BEFORE YOU START
PLEASE READ THE FULL GUIDE. Sterility and sterile technique is critical for successful mushroom growing.
For the inoculation phase, you want to be in a nice clean environment, or as clean as you can possibly find. A kitchen surface wiped down with isopropyl alcohol will do the job. Make sure to eliminate as much draft as possible from your work space.
Apply the gloves and face mask that are provided. Sanitise your hands and arms as well as the area that you are working in.
STAGE 1: INOCULATION
1. Take your spore/culture syringe and shake it vigorously for 10 seconds. Remove the syringe cap by twisting. Fit the sterile needle onto the syringe, but DO NOT REMOVE THE COVER.
2. If you have been storing the grow box in the fridge, let it sit at room temperature (>20°C) for 1 hour or so prior to inoculating.
3. Wipe down both of the rubber injection ports thoroughly with the alcohol swab provided. Allow a few seconds for the alcohol to evaporate before moving onto the next step.
4. Remove the cover from the needle. Immediately after doing so, apply gentle pressure and pierce one of the sanitised injection ports. Angle the needle towards the wall of the container as shown above. Compress the syringe plunger and inject 1ml of solution.
If the syringe needle becomes blocked or the syringe plunger will not compress, don’t panic! See our pro tip below.
5. Without removing the needle from the injection port, angle it in 2 to 3 other directions, each time injecting 1ml of solution. This will create multiple separate inoculation points and allow for much faster colonisation. Use a total of 3-4ml of solution per inoculation port.
After injecting the solution, remove the needle from the injection port. Repeat steps 4 & 5 for the remaining port.
Avoid getting any contaminants on the needle prior to injecting the kit. If you accidently touch the needle at any point, you can flame sterilise it. Do so by applying a flame from a lighter to the tip of the needle until it glows orange. Allow 10 seconds to cool and then proceed with the steps.
This technique can also be used to unblock a stubborn needle, so keep a lighter to hand!
STAGE 2: INCUBATION
1. Incubate the grow box in a dark, warm spot. A cardboard box with some holes poked for air exchange works well. Keep the temperature between 21-26°C for the optimal growth. Try not to exceed 26°C or you increase the risk of contamination, which is no bueno!
If you’re struggling to maintain a consistent temperature above 21°C, invest in a heat system such as our MushPro Incubator.
2. After about a week, you should start to see the first signs of colonisation. Healthy mycelium should appear first as fluffy white specs on the substrate. It can sometimes take longer than a week, so don’t panic. This is especially true if using a spore culture. Be prepared to wait! For quickest growth, use a liquid culture or agar.
3. For the next 4-8 weeks the mycelium will colonise the substrate, until it has eaten all of it and forms a white ‘cake’. Once fully colonised, let your cake sit for an extra week before fruiting to consolidate. You do not need to wait for the top layer to colonise for it to be ready.
STAGE 3: FRUITING
1. Once fully colonised, remove the lid from the kit and place it into the fruiting tent provided. Make sure to do this step in a clean area and always wash your hands thoroughly before handling the kit.
2. Give the inside walls of the bag a good misting with the mister bottle provided. Mist directly onto the grow box as well for a few seconds.
Then, pin the bag shut with the paper clip. Place the fruiting tent in a warm spot between 20-24°c, where it can receive some indirect sunlight or room light for at least 4-6 hours a day.
3. Repeat misting every few days, to maintain condensation on the inside of the bag. After 10-14 days you should start to see the first mushroom pins.
STAGE 4: HARVESTING
Harvest the mushrooms just as the veils start to break. Once harvested, mist heavily directly onto the cake to rehydrate it. Repeat fruiting steps 2-3 for subsequent flushes.
Expect 2 to 3 flushes (crops) of mushrooms per kit. Don’t throw the kit away after the first flush, there’s plenty more to come!