Grow Mushrooms

The ultimate guide.

How to Grow Mushrooms
(Medicinal, Gourmet, Edible)



You have made a great choice in purchasing this complete package. You now have a wealth of information in your hands that will have you well on your way to growing many rewarding, incredible mushrooms for your personal use! Please understand that this course is only designed to help you grow grain-loving mushrooms like Oyster mushrooms, and is intended only to be used to produce gourmet and edible mushrooms.

The objective of this course is to help you reap the rewards of home mushroom cultivation and to guide you towards a better understanding. With that being said, welcome and thank you for your purchase! You will not be disappointed!


Sandra Anderson


You should have received in a zip file:

* The Complete Idiot’s How-To On Growing Edible Mushrooms v2.0

* Videos in separate folder

* mushroom Grow Buddy™ Software

Glossary (words that are in the glossary are denoted with an asterisk *)

Want to download this? Free on Kindle or download in PDF form by clicking here. Print copies here.

Chapter 1 - The Biology of the Mushroom

If you have ever asked any professional mushroom cultivator what kind of “seeds” you need to grow mushrooms, they probably gave you a funny look. Mushrooms unlike plants grow from spores* rather than seeds.

Mushrooms are actually a lot like mold on a piece of bread.

They are simply a fungus that grows on a certain substrate. In the case of the mold on bread, the “substrate” is the bread and the mold is the fungus. In order to show the differences between mushrooms and plants (very plainly and not in depth), look at the below table.

The reason this is so important to learn is that this is a very basic understanding that you will certainly need in order to go on your journey of growing edible mushrooms. At no point in time will you be planting edible mushroom seeds or watering edible mushrooms in pots in your living room. It just does not work that way.

Mushrooms procreate, or make more of themselves, by using spores. Let us look at the basic anatomy of the mushroom cap* before I explain anymore about what spores are and where they come from. Check this out…

Mushroom Veil Intact Broken

Do you see the veil* on the first mushroom on the left? In the picture shown above it is partially broken. The mushroom to the right of it is slightly more mature and its’ veil has already broken. The veil breaks when it is maturing in order to expose the gills of the mushroom.

Do you see the gills? These are fan-like folds that are very fleshy and expose to the air as the mushroom matures and the cap flattens out. The spores that reside in the fleshy gills come out when the cap opens (after the veil has broken). This is how a mushroom procreates.

Yeah, yeah, you want to know what this has to do with actually GROWING the mushrooms. You do not want a science class, I know.

The reason this is so important is simple. The spores are the equivalent to seeds if you were trying to grow a plant. Spores are invisible to the naked eye and any single mushroom disperses millions upon sporulation* (breaking of the veil and releasing its spores from the gills*). Just look at how small these things are…

Microscopic Fungal Spores

The spores shown above are at 600x magnification!

To get a better idea about the life cycle and biology of how a mushroom functions in terms of procreation and biological operations, look at this diagram below.

Mushroom Fungi Life Cycle Diagram Illustration

If you have not noticed yet, growing mushrooms is a whole other ballgame from growing a plant. Now that we have this simple concept out of the way, let us move on.

How does the biology of a mushroom impact how you will grow mushrooms indoors or in your home? It has huge implications. When we examine what makes a mushroom grow, we are looking at what is also necessary to duplicate the process indoors.

For instance, since mushrooms are grown from spores and are a form of bacteria or fungus you need to keep the substrate you are going to grow them on completely sterile. This is to ensure that ONLY the spores germinate and grow, and not other foreign bacteria.

Chapter 2 - A Short Word On Cleanliness

Since we are not dealing with plants, it is imperative that while doing any mushroom related process we are CLEAN. Why, you ask?

First, let us think about a seed. A seed is pretty robust, it is in a nice, tough shell, it can remain stored in a dirty, dry area for a long period of time, and if while germinating it needs an extra boost to the top of the soil it can even use its’ own shell for food to continue growing.

Now think back to a few paragraphs ago, where I showed you that image of a spore. A spore is pathetic in comparison to a seed. A spore is microscopic and has little to no protection against anything that wants to harm it. This is why it is so important to be clean when growing mushrooms. If any bad germs or bacteria interfere with your growing process, all of your work is out the window.

I’ll go more into detail just HOW to be clean with each step of the growing process but I just want to make it clear that it is really, really important. Go to the dollar store, stock up on rubber gloves, rubbing alcohol and even those face masks. It is well worth the $3.

Chapter 3 - Contaminants

Contaminants hate you and want your project to fail. That is not exactly true, but sometimes it feels that way. If you are lucky enough not to encounter a contamination on your first grow, congratulations! You will likely experience a disappointing grow someday that will show you the trouble that contamination brings.

This is why being clean is important. You sterilize your substrate, clean your spore syringe, wipe down your inoculation site, etc. Cleanliness is vital. It literally only takes one little microorganism to destroy everything you have worked for and everything you have invested in your project—be it time or money.

If at any time you suspect contamination of a grow operation or have confirmation of a jar or piece of substrate near healthy growing substrate, IMMEDIATELY discard it and wash anything around that area you think might have come in contact with the contamination. Wash out the jar that the colonizing* substrate was in, wash your hands, wash the area where all of your jars were incubating, etc. You will likely and most often detect contamination of an attempted grow when you smell or see something that is out of the ordinary, i.e. a smell that doesn’t smell like mushrooms and mycelium* that doesn’t look white, fluffy and “healthy” (see below).

Contaminated Mushroom Grain Spawn Bag

Use a bleach and warm water solution to clean these containers. This will help get all of the bacteria out and it is the best way to sterilize a plastic container. A good thing to know is that once the mushrooms are fully colonized they are pretty darn resistant to contamination but it is still good to assume and act as if they were not.

Check out these photos to see what to look for. These are contaminants that affected a few plastic grow bags a mGB friend sent in.

Chapter 4 - How to “Cure” Contaminants

Now that you know how contaminants can and most likely will impact mushroom cultivation you should learn more about how to “cure” these contaminants. This can be done in just a few different ways. Three things you will need: a knife or fork, hydrogen peroxide and a lot of luck. Once you have identified a contaminant you should follow the below steps. Note: You can only remove a contaminant from a fully colonized piece of mycelium. If you have a jar or bag that becomes contaminated, throw it out immediately.

1. Quarantine the contaminated mycelium. For example, if you are using colonized jars of brown rice flour and vermiculite and fruiting them all into the same fruiting chamber you need to move the contaminated ones into their own fruiting chambers. This will keep them from all becoming contaminated.

2. Using a fork or knife remove the contaminated area of the mycelium off of the main body of mycelium.

3. Mix water and hydrogen peroxide in a 50/50 solution in a spray bottle.

4. Liberally spray the exposed area and around where the contaminated area was.

5. Observe the mycelium over a period of 1-2 weeks. Keep the fruiting chamber humid at 99% relative humidity and warm at 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit. If the mycelium becomes white, fluffy and healthy again you can place it back in the “main” fruiting chamber.

Before and After

The above comparison shot shows before and after photos of a contamination healing with the above method. There was no cutting out of the contaminated area in this particular grow —it was simply sprayed with a 50/50 solution and let to “heal”. It worked! If you wind up using bags or casings, you can always try this if you do not want to lose any substrate although it is definitely ideal to remove the contaminated area.

Chapter 5 - Incubators and Fruiting Chambers

Two excellent pieces of equipment to have on hand and that you will likely need to make or purchase during your growing project are an incubator* and a fruiting chamber*. There are certain characteristics it is important to keep in mind when looking for an incubator and fruiting chamber. Your incubator should be entirely dark inside with absolutely no light getting in and it should stay warm. Your fruiting chamber should allow light to enter it somewhere and should be air tight enough to avoid contaminants and to maintain the humidity. You can produce both an incubator and fruiting chamber very inexpensively and with items found around the house. Look below to learn more about what they are and how to make your own.


