Landscaping With Mushrooms - Growing Directions
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Welcome to the Pet Fungus Shroom Room

Here you will find a brief description of some basic Growing techniques.

There are a number of more detailed books dedicated toward this subject available.

Today we have discovered that growing mushrooms is about as easy as growing grass seed for your lawn. Although some do require being grown near certain trees and shrubs because of their relationship with the root systems of those plants or trees. But they can be grown.

Many can be grown in your Lawn or Bark beds. Just supplement the area with some basic food source.

Each order comes with a printed version of these directions.

If for any reason you have any questions or problems just email or write us.

Any time at:

Micro-Tech. Industries
P.O.Box 724
Dept. 2000
Springfield, OR 97477
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The Ultimate Experience In Mushrooms
Pet Fungus Simplified Growing Directions
The simplest , yet highest risk method is to add 1/2 or the whole spore print to 2 to 4 cups water in a blender, then apply to desired area you want mushrooms to grow. Cover with a good layer of leaves, peat moss or new bark mulch , then keep moist. Fruiting can take as long as 1 month to 1-1/2 years after inoculation in the wild. Not only can some species be grown in jars, on logs & compost, but they can also be grown in flower beds, on bark, in lawns and neighboring forests, open lots and even parks. Especially where moisture is abundant. Growing a healthy spawn strain and applying this to your site will greatly improve your chances of success in Landscaping with Mushrooms for fun and profit.

We recommend it might be advisable to refer to several publications specifically focused on Mycology and the growing of mushrooms, of which there are many. Check your library or local book store. The Library of Congress might also be a good source. We carry several leading books.

First of all you will need to prepare a controlled sterile/semi-sterile work area. There are a number of publications available to help you accomplish this. There are also numerous suppliers, of which we are one, that provide small scale to high tech portable work stations that are self contained. Your budget can be the determining factor of your continued success and quality of your experiments. You can build one if you carefully consider the need to control the inside environment from contamination of microscopic surface & airborne organisms. A closet with several glass shelves and a work area shelve for a table, sealed and cleaned with a diluted bleach solution will work nicely. Be careful not to completely seal or remain too long to prevent oxygen deprivation. Caution: this environment could be Fatal without some filtered ventilation! Clean hands or gloves and work area with the bleach solution or isopropyl alcohol from the local pharmacy. Wear a face mask filter to help prevent contaminating the air supply in your home made lab.

You will need an autoclave or even a canning pressure cooker to sterilize tools, water, growth chambers and growth mediums. Cold sterilizing solvents and antiseptics are recommended for cleansing the interior and surrounding work area. UV lights are also used with excellent results, but can injure eyes and skin.

Second: a growth medium, such as agar, will need to be prepared, poured into petri dishes/vials/tubes/jars and sterilized to transfer your “Pet Fungus” spores, so they can grow and develop.

Third: using an alcohol lamp , heat your agar wire probe, with a small loop at the end, until white hot. Remove the lid from a sterile petri/agar dish/vial/jar slightly. Touch the wire to the sterile agar to cool it’s tip. Carefully remove the spore sample from the sealed bag. Touch the wire tip to the spore print, lightly, don’t rub entire print as you only need a few spores and there are tens of thousands present and can be used for numerous batches. Transfer the spores to the agar surface by wiping in a zig zag direction. Replace lid and repeat process for next dish. Be sure and sterilize your wire each time with fire from your alcohol lamp.

You can also use an optional hypodermic transfer technique which involves using sterilized fine tip forceps/tweezers to hold spore print while scraping off spores, with a small sterile agar knife, into a small sterilized vial, or placing it entirely into the vial (increasing the odds of contamination). With a 5cc to 60cc sterilized syringe and 21ga to 13ga needle, inject sterile water into the vial and shake well. In some cases injecting the water into the baggy, that contained the spores, to wash it out and recover spores may be necessary. Remove mix with syringe and inoculate/inject into growth mediums or ground surface. Vermiculite cased sterile grain jars and pasteurized compost or wood mediums are less susceptible to contamination for this process

Place specimens in an incubation chamber or room to be maintained at the recommended temperature provided with each spore sample or the most current research specification data available to you. Use a refrigerator or limited air-conditioner to cool. Heat with lamps or electricity. Forced air systems can increase contamination.

Fourth: when your “Pet Fungus” begins to grow it will be easily identified as a Soft White or Other Color, Fuzzy mass with some thread like arms called mycelium and hyphae. In some cases there will be other contaminate organisms also growing in the dish. This is normal as your spore samples came from wild mushrooms and it is impossible to obtain a pure spore sample without contaminate organisms. When this happens you need to isolate the preferred growth from the contaminated dish by cutting a small piece from the center of the desired growth mass. The concept involves rescuing several large uncontaminated specimens in hopes of transferring both male & female or positive & negative hyphae to insure fruiting after transferring to spawn and growth mediums.

