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Growing mushroom from shop bought mushrooms on cardboard

Angelika Maier


Joined: Jan 16, 2013
Posts: 495
Location: cool climate
    
    2
I tried to grow mushrooms from the stems of shop bought mushrooms with the cardboard method. You will find it in Youtube.
In short: get a plastic container, fill it with pieces of water, pour boiling water over it, let it cool down, rip the cardboard apart, sandwich small stem parts in between, close the lid, put in a dark cupboard, wait.
The method is simple. I tried shiitake oyster and shimenii. So far only the oyster worked. I hope it is still growing, because I had to transfer it
into a bigger box with more cardboard. I simply ripped the mycelium up and repeated the cardboard method.
The shiitake did not grow at all. It might be because there was not much stem left and that is the part
with the ability to regrow. The shimenii grew first like mad, but then caught mold. Definitively, I will try this once again.
Maybe the method can be improved to avoid mold? Like putting a tiny pinch of salt in the water?
What are your experiences?
John Elliott
pollinator

Joined: May 08, 2013
Posts: 2038
Location: Augusta, GA
    
  63
If you have mold, then you need to improve your sterile technique. Maybe there were still mold spores in your plastic container. You could try washing everything with soap and rinsing it with a bleach solution. Keep at it and don't be discouraged, mold spores are everywhere.
Angelika Maier


Joined: Jan 16, 2013
Posts: 495
Location: cool climate
    
    2
I should maybe try white vinegar, because I don't use harsh chemicals like bleach which is chlorine. But vinegar would do the job. Maybe some tea tree oil??
I try to get more shimenii, however these mushrooms are not cheap and store bought mushroom have no taste!
I recently buried some leftovers from slippery jacks in the garden in the hope that it might grow next year, but we have no pines here.
leila hamaya


Joined: Jun 30, 2012
Posts: 656
Location: northern northern california
    
  28
shitake is weird in that it likes hardwoods and oak, where most mushrooms prefer soft sweet woods, such as what goes into cardboard.

i have done this before, many times, but mostly with found mushrooms so i could get more mycellium, and picking them a little deeper down. then i poke holes in the cardboard and stick the ends in there and wet it and put it in a big ziplock. it has always worked for me, but i was using really fresh mushrooms just picked. then once the mycellium grows on the cardboard i put them in a pile of wood chips.
Angelika Maier


Joined: Jan 16, 2013
Posts: 495
Location: cool climate
    
    2
What you did was planting mushrooms you found in the forest? Which ones?
Apparently, shiitake grows on gum trees too, but I didn't try it so far.
I don't know were oyster mushroom grows, but I still have a bit of time left until I have got sufficient mycellium.
Maybe I have to grow it first in grain before I can plant it out.
Uwe Wiedemann


Joined: Jul 08, 2013
Posts: 23
    
    4
Pleurotus ostreatus (the gray oyster mushroom) grows on wood of deciduous trees. I've seen it on beech, maple and cherry trees and stumps (that's actually hard wood, at least beech and cherry). But there are some other species in cultivation.
leila hamaya


Joined: Jun 30, 2012
Posts: 656
Location: northern northern california
    
  28
Angelika Maier wrote:What you did was planting mushrooms you found in the forest? Which ones?
Apparently, shiitake grows on gum trees too, but I didn't try it so far.
I don't know were oyster mushroom grows, but I still have a bit of time left until I have got sufficient mycellium.
Maybe I have to grow it first in grain before I can plant it out.




well i will go out on a limb here and admit i was mostly doing this with azurescens, and cyanescens!

thats how i first got into mushrooms many years ago, i used to travel the west coast loop quite frequently (north to washington up to BC, back down to northern cal) and would collect them and spread them down here to northern california beach areas, and places close to the water. unfortunately i forgot exactly where i put most of the patches! or it all looked different when i went back and couldnt find where i made my small patches.
ahhhh but i did find a couple and they still had mycellium, no mushrooms...but havent been out to look at those areas in a long time. some of them were at the place where i used to live, and same- saw lots of mycellium years later, so maybe they fruited eventually.

now i only try to grow edibles. i have done this with other kinds of local mushrooms, oysters too, and then put them in straw. once they got well into the straw i put them in the garden ...and kept waiting each year hoping they would come up...and only this year saw my first on a willow log that bordered one of the garden beds, one of the many place i put them under the gardens....

