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Pebbles
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Location: Lancashire UK

Disaster with mushroom growing spores

Hi me again - two posts in 15 minutes wow - I'll have to go and have a lye down :wink:

I planted some mushroom spores (packet seeds) 42 days ago into an indoor container. I followed the instructions very carefully and mixed well rotted manure in the bottom, planted the seeds and then mixed top soil and compost and 2 centimeters on the top. I carefuly sprayed them with water every day and made sure they remained damp but not wet which was very important on the packet.

However, the packet said within 20 to 30 days you will have hundreds of mushrooms. Well, I am now on day 42 with piddly squat! meaning nothing :cry:

So I am giving up on them. My question is, can I reuse the manure and compost that the mushroom spores are still embedded in for growing something else? if so, what can I grow in it, if not I guess I should bin it? Please help.

Pebbles

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Pebbles
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Any little help would be much appreciated here guys. The planter I planted them in is very big and there is a lot of good manure and compost that I could utilise.

Please help if you can.

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Gary350
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You did not mention temperature. Did you keep your mushroom crop about 60 degrees F or about 15 degree C. Spores will not sprout if the temperature is not cool and moist.

I grew some mushroom about 20 years ago, I kept them under the house where it was cool and humid. Mushrooms do not need light. I bought a bag of composted cow manure to grow the mushrooms in. After about 30 days my soil turned white then a week or so later I had mushrooms. Once the mushrooms start to come they sprout up over night and keep coming for a very long time. When the crop slows down the soil is probably used up, sprinkle new soil on top of the old soil and the mushroom just keep on coming.

You can reuse the potting soil for other things if you want. Don't be suprised in the fall or next spring when the weather is cool and wet mushroom come up in that soil.

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Pebbles
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Thanks Gary

The temp was about 60 degrees farenheight. I kept them in the loft (which has been converted to another lounge or sitting room).

I didn't place them in darkness because the instructions said daylight is fine.

My soil is turning slightly greenish.

My sister in law bought me a box from the garden centre. It already had mixed manure etc and mushroom spores. I just had to mix it together. I have done that and watered it. I hope I get mushrooms from that.

However, I never thought about keeping the mushrooms that didn't work within the container that I have just in case they decide to work next year. Well, I hate to ask another question but somehow I think I know the answer. If I continue with these that have not developed for another year, I guess I should still keep the soil moist?

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Gary350
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If your keeping them in the house then it probably isn't humid enough. Try moving it to a different place. Do you have a crawl space under your house? Do you have your soil in a tray? Put the tray inside a plastic trash bag and seal it shut with a twist tie this will hold the moisture. Make sure the temperature is correct.

I studied up on mushrooms when I was in college 40 years ago. The spores can lay in the soil for many years until the conditions get right for them to grow. Some will sprout when it warms up to 60 degrees in the day and 40s at night. Others like 65 in the day 50 at night. There are others that like 60 deg at night and warmer in the day. I think if you had good spores to start with then they are still good, all they need is the right conditions to sprout.

I saw a TV show once where someone was growing mushrooms in a refrigerator they had a tray growing on each shelf. They set the frig to the correct temperature, water and close the door. The door holds in the moisture then the air inside gets very humid and the mushrooms grow.

If you every get your mushrooms to grow make some spore prints and save them in an envelope. The way to make a spore print is to pull the stem off of a mushroom cap. Lay the mushroom cap on a sheet of white typing paper bottom side down. Put an empty jar or glass over the top of the mushroom cap and leave it there for about 24 hours. The spores will be ejected out of the bottom side of the mushroom cap and they will stick onto the paper. If the spores are black then there will be a black circle on the paper. If the spores are brown then there will be a brown circle on the paper. If the spores are white then you won't be able to see anything on white paper so try again on a different color paper white spores may show up on brown or some other color paper. Cut the spore print out with sizzers and save it in a sealed invelope. Spore prints are usually saved in a special envelope called a glassaline envelope, it looks like a white plastic like paper material. If you want to start more mushrooms growning in another tray of composted cow manure cut the spore print up into 100s of tiny pieces with sizzers and sprinkle it on the cow manure, water and keep in a cool place. The best way to cut up a spore print is to cut it into 1/16" strips then scrap up the pile of paper strips and cut them all into 1/16" pieces. You end up with 100s of 1/16" squares of paper each square will have several 1000 mushroom spores on it. You can make only 1 spore print from each mushroom. The spores will not be ejected from the mushroom for several day unless you pick it. I don't recall if ALL mushrooms ejector their spores within 24 hours after they have been picked so you may need to experement a little on that.

