Growing magic mushrooms from scratch, where do I start?
I’ve got a mushroom, which is all I need because it’s the reproductive part, right?
Basically. Specifically, you want its spawn, which comes in the form of spores. If all you have is a mushroom – the fruiting body – most of its spores are probably lost already. Consider purchasing specially prepared spores.
How do I get the right spawn?
The next step is preparing growing material – substrate for the spores to spread fungus (mycelium) through, get nutrients from, and eventually grow mushrooms on.
What material should I use?
You have many options ranging from moist dirt, to manure, tree stumps/bark, or certain kinds of flour. See substrate material options here. Modern methods are typically vermiculite mixed with growing matter. We recommend a Brown Rice Flour (BRF) technique, named PF-tek (after the man who invented it). It is simple, clean, and reliable.
How do I prepare growing material?
If you’re preparing your own substrate, better get some Vermiculite too. It’s arrives sterile, but you’ll want to re-sterilize once you mix it and put it in a new container.
You need to make sure your materials and substrate aren’t contaminated with any other micro-organisms. Mushrooms may never grow if your jars, cakes, or other materials are contaminated! Learn to use a pressure cooker to sterilise and see other methods and a list of what needs disinfecting.
Jars and cakes?
Small-to-average size batches of mushroom growing are done with substrate “cakes” (explained in the PF-tek) made in glass jars or grow boxes. If you’d like to make much larger batches, check out this Casing Technique or MycoMate Kilo Kit (a high yield kit without mycelium).
I’ve prepared and sterilized my grow material. How do I plant mushrooms?
Well, you don’t plant them exactly like a plant. Mushrooms grow as part of a fungus: first you grow mycelium, a white web-like structure, then later the mycelium sprouts mushrooms. The fungus planting process is called inoculating.
Inoculate: inject the spores into, or allow the spores from the clones or spore prints to seep into, your material. The spores develop to mycelium that will slowly colonize the substrate you’ve prepared. After inoculating, you can incubate the substrate, so colonizing doesn’t take too long.
Incubate? Do I need a complicated machine for that?
Nope, the ideal temperature for the next 4 weeks is around 27 degrees Celsius (a warm room in a house), but as long as it doesn’t drop to 15 degrees or lower mycelium will keep growing. Store them in a dark non-drafty room, and don’t peek too much. You can find more on Inoculation and Incubation here. After the jars are fully colonized with mycelium, trigger a flush next to make mushrooms grow.
Flush? …like down the toilet?
A flush is a reproductive cycle of the mycelium, during which the fungus produces mushrooms! To start mushroom growth (flush), soak the substrate in water, then keep it moist by misting with water and checking temperature and humidity levels daily for a few weeks.
How do I take care of them?
For the rest, follow our instructions for grow-kits.
Grow-kits and self-batching follow the same steps from flushing and on. Keep an eye out for contaminations during your DIY incubation; when the mycelium has colonized the entire cake/jar/box, the risk of contamination is lower – living mycelium will fight against contaminations to survive.
Lower contamination risk is one benefit of kits, which come fully colonized – you also don’t have to make your own substrate, get all the equipment, do extra sterilization, inoculate, incubate or grow mycelium! Just keep kits moist and clean and soon see mushrooms growing.
When do I pick my mushrooms?
When do you harvest magic mushrooms? Basically, when the heads expand, but right before they break their veil and release spores. For details on how to pick them, see this post here. If you’re not using them immediately, dry your magic mushrooms for storage.
Is that it? Do I throw the mycelium away after harvest?
Not yet! The great thing is you get multiple “flushes” (mushrooms popping up) out of each batch of inoculated material. The sizes and numbers differ, but you get at least 3 good flushes if everything’s done right. Flushing tricks here. Make sure you work clean to avoid contamination and maximize your flushes!
Ok, then I throw it out?
You may get a few extra if you plant the exhausted mycelium outdoors in a moist shady place, mushrooms may pop up after decent rainfall during warm months. Throw it out if you must, but there’s always the potential to reuse or compost your material.
Great! I’m ready to start, where do I get the supplies?
Here is a supply list of all the materials you need to grow your own mushrooms. Go to our store for most of the things you need. All of our spore prints are on sale now, check them out! The rest can be found in any normal store or you may even have it at home already.
That is very cool information! But what’s in it for me?
Growing your own mushrooms from scratch can be very rewarding. If this sounds like a lot to keep track of, it might be. To make it easier on yourself you can always get one of our Mushroom Grow-Kits, they’re perfect for beginners growing their first time and experts who want to simplify the process.