- Making the mushroom house
- Creating a humid environment
- Creating good airflow
- Creating temperature stability
- Ensuring daylight
- The results
- Further reading + resources:
- Growing Mushrooms At Home: How To Make A Mushroom Fruiting Chamber
- Setting Up a Mushroom Fruiting Chamber
- Requirements for Growing Mushrooms at Home
- How to Make a Mushroom Fruiting Chamber
- Building a Mushroom Fruiting Chamber for Successful Mushroom Growing
- This article teaches how to create a mushroom fruiting chamber so you can grow high-quality, gourmet mushrooms as a hobby or as a profession
- Constructing Your Terrarium/Fruiting Chamber
- Download Full Release-Let’s Grow Mushrooms in High Resolution for only $8.99!
- Shotgun Terrarium Theory of Operation
- Lighting Requirements of Mushrooms
- Common DesignsEdit
- What humidity do mushrooms grow in?
- What temperature and humidity do mushrooms need?
- Will mushroom grow more if the moisture is increased?
- Humidifiers for Mushroom Humidity Control You can consider
- Which is the Best Humidifier for Mushroom Humidity Control?
- Fresh Air Exchange (FAE)Edit
- External LinksEdit
- How to Build a Home Fruiting Chamber
- The Shower
- Fruiting Room
Here’s how we made a DIY off-grid mushroom fruiting house – for creating a humid forest simulation chamber, to grow LOTS of mushrooms right on our back porch.
You can grow mushrooms in lots of different ways. We grow them in reusable containers – buckets and jars, and also in gardens, on logs and stumps – all with a focus on using waste materials (sawdust, straw, forest thinnings, spent coffee grounds) and avoiding single-use plastic growbags.
For the outdoor cultivated mushrooms that we grow on logs, stumps, and gardens, harvests are more seasonally dependent – we harvest mushrooms when conditions are right, and the mycelium is ready to fruit.
The alternative, which we use for the mushrooms we cultivate on pasteurised substrate in buckets and jars, is an ‘improved environment’ for our mushrooms to fruit in – helping to create the right conditions that they need to fruit.
Low tech DIY climate modification, if you will.
Most mushrooms love to fruit in high-humidity conditions – ie think a shady wet forest, at certain times of year, with great airflow and a bit of light. So how can you re-create this same climate-controlled environment down the side of your house, without large energy inputs or fandangled gear?
The way that most commercial growers do this is usually with expensive and energy intensive insulated + air-regulated grow rooms (or underground tunnels, if they’re lucky)… but we wanted to see if we could make a grow room from junk, and the absolute minimum amount of technology, using the temperate environment that we have.
Enter the offgrid, DIY mushroom fruiting house. It’s not perfect, but it does a darn fine job, and all made from scrap materials (with a few exceptions for the tricky bits).
Making the mushroom house
First, we headed to our local landfill’s tip shop and got materials – 3-4 different sets of glass shower screens, scrap aluminium framing, supermarket shelving, wire rack shelves, dishwasher trays, shadecloth.
Then, working with the factors that the mushrooms need, and what our home could provide, we got cracking on a design. And built it.
And now, we feast on mushrooms regularly. Hooray!
So what do mushrooms need to fruit properly? Here’s a summary:
- Temperature stability – mushrooms need things stable – some like it hot, some like it cold, but they all like it consistent, once they’re fruiting. Which can be tricky to maintain in a home growing context.
- High humidity – mushrooms need about 90% humidity to fruit really well.
- Airflow – mushrooms need a good amount of fresh air exchange (called FAE in mushroom lingo) to fruit properly. Which is extra tricky once you’re trying to also keep them humid.
- Good light – mushrooms need light to fruit properly, to the tune of normal daylight hours. Yes I know this runs contra to the ‘keep em in the dark and feed em shit’ mushroom joke but there you go. Light is important once mushrooms are ready to fruit.
Before we go any further, if you’re not that familiar with mushroom growing you might like to check out our other mushroom growing posts – how to make buckets of mushrooms out of a packet of spawn and so on – here’s all our mushroom articles.
So… how to make all that happen out of junk, with minimal power… took some thinking. Here’s the design:
And here’s how we dealt with the factors that mushrooms need to fruit in dependable abundance…
Creating a humid environment
the aim is to create a 90+ % humidity environment in the chamber. We achieved this with the glass panel walls, which are great for keeping the humidity in, while allowing for good airflow.
The humidity comes from a centrifugal humidifier (for reference, this type of thing) – which was the only slightly expensive bit of kit in the build. It’s mounted in a solid plastic tub in the top of the chamber, with a water inlet coming from our garden hose (which runs from our water tanks). We added a plastic toilet float valve to control the water level in the tub. The tub also has an overflow outlet, so if the float valve fails, the water doesn’t flood the electrics for the humidifier.
This humidifier is mounted at the top of the system so that the humid air falls downwards. The humid air blows through a short bit of aircon ducting, to deliver the humid air directly over the wire racks of fruiting mushrooms.
The humidifier turns on and off via a cheap digital timer (for reference, this type of thing), and is plugged into our power. When we’re fruiting lots of mushrooms, the time turns the humidifier on for 5 mins each hour, or less depending on the weather and conditions.
In addition, all our jars and buckets of substrate are soaked in water for 12-14 hours before going into this chamber, which ensures they start out nice and moist.
Technical bits: We’re offgrid on a small stand-alone solar system, so minimal power usage is critical for us. The humidifier uses a 85w motor and it turns on for 5 minutes 12 times per day. Power usage is therefore about 85/1000kW x 5/60hrs x 12 = 0.085 kWh (kilowatt hour). To put that into perspective, a modern small energy efficient fridge will use at least 1kWh per day… so it is about 1/12th as much as that.
The water usage is very minimal – about 2-4L per day.
Creating good airflow
The chamber is not sealed – the bottom of the chamber rests on open dishwasher racks (very sturdy plastic) topped by mesh to ensure good airflow without entry for insects – fruit fly netting or similar is good here, to protect against small fungus gnats. The top of the chamber is also screened.
This open top and bottom means that whenever the humidifier dumps moist air into the top of the chamber, it also has the effect of flushing the chamber with fresh air.
As the humid air falls downwards and slowly exits out the bottom, fresh air is drawn into the top of the chamber, replenishing the fresh air in the mushroom house.
This fresh air exchange (FAE) is critical to effective mushroom fruiting – in commercial setups, large fans are used for this purpose. This home system, with the humidity being provided by humid air entering at the top, performs this second function of FAE as a side effect, which is great for us (and the mushrooms).
Creating temperature stability
We’ve opted out of using expensive air conditioning and heating systems – partly because we’re off-grid on stand alone solar, partly because we don’t want to use a bunch of coal-fired energy to grow our food.
Instead, we’ve passively regulated the temperature of this chamber by placing it on the colder, shadier southern side of our house. The chamber is also up against a mudbrick wall, and on brick pavers.
All this thermal mass, combined with a lack of sun exposure, helps hugely with thermal stability – keeping the temperature of the chamber cool and stable.
We’re also adding some foil insulation under the verandah tin roof over this chamber for Summer, to further reduce heat.
The other thing we do is grow different species seasonally – some mushrooms prefer cooler temperatures, some prefer hotter. By growing different mushrooms at different times of year, we match the seasons with different varieties, and still get very regular harvests of home grown goodness.
Temperature regulation is just as important (if not more so) as any other factor for successful mushroom fruiting. Which is why it’s hard to get this aspect right without either a nice underground cave, or alternatively lots of artificial heating and cooling. Definitely a big factor to consider, when choosing where to fruit your shrooms.
The chamber’s walls are glass panels, which means lots of light, at a normal daylight length for the mushrooms. Becuase the chamber is under a wide verandah on the shady side of the house (and with a concrete watertank facing) it gets zero direct sunlight, which is important for both temperature stability AND humidity.
Other factors we needed to consider were:
Fireproofing – we live at Melliodora, an iconic living permaculture system designed by David Holmgren with many specific design aspects dedicated to bushfire readiness. One of these is ensuring no plastic roofing or components anywhere near the mudbrick houses, as a fire reduction strategy – plastic burns! Mud and glass does not. And so, the greenhouses and skylights on the property are all toughened glass. This was why we went with glass panels for this chamber, which would be up against the wall of our home – turns out it was a good idea for other reasons too.
The result of all this tinkering and thinkering has been a dependable supply of home grown mushrooms! What more could anyone want. We eat them fried, dried, powdered, souped and pie-ed. We trade them with friends for things we need. Deliciousness – made with scraps from the tip and a bit of experimentation. It’s a satisfying meal for sure.
Further reading + resources:
- Pasteurising substrate to grow lots of shrooms – best place to start, if you want an easy way to grow mushrooms in buckets or jars
- All our free online mushroom growing + foraging resources
- Read this book – Radical Mycology – because it is exactly what it says it is.
- In NSW or VIC? Join us for a jam-packed weekend Gourmet Mushroom Cultivation course.
Big thanks to our new resident illustrator Brenna Quinlan for the diagram, and to the general mycophile network for the advice, sharing and learning that takes us all forward.
There’s a whole chapter on Growing Mushrooms in our book MILKWOOD if you’d like to learn more.
Gourmet mushrooms are an excellent addition to a Permaculture farm. They are nutritious and delicious and they really stand out on your market stall table. Many farmers around the world grow them to add diversity to their produce range and to make use of the shadier areas where most plants won’t thrive.
But mushrooms are funny little creatures and like most other living things they won’t flourish unless some basic needs are met.
Huge king oyster
Here at Fungi Culture we’re in the process of compiling all the information, tricks, tips and techniques to get a small- to medium-sized oyster mushroom growing enterprise set up and running smoothly. The main focus is always to make gourmet mushroom cultivation sustainable, minimize the start-up and running costs and in the process grow happy, healthy mushrooms!
Obviously this is too much info for one article, so it’ll have to be split up into manageable bites.
Step 1 — choosing which mushroom to grow
The first mushroom people think to grow is the common button mushroom found in grocery stores worldwide. It is by far the most popular mushroom in Australia and may sound like a good option at first, but there are a few reasons why I’d recommend steering clear from button mushroom cultivation (unfortunately this includes the Swiss Browns and Portabellas as well!)
- Button mushrooms are the most popular mushroom to cultivate and the market is flooded with cheap mushrooms grown on a very large scale. To compete with the industrial sized farms, button mushroom farmers will need to invest heavily in infrastructure.
- Button mushrooms are grown on a very specific compost that is generally (though not always) bought in at an expense. The farmer can sell off the mushroom compost at the end of the cycle to try and recoup the expense.
- Button mushrooms need a layer of ‘casing’ covering the compost to produce reliable crops. This casing layer is made from peat, an imported material that is both expensive and is harvested from peat bogs making it extremely unsustainable.
Oyster Mushrooms on the other hand…
- Grow easily on very inexpensive and locally available materials: straw, sawdust, sugar cane mulch, paper, cardboard — the list goes on…
- They sell for a higher price than button mushrooms
- Are rare enough to be a talking point at the local farmers’ market
- Take very little investment in growing space to produce
- Are arguably the easiest mushroom to grow so it’s a good one to start with.
You’ll need a suitable spot to grow them. If you’re growing them for you and your family it can be as simple as a spot in the shade with access to water.
If your aim is to grow enough to bring to market then you’ll need to put in a bit more effort. A structure that can hold some humidity and gets ambient light is what you’re aiming for. I’ve seen shade-houses, poly-tunnels with thick shade-cloth and shipping containers work well. Depending on the species, oyster mushrooms can be grown between 10-25ºC, making them a great crop for the cooler months depending on your location.
Mushrooms really love humidity, so creating a nice moist environment is a must for decent crops. There are two ways to boost the relative humidity.
- Greenhouse misters — this is the cheaper option. Look for the finest mist you can get so the water droplets stay in the air and elevate the humidity. Remember we are trying to elevate the humidity, not water the crops. They can be rigged up to a timer for hands-free automation.
- Foggers — greenhouse foggers are the second option. They directly boost humidity and if set to the right amount, very little excess water will develop. They are generally more expensive to purchase but can be programmed to the exact humidity required.
The last essential piece for the growing space is fresh air and lots of it! Because mushrooms breathe in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide they need a steady supply of air to keep them happy. Depending on your growing structure you may need to rig up a fan to keep them growing well.
You can find us at Fungi Culture where we’re exploring gourmet mushroom cultivation in all shapes and forms!
Upcoming article — Planting your Oyster Mushroom Logs
- How to Grow Your Own Oyster Mushrooms on Straw
- Oyster Mushroom Production: Prosperity and Problems for a Small NGO in Tanzania
Growing Mushrooms At Home: How To Make A Mushroom Fruiting Chamber
Growing mushrooms at home is a fun, rewarding endeavor culminating in the delicious fruits of your labor. Setting up a mushroom fruiting chamber is really the only difficult thing about growing mushrooms at home, and even then, a DIY mushroom house doesn’t have to be complex. To learn how to make your own mushroom fruiting chamber, read the following mushroom fruiting house ideas.
Setting Up a Mushroom Fruiting Chamber
The whole idea behind a DIY mushroom house is to simulate the natural growing conditions of fungi. That is, recreating a humid forest. Mushrooms love high humidity, a bit of light and excellent airflow.
Commercial growers spend some serious dollars on building energy intensive, air, humidity and temperature regulated grow rooms or underground tunnels. Creating a DIY mushroom house doesn’t have to costly or nearly that comprehensive.
Requirements for Growing Mushrooms at Home
There are numerous mushroom fruiting ideas out there. What they all have in common is attention to providing the correct CO2, humidity levels, temperature and amount of light.
Ideally, the CO2 will be under 800 ppm, depending upon the type of mushroom. There should be sufficient light to see by. Humidity should be above 80% in the fruiting chamber and the temperature between 60-65 F. (16-18 C.) for some varieties. For example, oyster mushrooms need different humidity and temps than shiitakes, which like it colder.
Look up the exact requirements for the specific type of mushrooms you’re growing at home. Start with inoculated sterilized jars with cultures that are nicely colonized.
How to Make a Mushroom Fruiting Chamber
The absolute simplest mushroom fruiting house involves the use of a clear plastic storage bin with a lid. Drill 4-5 holes into all sides of the container. Wash the container and dry it thoroughly.
Pour 1-2 gallons of perlite into the bottom of the container and add water until it is absorbed and the perlite is wet but not sodden. If you add too much water, drain the perlite so it is barely dripping. Aim on having 2-3 inches (5-7.6 cm.) of this wet perlite at the bottom of the container.
Find a good place for your fruiting chamber. Remember this area should comply with the above info regarding CO2, humidity, temperature and lighting.
Now it’s time to transfer the colonized mushrooms. Wear sterile gloves or use hand sanitizer prior to handling the mushroom culture. Gently remove the cake of mushroom culture and set it down into the damp perlite in the chamber. Space each cake a few inches (7.6 cm.) apart on the chamber floor.
Mist the inoculated cakes with distilled water no more than twice a day and fan them using the plastic storage lid. Be careful about getting the cakes too wet; they might mold. Use only a very fine misting bottle and hold it away from but above the cakes. Also, mist the lid of the container.
Keep the temperature and humidity level as consistent as possible. Some mushrooms like it hot and some cold, so be sure to look up the requirements for your type of mushroom. If need be, use a fan to move the air around and during colder months a humidifier and heater will help to maintain a consistent temp and humidity level.
This is just one DIY mushroom fruiting house idea, and a fairly simple one. Mushrooms can also be grown in buckets or clear plastic bags that have been placed in a glass chamber outfitted with a humidifier and fan. Mushrooms can be grown in almost anything your imagination comes up with as long as it fulfills the above requirements for consistent CO2, humidity, temperature and light.
Building a Mushroom Fruiting Chamber for Successful Mushroom Growing
This article teaches how to create a mushroom fruiting chamber so you can grow high-quality, gourmet mushrooms as a hobby or as a profession
A mushroom fruiting chamber can come in a variety of sizes, from a 2’ x 2’ tent to a 53’ trailer. Regardless of the size, there are a few things that all fruiting chambers should have in common.
A few things to consider before beginning your mushroom fruiting chamber:
- You will want a clean, controlled area to use while fruiting mushrooms.
- The area will be wet with a high humidity. A concrete floor with or near a drain is helpful.
- You want to make sure you can clean it easily. It does not need to be sterile or hyper clean, but we do clean our grow room weekly.
- A rectangular shape is preferred for a fruiting chamber because the air flow can disturb the air more evenly in this design. Otherwise there could be corners that do not receive enough airflow.
- Airflow with adequate oxygen, and not high levels of CO2, is necessary for fruiting mushrooms.
- You will need to exhaust the air out of the room.
Your mushroom fruiting chamber does not have to be high tech
In the video below we show an example of a mushroom fruiting chamber we once used. It was the second fruiting chamber we built and it was in a tobacco barn on a concrete slab. We did a very simple stick framing with wood and then put plastic over the entire chamber.
This was about a 25’ by 14’ grow room, which served as a 3-season space for growing as we did not insulate it. We were able to produce up to 200 lbs of mushrooms each week in this room!
A really efficient ways to develop your mushroom fruiting chamber
Have you ever toured a commercial mushroom farm? If so, consider how the structure and set up of the room is.
There are a variety of ways to set up a commercial mushroom farm. However, some ways may lead to easier methods for controlling the room. For instance, I mentioned above that it is important to be able to clean your grow space. If you are growing specialty mushrooms to eat or sell, you will need to ensure that you are growing mushrooms that do not get contaminated by any other type of fungus or bacteria. Having a clean area is a big part of this.
One way to develop a growing space that is easy to clean is by using shelves on wheels. In this type of setup the mushroom spawn bags that the fresh mushrooms grow from are placed on the shelves. Each shelf may will probably have three or more levels that can be filled with the spawn bags. These shelves can be wheeled around the concrete area, allowing the cleaning process to take place easily and efficiently. This is turn allows the mushroom farmer to focus on more important aspects of the job, like making sure the mushrooms are growing properly, harvested at the best time, and that the sales of the product continues.
The most important parameters for building a mushroom fruiting chamber
The big four:
Ideally, the CO2 should be below 800 ppm, depending on strain. The humidity above 80%. There should be enough lighting in your fruiting room to see. We have our lights on enough where we could even read a book. Temperature is ideally between 60 and 65 degrees.
An example of what you could potentially grow in a 16’ x 8’ mushroom fruiting chamber
Here are some rough numbers for you on what can be achieved with some mushroom growing skills and a modestly-sized fruiting chamber.
First off, this 16’ x 8’ space could produce about 150 lbs of mushrooms per week. This room can hold 12 shelves that are 3’ long by 18” deep and 5’ tall. Each shelf can then hold 32 bags of spawn.
We can cycle in more bags, utilizing 96 bags per week. One bag fruits roughly a pound of mushrooms in its first flush. This means 96 bags will equal roughly 96 pounds of mushrooms. However, a second flush should then take place about 3 weeks after the initial flush. At this time each bag should be able to yield a half-pound of mushrooms. Adding the original 96 pounds with the 48 pounds from the second flush and we come to a total of 144 pounds of mushrooms.
At $8-$12 per pound, this is a value of $1,152 – $1,728 per week.
Do you need a professional mushroom grower as a consultant to help you get your mushroom farm under way? Reach out to us today.
Otherwise, check out our great mushroom spawn options for growing your own mushrooms at home.
