Mushroom cultivation has gained significant popularity over recent years, attracting enthusiastic beginners and experienced gardeners alike. Cultivating mushrooms requires a collection of essential supplies that help ensure successful harvests with minimal contamination. The following are some of the key items necessary for mushroom cultivation:
1. Mushroom Spore
The most critical supply for any mushroom grower is a quality strain of mushroom spawn. This spore is inoculated into substrate to initiate growth and fruiting. Quality spawn can be difficult to find locally, so it is important to purchase from an established, reliable seller online. Mushroom spawn can be grown on any substrate, but most growers prefer a mixture of sawdust and soybean hulls commonly known as HWFP or a mix of straw and wheat bran.
The substrate used to inoculate the spawn determines what nutrients are available for the mycelium to absorb, and also plays an important role in whether or not the mushrooms will be tasty. The three most common substrates are straw, hay or wood pellets that have been pasteurized using high heat and pressure to kill off competing organisms. For most mushroom species, a 50% mixture of sawdust and soybean hulls is ideal.
3. HWFP or Straw
After the spawn is inoculated into substrate, the mushroom growing environment must be maintained at a specific temperature and humidity. Specialized grow lights, a fan and air pump are all useful for creating these conditions. In addition, a pH meter or test strips is essential to monitor and adjust the level of acidity in the substrate to ensure that mycelium have full access to vital nutrients. Mushroom cultivation supplies