Posted by Mushbox Admin on 1/11/2011
to What you need to know
There is several methods for growing mushrooms and most of them start by using a spore syringe, a liquid culture, or live spawn transfer.
This spore syringe method is reliable and effective but using a liquid culture or live spawn is much faster as the mycelium is already active. When you start with spores the spores need to take time to germinate and come to life, then start colonizing the substrate and form into mycelium. So if you have it available it is best to start with an already live liquid culture or spawn. Click to learn more about liquid culture and live spawn.
Using a spore syringe to inoculate a substrate
You can get a spore syringe by purchasing one online from a reliable vendor like Spores101.com ( enter code shroomtalk for 5$ off ). Once you have the spores syringe you will also need to acquire a substrate that works with the mushroom you want to grow. You can view a variety of substrates here. Be sure to select a pre-sterlized substrate as that is what is needed to work with spores. The substrates that are not already sterilized are meant to be used with a casing technique later on.
A good substrate that works with almost every type of spores is the Compost Substrate Bags. This reliable form of substrate has a small patch of rye grain berries that will allow the spores to take hold faster, then move onto colonizing the compost.
Video on using the Compost Bags
Once you have inoculated the substrate you need to incubate it until it is fully colonized. This can take between 1-3 weeks, and even sometimes longer depending on the species of mushroom growing and the environment conditions. You want it to be warm and dark maintaining the incubation temps required for the species of mushroom you want to grow, usually between 79-82D. F.
However you also need to account for the natural heating that the colonizing mycelium creates, it can produce a degree or more of heat while consuming the substrate. To much heat can stunt growth and cause contamination, to little heat can also stunt growth but won't cause as much damage, it will just slow down and even stop colonizing if it gets to cold. This is a good method for mycelium storage, leaving it in the fridge.
You should check the incubation status often and see the growth, you should start to see areas of white forming around the main injection points within 10 days of inoculation. After that it will spread consistantly and should gather speed as it gets larger. You can see the mycelium reaching out as it consumes the substrate and taking up any space. Soon it will connect with itself and form a solid mass of mycelium or live spawn.
Once the myceium has fully colonized the entire mass of the substrate you can move onto the next step. From there you can fruit the mushrooms directly inside the bag or break up the mycelium and use it with a casing layer to grow even more mushrooms that are much larger, and get multiple flushes.