Constructing Your Terrarium/Fruiting Chamber
Click thumbnails to enlarge
Note: Do NOT waste your money on a digital hygrometer for your terrarium or mushroom growing house. They may be accurate in a home at normal ambient household humidity, but in a terrarium at near saturation humidity, they will not read properly. Get a quality analog hygrometer from a cigar shop and calibrate it by wrapping in a damp towel for an hour, and then adjust the screw on the back so the dial reads 99%. Repeat weekly.
This page explains the construction of a simple terrarium, also known as a fruiting chamber, for growing mushrooms. The function of a mushroom fruiting chamber, or terrarium as they’re sometimes referred to, is to provide an environment with near saturation humidity, while allowing plenty of fresh air to enter and circulate. My terrarium design has become widely referred to as the shotgun terrarium due to the abundance of holes on all six sides. The ideal mushroom fruiting chamber will be constructed in such a way that stale CO2 laden air can exit, or be forced out, while a constant supply of fresh moving air is allowed to enter. While the terrarium needs to provide this supply of fresh air, it also needs to maintain a humidity level at or above 95% to promote mushroom formation and growth.
Over the years, I’ve seen many mushroom fruiting chamber designs come and go. Those that hold a high humidity often get saturated with stale air, and the mushrooms develop fat, tough stipes (stems) and tiny caps. Since with many species of mushrooms, it’s the cap that we eat, the entry of fresh air is vitally important. Other terrarium designs use complicated systems of humidifiers and fans, and while these often provide the fresh air that’s required, they sometimes fail to keep the humidity levels high enough, resulting in dry substrates and poor mushroom fruitbody formation. In addition, the use of mechanical or electrical devices introduces the possibility of failure, either by over saturation or drying out, due to equipment malfunction. That’s why I advise to keep it simple. The terrarium I present here can be left unattended while you’re at work all day, and you won’t have to worry about losing your mushrooms.
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The terrarium system that I designed and demonstrate here is what I consider to be the best combination of easy construction, excellent function, and low maintenance. To watch a video of the terrarium under construction, see part 3 of the BRF/PF tek video. It’s been dubbed the shotgun terrarium, and the name seems to have stuck. The name comes from the appearance of up to a few hundred holes that are drilled into the plastic storage bin.
Click thumbnails to enlarge
Shotgun Terrarium Theory of Operation
The theory of operation for the shotgun mushroom fruiting chamber is that natural air currents travel from areas of high pressure to areas of low pressure. Cool air has the molecules closer together than warm air, thus cool air is at a slightly higher pressure than warm air. When we put several inches of damp perlite in the bottom of our terrarium, we create an area with a slightly cooler temperature than the air above, which is exposed to lights that create heat, and our mushroom substrates, which are often at up to a few degrees warmer than the surrounding air due to thermogenesis.
Click thumbnails to enlarge
This temperature differential, however slight, results in enough of a pressure gradient that it causes air to flow up through the perlite, absorbing moisture as it travels, and into the relatively lower pressure air within the fruiting portion of our fruiting chamber.
This air then exits through the holes in the upper section of the terrarium, carrying the excessive CO2 produced by our mycelium out with it. With this design, no electrical or mechanical equipment is required. Regular misting helps to keep our brf cakes or other substrates moist, and also serves to replace the moisture that evaporates from the perlite.
Misting Cakes after Placing in Terrarium
Click to enlarge
When using this system, drill holes as shown in the pictures and video clip on all six sides. I use a 1/4″ (6mm) drill bit. Use of a larger drill bit is not recommended. It must be remembered that a 1/2″ hole has four times the area of a 1/4″ hole. (A 12 mm hole has four times the area of a 6 mm hole) If the holes are too large, your terrarium will not be able to maintain the high humidity necessary for growing mushrooms.
This system also requires an ambient humidity in your house of 30% or above, which incidentally will ensure your own comfort as well. In desert climates, and especially in cold climates during the winter months, indoor humidity is often very low. If you get shocked from touching another person, or a light switch, etc., after walking across the carpet in your home, it means your humidity is too low. The answer is to run a cool mist humidifier 24/7 in your home. Moist air holds heat much better than dry air, so you’ll actually lower your utility bills by doing so. If you’ll ensure that the humidity in your growing room is at least 30%, this design terrarium will easily maintain 95% humidity on the inside where your mushrooms need it.
Of course, it should go without saying that for this system to work properly, the terrarium must be elevated at least 1″ above the table it’s sitting on. Use blocks of wood, shot glasses, or whatever you have around the house to raise the terrarium off the table so air can circulate under it. It should also be noted that 90% of all airborne contaminants in a room are located near the floor, so make sure your terrarium has a home on a table or shelf.
Lighting Requirements of Mushrooms
Some mushrooms, such as the Agaricus species commonly found in grocery stores require no light at all. However, those commonly grown by hobbyists, such as Pleurotus ostreatus (Oyster Mushrooms), Lentinus enodes (Shiitake), Psilocybe cubensis, a hallucinogenic mushroom, and Hericium erinaceus (Lion’s Mane) all require light to produce abundant, normal sized fruits. Experience has taught us that the light best suited for primordia formation and the development of fruitbodies is bright light with a color temperature of 5,000 Kelvin to 7,000 Kelvin. Fortunately, this type of light is easily obtainable at your local home improvement center in the form of fluorescent fixtures. For a small terrarium as described in this chapter, a single CFL (compact fluorescent) that screws into a standard light bulb socket will work very well. These can often be found in grocery and drug stores in every neighborhood. 15 watt CFLs will do the job well, but the package will probably have a large 60 stamped on it, indicating they produce light “equivalent” to a 60 watt incandescent light bulb. They’re referring to lumens of output, not the frequency. Incandescent light bulbs are the worst possible choice for growing mushrooms, since they emit a ‘red’ light in the 3,000 Kelvin color temperature range.
The higher the color temperature, expressed in Kelvin, the closer to the ‘blue’ end of the spectrum the emitted light is. The lower the color temperature the ‘redder’ the light is. If you have a choice of fluorescent lamps, purchase those labeled ‘daylight’ since these have a somewhat higher color temperature than cool white. Daylight, sometimes called ‘natural daylight’ fluorescent tubes generally emit light in the 6,500 Kelvin range, while cool white fluorescent emits light at around 5,000 Kelvin.
If you have several terrariums stacked or otherwise near each other, you can use larger 2 to 4 tube fluorescent fixtures. These come in 48″ and 96″ lengths. Place the fluorescent lamps as close as you can get them to your terrariums without causing excessive heating. Species such as Shiitake and Oyster mushrooms prefer to fruit at temperatures in the upper 50’s to mid 60’s Fahrenheit (15C to 20C), while Psilocybe cubensis prefers to fruit at a temperature in the mid 70s to about 80 Fahrenheit (23C to 27C)
Most mushroom species don’t mind a slightly warmer temperature during daytime than at night, so if your grow room is a bit colder than the temperature ranges given above, a little warming from your lights during the daytime won’t hurt at all, provided you don’t let the air in your terrarium get too dry. For cakes, try to keep the humidity above 95%.
