Shroom Supply mushroom cultivation kits
are the easiest all-in-one kits available. Our grow kits are a three stage process:
1) Spawn Production 2) Bulk Substrate Colonization 3) Mushroom Fruiting
1) Spawn Production
You should be doing the injection in a glovebox
, or at the very least, a still-air environment. If you are going to work in open air, we suggest turning your AC/heater off an hour prior to inoculating your bags (this reduces the amount of airborne contaminants in the area). It is also recommended to work in a clean, small room with the door closed to prevent airflow.
The first step of inoculating a grain bag
is to prepare it for injection with spores or mycelial culture. Carefully pull the gussets on the bag apart all the way up to the top of the bag, where it is sealed. You want to make sure to "inflate" the bag enough so the filter has some room to "breathe." If the filter is pressed up against the plastic of the bag, it will limit gas exchange during the colonization phase and could potentially stall the colonization process.
Put your gloves on if you have not already. Wipe down the black self-healing injection port with a sterile alcohol swab.
Flame the needle of your syringe for 15 seconds. After flaming the needle, press the plunger of the syringe down slightly and squirt a small amount of solution out of the needle to cool it down. This step is best performed with the assistance of an alcohol burner
because it will not leave any soot on your needle. If a lighter is used instead, wipe off any lighter soot that is left behind on the needle with a sterile alcohol swab immediately after flame sterilization.
Carefully inoculate the bag through the self-healing injection port with 1.5-2 ccs of spore or culture solution.
Place your bag in a place that is subject to minimum disturbances and will maintain a temperature between 75 and 81°F. It doesn't matter if it is dark or light. You should see signs of growth 3-10 days after inoculation. Try your best to disturb the bag as little as possible during this time period. You want the bag in an upright position (not rolled up) with ample space between the filter and the plastic of the bag so it can breathe during this critical colonization time period. See picture above.
After approximately 3-4 weeks, the mycelium will have colonized 70-75% of the bag.
At this point of colonization (70-75%), break the grain up with your hands through the outside of the bag. This will distribute the mycelium and speed up the last phase of colonization. Do not perform this step until mycelial colonization has reached a minimum of 70%, doing so can stall growth.
The mycelium will take several days to recover from getting broken up and should colonize 100% of the bag approximately three to seven days after the prior step (breaking up mycelium) was performed.
2) Bulk Substrate Colonization
Once the bag is completely colonized with mycelium (you should not be able to see any uncolonized grain), break the grain up with your hands through the outside of the bag. Make sure the grain gets broken up completely and thoroughly.
Cut off the bag containing 5 lbs. of pre-pasteurized mushroom compost
directly below the filter with a clean pair of scissors.
For every 5 lb. bag of compost
that your grow kit contains (this depends on what size kit you ordered), you are provided with two brand new filter-patch grow bags
. Pour half of the 5 lb. bag (2.5 lbs. worth of substrate) into one of the brand new filter-patch bags
and pour the other half of the substrate into another brand new bag. It is best to do this step in a small, clean workspace with limited airflow. Make sure to wear gloves during this step.
Cut off the bag of broken-up colonized grain
(the bag that you previously broke up) directly below the filter-patch with a clean pair of scissors.
Dump the broken-up grain bag into one of the new 2.5 lb. bags of substrate that you just poured.
Seal the bag with the included mushroom bag clamp
approximately two inches from the top of the bag.
Mix the grain/compost mixture by massaging the outside of the bag. It is very important to make sure that the mixture is mixed up thoroughly and that the grain is distributed evenly throughout the bag. Repeat Steps 12 through 15 for each bag of colonized grain.
Put the bag in a dark place that will maintain a temperature between 75-81°F. Disturb the bag as little as possible during this time period and do not open it
until colonization is complete. It will take approximately 5-10 days for the substrate to completely colonize with mycelium (you will be able to tell if it has completed colonization when the substrate has turned completely white). The bag should look like the picture above.
3) Mushroom Fruiting
It is now time to introduce the bag to fruiting conditions. For our purposes, all this really means is that we are going to introduce the colonized bag to a scheduled light cycle and keep the bag in an area that will maintain a temperature between 60 and 80°F (this depends on the species you are growing). We recommend using a full spectrum fluorescent spiral bulb
. The more direct your light source is, the better your mushrooms will grow. The light can be left on for 24 hours a day, or you can put it on a 12/12 cycle, either will work fine.
Once the substrate has been introduced to fruiting conditions, you need to mist the substrate once per day throughout the entire fruiting stage. Remove the clamp from the bag and lightly mist the substrate with a clean misting spray bottle
. Holding the nozzle of the bottle beneath the filter when spraying will prevent the filter from getting wet. Five or six sprays is sufficient, you don't want to soak the colonized substrate or leave pools of standing water on top of it. If excess water develops in the bag, carefully pour it out after you mist the substrate, being careful not to get the filter wet.
Immediately after misting, you need to fan the bag of colonized substrate. To fan the bag, simply move the gussets of the bag in and out in a steady motion, creating a fan-like effect. This will promote fresh air exchange and vent out any CO2 that has been produced. This should be done on each bag for approximately 90 seconds. After fanning, reseal the bag of colonized substrate with the mushroom bag clamp. Remember to mist and fan once per day until the substrate is no longer producing mushrooms. If substrate appears to be fairly moist, you can skip misting on some days.
After you have introduced your bag to fruiting conditions and a scheduled light cycle, you will see primordia start to form in approximately 5-10 days. These are miniature pinheads that will eventually turn into mushrooms.
The primordia in the previous picture will develop into pins within a couple of days. A couple of days later the veils of the mushrooms will start to open up. Once the majority of the mushroom caps have opened up, it's time to pick them! When you pick the mushrooms, grab them from the base and "root" them up with a clean, gloved hand. If pieces of mushroom fruitbodies are left on the substrate after harvesting, they can rot and become a vector for contamination.
Once you pick all your mushrooms, the substrate should be free of all pieces of fruitbodies. It should look like the picture above. This is the perfect time to mist/fan and reseal your grow bag with the bag clamp. Put the bag back on its light schedule and wait for the next flush! Remember to continue to mist and fan the bag daily. You should get 4-5 flushes before the substrate is spent (no longer productive) with about 7-10 days between harvests.