This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V23", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
If the beds have attained a temperature of 15° R., they can be planted according to the quantity of spawn you have; if plentiful, three by four inches, otherwise six by six or eight by eight, about one and a half to two inches deep, in square holes, so as to press the excavated manure on top evenly in order to keep a smooth surface of the beds. After planting, the temperature and moisture of the beds must be watched, so as not to overrun 24° R., or to become too dry for the young spawn to grow. The cut straw should be applied after planting so as to be better able to keep up the temperature to its required degree. In six days after planting the beds may be examined, and if found that the mycelium has spread through them the planting is a success; otherwise, if in six or eight days longer no evidence of growth is seen, the plantation may be considered a failure, and you have to commence anew.
If a success, after twelve or fifteen days the cut straw can be removed, and the beds must be patted with a shovel, so as to have a smooth and compact surface, on which a layer of rich loam must be placed to the depth of two or three inches, which is lightly pressed on with the spade or shovel which completes the plantation, and if in twelve or fifteen days after this small white spots are seen on top of the beds, you have evidence of success, and the beds must now be kept moist on top, and when they show signs of dryness must be moistened with warm water, which can be applied with a whisk or brush.
In gathering the crop care must be taken not to pull out too much of the soil and young plants, which, if pulled out, ought to be planted again. The most suitable time to harvest is when they are from three-quarters to one and a half inches in diameter.