Cased substrates are a bit more forgiving, but still try to keep your humidity above 90%. 12 hours on, 12 hours off has proved to be a great combination over a wide range of species. Of course, if you have a bright window near your terrarium, that will suffice, but direct sunlight for more than a few minutes per day should be avoided.
Disregard outdated advice in old books which is constantly repeated on the internet to colonize mushroom substrates in total darkness. Experience and rigorous peer reviewed studies have proved that exposure to low level ambient indoor lighting during spawn run and substrate colonizing will speed up the process, leading to full colonization up to a few days earlier than the same substrate would if colonized in darkness. In addition, mushroom mycelium develops a day/night circadian rhythm, so exposure to light from day of inoculation sets this process in motion, leading to earlier fruiting and harvest.
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A fruiting chamber is an enclosed space used to artificially produce an environment that mimics fruiting conditions for a species of mushrooms.
- Shotgun FC: Named for the extensive amount of holes which need to be drilled into all sides, the shotgun fruiting chamber is a set it and forget it chamber designed for the beginning cultivator. It is constructed of a large plastic tote. For humidity, several inches of perlite or sponge are hydrated and added to the bottom from which they can evaporate a steady flow of moisture into the chamber. The holes drilled on the sides, top and bottom, with convection, provide enough fresh air exchange for many species.
- Poor man’s pod: A poor man’s pod is a fruiting chamber constructed from a plastic tote and aquarium air pump. Like the shotgun FC the poor man’s pod uses perlite or geolite for humidification, but in the poor man’s pod, humidification and fresh air exchange are manually supplemented with the use of the aquarium air pump and bubble wants.
- Monotub: A monotub is a set it and forget it contraption like the shotgun FC, but is designed to be used on large, bulk substrate grows. It is constructed from a large, plastic tote with 4 large holes drilled into the sides and filled with polyfill (a synthetic cotton material). The substrate itself provides humidity while the large holes with polyfill provide fresh air exchange.
- Mini greenhouse/Martha: A mini greenhouse is a structure (usually steel) which is covered plastic (usually clear vinyl) with a shelving system for trays or substrate blocks to be set on. In general, mini greenhouses are humidified by a coolmist humidifier and sometimes an ultrasonic humidifier as well. The term “Martha” originally referred to greenhouses build from a Marth Stewart portable closet. Among cultivators, mini greenhouse and “martha” have become synonyms.
Mushrooms thrive in humid and dark environments. You may want to use a humidifier to maintain the recommended humidity levels if you cultivate mushrooms. In this article, we shall look at the best humidifier for growing mushrooms. Remember, you don’t want droplets hitting your mushrooms lest they get brown spots. These can make them unappealing to customers.
What humidity do mushrooms grow in?
If you live in an area that’s prone to old trees, you may have seen mushrooms growing from their barks. One thing that differentiates mushrooms from other plants is the fact that they don’t contain chlorophyll; neither do they need sunlight to facilitate growth. Still, these plants require some water, light, and heat in order to grow efficiently and generate fruit.
You should know that there are numerous varieties of mushrooms some of which are dangerous for human consumption. If you don’t know how to differentiate between safe and toxic mushrooms, you can just opt for commercially grown mushrooms. Here is an analysis of what mushrooms need to grow.
Avoid These Mistakes When Using a Dehumidifier
Mushrooms don’t contain chlorophyll which means they don’t need photosynthesis and can thrive in a dark area. Still, they need some amount of light to facilitate the formation of their fruit bodies. If you want to achieve success in the fruiting section, you need to expose your mushrooms to light just for a few hours per day.
If your plants are growing indoors, then you can expose them to indirect sunlight or use a fluorescent lamp. If you’ve noticed, wild mushrooms often grow in wooded and shaded areas where they’re exposed to filtered light.
Water and Humidity
Your mushroom plants will need moisture to produce fruit. Seeing that they don’t have a skin, the moisture is easily dissolved. This is why you need to grow your mushrooms in a highly humid environment to maintain humidity.
Mushrooms inhale and trade gases with the environment and sometimes they’ll disappear only to reappear once the humidity and moisture levels subside. Whenever you’re growing these plants indoors, you should ensure that the soil is moist but not wet.
How to Test Air Quality at Home
Mushrooms can grow in various places such as decomposing leaves, on trees or tree barks, on mulch dung, compost, and even soil. During this time they’ll be feeding on the rotting matter of such substances. Commercial mushroom farmers grow them in a combination of straw and manure. As for wild mushrooms, their growing medium is hardly visible.
What temperature and humidity do mushrooms need?
Mushrooms will thrive in a cool environment where the temperature is approximately 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Wild mushrooms aren’t fussy in terms of temperatures. They can form the threads of their fungus body also known as mycelia in temperatures ranging from 40 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
When it comes to the formation of the fruit, they’ll need temperatures ranging between 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Commercially grown mushrooms thrive in temperatures between 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
Will mushroom grow more if the moisture is increased?
While mushrooms require sufficient moisture, you should ensure that there’s proper drainage. If your mushrooms sit in stagnant water they’re likely to get mold infestation and this makes them poisonous.
Humidifiers for Mushroom Humidity Control You can consider
Mushrooms require appropriate humidity to facilitate successful growth. You may want to use a humidifier if you’re growing your mushroom indoors and for commercial purposes. Choosing the ultimate humidifier can be an arduous task but you can use the analysis below as a guide to finding the best gadget for your mushroom fruiting chamber.
Are You Thinking of Getting a Commercial Dehumidifier?
A Spray Bottle
You can find a simple spray bottle from your local store. It’s ideal for a small fruiting chamber. What you need to do is just spray all around the walls of the fan and chamber with fresh water. Spray the chamber multiple times per day to maintain sufficient humidity. Don’t spray the mushrooms directly to avoid damaging them.
You’ll also need to fan the chamber to encourage circulation of fresh air. If you’re using a shotgun fruiting chamber, you may want to include perlite beneath it. This will help you maintain more consistent humidity. Remember, massive humidity fluctuations may cause the fruiting process to abort.
Wicking humidifiers are also known as evaporative humidifiers. These are configured using a simple spray bottle. Usually, the humidifier is channeled in the fruiting chamber by fastening a PVC pipe to the unit’s outlet. Wicking humidifiers work through wicking up water from a reservoir and circulating it across a larger area.
