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Journal of Applied Horticulture. 2003: 5(1): 11-15

Performance of composted vine shoots as a peat alternative in casing materials for mushroom cultivation

Pardo, A; Juan, J A de; Pardo, J E

Centro de Investigacion, Experimentacion y Servicios del Champinon (CIES), C/ Penicas s/n, Apartado 8, E-16220 Quintanar del Rey, Cuenca, Spain.

A study was conducted to evaluate the suitability of composted vine shoots (as alternative to peat) as casing material in the cultivation of mushroom (Agaricus bisporus). The effect of scratching on the suitability of the casing materials based on peat and vine shoots was also examined. The treatments consisted of scratched and non-scratched soil + sphagnum peat (S+SP, 4:1 v/v), soil + black peat (S+BP, 4:1 v/v) and soil + composted vine shoots (S+CV, 4:1 v/v). Based on the main production parameters measured (number of mushrooms produced, unitary weight, yield and earliness), composted vine shoots performed similarly to peat-based casing materials. However, the possibilities of using composted vine shoots are limited due to the appearance of spots caused by Trichoderma spp. on the fruit bodies. Scratching created an open structure in the casing layer to enable uniform and abundant fructification. In general, for the different casing types, scratching had a positive effect on fructification. This practice induced a higher total yield of mushrooms, although of smaller size, and facilitated the appearance and harvest of the first flush.


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