The goal of an incubator is to keep whatever you place inside of it at a certain temperature. An incubator’s role in mushroom cultivation is to keep colonizing jars growing at the fastest rate possible. This growth rate is usually at its fastest around 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit. Some people choose not to use an incubator, which is OK. However if you do use an incubator your grow will go considerably faster. You can produce your own incubator at home with a number of things found around the house. Below are a few simple ideas you can use to make your own.

Tub-in-Tub Method

This is one of the classic incubator styles. What do you need for supplies? Look below and then we will look at the procedure.

The procedure is simple. Take one of the bins and remove the lid. Your submersible heater likely came with suction cups. Suction cup the heater to the bottom of the inside of the bin and fill the bin with water until it is under with an additional one to two inches of water. Now simply sit the other bin into it so that it sits down in the water and is making contact with the water. Plug in your heater and set it for about 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Put whatever you wish to incubate into the bin and close the lid. It may take about an hour to heat up. See the diagram below if you need additional assistance.

Nightlight Method

This great method is also very effective. Here is what you need.

This is probably the easiest incubator to make. All you need to do is wrap the bulb of the nightlight in aluminum foil so that when it is on it does not let any light out. Plug the light into the extension cord and leave it hanging inside your styrofoam cooler. Plug the extension cord into the wall and there you have it. Make sure you watch your incubator the first few times you use this method to make sure it does not get too hot. As you might imagine, this is not a fireproof set up so use it at your own discretion.

Homeless Man’s Incubator

Alright so you are not able to afford all this fancy equipment to make your incubator. You need a solution though. Your best bet is to get two very easy to find things in order to make your grow easy. Find a plush, thick towel and a sturdy shoebox. Wrap your jars or bags in the towel, place them in the shoebox, and put them in the warmest area you can find. This sounds highly minimal but if you are not able to use the other incubators this is your best bet.

Fruiting Chambers:

Basic Perlite FC

A fruiting chamber is a very easy thing to construct. With this fruiting chamber, all you will need is the following supplies.

Simply pour the perlite into your clear plastic container so that it fills the bottom 2-4 inches. Moving your hand slowly up and down the length of the container pour in the water. You do not want so much water that you can see it at the bottom of the container but you want enough so that it moistens the perlite. If you are unsure if you put enough water into the container, try closing the lid and waiting 10-30 minutes. Come back and open the lid, if it feels humid inside the container then you probably have enough water, otherwise add a little more and try again.

“Poor Man’s Pod” FC

This great “advanced” fruiting chamber might even help to boost yields. It works by maximizing air exchange and humidity inside the fruiting chamber. Here are the supplies you will need.

Take your air stones and place them in your clear plastic bin, preferably going the length of the bin and not sideways. Make sure you have enough air stones to cover this space. Plug your air stones in whichever configuration works best for you. You will now pour in perlite covering the air stones by about an inch or so. Pour in enough water so that when you plug in the air pump you can hear and see a slight bubbling under the perlite. Simply leave the pump on all of the time and the fruiting chamber will constantly receive fresh air and the bubbling of the air stones under the perlite will keep it humid. Here is a simple diagram to give you an idea of how this should look.

That concludes the chapter on incubators and fruiting chambers. Keep in mind that it is very important to make sure your incubator stays warm and dark and that your fruiting chamber stays lit and humid (with a relative humidity of 99%). You may want to invest in a hygrometer to help with this. They sell for roughly $20 to $30 and measure the humidity and temperature inside your incubator or fruiting chamber.

