Who doesn’t want to ace the art of growing their favorite herbs or pant?
If you are a fan of magic mushrooms, findings ways, and googling ‘how to grow magic mushrooms,’ then you are right on track. Be it the passion to grow at home or commercially, there are few basics that every person who wishes to grow magic mushroom should be aware of. So here we are at your service. This little read will do magics! In the end, you will the magician growing the magic mushrooms.
If you are the one who is still confused about whether or not to grow and your mind is battling your heart with questions like why grow magic mushrooms, then here are some facts about magic mushrooms that might force you to rethink.
So let’s get started…
Wait… The most commonly asked question:
Do I need to be an expert to grow magic mushrooms?
Absolutely not! As long as you know what to do and how to do and have enough patience, you don’t need to have a professional degree to grow magic mushrooms!
Magic mushrooms are among the most easily grown substances on earth. Undoubtedly you have to know the basics before starting; this step remains indispensable.
So now without beating about the bush, let us get to the point:
How to grow magic mushrooms?
There isn’t one type of magic mushroom; therefore, different types of mushrooms have different growing patterns, shapes, and pre-requisites. First, let us reflect light on some of the basic parameters:
When the substrate is kept in the growing chamber, adequate moisture is imperative to ensure growth. Around 35% humidity is to be maintained in the growth chamber.
Whether artificial light or natural sunlight, you have to avoid direct exposure. When we walk through the process step by step, you will know when to keep in the dark and when to expose it to indirect light.
The optimal temperature for the mushrooms to grow is between 21 and 24°C (around 75°F). It is advisable to avoid sudden changes in temperature. Different strains grow at different recommended temperatures, so the average range is 18 to 24°C or between 65 to 75°F.
Growing mushrooms in cold weather or the environment may be a challenge. A heating pad beneath or a heating blanket can help to maintain optimal temperatures. Temperatures below optimal reduce the growth and speed. Therefore, the temperature is the key to if you want more shrooms and faster growth.
Having a clean environment is crucial for obvious reasons. Pathogens are your enemy. Don’t let them win over you! Never touch any of the equipment used for growing magic mushrooms or the spore with your bare hands. It’s best to designate a ‘workplace’ or a little station that has a clean environment. Enter the space with masks on and your gloves on, shut the door behind. If possible, we would highly recommend spraying the space generously with disinfectant spray.
Use rubbing alcohol to sterilize the jars or any surfaces that you think would potentially come in contact with the spores and may infect the growing mushroom.
We cannot emphasize the importance of sterilization in words.
Who would want all their efforts to be invaded by the pathogens?
When we walk along the process, the need to sterilize will be clarified further.
Things required to grow magic mushrooms
1. Gloves and masks
2. A syringe with spores: Spore syringes are readily available both online and in-stores. Remember to read and select the strain you wish to grow.
3. Substrate: You can either buy a readymade substrate, or you can mix a few things on your own to prepare an easy substrate. A substrate is a nutrient-rich base for the fungus needs to grow; in other words, it feeds on the substrate to grow.
If you are not in favor of buying readymade substrate, simply add water and rye or add water, rice flour, and vermiculite to create substrate cake. You can add quinoa, flax, and millet to make it even more nutritious.
4. Jars: Jars with a wide mouth are preferred. Lids of the jars should have punched holes. You can punch the hole by using a nail and hammer. Place the lid on a flat, unbreakable surface and make evenly spaced holes in the jar’s lid. Why?
You will get to know when we dive into the growing process!
5. Pressure cooker: A pressure cooker is used to sterilize the jars. It is indispensable if you want a healthy mushroom growth.
6. Aluminum foil: You will have this in your kitchen cabinet. Look around!
7. A lighter to heat and sterilize the needle.
8. Cardboard box with lid
Step by step process to grow magic mushrooms
- The first and foremost step is to ensure an environment both clean and sterilized to avoid contamination.
- Assemble all the required items, so you don’t have to leave and reenter the sterilized space.
- Put on your gear! We mean to say the mask and the gloves!
