Growing mushrooms is often a very simple process, in part because they don’t need much to thrive. These days, there is a wide range of mycelium-based products that allow you to simply add water.
It’s important to understand that mushroom spores and mycelium, as well as the mushroom itself, can be very easily contaminated. These usually have a devastating effect on the growth of the fungi.
Therefore, when handling mycelium, spores and fungi, you should always be careful about your own hygiene and that of your environment and equipment.
The spores and mushroom beds themselves come into contact with all of these factors during cultivation. Therefore, if you reduce the sterility of your work environment, the quality and productivity of your project will also suffer.
Here are some tips to help you protect your mushrooms from bad bacteria.
Wash your hands and arms thoroughly with disinfectant soap, and preferably wear gloves or a mouth guard before starting work.
Clean work surfaces thoroughly with a disinfectant and try to work in as small a space as possible to minimize the area you need to keep clean.
Make sure there are no drafts and that the room is closed, as there are many bacteria in the air. If necessary, you can seal the room with tape. (You can also use a glove box or safety cabinet).
Be sure to sterilize any metal instruments used in the process by using a pressure cooker, lighter or flashlight. Remember, if a sterile item touches an unsterilized part, you must clean it up.
Make sure that the syringe used is sterile. The spores and mycelium are fundamental to the process and it is essential to keep them sterile during the early stages of growth.
The substrate is the last risk of contamination. The substrate serves as the soil for the mycelium and fungi. Substrates include materials such as rye, vermiculite, rice flour and straw, which contain millions of bacteria. Therefore, the substrate must always be sterilized or pasteurized in the pressure cooker.