Chapter 6 - Different Methods of Growing

Naturally, the more difficult ways often yield larger amounts of mushrooms. However, this does not mean that the easier methods will yield less mushrooms. This chapter is going to cover a variety of ways to grow edible mushrooms with commonly found items around the house. Think of there being three “main” methods of growing. There is the PF tek, grain growing and bag growing. We will go later in depth into what to do with each process step-by-step. These three main growing methods are simply used to achieve a solid mass of colonized mycelium that can then be either placed into a fruiting chamber to begin growing mushrooms or go onto other steps to potentially increase yields (or in case of invitro growing, simply make growing stealthier and easier).


PF Tek

Skill Level (Easy,Medium,Hard): Easy

Main Ingredients: Vermiculite, Brown Rice Flour, Water

The PF tek is an age old and well trusted grow method. It is difficult to mess up if you follow the directions correctly. You can get beginner size yields with beginner level difficulty. The main ingredients going into this grow method are vermiculite, brown rice flour*, and water. Use the Grow Buddy™ software program that came bundled with this e-book to calculate just how much you will need for however many jars you choose to use. You simply mix the ingredients well, spoon into jars, screw on the lid and sterilize, inoculate with spores and let colonize. Once colonized take them out of the jars and place them in a fruiting chamber where they will grow mushrooms.


Grain Growing

Skill Level (Easy,Medium,Hard): Medium

Main Ingredients: Grain (corn, millet*, rye*), Water

Grain growing is a great method of growing after you have mastered the PF tek. Growing on a grain will often provide greater and more potent yields. The basic object of this method of growing is to grab a bunch of grains at a bulk food store, where you will pay only about 50 cents per pound or maybe even less. You then rinse and soak your grain over night, drain, load into jars, sterilize and inoculate, let colonize and then do invitro, spawn, or casing (see below).


Grow Bags

Skill Level (Easy,Medium,Hard): Easy

Main Ingredients: Medium of choice (grain, dung,etc.), Water

If you are lazy or just plain new to cultivating mushrooms but want the easiest route possible, this would have to be it. It works in the same way invitro works with a jar, but with more space to allow them to grow and with more substrate so (potentially) much larger yields are achievable. You fill autoclavable bags* with the desired growing medium and sterilize or pasteurize, inoculate, then the bags colonize and fruit in the same bag and never have a chance at exposure to contaminants. You can make your own bags or buy them pre-made, pre-made is the best and highly recommended. This eBook for the sake of simplicity will assume that you are using pre-made bags.

(The following are subsets of the above “main” growing methods, you would take the colonized substrates you made with the above growing methods and perform one of the below methods to complete or perform a more “advanced” growing operation that may yield larger and more potent amounts of mushrooms)



Skill Level (Easy,Medium,Hard): Easy

Main Ingredients: Colonized substrate

Invitro is great for grow operations you are trying to keep on the down low for whatever reason. You can do this best in quart jar containers. The idea is you fruit inside of the same jar you carried the colonization and other stages of growing in. The lazy and the stealthy typically use this method. The main thing to keep in mind is to fill your jars up half way before you sterilize them so the mushrooms will have room to grow inside the jar. We will talk more in depth about this later.



Skill Level (Easy,Medium,Hard): Medium

Main Ingredients: Colonized substrate, Vermiculite, Water

Casing is where you take a clean, shallow container and put a thin half-inch layer of moist vermiculite in the bottom. You then cover it with crumbled up colonized substrate (grain, PF tek “cakes”, etc.) and then another thin layer of moist vermiculite that is at field capacity. Cover the container with plastic wrap and poke a few tiny holes with a fork in the plastic wrap. Incubate in your incubator for a few days until you see mycelium poking through the top, take the plastic wrap off, and place in your fruiting chamber. This will increase yields since it better keeps the mushroom mycelium moist and better access to water.