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Pebbles
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:eek: :shock:

Gary-what can I say, so much i9nformation - you are really something! :wink:

I think I need to go and sit and print off this message and then read it and read it and then read it again.

You obviously certainly know your mushrooms. wow! :shock:

I really appreciate the fact that you have taken so much of your valued time to answer and help me. Thanks honey bun. will never forget you :wink:

May take me a few days to incorporate all of this but thanks again sweetie.

1John5vs7
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More helpful information about your mushrooms.

Dear Pebbles,

I came across your post while attempting to figure out how to save "seeds" (or really SPORES) from mushrooms so as to grow them successfully from season to season. I don't like the idea of having to buy my spores every year, because they cost money, and if I had money, I would BUY mushrooms, not try to grow them m'self!

That being said, I can help you out with your problem. I suspect that what has happened is that your spores have gotten an infection. Yup. They're similar to us humans (though obviously not related!) in that they don't like to be infected with bacteria. Indeed, that is why they produce antibiotics. Most of our antibiotics have either been derived directly from fungi, or have been reverse-engineered from them. Cool bit of medical history there. Truly there is a fungus among us.

At any rate, a big part of successfully growing mushrooms is making certain that they have a sterile substrate on which to grow. In the wild, they have an easier time of colonizing new-fallen wood or detritis because in the wild, they have mycellia firmly established and entrenched in every cubic inch of soil. I think I heard a statistic saying that there may be as many as 8 MILES of mycellial fibers packed into every square inch of an old-growth forest floor. Yup. 8 miles.

This is not true of manure. Indeed, manure more than likely has a high level of bacterial content and a very low or non-existent fungal content. What I have read, for oyster mushrooms at least, is that it is crucial to STERILIZE the substrate on which the shrooms will be growing. This means either:

a.) sticking it in a bowl of water and nuking it in the microwave on high for ~2 minutes (this WILL make your house stinky)

b.) sticking it in a pot of water with a lid over it and boiling it for 5-10 minutes at a hard boil

c.) sticking it in a pot over a campfire and boiling it

d.) pressure cooking it for 10 minutes or so

Any of these methods should result in sterilized substrate. That being said, I don't think I'd want to put horse or cow dung in my All-Clad! As such, there is another method I have been told will work.

You can take your substrate and soak it in enough water to completely cover it for 3 days straight. This results in fermentation which kills off the bacteria that would seek to harm your fungi. To do this, I think it would be best to head to Wal-Mart (that most hated of evil empires!) to buy one of those enormous plastic storage tubs that holds 30 or 40 gallons. I got a buy 1 get 1 free deal on 45 gallon tubs for 44.99 at Shopko the other day. They're insanely huge. I'm going to try growing vine crops in them they're so big. Yea. Nutty!

Anyway, if you can soak your substrate, you can probably get good shroom growth. Obviously it needs to be well-drained after its 3 day bath, because shrooms like it moist, not flooded.

The best substrates to use other than logs (again, for Oyster mushrooms at least) is STRAW (NOT hay--hay has too high a nutrient content, as per fieldforest.net and their wonderfully helpful husband-and-wife team of mushroom experts!) or sawdust FROM LOGS (i.e. not from processed lumber which has been treated with formaldehyde and goodness knows what else. You hardly want that stuff kickin' around in your food!).

I imagine soil and poo would help the process along, but ultimately, mushrooms need FIBROUS material to work on, which means the higher the celluloid content, the better your shrooms will grow. I'd imagine that once they have been established as a steadily growing colony, you wouldn't have to worry so much about sterilizing the substrate, though I am new to growing and therefore have not yet experimented with this hypothesis.

God bless you,
David Stratton



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