For those species to be transferred to a pasteurized or natural outdoors environment, a spawn medium that can be easily broken, shaken or poured to spread and stimulate the growth of your “Pet Fungus”, is recommended. If sterile or pasteurized growth chambers are preferred, you can either transfer samples directly to them from the petri dishes/vials or from the spawn growth chambers. For large quantities of spawn and transfers, hypodermic inoculation can be very helpful and time saving. This can be done by transferring sterilized water into a growth petri dish/vial or a spawn chamber, mixing well and removing with a 60cc or larger syringe with a 13ga or 14ga needle. Just a single drop in each growth chamber or spread over an area or medium you want your “Pet Fungus” to grow, will produce mushrooms. Refer to recommended growth mediums and temperatures with each “Pet Fungus” spore sample. Incubate growth mediums at a controlled temperature that is conducive to growth and fruiting. For most species, contrary to obsolete beliefs, some light is necessary to grow some mushrooms.

For Jar/Chamber growing, take care in opening the lid because of the vacuum created during sterilizing, to avoid contamination. A protected, sealed puncture in the lid can help prevent contamination from vacuum through pressure equalization while in sterile autoclave environment and make hypodermic inoculation a little simpler. You can either pierce through the tape or peel it back to access the hole then replace and recover the lid. The amount of growth media should only be about 1/4 full to allow enough room for fruiting. Fuller jars require removal of media after fully engulfed by mycelia and placed in a special container or just left with the lid off. Casing with vermiculite may be required to stimulate fruiting. Store on shelves or in convenient location with reduced lighting and controlled temperatures for incubation and fruiting. For most, fog on the jar/chamber walls is a good sign and they should never be tightened completely but left slightly loose for minimal air exchange/flow.

For Flat/Box growing, similar techniques as with Landscape Bed growing can be used. Just fill containers at least 3” to 8” deep with preferred growth media, mix with spawn thoroughly, case with vermiculite, mist lightly with distilled water, cover with plastic sheet with small perforations to allow breathing and air exchange. Incubate and grow at recommended temperatures and mist lightly at regular intervals or as needed, even after fruiting begins or until fruiting ends.

For Landscape Bed growing, a 4” to 12” deep by 2’ or more wide by 2’ or more long space, filled with the preferred growth medium, located in an area with restricted sun and where moisture is frequent and plentiful, would be ideal. The only thing left to do is wait for appropriate temperatures for incubation and fruiting at the right time of the year. After 2 or 3 years of growth the beds can be used as spawn and new growth media applied to replace the depleted food source.

For other growing applications such as lawns, regular bark beds, gardens, fields or forested areas, regular applications of preferred growth mediums such as urea fertilizer, composted horse or cow manure, straw and even bark or wood chips will help supplement your pet fungus’ dietary needs and ensure continued regular fruiting. A happy, well fed and cared for Pet, is a fruitful Pet.

Some Mushrooms are believed to be symbiotic with certain specific trees, substrates or certain natural environmental conditions, therefore some species have been classified as being incompatible or impossible to propagate commercially or outside of their natural environment. There remains the possibility that these species once thought to be impossible to cultivate might someday be commercially grown. The Trick is to determine and duplicate the needs of each species. Casing with vermiculite or bark/mulch may be required to stimulate fruiting. Mycorrhizal species requiring root systems to survive should be introduced where access is immediately possible.

For Landscaping with Mushrooms, you may need a little experience with Landscaping or a good sense of visual balance combined with a little understanding of the desired food source and how that source can be applied in coordination and compliance with the Landscape layout. Consider colors as well as edibility, if that is an issue, scent and most importantly what trees or plants are necessary for its survival, if any. Saprophytic species are probably the easiest to raise, but others can grow if located and supplemented appropriately. There is a lot more to find out yet and we simply don’t have all the answers. Some will remain chance and much will be common sense and faith that it can be done. Those with faith in themselves and the inherent desire of the Pet Fungus to survive will determine their success .

Feel welcome to contact us at any time if you have any questions or would like to propose additional information we may have overlooked or neglected to include. All the necessary supplies to grow your favorite Pet Fungus can now be obtained from us at MTI.

Good luck in your endeavors to learn and understand the magnificent micro world of mycology. Thank you and “May The Fungus Be With You and Your Experience Be A Safe And Memorable One.”
For Updated Growing Directions Contact our Web Site Growing Directions Page at: www.petfungus.com Published and Printed by Panda Productions September 1, 2000 All Rights Reserved.

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