SHROOM WIZARD'S GROW GUIDE VERSION 4.0
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
This little addition of my guide is to hopefully answer some of the most common questions I have been asked over the years. There are a lot of myths going around about mushroom cultivation and I’d like to set a few of them straight.
QUESTION: My mushrooms are growing fine, but there is a white fluffy mold growing around their stems. Is this bad?
ANSWER: This is very common and should be expected from time to time. There is nothing wrong and these mushrooms are all right to harvest for consumption. The white fluffy mold is just mycelium itself and will not harm you. I would estimate that 50% of the mushrooms I grow have this on their stems.
QUESTION: How much light should I give my cultivation setup and what type of light should I use?
ANSWER: Mushrooms grow faster when it is dark, but light is also very important for their development. Any type of light will work (incandescent, fluorescent or natural diffused sunlight) but the best source is natural sunlight that enters through a window. If you keep your setup in a room that receives light through a window you don’t need to worry about anything as long as sunlight does not shine directly on it. If you are keeping everything in a dark room, like a closet, a regular 40 or 60-watt light bulb will be all right. Just turn the light on in the morning when you wake up and then turn it back off when it gets dark outside. If you do use an electric light source, like fluorescent or incandescent bulbs, it helps if you have the light shining down from directly above your setup.
QUESTION: I have a green (or black) color mold growing in my substrate jars. Where did I go wrong and is there anything I can do to fix this problem.
ANSWER: What you are seeing are foreign contaminate attacks in your substrate jar. I have found that, in almost 99% of all cases, these attacks are caused by contaminated spore syringes and spore prints. A lot of people are selling spores online that were taken from mushrooms grown outdoors in the wild. These mushrooms should never be used for collecting spores from because of the foreign contaminates they carry. If you see a contaminate growing in your substrate jars about the best thing you can do is let it grow. I’ve found that about 50% of the time this contaminate will eventually die and your mycelium will still colonize the substrate jar. It might take several weeks for this to happen – but it’s better than dumping the jar out and starting over.
QUESTION: I inoculated my substrate jars three weeks ago and I still see no signs of mycelium growth. What could possibly be my problem?
QUESTION: The mycelium in my substrate jars started growing and then stopped before the substrate mix was totally colonized. Is there any way to get it growing again or did I do something wrong?
ANSWER: Did you poke “two holes” in the substrate jar lid? This is very important. Mycelium, like humans, breathes in oxygen and breathes out carbon dioxide. If you do not have two holes poked in your substrate jar lids the mycelium will stop growing as soon as it runs out of fresh oxygen to breathe. If you do have holes poked in the jar lids, and your mycelium stopped growing, try placing your jars in a refrigerator for 24 hours. After being removed from the refrigerator after 24 hours your mycelium will hopefully begin colonizing the substrate mix again.
QUESTION: I can’t seem to locate any vermiculite where I live. Is there anything I can substitute in its place for making my substrate?
ANSWER: Yes, Perlite can be used in its place. This is usually found in the garden departments of WalMart, K-Mart, Ace Hardware or most plant shops and garden centers. It is normally mixed with soil for water retention and looks like tiny white Styrofoam pellets. Use the same amount (8-cups) of perlite as you would vermiculite.
QUESTION: Where can I get some mushroom spores?
ANSWER: There are several websites on the Internet that sell lots of different strains of mushroom spores. All you need to do is type the word “spores” into an Internet search engine to locate them. You can also check out eBay where several spore suppliers sell their spores.
QUESTION: If I grow my own mushrooms, how can I figure the approximate weight of the mushrooms I will harvest?
ANSWER: For each half-pint substrate jar that you are successful in colonizing and fruiting, you should expect a harvest of about three-quarters of an ounce of dried mushrooms. Meaning; If you are successful in fruiting four half-pint jars of mycelium – your harvest should be about three ounces of dried mushrooms.