Q.Storing Mushroom Parts To Grow Later?
Hello, this is in response to Propagating Store Bought Mushrooms: How To Grow Mushrooms From Ends. My question is what is the most optimal way to store the mushroom parts that I wish to grow at a later time? How long is too long to store them, otherwise they are less likely to grow (or is this even a concern)? The last thing I’d like to know is regarding a fallen tree 3 yards long, laying across my property; years ago I read once, that if you drill holes in the dead wood, you can put mushroom plugs into the holes and seal them to keep out competing spores. I’m just wondering if that’s the only way that I can grow my own from saved pieces, and if so how do I go about making a mushroom “dowel/plug” from my saved bits of mushroom? Thank you for your time, Sasha
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
This is quite the subject! Fortunately, this is my area of expertise!
Mushroom cultivation is not straightforward. It can be made easy, but all of the more advanced work requires much knowledge and equipment.
Mushrooms can be classified, largely, by what they consume. In order for wood dowels to work, you will need to work with a mushroom that consumes wood (Think Oyster Mushrooms, or Shiitake). Agaricus (button mushrooms, Portobello, or "pizza" mushrooms) will not grow on wood. Rather, they will prefer manure.
You will, also, need an autoclave for sterilization of the wood dowels, and a flowhood for transferring clean mycelium to the dowels, as well as isolating clean mycelium on agar.
I think that the way you will want to go is to choose a wood loving mushroom that you find in the WILD, not in a store. These will have an immune system built for fending off contamination from the wild, which you WILL encounter. Otherwise, should you choose to use mushroom ends from a store bought specimen, you will need to obtain the type of wood that the species grows on and start a pile of mulch with your mushroom ends placed into the pasteurized mix.
Because this is an advanced subject, this will take much research, trial, and error. I would utilize search engines for as much research as you can manage, from as many sources as you can manage. This will give you the best chances at success.
In the meantime, these articles will get you started: