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How to Make Mushroom Spawn

By Lauren Wise ; Updated September 21, 2017

Growing your own medicinal mushrooms, otherwise called mushroom cultivation or mycology, can be rewarding and interesting to watch. These fungi have been used in the medical and culinary world for centuries, but they can also be grown for landscape or compost enriching purposes as well. Keep a few key things in mind when growing mushrooms and making them spawn; with some careful preparation, you can become a mycologist.

Buy a mushroom spore syringe from a trusted retailer or gardening center. This is necessary because mushrooms can't grow from seeds.

Sterilize the mason jars that will be used to make the mushrooms spawn by placing them into a pressure cooker. If you are using other instruments, such as tweezers or petri dishes, to help insert things into the jars, sterilize these as well. Let the jars cool for 10 hours after being sterilized. Don't bring anything into your work area until it is sterilized.

Place the substrate of your choice (suitable substrates include wild bird seed or brown rice flour, to name a few) into the jars carefully. Use a safety pin to poke holes (4 1/4 inches in diameter) into each lid. Add polyfill into the holes so contaminants are repelled.

Keep your mushroom jars in a cool, dry room in order for them to spawn. Using a lighter, heat the syringe needle's tip for about 10 seconds. Swab the needle with the alcohol-soaked cotton ball to prevent any contaminants from spreading.

Insert the syringe carefully into the jar through one of the holes and inject 100 ccs of the purchased spore liquid into the substrate. Do this for each of the four holes of each jar. Make sure to swab the needle with the alcohol after each mason jar injection.

Keep the mushroom jars out of direct sunlight, ideally in an area that is 85-89 degrees Fahrenheit. You can use a heating pad underneath if needed. Keep an eye on the jars when the mycelium (white cobweb-like material) starts to grow. Throw out any jars that turn black or green. The material growing should be completely white.

Fruiting of the mushroom spawn begins when the substrate in the jars becomes a hamburger patty shape, completely overtaken by the white mycelium. Put the patty into a Tupperware container with a 1-inch layer of perlite on the bottom when this happens. The perlite will help create moisture for the spawning. Put the lid on top of the container. Ever day, around five or six times, open the container and fan the inside with the lid. Within a week or two, you should notice mushrooms beginning to sprout.. Pick them when they reach maturity.


Things You Will Need

  • Spore syringe
  • Mason jars
  • Substrate
  • Pressure cooker
  • Polyfill
  • Lighter or matches
  • Cotton balls
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Tupperware container
  • Perlite