Blewit (Lespista nuda) Cultivation
How to Grow Blewit Mushrooms (Lepista nuda)
The blewit is an excellent edible mushroom with a fragrant odor. The color of the entire mushroom ranges from lilac to purple-pink, but fades to brown especially on the cap as it ages. Its cap is neither sticky nor slimy and is 4-20 cm in diameter. Its stem is firm, 3-10 cm long, 1-3 cm thick at the apex and is usually swollen at the base. It has thin gills crowded close together, attached to the stem. Its pale lavender to lilac color fades to a pinkish brown. Its spore print is pinkish or cream colored. It is recommended not to eat this mushroom raw. The best method for cooking it is sautéed. If not eaten upon harvest, it can be stored in a paper bag in the fridge for up to 4 days
The bag of blewit mycelium can be stored for one month at 10-15°C. Before use, the substrate in the bag should be completely colonized by the mycelium (i.e. white/purple). Inoculations can take place in 2 weeks after the last frost in spring until 4 weeks before the first frost in fall. The blewit usually fruits from late summer to late fall.
Here are alternate cultivation procedures and substrates. The ideal temperature range for growth in all cases is between 13 and 20°C.
Woodchip and leaf mulch mixture
Dig a 4’ x 4’area 1’ deep “mushroom patch” in a shady, humid location that is sheltered from the wind. Thoroughly mix a part of fresh hardwood chips (1-4” in size) with 2 parts partially decomposed leaf mulch, by volume, and 1% gypsum by volume. Lay down a 5” layer of this mixture at the bottom of the trench and soak it with water. Next, lay down the blewit spawn on top. The total amount of spawn used should be 10-20% of the volume of the woodchip and mulch
mixture. Add another 5” layer of woodchip and mulch mixture on top of the spawn and soak it with water again. Be sure to water your mushroom patch regularly to maintain a high humidity. Be careful the mushroom patch does not get water-logged, as this will quickly create undesirable anaerobic conditions.
Horse manure and straw mixture
Using the same procedure described above, mixing 4 parts horse manure to 1 part composted straw (by volume) can be substituted to woodchip and mulch. Add 10% fresh straw and 1% gypsum by volume right before inoculating.
Using the same procedure described above, an organic compost mixture can be used instead of woodchip and mulch. Add 1% gypsum by volume right before inoculating. The pH of the compost may have to be adjusted to between 6 and 7.
Other mushrooms can sometimes grow in your mushroom patch: make sure that the ones you eat are indeed blewits!