The answer is normally no. One strain of Mycelium will generally take over the other, to compete for space. It has been known for 2 types to grow in the same bag but is not recommended to inoculate our grow bags with 2 strains of liquid culture.
Most species of mushrooms will grow 2-4 flushes from the same grow bag. It is recommended to fully submerge and soak your colonised substrate (also known as a block) for 24 hours in between flushes, to hydrate the block.
This will hydrate the block, giving enough moisture (field capacity) to the mushroom block for the next flush of mushrooms.
It also signals the mushrooms into fruiting again as they think it has been raining, and humidity levels will be right for them to start another flush.
Be sure to use clean gloves when handling the block and remove all old mushrooms and stems before soaking the block, as they can turn mouldy and infect your block.
Yes! You can grow mushrooms in your garden. It is possible to make a growing bed from suitable materials, depending on what variety of mushroom you are growing. For example, Yellow chanterelle would need to grow symbiotically with the roots of conifer trees, you can make a growing bed from soil collected from the floor of a conifer/pine/spruce forest or even plant some young pine saplings in the new growing bed before introducing your colonised substrate block or grain spawn. Some mushrooms will grow from wheat bran supplemented hardwood sawdust, straw, compost, decaying logs, coffee or hay. There are many substrates used to grow different mushrooms. In the right conditions, our grow bags can be used outdoors in a shady damp part of your garden. Watch out for slugs!
Unfortunately this will not work. You would need to start by inoculating sterilised grain to make grain spawn, inoculate sterilised sawdust to make sawdust spawn or inoculating some sterilised wooden dowels to make plugs to insert into pre drilled holes in logs. This will ensure the mycelium will be strong enough to take to the outdoor conditions.
Mushrooms can be very sensitive to competing organisms or spores. It is vital that the area where you are doing your mycology work is extremely clean and sterile. It is worth taking the time to deep clean any room or surface you are using before doing any work with your mushrooms. Close all windows and doors to allow any particles in the air to settle. 70% isopropyl alcohol is recommended for use in sanitising your work area as you work, you can pick this up in most pharmacys. A cheap and mostly effective solution is to make a “still air box”
When the mycelium has fully colonised your grow bag/substrate, mushrooms are ready to fruit. They will need fresh Oxygen at this stage (O2). This is known as fresh air exchange (FAE) this is where CO2 is expelled and O2 is exchanged.
As mushrooms grow, they produce low levels of Carbon Dioxide (CO2), in order for them to keep growing healthy, they need to exchange this CO2 for O2. Usually a small slit cut in the bag where the mushrooms are forming is enough, as the mushrooms will grow towards the fresh CO2.
Sometimes they will even grow through the filter patch on the bag!
Cutting the top off the bag, and loosely folding over the top of the bag, securing it with a paperclip or clothes peg, to allow a small amount of fresh O2 into the bag is sufficient, Depending on the mushroom strain being grown.
Mushrooms do not need to be watered like plants do. Instead we make sure the substrate in our grow bags that the mushrooms are growing in will have enough moisture to see the mushrooms through their life cycle. What mushrooms do like though, is Humidity in the air. Ideally you would use a humidifier to perfectly control the amount of humidity in the air for healthy mushroom growth. A cheaper option for beginners is to use a fine spray mister to spray water around the area that the mushrooms are growing to keep humidity levels maintained. Depending on the mushroom variety this is usually between 85%-95% humidity. This is the required level for many species of mushrooms. Try not to spray the mushrooms directly as it can damage them. Just around the base of the mushrooms to create a humid zone around the mushrooms.