Air is then blown across this area with a fan which vaporizes the water to increase humidity in the air. While wicking humidifiers function well, you should know that they’re self-regulated and this limits their functionality when it comes to raising the humidity levels. Still, you can use it for your small fruiting chamber.
An ultrasonic dehumidifier comes with spinning discs which vaporize water droplets. These are then inflated out of the unit and circulated in your mushroom chamber. You can use this humidifier to increase the humidity within the chamber up to 100% with minimal struggle. You can either place your humidifier inside the fruiting chamber or even outside.
One of the benefits of channeling humidity in the fruiting chamber is that the humidity goes in with fresh air which plays a huge role in cutting down carbon dioxide levels and enhancing the production of better-looking fruits. Whichever ultrasonic humidifier you choose, ensure it has an on and off timer because you don’t want to drench your mushroom in water and end up destroying them.
Still, you’ll need to monitor the humidity levels in the chamber closely in order to establish the appropriate pattern that your timer requires to achieve your preferred humidity level. One thing you should keep in mind is that you need to clean your humidifier regularly to prevent bacteria from growing inside the gadget and eventually contaminating your mushroom.
Ultrasonic humidifiers will generate humidity depending on the number of discs they have. One of the tried and tested humidifiers which are ideal for use in your mushroom fruiting chamber is the Crane Tear Drop Ultrasonic Humidifier. This gadget can pump out a sufficient amount of water which means you can use it effectively if you have a big fruiting chamber.
Which is the Best Humidifier for Mushroom Humidity Control?
Are you trying to become a successful mushroom farmer? If the answer is yes, you may want to get the multidisc floating ultrasonic humidifier. Humidifiers falling in this classification come with multiple discs which float on top of the water. All you need to do is place them in a bucket full of water and direct a fan towards the bucket.
Multidisc floating ultrasonic humidifiers are powerful and you only need to use them for a short while. An example of these humidifiers is the House of Hydro Commercial 3 Head Mist Maker Kit which you can use in your big fruiting chamber. Remember to change the water every few days to prevent mold and bacteria from growing.
If you’re growing mushrooms either for commercial or domestic purposes, you’ll need to ensure that they have the ultimate humidity to facilitate growth. With a good humidifier, this process can be successful. The above guidelines should help you choose the best gadget for your fruiting chamber.
This Humidifier can keep up to a 30 Squar Meter room at the perfect humidity for growing mushrooms
set up with a timer to come on for a few minutes per hour to keep your greenhouse humid
MODEL : HR-15
Coverage : 15-30 Meters
Power supply : 240V / 50Hz or 60Hz
Power consumption : 90W
Humidification capacity : 1, 500cc/hour
Feed water pressure : less than 5kgs
Dimensions : 310 X 310 X 470mm(12.20″ X 12.20″ X 18.50″)
Easy to install(connect to water tap or water tank) Various space usage (on-wall) Easy to carry by handle Trouble free simple structure (high durability)
Good for chemical disinfection & deodorization Good for electronics, textile, tobacco factories, low temperature warehouse and mushroom cultivation.
Greenhouse, propagation room, research chamber, storage room, nursery, mushroom and orchid cultivation, chicken breeding, textile, tobacco and timber industries
Set it up horizontally to control the water level Make sure the connecting wire is long enough Check and clean the water tank periodically If there is no humidification, turn power off and check the water level If water overflows, turn the water tap off and check the float valve.
Mushrooms do not use light in the same way that plants do (for photosynthesis); rather, light is a signal that tells the fungus to start its fruiting stage. In nature, light would tell the fungus that it has reached the outside of a dung pile and that where the light hits it is a good place to create a fruit body.
Most types of light source will work. Indirect sunlight and florescent bulbs (temperature 5500k) both work. When using indirect sunlight, care must be taken to rotate the chamber so all sides get even amount of sunlight, or fruiting will occur more heavily on the sunlit side, thus reducing yield. When using artificial light, a common approach to simulate day and night is to use a simple outlet timer on a 12 hours on and 12 hours off schedule. Some cultivators prefer to leave their lights on for 24 hours a day and find that this produces satisfactory results. There is debate as to whether any darkness is needed at all for successful fruiting, however it is not debated that at least 1 or 2 hours of light is needed per day.
The sides of the fruiting chamber should have some method of blocking light from the bottom of the substrate to about three inches above it on the side of the chamber. If this is not done, side pinning and bottom pinning will occur. This is undesirable as it can produce a fruit body that is stunted, as well as bottom and side fruit are often not seen, and allowed to mature, die and rot on the substrate allowing a potent vector for contamination.
Fresh Air Exchange (FAE)Edit
Lower levels of CO2 are also a signal for the mycelium to create fruit bodies. Again, in nature when the mycelium reaches the outside of the dung pile, there is much more fresh air than inside the pile. The more (clean) fresh air you can get into your fruiting chamber the better, so long as you are able to keep the proper level of humidity. Also, some contaminants thrive in stale air with high CO2 levels, so FAE is also important for avoiding conditions favorable to some molds and bacteria.
Depending on the type of fruiting chamber used, there are various ways to achieve optimum FAE. The Shotgun FC was designed to provide FAE by hundreds of holes drilled in all sides. Some cultivators use a fish tank air pump on a digital timer to supply fresh air every other hour or so. Others simply open up the lid and fan with a magazine, but in a dirty grow room, this approach would increase risk of contamination. Some fruiting chambers are outfitted with cool mist or sonic humidifiers in order to provide both FAE and higher relative humidity.
The humidity with a fruiting chamber must remain high in order to encourage pinning and to all the growing mycelium to retain as much water as it can hold. The relative humidity(RH) of the air around fruiting mycelium should be at least 90%. A hygrometer can be used to measure RH, but many experienced cultivators can gauge relative humidity by examining water condensation on the walls of the fruiting chamber. Relative humidity is carefully controlled when a fruiting chamber is used.
The mycelium itself can create and maintain its own humidity relatively well, especially once it has fully colonized and fruit bodies are starting to grow. However, there are many different techniques which can be used to aid in maintaining proper humidity.
Misting with a spray bottle is not a humidification technique in itself so much as a supplement to other primary techniques. Misting is commonly used in order to replenish humidity after fanning for fresh air exchange or to replenish the moisture in casing layers. Mycelium and fruit bodies should never be directly sprayed with water.
High surface area materials like perlite and geolite are commonly used in a fruiting chamber to maintain a maintenance free relative humidity. They are commonly used when fruiting from substrates that lack casing since they will maintain such a high humidity level. They are commonly soaked to saturation, drained and then poured into a fruiting chamber in order to evaporate.
