Spawning is a very important stage in mushroom cultivation. Spawn is essentially the substrate that mycelium grow on in order to start fruiting mushrooms. Choosing the proper substrate and spawn type is extremely important to ensuring your mushroom crop thrives.
Mushroom spawn can be purchased commercially, but it is also possible to make your own. While it does take a bit of effort and time, it can be worth the experience for some.
The first step in making your own mushroom spawn is to research the types of mushrooms you want to grow and then choose a substrate that best suits them. This can be a lot of fun and will definitely help you learn more about the fungal life cycle as well as grow more mushrooms!
A good substrate for mushroom spawn is a material that is easy to spread, disperse, and inoculate. It should also be a high-nutrient medium that will support mushroom growth.
Grain is a good choice as a substrate for spawn because it is inexpensive and easy to find, has a high nutrient content, and is small enough that mycelium can easily get ahold of it. The most common grain spawn is rye, but wheat berries and animal-grade sorghum can also be effective.
Another good substrate for spawn is straw. However, be careful to soak it in hydrated lime to kill off any single-celled organisms before inoculating with your spawn. If you don’t do this, you could end up with a straw crop that is plagued with mold and other fungi.
Once you have decided on a substrate for your mushroom spawn, you’ll need to inoculate it with a live mycelium culture. This can be a pure culture from a mushroom petri dish, or it can be a culture that has been grown on agar plates and then inoculated into the substrate.
If you are using a pure culture from a mushroom petri plate, it will need to be sterilized in order to be used as spawn. You can sterilize it by boiling water, or by soaking it in hot water for several hours.
After sterilizing the grain, it is mixed with a culture of live mycelium from a mushroom petri dish. The mycelium on the culture will then colonise the grain and it will start to develop sclerotia.
This process can take anywhere from 10 days to 3 weeks before the spawn is fully colonised. You can then inoculate the spawn with your favourite mushroom cultivars.
You can use sterilised mason jars or mushroom grow bags to inoculate your spawn with. We recommend the mason jars as they have a modified lid that will allow for fresh air exchange.
A sterilised jar can be stored for up to a month after it has been sterilised. This will ensure your spawn is fresh when you are ready to use it.
Spawning is the most basic way to produce mushrooms. It is the most widely used method, and it has a number of advantages over other methods of mushroom spawn production. The main advantage is that it reduces the spawn-growing period, which is crucial to increasing mushroom yields. Other advantages include: