How To Use Mushroom Grain Spawn
To grow a ready-made mushroom is the easiest way of starting mushroom cultivation as a hobby. Even though it may be a complicated process, the result is absolutely worth it, and you can grow more mushrooms that way.
WHY BUY GRAIN SPAWN?
What always makes new growers run away from growing their own grain spawn is the process. Like I have said, growing your own grain spawn is tedious. It requires you to put in a lot of time, strength, and mental work to get the needed result.
You will need a clean laboratory environment, a pressure sterilizer, and the know-how to accurately transfer cultures without them being contaminated.
But you can produce your grain spawn commercially without wearing a lab coat, and we will emphasize that here.
TYPES OF GRAIN SPAWN
Grain Spawns originate from either Rye, Millet, Sorghum or the three together. And they are in different species. They need to exist; they are living and breathing things that keep growing and expanding, especially in a viable environment.
You may be fortunate to have access to an abundance of grain spawn within you. Some growers might not.
With the advent of the internet, you can order fresh and viable grain spawns that can be shipped to your doorstep within weeks. Just make sure the grain spawn spends less time on transit so that they can still be viable when you receive it.
Just endure your ordering well so that there will not be any mix-up.
CARING FOR GRAIN SPAWN
Prepare before your grain spawn gets to your doorstep. This is because you want to get the result you desire. Ensure you choose the proper growing process, have a bulk substrate ready for sterilization or pasteurization, and get a fruiting container
. Depending on the weather or inside a particular room, you can do this outside.
Inspect your grain spawn on arrival for any visible signs of contamination. If you see green mold on the inside of the bag for some reason, it may not even be worth opening.
If you aren't using your grain spawn immediately, look for a cool, dry, and dark place to store them. Most species can even be stored in a refrigerator. Make sure you know the species that can do well in the refrigerator.
GROWING MUSHROOMS ON STRAW
If you want to, the easiest way to grow mushrooms with commercially made grain spawn is growing mushrooms on pasteurized straw. However, their guides on how to do that accurately. Here is a summarized process outlined below:
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
To grow mushrooms on straw, you will need other materials and tools other than a straw; you will need to pasteurize it and mix in the spawn with a fruiting container. Be creative about it.
- You can get clean from a local farm, about 40lb bales, or you order online from reliable sources.
- A pasteurization method. Use a propane burner with maybe a 55 Gallon Drum. Do it outside. Or you can pasteurize small batches of straw indoors and also use a large tote, but you need clean hot water for this.
- A Fruiting Container. You are free to use what is available or more accessible for you. Many growers use poly tubing because it is the simplest and most commonly used. You will cut holes in the sides or use 5-gallon buckets, totes, and laundry baskets.
- The first step is pasteurization. Cut the straw into 1-3 pieces, then immerse the straw in a 55 gallons drum of hot water for one and half hours at 65-82 °C. A thermometer will come in handy here to monitor the temperature of the water. The water must be within 65-85 °C before starting the pasteurization.
- When you are done with pasteurization, allow the straw to drain for 10-20 minutes by taking out the straw from the hot water bat. We want the straw to be moist and not drenched.
- Take out the straw to a clean and cool surface to spread. Make sure you don't add the spawn to the hot straw; you will kill the mushroom!
- When you are sure your straw is cool, add your spawn to it. Use a 10-20% ratio. For instance, if you want to make 30 lbs. log, use 3-6 lbs. of spawn. This will make you get the successful result you require.
- Put your straw and spawn in a poly tubing log. You are free to choose the size. Then how you plant to mix it is also up to you.
- Incise your bag to permit air to your spawn. Put your log in a grow room or relaxed and humid environment. With time the mycelium will colonize the log, mushrooms will be abundant through the holes.
GROWING MUSHROOMS ON SAWDUST
You can also cultivate mushrooms on supplemented sawdust from grain spawn though it is pretty tricky than on straw. It also involves a process you should be able to follow.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
You will need extra materials and tools for the process. Getting them will make the work stress-free.
- Hardwood Sawdust. You can get the hardwood sawdust locally. Hardwood sawdust such as maple, oak, and beech are examples of hardwood sawdust, or a much easier option, use hardwood pellets. The key is using hardwood, such as maple, beech, and oak. Softwood sawdust won't give you the result you want.
- Grow Bags. The unique bag for growing mushrooms is Gusseted Autoclavable Polypropylene Filter Patch Bags.
- Pressure Sterilizer. You must pressure sterilize sawdust, perhaps using a stovetop pressure cooker reaching at least 15 PSI to avoid contamination.
- A Flow Hood. It is a clean environment where you need to open your bag post sterilization and add the spawn. Alternatively, you can use a Still Air Box.
- Mix the water, hardwood sawdust, or pellets and supplementation in the form of bran and put in a grow bag.
- To get the result you want, kill the contaminants present by pressure sterilizing the grow bags for about two and half hours at 15 PSI.
- Take out the bags to allow them to cool. Add the grain spawn in a clean environment. Use the same 10-20% ratio spawn to the bulk substrate. Make sure the spawn circulates by sealing and shaking well.
- Put the bags in a clean place with room temperature for some days or weeks to take the colonization process.
- When colonization has been completed, slit the bag in a fruiting environment. Grow rooms or shotgun fruit chambers are perfect for fruiting blocks. The fruiting style depends on the type of mushrooms you are trying to cultivate.
You can explore different systems of growing mushrooms. Try out other viable types of spawning medium.
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