Our liquid culture does not contain any spores. Spores are considered the first and last step of the mushroom’s life cycle. When two compatible spores meet, they procreate. A little baby is born, this baby is called mycelium. Mycelium is the vegetative part of fungus, consisting of tiny white threads, creating a huge network of “roots” called the “mycorrhizal network” This gives the mushrooms a highly intelligent system to find and transport water, food, nitrogen, sugars and minerals between trees and fungi As the mycelium starts to colonise substrate/logs/trees in which it feels most at home, it will start to develop a huge mycorrhizal network. When conditions are just right, the mycelium will start to grow above ground to begin forming primordial fruits/mushrooms, this is known as the pinning stage. Once the pins are ready, they will begin to turn into the fruiting bodies we know as the mushroom. The mushroom develops and towards the end of its life cycle it will drop spores to seed for next season, starting the whole life cycle over again.
To induce fruiting and start growing your mushrooms they will need Oxygen (o2) and light. A lighting cycle of 12 hours on 12 hours off is the most common but mushrooms will tend to grow with even less light.
Mushrooms do not produce chlorophyll like plants do, so they need less light. most mushrooms will grow with natural light and natural daylight hours.
Do not leave your mushroom grow bag anywhere where they will receive direct sunlight, as this will cause them stress.
You can control your light cycle indoors by using a timer and cool white lamp, between 6000-7000 kelvins. (LED or Fluorescent bulbs are recommended)
We advise using your liquid culture right away to ensure the freshest and healthiest mycelium. Liquid culture can be stored in a fridge for up to 3 months. Eventually the mycelium will run out of food inside the syringe and begin to degrade.
Mushrooms need a very low amount of light to grow. Unlike plants, they do not like direct sunlight to grow so keeping them somewhere out of direct sunlight is essential. You can use small low wattage LED lights or fluorescent lights if you don’t have a suitable space to grow your mushrooms. A photoperiod cycle of 12 hours of light and 12 hours of dark will activate the fruiting of mushrooms once the mycelium is ready.
A drop of liquid culture can technically be used to inoculate grain but the more you use, the faster the colonisation time will be. 10ml of liquid culture is enough to inoculate two of our grow kits. You can also use 10ml of liquid culture per grow kit to speed up the colonisation process if you like. We recommend using no more than 10ml per kit as it can cause excessive pooling of water in the bag, creating bacteria.
It is perfectly safe to grow mushrooms in your home, mushroom spores will only drop if left on the fruiting block for too long. Some people can have adverse effects from too many mushroom spores(asthma or people with serious lung conditions), but it would take lots of spores and exposure for a long time. The average human can inhale up to 10 billion spores a day outdoors, without even knowing it!
It depends on your space. In the outdoors, nature does the work for the mushrooms. Many environmental aspects can affect mushroom growth such as temperature levels, rain, drought, light levels, snow, late seasons etc, making it unpredictable for mushrooms to have the right conditions to start fruiting. Sometimes it can take 1- 3 years until you see your first mushrooms when growing outdoors. We can eliminate all the outdoor environmental aspects by growing our mushrooms indoors and controlling the environmental aspects such as temperature, humidity and fresh air/gas exchange ourselves. Using basic equipment such as a spray bottle or automating the environment with lighting, a humidifier and a fan. We make our indoor grow kits as easy as possible for the grower to use, with the quickest results possible using basic techniques and accessories. Mushrooms will start to grow inside our bags with very little maintenance until fruiting, when the mushrooms like a high humidity environment as they start to grow out of the bag in search of fresh oxygen. This can be simply maintained by misting the outside of the bag with water 1-2 times a day for the hobby grower.
Anything other than white mycelium is most certainly contamination, somewhere during the process your bag has become contaminated, unfortunately the bag is ready for the compost heap. This is a part of mushroom growing and can be quite common if your grow room/grow area is not sterile (surfaces/air particles/pet hairs etc)
The white fluffy fungus you see is most likely mycelium starting to grow, this is a good thing and you want as much of that as possible before starting to fruit your mushrooms with a 12/12 lighting cycle (12 hours on/12 hours off). We like to say. If it’s white it’s alright, if it’s green or grey, Run away!
If you are just starting out on your mushroom growing adventure then we would suggest starting off with Oyster mushrooms. These are by far the easiest to grow and a great way to learn the mushroom growing process. After that you can move onto something a bit more technical like Morel or Chanterelle!
