I beg to lay before the readers of your valuable magazine a short account of a plan by which I have known Mushrooms successfully grown for the last four years. It may be considered as being after the style of the French cave-system, described at length by some horticultural writers lately; but, so far as I am aware, it was adopted, through suitability of circumstances, in a gentleman's place in one of the midland counties many years before. The floor of a potting-shed, which is 10 feet broad by about 40 feet long, was dug out to a depth of about 7 feet; it was of a rocky nature, on good natural drainage, and a wooden floor was substituted, which left underneath a chamber of which you may have an idea. In forming this sunk apartment, three suitable openings were left on its top, at distances apart, and by these the prepared manure is taken in for the beds, as well as the spent material taken out to clear the way. On the flat below, six good-sized Mushroom-beds are made up in it annually, which, with the assistance of other two beds made up in an adjoining storeroom, produce a sufficient supply of Mushrooms to serve the family all the year round, without any other artificial heat, or, I may say, any great trouble.

The beds are made up according to the usual directions given for the purpose, only in collecting the manure for use it is found to be quite unnecessary to gather it so very free from straw, and in getting it ready into dry condition afterwards; it is considered better (and I adopt a similar method) to allow it to ferment in large heaps together for a few days at a time, and then turning it out and repeating the same process for a few times, mixing it perhaps with some dry earth at hand in preference to spreading it out thinly and turning it over every morning, as is so frequently done. After the beds have been made up, and their heat falls to a little below 80°, it is then considered time the spawn was put in. In a few days after this operation is performed, a coating of common soil 2 inches thick is put over the beds, and smoothed down firmly with the back of the spade. In a few days, when the heat of the beds has fallen a few degrees lower, a good covering of soft hay is placed over them (or, what would be still better, straw hurdles upheld on, say, two or three bricks, as temporary supports, to keep them clear of the beds, and also perhaps covered with hay), which helps considerably to husband the remaining warmth.

In a little over six weeks the Mushrooms appear, and in this instance I have seen as good crops of that worthy esculent produced as in places of far greater pretensions. Therefore it is evident that there are many other places in the country, that even many farmers could take advantage of, where, although the convenience cannot be called first-rate, good Mushrooms may be produced in many ways after a somewhat similar method.

Robert Mackellar.