it takes quite a while for them to get going, and i think i could certainly be more precise and particular about it, but i was going for the lazy style like i often do. i think i might have got some contamination with other mushrooms, which wasnt a big deal to me really, because one of the spots i put the mycellium i ended up with a lot of some kind of agaricus, a local mushroom. theres soooo many wild mushrooms here, and especially up north in washington where i used to live.

once you get the mycellium going good and move it to where you want it -sometimes it doesnt make it, that seems to be the tricky part of the lazy easy way.
thats where it helps to plan it out good, and know what kind of mushroom likes what kind of tree, will work on a living tree, newly cut logs, alder chips are what i usually used, or whatever other kinds of wood chips, straw or whatever other fancier methods.

just recently i was talking with friend who grows mushroom the more technical ways....and i was wondering if chanterelles could be gotten this way. i think it will only work with some mushrooms my friend seem to think the chanterelles would nt work this way, and that they are hard to get going, i dont know...though...from what i read you would have to innoculate a living tree, and they are very particular. he explained why but i didnt completely get it, but i gathered they are fussy.

shitake as well, is harder to get going than some others and is particular about the wood. i am certainly not an expert on this, but i just try things out, and especially like the easy way, though you will maybe not have as much sucess.

as far as i know oysters are particularly easy and will grow on almost anything.

here a pic, growing in the strawberry garden on willow:

John Elliott
pollinator

Joined: May 08, 2013
Posts: 2038
Location: Augusta, GA
    
  63
I should maybe try white vinegar, because I don't use harsh chemicals like bleach which is chlorine.


I understand your dislike, but there is a chemistry principle involved here. When you are cleaning something, with the intent to kill off the existing micro-organisms on a surface, there are different chemical methods at your disposal. You can change the pH, as you do with vinegar, and that may be enough for some weak micro-organisms to shrivel up and die --but not many, and certainly not most fungal spores. You can tip the pH in the other direction, using lye or lye soap. In addition to raising the pH to an unlivable level for the micro-organism, the lye also turns any fat molecules around into soap. More micro-organisms can't tolerate having the fat in their cell walls disrupted and shrivel up and die.

But there are micro-organisms that can tolerate high pH. Anything that sprouts after a fire, when there is ash all around, is high pH tolerant. There are a lot of plants and fungi that fall into this category. So to kill them, you need to get even more drastic and this is where bleach comes in. It is not the chlorine as chloride ion that kills these micro-organisms, it is the oxidation that occurs. Bleach takes the color out of stains and kills things by oxidizing all the organic molecules that it comes across. That's why we find it to be so nasty, if we get a whiff of it, it starts oxidizing our eyes, our nasal passages, our skin, etc. The same effect can be had with hydrogen peroxide, and diluted bleach and the 3% hydrogen peroxide sold in at the pharmacy have similar efficacy at killing off microbes by oxidation.

Since hydrogen peroxide only gives off oxygen, it is a little easier to work with and may give you the same result sterilizing your plastic container that a weak bleach solution would.
Cody Bailey


Joined: Jul 23, 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Carson City, Nevada
Shiitakes are a bit of a pain to grow on paper and cardboard waste, I'm not surprised that only the oysters grew, they are the easiest to grow in such a small scale low tech environment. If you have access to okay or poplar saw dust that is a good material. used coffee grounds is also a decent option. To sterilize those you could just boil them, and let them cool three to four times before straining them and adding them to your plastic container and inoculating. You should also add a supplement to raise the pH to make the coffee grounds a better growing medium for shiitakes. A little oyster shell, which you can find at any gardening place, will work just fine.

As far as contamination goes, you'll almost always get some using a method like this, if you're opposed to bleach, then hydrogen peroxide will also work, or you can use 70% isopropyl alcohol which instead of changing the pH or oxidizing, it breaks down the cell wall of organisms. However the container is not your only source of contamination. Make sure you clean your hands very thoroughly before touching any of your materials, try not to leave them in open air too long, and do your best to wipe down the mushroom stems as best you can with a sterilent (Not a heavy amount and not bleach, just wipe the outside of the stem before you tear it apart) before using them.

Hope this helps, if you want more details just let me know.


If you're looking for high quality, large selection of mushroom spawn and cultures head over to:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Aloha Culture Bank~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
 
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