Skill Level (Easy,Medium,Hard): Hard

Main Ingredients: Colonized substrate, dung and/or straw

Spawning is the bulk scale type of growing most newbie and amateur growers dream about. Its real good stuff. The basic concept goes as such, take a colonized jar of substrate, break it up into a big bin of pasteurized dung and/or straw, incubate it, and fruit it. This leads to gigantic yields. People can grow pounds easily in a single rubber storage container. This method is also more difficult since it involves pasteurizing large amounts of dung, which is a temperature sensitive process.

Chapter 7 - Supplies

So you know by now that you are going to need some stuff. That goes without saying.

But what exactly do you need and how much is it going to run you? Let us find out.

Growing with “PF-Tek”

Growing with Grains

Growing with pre-made bags (easier than making your own)

Growing with Dung/Straw (Bulk style)

This is not one of the three “main” growing methods! However, it requires its’ own additional equipment so that is why it is included here.

Chapter 8 - Let's Grow!

After reviewing the different grow methods available, pick one you think is best suited for you and scroll to it below. They are all in order as listed below:

* PF-Tek

* Grains

* Bags

Look at the chapter on supplies to learn more about what is necessary for each method.


Method 1 – Pressure cook

Method 2 – Steam-sterilize

After the jars are cooled down


Method 1 – Pressure cook

Method 2 – Steam-sterilize

After the jars are cooled down

Grow Bags

Chapter 9 - Enhance The Quality

After you have mastered the art of basic mushroom cultivating, you may begin to wonder how to make them more potent. This is a very subjective thing to set focus to since many people have varying opinions on how this can be achieved. Speaking to many cultivators the world over, I can tell you first hand the best way to make mushrooms more potent, full of flavor and viable, is to use better substrates.


For instance, the traditional (and very basic) flour or grain substrate techniques will only result in moderate quality mushrooms in many cases. If you grew those same exact mushrooms on grains and then fruited them or spawned to manure and fruited them, you would have substantially higher quality mushrooms.


People have been experimenting with different additives to substrates like coffee, but this has never been directly attributed to boosting quality in mushrooms. You’re more than welcome to try. In using a method like the brown rice flour and vermiculite (“PF tek”) you might want to experiment adding a teaspoon to a few jars and judging their quality first hand.


Using spores that are known for producing fruits that are more potent is another good way of growing fruits that are more powerful. This is something a lot of people debate as many believe there is no such thing as an inferior or superior spore or variation of spores for the desired mushroom you are cultivating. However, this is something you may want to research on a grow-to-grow basis since currently, there is no data pointing to one spore or another for growing higher quality fruits.

Chapter 10 - Never Buy Spores Again

Once you purchase spores from a vendor, you may never need to do so again. Once you have fruits growing regularly and are able to make your own spore prints you can easily take that spore print and make hundreds of syringes from it. A great way of easily multiplying spores is to do the following.

Liquid Cultures:

A liquid culture is for getting spores “jump-started” by inoculating a water and substrate mixture. This causes the spores to germinate in the liquid/substrate culture so when they are re-inoculated into a grow bag, jar or some other container with your typical substrate they will immediately begin growing. This will also help avoid contamination since the colonization speed is so much faster. Liquid cultures are a great way to take one syringe and make it into 10, or a great way to take a mushroom cap and turn it into 10-100 liquid culture filled syringes, which you can refrigerate for later use.

How do you do it?

This is very, very simple. Note: It is not recommended that you use an entire syringe making liquid cultures, since it adds an extra step that may leave you with a lot of contaminated liquid cultures and no spores to use in your current grows. Just keep that in mind.

You are going to need one of the following faux-substrates to use in your liquid culture. You probably already have some in your home.

* Karo (Do not get dark karo or one containing brown sugar.)

* Organic honey

* Corn sugar

* Light or extra-light malt extract

* Dextrose

Malt/Dextrose/Karo/Corn Sugar: 1 tablespoon per 1 cup of water

Honey: 1 teaspoon of honey per 100 ml of water

1. Mix up your solution in a small half pint or full pint jar using a fork or other stirring instrument. Use warm water to speed up the dissolving of the syrup. Cover with foil and secure the lid then sterilize the jar as you would normal brown rice flour and vermiculite jar.