- Fill the jars with substrates. Be sure not to overfill the jars. There should be around half an inch space left between the substrate and the lid. Wipe the jars and jump to the next step.
- Take the foil and cover the lids to avoid any contaminant to enter through the holes in the jars. Place the foil over the lid and crumbles down to create a ‘no entry’ seal.
- Fill the pressure cooker with water and place the jars carefully inside the pressure cooker. The water should be enough to boil for the next half an hour, but not much that the jar float. Take the water as minimum as possible. Cover the pressure cooker with the lid and let it boil on high flame. After 30 minutes or so, turn off the flame and let it cool before you release the pressure and remove the lid.
- Once your jars are cooled, now you can inoculate the substrate with the spores.
- Take the spore syringe with the needle and heat the needle with the lighter. Once you see the needle glowing red, stop there.
- Wait for a while till the needle temperature lowers. Make sure the needle doesn’t come in contact with any other surface. This may result in contamination.
- Here is where you will need the holes you created in the lid of the jars. Insert the sterilized needle through the holes in the lids. Make sure to shake the syringe lightly to spread the spores evenly across before inoculating.
- Place the jars after the inoculation into cardboard boxes that have lids. Magic mushrooms need a warm and dark place to grow. Make sure you place the cardboard box at optimal temperatures. This is called incubation.
After placing the jars in the box, you have to control the urge to check the jar every hour or day. Wait for at least five days. It take s approximately 4 to 5 days for the baby hairs of the fungus to grow. Let the incubation period continue in a dark and warm environment. The mycelium starts to grow from the inoculation points and grows for the next 3-4 weeks until the growth covers the whole substrate. The substrate is now called to be colonized.
After colonization is complete, we have a phase two. Or you can say that up til now it was the phase of roots, now comes the fruit phase.
- Vermiculite or Pearlite
- Water spray
1. Birth the cake
Remove the colonized substrate from the jars by tapping it on the smooth surface and shift the mass to a terrarium. Removing the substrate from the jars is called birthing the cake. A terrarium is a container which can ensure both humidity and optimal lighting.
Use either old aquarium or any translucent containers. Make sure the chamber has a hole for air circulation. Lay a layer of vermiculite or Pearlite on the base of the container and moisten it with water. You can lightly spray the cakes too.
Place the birthed cakes and keep in a place with indirect sunlight for three weeks up to a month. Spray water lightly over the growing mushroom two times in a day to ensure enough moisture for growth. Maintain optimal temperatures. Lightly close the lid to ensure enough oxygenation.
When you see the fruiting bodies, i.e., the mushrooms, gently pluck them at the base of the stems. Either you can enjoy fresh or dry these to store in airtight containers. You may succeed in growing dozens of shrooms from one cake!
By the end of this read, you must be aware of all the pre-requisites to grow magic mushroom. The whole process takes up to 8 weeks, but you have freshly grown shrooms to enjoy in the end. Before you end the read and run to gather all the things needed to start the adventure, make sure to remember that contamination is your enemy. Ensure adequate sterilization, temperature, lighting, and humidity to ace the process!
Frequently Asked Question
If I have never grown magic mushroom before, which strain should I start with?
If you’ve never grown magic mushrooms before, we recommend going with a strain called Mexican. This particular strain adapts much better to temperature and humidity, so it still has a fighting chance even if you don’t give it the exact right parameters.
Do magic mushrooms need to be kept in sunlight?
Direct sunlight is not required for magic mushrooms to grow, so don’t worry if you have less sunshine around you. Indirect sunlight is sufficient for the growth.
Should the needle be sterilized after the inoculation of each jar?
Yes, sterilize the needle after you are done with each jar. This will prevent contamination of the substrate.
How can I know fs the substrate in the jar has been colonized?
This is no rocket science. The whole substrate will have a visible whitish growth in it. This white structure is due to colonization. The mycelium that cover s the substrate changes the color to white, which you can easily identify.when you see the jar white, you can take a moment to dance with joy! This is quite similar to a plant establishing its roots!
Can the same birthing cake be used twice?
You can use the cake as compost for your gardening, but it won’t grow the shrooms again.