An ideal set up for an indoor mushroom grower is a clean and sterile area, with a humidifier and a humidity controller, a heat source and a heat controller, and a small fan to bring in fresh air. This can be set up in a spare room or even in a small mini greenhouse (the little ones with 3-4 shelves). This is an ideal setup that can be automated to control the environment to produce mushrooms. The custom made grow bags we make at Artisan Mushrooms make it easier for beginners to grow mushrooms. eliminating the need for all this equipment as the whole life cycle of the mushroom happens mostly within the bag. You just need to spray water 1-2 times a day to maintain humidity, It only takes 5-10 seconds. Most mushrooms will grow well at room temperature (20°C)
All of our grow kits and substrates are made from bio materials and natural sources, your spent mushroom block will make extremely rich compost if added to your compost heap.Sometimes you will even get more mushrooms growing from your compost heap! Remove the bag and dispose of it in general waste. Unfortunately the biodegradable mushroom bags just aren’t up to standard yet, as they degrade into millions of tiny micro plastic fragments, for this reason we do not use the biodegradable bags currently until they are developed further..
A laminar flow hood is a large HEPA filter connected to a ventilation fan. There is an air chamber box built around the HEPA filter and the fan is mounted on top of the box. The fan pushes air through the air chamber and out of the HEPA filter creating 99.99% clean air for you to work in front of. A laminar flow hood is very effective at eliminating contamination as you do your mycological work, and is much easier to work with than a still air box. We do all of our work in front of a flow hood.
A still air box or ‘SAB’ for short, is simply an upside down plastic storage box/tote with 2 holes cut out of the sides for your hands to go into, allowing you to work inside the plastic box/tote.
This creates an environment with very little air flow inside, reducing the chance of airborne contamination from the larger room. These can be a little bit tricky to work inside, as you can be limited for space to move inside the box.
A step up from an SAB, is something called a laminar flow hood.
Bulk substrate is the term used for any type of medium used to grow mushrooms. There are a huge range of different materials that can be used to grow different mushrooms. The most common being supplemented hardwood sawdust/shavings, coco coir, straw, cardboard, coffee grounds, vermiculite, peat and many other materials. Alternatively you can use one of our pre-made mushroom grow bags with grain and bulk substrate and nutrients all in one bag.
Grain spawn is the term used for grains that have been inoculated with mycelium to create a nitrogen and protein rich host for mycelium to feed from and grow stronger. We can then transfer onto bulk substrate such as supplemented hardwood sawdust or straw/cardboard/coffee grounds (depending on the variety of mushroom) to start fruiting mushrooms.
Liquid culture is a nutrient rich broth made from a variety of different ingredients. The most common being, light malt extract (LME), honey or corn dextrose. The nutrient solution offers food for the mycelium to feed on and multiply.
Pinning is the term used for the formation of primordia. Primordia are tiny little white dots of mycelium that appear before the mushroom fruits, also known as pins.
Mushrooms can be grown both indoors and outdoors. The benefit of growing indoors is that you can control the environment and help the mushrooms to get what they need to produce fruits faster than they would outdoors. You can eliminate the problem of pests and weather conditions. When growing mushrooms Indoors, They can be ready in as little as 7-8 weeks. Outdoors it takes between 1-3 years until you see your first flush of mushrooms.
The yellow coloured liquid is waste from the mycelium called metabolites. It’s can also be produced as mushrooms fend off other bacteria. Usually this is also a sign to induce fruiting conditions as the mushroom bag may have been colonising for too long.
Most species of mushrooms will grow 2-4 flushes from the same grow bag. It is recommended to fully submerge and soak your colonised substrate (also known as a block) for 24 hours in between flushes, to hydrate the block. This will signal the mushrooms into fruiting again as they think it has been raining, and humidity levels will be right for them to start another flush. Be sure to remove all old mushrooms and stems before soaking the block as they can turn mouldy and infect your block.