Some cultivators use humidifiers which they pipe into the fruiting chamber. Humidifiers are especially common when using a martha, an indoor green house. Humidifiers both maintain relative humidity and provide air exchange, but are relatively uncommon since other humidification techniques are less expensive and easier to maintain.
Adding a casing layer on top of the substrate will also help to encourage pinning, the development of fruit bodies. When a casing layer is used, the relative humidity of the fruiting chamber can be much lower than without. For this reason, the casing layer itself can maintain proper humidity in fruiting chambers that are covered completely substrate/casing such as a monotub.
Fruiting temperatures should be between 70-79°F (22-27°C), which is slightly lower than the 75-85°F (24-30°C) required during incubation. The mycelium of the mushroom also gives off less heat while fruiting than it did during colonization.
Now that your substrate is colonized, the fungus has gained control over all of the nutrition and will be able to fight off most contaminants like mold and bacteria. However it will still be susceptible to infection if you are not careful.
Before a substrate is put in the fruiting chamber, the chamber should be cleaned with soap and water. A mold infection can be taken care of by wiping the inside out with rubbing alcohol(mixed at 70%), hydrogen peroxide, or both. Once your substrate is inside, the chamber should be able to remain clean. Frequently opening your chamber in an unclean room with dust in the air should be avoided as much as possible. New cultivators often become very excited about their grows and want to open the chamber to look at the mycelium and check for new mushrooms without having their view obscured by condensation on the inside of the chamber. While you should periodically check the health of the fungus by closely examining it, opening the chamber unnecessarily may compromise cleanliness as well as humidity.
- Simple outlet timer
How to Build a Home Fruiting Chamber
- Get a large (+/– 64qt ), clear-plastic tub with a lid and a bag of perlite (available at garden stores).
- Drill 1/4″ holes in a 2″ (5 cm) grid on all sides, including lid and bottom.
- In a large colander, thoroughly rinse and drain perlite in batches, filling tub until 4–5″ deep.
- Situate tub on a table or shelf, not on the floor (to avoid contaminants).
- Elevate tub at least 2″ (5 cm) off its resting surface with blocks and keep sides of tub at least 2″ (5 cm) from any walls to allow airflow.
- Place fruiting blocks or jars within, allowing ample space for mushroom development.
- Mist 1–3 times per day, or as needed.
- If mushrooms are too stemmy, increase QTU by fanning or place a fan in the room blowing near but not directly on the tub.
Another contribution from the online mushroom community, this system was designed for compost-loving mushrooms, but it can also work for reishi, king oyster, and others that are willing to top-fruit. The optional lining is to prevent primordia from forming on the sides. Pasteurized substrate and spawn are mixed, incubated, and fruited in the tub. Maintenance is minimal if set up properly. Many sizes and designs exist; here is how to make one time-tested model:
- Get a large (+/– 64qt), clear-plastic tub with a lid, some 2″ tape (non-porous), a trash bag or plastic sheet (optional), and some polyfill.
- With a 1-1/2″ (38 mm) hole saw, drill two evenly spaced holes 5″ (13 cm) up from the bottom of the tub on each of the long sides. Drill two more 1-1/2” (38 mm) holes just under each of the handles on the short sides. When drilling, use light pressure so you don’t crack the tub.
- Invert tub and wrap the bottom like a gift, taping folds into place. If you wish, you could slip off the wrapping and put it inside tub as a liner, taping the top edge of the plastic to the tub.
- Fill with hydrated and pasteurized substrate and spawn (ratio depends on mushroom species and substrate) to 1″ (2.5 cm) below the lower holes, or less if you plan on casing. Mix thoroughly and level, but do not pack.
- Using scissors, cut away excess plastic liner (if using) at substrate level, or above if casing later.
- Put the lid on the tub and cover the six holes with tape. The lid isn’t airtight and allows for enough gas exchange. Incubate.
- If applying a casing, do so as soon as substrate is fully myceliated, and incubate again.
- When fully myceliated, initiate fruiting by removing the tape and replacing with a wad of polyfill in each hole. Stuff top holes loosely and lower holes tightly. Adjust polyfill density to dial in RS:QTU balance. Mist and or fan with lid only if necessary. Monotubs can be fruited indoors, or outdoors if temperatures are fairly consistent and agreeable.
- Substrate block can be taken out of tub to facilitate harvest. Replace substrate block, briefly soak, and drain for subsequent flushes.
Pink oysters cozy up beside bath toys at our house – Willoughby Arevalo
The bathroom is usually the most humid room in the house, though kitchens often get quite steamy. Hang bags in the shower but outside of the direct spray and shampoo splash zone (mushrooms don’t need shampoo, possibly with the exception of lion’s mane). A few showers per day may provide surcient humidity to support fruitings of oysters and others that don’t need consistently super-high humidity. And then your mushrooms get to see you naked, which may cause them to grow extra big. If showering alone doesn’t provide enough humidity, you can always mist by hand too. A spare shower stall is easily converted to a dedicated fruiting chamber with the addition of racks and a humidifier.
A mini-greenhouse set up with two cool mist humidifiers, outdoors at Wildwood Ecology Labs. – Theo Rosenfeld
Basically, this setup is a big humidity tent over a rack, automated with humidifiers, lights, and fans. It can be situated indoors or in a shady outdoor location, temperatures permitting. In the online forums, this unit is called a Martha, because the first ones were made from Kmart Martha Stewart storage closets retrofitted with racks.
Prefab units designed for starting seeds indoors or growing microgreens work great, but it is also easy to tent your own rack using clear poly sheeting and sheathing tape. A gabled roof helps to prevent pockets of stale air. You will need a way to open the front, so use Velcro, magnets, or clips to make a door. Create a false floor with a big plastic tray or other washable material. Cut a drain hole to release excess water into a pan below. Fill the floor tray with perlite, which will wick up and evaporate condensation that drips down into it. Empty shelf space can also hold trays of moist perlite to raise RS and allow for more QTU.
Place a cool mist humidifier (impeller type) on the false floor and point it to the side so it doesn’t blast the bottom shelf. Use a multi-function timer to control its output. You will have to experiment to find what works best for your setup, but start with running a cycle of 2–5 minutes on and 6–10 minutes off. Some growers also use an ultrasonic humidifier in addition to the cool mist, but this may be unnecessary unless the ambient humidity is extremely low. Some growers choose to house humidifiers externally and pipe in the mist, but this can reduce the life of the humidifier. Humidifiers can be modified by adding large auxiliary water reservoirs.
