Come coltivare funghi a casa? - Livello Intermedio

How to grow mushrooms at home? - Intermediate level

Do you want to make your own blocks to grow mushrooms at home?

Mushroom cultivation is a very fun way to explore this wonderful organism. It is a process that leads us to learn a lot about the role of mushrooms in nature.

The choice of substrate

In order to grow mushrooms we must first answer a fundamental question. What do mushrooms eat?

Most of the easily cultivable mushrooms we see growing in nature from trees or detached trunks and branches. These fungi are in fact primary decomposers; feeding on the now dead wood, they allow its decomposition.

The substrate on which we should therefore grow the mushrooms will be a wood-based substrate. Alternatively, straw can also be used. For this purpose we can use sawdust or even wood pellets for stoves or straw pellets.

This will provide the raw material for our production substrate.

To obtain ever larger crops, however, it is recommended to add a nutrient compound to the substrate, such as wheat bran. The only problem is that a supplemented substrate will need to be sterilized in a pressure cooker or sterilized in an atmospheric pressure steam sterilizer for a long time. While a substrate without supplement, therefore for example only composed of wood pellets, does not require sterilization. However, it is advisable to pasteurize the substrate with one of the techniques that we will list shortly.

Hydration


The last fundamental aspect to prepare an excellent substrate is its hydration. This must be precise as the mycelium has difficulty growing in an environment that is too humid or too dry. In addition, a too humid substrate where we have water deposits can favor the birth of competing organisms. The substrate will therefore be hydrated to 60%.

What does it mean? It means that 60% of the final weight of your block should be made up of water.

If you are preparing a 2.5kg block with wood pellets for example,

  • 1500g will be of water and the remaining 1000g will be pellets.

Now all you need is to insert the water and your chosen material into a container. If you need to sterilize your substrate, we recommend using autoclavable bags for growing mushrooms . These bags are resistant to high temperatures and have a filter that will protect your substrate once inoculated and sealed from contaminants, while promoting the oxygen exchange necessary for the growth of mycelium. The presence of the filter justifies the use of these bags even for non-sterilized substrates.

Substrate sterilization


To sterilize your substrate, fold the bags tightly without sealing them and place them in a pressure cooker. If your pressure cooker reaches 1 bar, you can sterilize for at least 1.5 hours. Preferably if the volume of water in your pot allows it to reach even 2 hours.

If you want to grow on a highly nutritious substrate but don't have the tools to be able to sterilize it, you can buy it already prepared and sterilized, ready to be inoculated. Take a look at our most productive substrate.


If you have no way to sterilize the substrate. We simply recommend hydrating your unsupplemented pellet with the right amount of boiling water. Pour the boiling water on the pellet already inserted in the bag for growing mushrooms, try to close the bag by folding it over the pleats and wait for it to cool completely before inoculating.

Inoculation



The last step is the inoculation. For this you will need Grain Spawn / Fresh Mycelium , of the species you wish to grow.

Most likely your bag of grain spawn will arrive very compact. Before using it you will have to separate all the grains well without opening the bag. Only open it when you are ready to inoculate! Make sure your substrate is not hot and pour the grain spawn into the bag. Try to use at least 10% spawn for the total block weight. In the above example, for a 2.5kg block we would want to use at least 250g of grain spawn. For substrates without supplement it is advisable to abound with the spawn. This will add more nutrition to your mushrooms resulting in bigger harvests! Close the bag, either with a heat sealer, or simply by folding the upper edge back on itself a couple of times and securing it with staples. Make sure you mix the substrate well with the grain spawn to distribute it as evenly as possible throughout the substrate.

Keep the block above 20C and start fruiting once it is fully colonised.

Happy Cultivation!





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