The Garden Guide

Book: Gardening Tools, Equipment and Buildings
Chapter: Chapter 6: Structures used in Gardening

Austrian mushroom houses

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2183. Mushrooms are grown in the neighbourhood of Vienna; and fig. 657. shows a house, of a very simple and economical description, erected there. In this section, the mushrooms are represented rising through a stratum of earth (a), which, with a substratum of dung (b), occupies the entire floor of the house. The pathway (c) is supported from the floor by the posts, which are rendered necessary at any rate for supporting the front shelf (d), and the shelves of the stage (e e e). Vines may be trained up the rafters; there may or may not be a small shelf, or a bracket, here and there, for drooping plants (f). About Vienna, houses in which mushrooms are grown in this way are chiefly employed for prolonging the bloom of forced flowers and shrubs, such as roses, lilacs, bulbs, &c. The pots are set in saucers, to prevent any water from dropping on the mushrooms, and 6 inches of hay are spread over the latter, to keep them clean, and prevent the escape of heat. There is no flue; but at each end is a small brick German stove, which is lighted as often as may be necessary, to maintain a temperature during the night of from 45ᆭ to 50ᆭ. The glass is covered by shutters every night, and the floor of the house is from 3 to 4 feet under the external surface; which, with the covering of hay, is a great protection to the bed in which the mushrooms are grown. The bed is made of fresh horse-droppings, strongly pressed, and, after it has lain eight days, it is covered with 1 in. of good earth, beaten to a fine state, and the spawn is planted in it in little bits about 9 in, apart every way. (Gard. Mag., vol. ii. p. 408.)