How to make a substrate block.

How to make a substrate block.

What is a Mushroom Substrate Block?

A mushroom substrate block is a solid medium that provides the necessary nutrients and environment for oyster mushrooms to grow. It is made from a mixture of organic materials that serve as food for the mushrooms.

Why Use a Mushroom Substrate Block?

Using a substrate block has several advantages:

  • It provides a controlled environment for mushroom growth.
  • It ensures the mushrooms have access to the necessary nutrients.
  • It helps maintain moisture levels, which is crucial for mushroom development.
  • It allows for easy handling and cultivation of oyster mushrooms.

Materials Needed

To make a mushroom substrate block, you will need the following materials:

  • Straw or sawdust
  • Water
  • Mushroom spawn
  • Plastic bags or containers
  • Drill or nail

Step-by-Step Instructions

Follow these steps to make your own mushroom substrate block:

Step 1: Prepare the Substrate

Start by soaking the straw or sawdust in water for a few hours. Drain the excess water and spread the substrate on a clean surface to cool down.

Step 2: Sterilize the Substrate

To eliminate competing organisms, sterilize the substrate by heating it in and autoclave or pressure cooker for 90-120 minutes at 15psi. This process kills off any unwanted bacteria or fungi.

Step 3: Cool and Mix

Allow the substrate to cool down to room temperature. Once cooled, you can seal the bags for future use or and can mix in the mushroom spawn at this point. The spawn contains the mycelium, which will colonize the substrate and eventually produce mushrooms.

Step 4: Pack the Substrate

Transfer the substrate mixture into plastic bags or containers. Make sure to leave some space for the mycelium to grow. Seal the bags or containers, leaving a small hole for air exchange.

Step 5: Incubation

Place the substrate blocks in a dark and humid environment, ideally at a temperature of around 70°F (21°C). The mycelium will start colonizing the substrate, and you should start to see white, thread-like growth within a few days.

Step 7: Fruiting

After the mycelium has fully colonized the substrate, move the blocks to a well-lit area with indirect sunlight. Maintain a temperature of around 60-70°F (15-21°C) and mist the blocks with water regularly to maintain humidity.

Step 8: Harvest

Within a few weeks, small mushroom pins will start to form. Allow them to grow until they reach the desired size, then harvest them by gently twisting and pulling them from the substrate block.

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