Cultivation of Dhingri (Pleurotus sajor-caju)Pleurotus
is also one of the important edible mushrooms gaining popularity in recent years. It is found growing naturally on dead organic materials rich in cellulose. Its several species are edible such as P. sajor-caju, P. sapidus, P.flabellatus, P. ostriatus, P. corticatus, P.jlorida,
etc. These species can be cultured successfully on various agricultural, domestic, industrial and forestry waste materials. It is very versatile in nature as far as substrate reference and growth are concerned. However, it can be grown on paddy straw, gunny bags, rice husk, copped Parthenium
stem, etc. The steps for cultivation of dhingri
start with preparation of substrate for growth.
Fig. 18.10. Pleurotus sajor-caju growing on paddy straw
Paddy is cut into 2.5 cm long pieces and soaked in hot water at 60°C for about 30 minutes. Excess water is drained off from straw. About 4 kg of wet straw is transferred into the large sized polythene bags. About 5 grams of bengal-gram powder with half bottle of spawn of fungus are mixed with straw. This mixture is filled in large-sized polythene bags. Mouth of the bags is tied and kept on a raised platform (Fig. 18.10) in well ventilated cropping room or in open when properly protected for about 15 days. At this time when mycelia are visible inside the polythene bags over the surface of paddy straw, the polythene bags are cut and gently removed. Now paddy straw forms a compact mass and does not lose its make up. This composite mixture is watered daily just to maintain moisture. The temperature where the compost has been kept should be between 20°C and 25°C with relative humidity of 75 per cent. After 15 days first flash of dhingri becomes apparent. These are harvested when become young. A photograph of P. sajor-caju
growing on paddy straw is shown in Fig. 18.10.