2. Allow to cool and set aside for a few hours.

3. Return and, while observing proper sterile protocols, inoculate the jar with 1cc of spores from a spore syringe. (Alternatively you could, while in a glove box or flow hood scrape spores from a spore print into the liquid culture.)

4. Place the inoculated jar into your incubator or in a warm spot so the spores can germinate.

5. Wait a week and you should begin to see mycelium forming and slowly trying to network. Gently try to stir the jar or shake it to break up the mycelium.

6. After the LC has grown into a milky, cloudy color take a few empty, sterile syringes and suck up about 10cc’s of LC. If you don’t plan to use them right away you can refrigerate them or inoculate new bags, jars, or containers with the syringes. Colonization speeds will be cut almost in half.

Chapter 11 - Harvest

Once you have successfully fruited your mushrooms you are going to realize an urgent problem that needs your attention. What are you going to do with all of those wet mushrooms so that they do not begin to rot or lose potency? You need to dry them, promptly and correctly.

The larger your yield, the more attention you will have to pay to drying. By a large majority, there is a favored and very easy 2-step drying process.

First step: Get a cardboard box and toss your mushrooms into it. Point a fan into the box for 24 hours, making sure the mushrooms are getting evenly distributed air exchange.

Second step: Take the partially dried mushrooms and put them in an airtight container on a metal screen so that they rest above a desiccant, but NEVER directly touching the desiccant. You will know your mushrooms are completely dry when you can bend them and they snap like a cracker. You do not want them to bend.


Chapter 12 - Secrets and Tips


Dunking is a classic secret that surprisingly many people do not know about. You can EASILY double yields by dunking ANY colonized substrate you have. The method is remarkably simple. Take your colonized substrate from the jar or container it is in and place it in a container that is sealable, like a Tupperware container or something similar. Fill the container with water until the colonized substrate is submerged. Leave for 24 hours, remove from the container, pat dry with a paper towel, and place it into the fruiting chamber. This will supplement the mycelium with extra moisture and water to help make new, larger fruits. Mushrooms are 90% water so this always helps to get the last bit out of your grow.

Steam sterilization of grains

Think you need a pressure cooker to grow mushrooms? Think again. It IS possible to steam sterilize grains, but it takes a lot longer and you really need to watch your jars to make sure they don’t dry out OR get too wet. Follow the directions in this guide under your preferred grow method to learn more about steam sterilization.

 Keep in mind this does not guarantee sterilization but it’s the best you can get without a pressure cooker

Do not make your own bags

It is cheaper and seems like a good idea, but do not do it. Bags are just flat out difficult to make successfully. I have used every different method of making bags and never had success, was it my fault? Actually, no. I encountered tons of poorly made bags that were not up to par with retailers selling pre-made bags, teks that caused bags to explode and so on and so forth. I wasted a lot of money trying to get bags to work. I would just simply recommend you not use them at all.


Unless you are using a fruiting chamber that utilizes an air pump you should consider fanning 2-3 times daily. Fanning simply means you take the lid off your fruiting chamber and using the lid in a fan like motion manually circulate the air inside the fruiting chamber. Do this for a few seconds and put it back on.

Cardboard box dryer

If you ever have some harvested and dried mushrooms that somehow become damp again or were never totally dry to begin with you can use this method to dry them out the rest of the way into total cracker dry mushrooms. Get a box that is made of thin cardboard that will get a lot of air circulation and be able to let air and moisture out. Use the same kind of box as a cereal box. Place it in a cool dry area and periodically check on it.


Q: There is yellow liquid in my jar, what the heck is this?

A: This is mycelium waste, it is not a contaminant, do not worry!

Q: My cake is stuck in my jar! What do I do?

A: Take a towel and wrap up your jar in it. Gently but sternly knock the side of the jar on the corner of a table. Rotate the jar and repeat. After 4-6 firm knocks try removing the cake again.


