Mushroom cultivation supplies are the tools necessary to grow mushrooms. These include spawn, filter patch bags, substrate, and a steamer.
Spawn is one of the most important mushroom growing supplies and should be sourced from an established commercial seller. It should also be contaminant free. This is crucial to high yielding growth as even a small amount of contamination in the spawn can be expanded throughout the entire block.
Mushrooms require a nutrient-rich substrate for growth. Commonly used materials include agricultural waste products like straw, corn cobs, and sawdust. These can be combined with synthetic additives, such as cottonseed hulls and vermiculite, to create a substrate that offers optimal growing conditions for specific mushroom varieties.
Wood-based substrates are also a popular choice. Sawdust, straw, and pellets made from a variety of hardwood trees all provide essential lignocellulose material that mushroom mycelium can digest and consume. To make the most of these substrates, they need to be sterilized or pasteurized to kill off competing microbes and other contaminants.
Another option is to use manure as a mushroom substrate. This material is typically heated or steam-pasteurized to eliminate potential contaminants, and it can be mixed with coco coir or vermiculite to achieve ideal moisture levels.
There are many different types of containers used to grow mushrooms, from single use plastic bags and jars to larger greenhouses. The choice depends on the quantity and type of mushroom that is being grown.
A large number of home based mushroom cultivators use plastic storage containers and jars. The ones that are most commonly used are quart sized mason jars with lids. These are modified with a hole and a wad of poly stuffing to allow air exchange during colonization and to keep the substrate from drying out.
After a few weeks, the substrate is scraped and soaked with water to hydrate it. This helps to ensure a good pin set. Ideally, the moisture should reach 60%.
Mushrooms have very specific requirements when it comes to temperature, humidity and air exchange. Each mushroom also has its own sensitivity to these factors and each species of mushrooms responds differently when their growing conditions are out of range.
It is possible to grow mushrooms on a small scale using a tent and misting. However, to produce a large amount of mushrooms on a weekly basis it is best to have a fruiting room. Barns, tunnels, warehouses and even greenhouses work well for this purpose.
The room needs to be light tight and insulated. It should also be equipped with fans that push fresh air into the room at least four times per hour and a HEPA filter to remove spores from the air.
The light used for mushroom cultivation is important, as it can help promote the growth and health of your mushrooms. The best lights for this purpose are those that emit a full spectrum of wavelengths, with an emphasis on the 450nm blue wavelength that has been shown to be beneficial for mushrooms.
A full spectrum mushroom grow light like Active Grow’s Blue Sun Spectrum LED technology is ideal for this application. This specialized light features an emphasis on the 450nm blue spectrum and 6500K Correlated Color Temperature (CCT) white, providing the perfect combination of wavelengths that your mushrooms need to thrive.
You can also find kits designed for mushroom cultivation, which are a great option for those who don’t want to spend much time or money on their mushroom-growing hobby. These kits include a colonized substrate block and casing layer that you mix yourself with water and mist daily throughout a six- to eight-week growing cycle.
Mushroom cultivation is a delicate process. Specialized tools, such as sterilized scalpels, are used to carefully dissect agar and move mycelium to new substrates. A well-stocked toolkit of basic supplies is essential to efficient mushroom growing.
While every growing operation is unique, most mushrooms require the same basics. Regardless of what mushroom you are cultivating, you’ll need to have high-quality spawn. Look for a reputable seller who can provide you with contaminant-free spawn.
Keeping spore collections in a sanitary manner is also important. Be sure to label each spore collection and keep a record of their characteristics, including the mushroom species, the date of collection, and any observations. Specialized jar lid modifications can make it easy to inoculate jars with a spore syringe or liquid culture without exposing the contents to contamination.