of compost. But he does not appear to have attempted yield comparisons between composts in beakers. Pizer (5) compared casing soils by casing manure spawn in beakers and concluded that the quantity of mushrooms obtained was a fairly reliable guide to the suitabihty of the soils. He appears to have grown the mushrooms in the open laboratory.

Lambert (3) carried out uniformity trials to determine the size and number of plots required in a mushroom house for comparison between different composts. He concluded that at least five plots of 20 sq.ft. each were required to obtain statistical significance at the P = .05 level with a 10% difference between treatments. While Edwards (2) using a factorial experiment in which 24 or 36 beds of 20 sq.ft. contributed to each comparison, found that a difference of only 5-6 % between two treatments was necessary for significance.

This result though highly satisfactory could not be obtained with the resources at the disposal of the small grower. But even at this level of expenditure composting particularly was not carried out in a controlled environment. The work of Atkins (1) on seasonal fluctuations in mushroom yields suggests the need for accurate environmental control in experimental work.

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