Mushroom Terms


Located at the top of the mushroom, contains the gills and spores


Thin fleshy folds that hold and disperse spores upon Sporulation


Rhizomorphic growth, comparable in nature to a plant’s roots.


Think of it as the “seed” that mushrooms grow from


The act of spores being dispersed from the gills of a mushroom


Main body of the mushroom, often thin and long and connects to the cap


The thin fleshy flap that connects the cap of a mushroom to the stem, concealing the gills

Equipment Terms

Autoclavable bags

Plastic bags that can withstand high enough temperatures making them autoclavable, or in other words, able to be sterilized in the same way a glass jar is.

Brown Rice Flour

Brown rice flour is a nutritious grain flour that is most commonly used in mushroom cultivation in the “PF Tek”, a growing method that mixes vermiculite and brown rice flour to create a growing medium for mushrooms.

Coco Coir

Similar in nature to vermiculite. It is made from coconut fibers and retains moisture very well. Is used in casing often.

Flow hood

Often a homemade device made to make the immediate area’s air sterile in order to avoid contamination

Fruiting Chamber

This is where your colonized substrate is placed to begin the mushroom pinning and maturation process. The relative humidity of these terrariums is often 99% and kept at 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit.


A container that keeps warm temperatures to help colonization. You can use a Styrofoam container and a heating pad even. Often 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit.


Lime is used to alter the pH of a certain substrate or medium to ensure that it is not too acidic, and therefore, not ideal for mushroom cultivation.


Millet is a nutritious grain that edible mushrooms can grow on. A product sold in bulk in many grocery stores.


While vermiculite retains its moisture and holds onto like a sponge, perlite absorbs moisture and then let us out very quickly. People use perlite in mushroom fruiting chambers to keep the moisture and relative humidity levels high.

Pressure cooker

A small cooking appliance that is used primarily to sterilize substrate


Rye is another nutritious grain edible mushrooms commonly grow on.


Long metal instrument with a blade on the end typically used in surgery. In mushroom cultivation, its use is to scrape spores off a spore print.

Spore print

Typically a piece of paper or aluminum foil that has sporulated spores from a mature mushroom cap on it.


Similar to the syringe found in a hospital, syringes are used to inject spores into a sterile substrate


Vermiculite is a dry, spongy growing medium that is traditionally in planting soils to add volume, retain moisture and aeration for roots to grow. It works in a similar fashion in mushroom cultivation.

Misc Terms

Cold Shocking

The act of “shocking” a mass of colonized substrate into pinning and growing mushrooms through means of refrigeration and/or dunking in cold water.


After mushroom spores are inoculated and germinate in their substrate, they will begin to “colonize” the substrate. This is the act of the mycelium working its way through the substrate and preparing for mushroom growth.

Field Capacity

e.g. Go get a sponge, soak it in a bowl of water, pull it out and squeeze the water out, the moisture retained in the sponge that you cannot squeeze out illustrates the field capacity of that sponge.


“Fruit” refers to the mature mushroom and the act of mushrooms growing. e.g. “To fruit”

Hyphal Knots

Pre-cursor to pins, small round white balls in appearance


Place where inoculated mushroom substrate remains while it colonizes. Often 75-90 degrees F.


The act of introducing mushroom spores into a substrate.


Pasteurization can be thought of as “half-sterilization”. Pasteurization kills the bad bacteria while keeping the beneficial bacteria. Pasteurization in mushroom cultivation is typically done with cow and horse dung. You cannot pasteurize grains such as millet or rye.


Light sensitive. Often referring to mushrooms light sensitivity and the way they grow toward light sources.


Small, immature mushrooms that are only just beginning to grow


Sterilization is the act of making a substrate totally sterile, or absent of all living organisms and bacteria.


This is a term for tutorials or instructional documents on different cultivation techniques.