Once you have made the decision to grow your own mushrooms, one of the first things you will need to do is select a solid mushroom substrate. This substance is essential for the mushroom mycelium growth. Mushroom mycelium is the thread-like assemblage of cells in the asexual development of any fungus. Thankfully, various materials are considered appropriate as mushroom substrate such as straw, logs, and sawdust.
Straws of rye, oat, and wheat make a good base and are and easy to get from a feed store. Various mushrooms can easily grow in indoor environments on this versatile substrate but be sure to prepare carefully to protect your base from microbes. To do so, treat the base with the help of heat pasteurization.
Logs are a great option because they are easy to cut and easy for incubation. While using logs, you should consider the nature of the wood and the cut of the log; depending on the mushroom you would like to grow.
Once you have determined the type of mushroom and wood to use, you will want to cut your log to be a few feet long. Late winter or early spring is the best time to do this as you will get healthy wood without any sign of decay or rot. And because particular types of mushrooms grow better on logs than in straw beds, using this method will produce mushrooms for years.
Commercial cultivators commonly use this mushroom substrate instead of home growers as it works well with various mushrooms. Hardwood is a good choice and you can even use commercial services to turn your wood into sawdust.
After turning your wood into sawdust, you should enrich it with a nitrogen supplement such as bran, as this will help you to increase the yield of mushrooms. You should also make sure to sterilize the sawdust before getting started by using autoclave equipment.
Other mushroom substrates
In addition to the traditional options of straw, logs, and sawdust, there are several other substrates that work well including:
- Paper products and paper (free from toxic inks)
- Cardboard (zero toxic dyes)
- Organic coffee grounds
- Organic tea leaves
- Gardening debris
- Corncobs, banana fronds, and seed shells
Determining which type of substrate to use can be confusing, it is based on your personal requirements but in the end, you have to match spawn with the substrate. For more tips on the best options for mushroom mycelium growth, visit mushroomgrowing4you.com.
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