For light, situate your mini-greenhouse in a place with diffuse natural light and/or supplement with (compact) fluorescent light mounted outside the tent. Cut slits in the plastic at various levels as needed to increase QTU. A 4″ computer fan can blow air out if more exchange is needed. For heat, an oil-filled radiator can be placed near the unit.
Charliceps drops his spore mask to gawk at a huge king oyster in the PVC-framed home basement fruiting room at Mush Luv in Charlottesville Virginia. – Nina O’Malley
Many spaces can be retrofitted to be a fruiting room, including closets, pantries, spare rooms, basements, bathrooms, porches, sheds, trailers, greenhouses, shipping containers, barns, and garages. Great care should be taken to not allow water to damage the building itself. Floors, walls, and ceilings should be waterproof and can be painted with marine enamel or epoxy-plastic-based paint. Smooth cement floors with drains are ideal. Heavy-duty sheeting should be used for lining wood floors, and 2–4 mil plastic sheeting meticulously joined with sheathing tape can be used to line the walls and ceiling, as leaks will allow mold growth between the plastic and the walls. Exterior walls must be insulated to prevent the formation of condensation between the wall and the vapor barrier. Alternately, a greenhouse framed with wx? can be built within a room, leaving free space all around it.
Racks made of metal or plastic are preferable to wood, as they will not be readily inhabited by contaminant fungi and are more easily cleaned. Avoid solid shelves because they can hold standing water. Get or build racks that match the type(s) of fruiting vessels you use. If you are hanging oyster columns (strawsages), metal hooks are surcient. Lidded buckets or bins can be stacked and may not need any racks. Sawdust blocks grown in bags can be supported by racks made with two pipes of metal conduit spaced 4″ (10cm) apart, which is ideal for all-over fruiters like shiitake. Greater environmental control is needed in larger spaces, so ventilation, heating/cooling, lighting, and humidifiers are usually necessary. It is likely that there will be different microclimates within a fruiting room, so use this to your advantage and place species accordingly.
Growing seasonally appropriate strains and species allows year-round production and greatly reduces energy inputs from climate control. Keep in mind that the metabolism of the mycelium contributes heat to the space as well.
More from DIY Mushroom Cultivation:
- Liquid Culture Recipe
- What is a Mushroom?
Instructions for indoor mushroom propagator
For successful growth mushrooms need a suitable substrate, the right temperature and humidity, as well as oxygen and a little light. Our grow-kits are designed to provide these cultivation parameters in an easy-to-handle way.
It is easy to upgrade a customary greenhouse into a hobby-mushroom-grow-set. The main principle always stays the same, no matter in how much space you cultivate, only the machinery used to regulate the climatic conditions gets more complex, the more space you occupy.
Digital temperature control
Electric heating pad or heating cable
Humidity-/Air pump set
Throughout their different stages of development fungi need a variety of environmental conditions. During mycelium growth most mushrooms need relatively high temperatures (25 28 °C, rarely higher than 30°C) during fruiting they need high humidity.
The electric heat pad/the heating cable is used to establish the right temperature. To set the suitable temperature for each mushroom species, the electric heat pad/cable is triggered by the digital temperature control. The humidity is kept high by the humidity/air pump (which is pressing oxygen into and pressing out excessive CO2 out the growing chamber) and the wet perlite on the floor of the greenhouse.
Use as Incubator
Inoculated substrates have to be kept in a clean place under suitable conditions during mycelium growth. Installing the grow-set for mycelium growing stage:
Clean and dark spaces are ideal for setting up your grow-set (you may as well cover the greenhouse). If the set is stored in a cupboard, make sure it gets enough oxygen. Open the cupboard at least once a day or keep the door slightly open.
Place the heating pad under the greenhouse. If possible put some isolating material under the pad. If you are using a heating cable, make sure it is lying snake-wise on the floor of the greenhouse, try to spread it symmetrical over the floor.
Place the sensor for the temperature control system on the floor of the greenhouse. Plug the heating pad/cable into the temperature control and connect the control to a socket.
Installing: first connect both of the silicone tubes to the holes in the lids of the plastic box; one of them, (no. 1), reaching about 1 cm inside, and (no. 2) reaching about 4-5 cm inside. Connect this one to the ceramic diffuser. Fill in fresh tap water 3/4 of the volume of the box and close the lid. Important: The ceramic diffuser has to be completely under water, tube (no. 1) must be in the air above water level.
If you use an additional microfilter, cut the tube and connect the filter between the box and the pump.
The last step is connecting tube (no. 2) (attached to the ceramic diffuser) to the air pump connection and the plastic box with the greenhouse using silicone tube (no. 1). The button above the pump connection regulates the air flow- affecting ventilation and humidity inside the greenhouse. Change the water every 2-3 weeks. Adjust the system to the necessary conditions for mycelium growth of your specific mushroom. Try to keep the greenhouse as dark as possible during this phase (except for your daily checkings).
Use as fruiting chamber
As soon as the whole substrate is grown through with mycelium, the environmental conditions have to be changed to initiate the fruiting phase. The basic structure of the greenhouse stays the same as in the mycelium growth phase; the humidity/air pump and perlite will also be needed.
Moisten the perlite in a sieve or a plastic bag and spread it evenly on the floor of the greenhouse. The perlite has to stay wet during the whole fruiting phase. Evaporated water can be refilled using a spray bottle. Substrates colonised with mycelium blank or in opened bags – can be placed directly on the perlite.
Installing the pump set: first connect both of the silicone tubes to the holes in the lids of the plastic box; one of them, (no. 1), reaching about 1 cm inside, and (no. 2) reaching about 4-5 cm inside. Connect this one to the ceramic diffuser. Fill in fresh tap water 3/4 of the volume of the box and close the lid. Important: The ceramic diffuser has to be completely under water, tube (no. 1) must be in the air above water level.
If you use an additional microfilter, cut the tube and connect the filter between the box and the pump.
The last step is connecting tube (no. 2) (attached to the ceramic diffuser) to the air pump connection and the plastic box with the greenhouse using silicone tube (no. 1). The button above the pump connection regulates the air flow- affecting ventilation and humidity inside the greenhouse. Change the water every 2-3 weeks. Adjust the system to the necessary conditions for mycelium growth of your fungi species.Adjust the system to the necessary conditions for mycelium growth of your fungi genus. Try to keep the greenhouse as dark as possible during this phase (except for your daily control).
Adjust the system to the necessary conditions for fruiting of your specific mushroom.
Mycelium running/ How mushrooms can help save the world, Paul Stamets; Ten Speed Press, Berkeley/Toronto;
The Mushroom Cultivator: A Practical Guide to Growing Mushrooms at Home”, Paul Stamets, Agarikon Press; First Edition (December 1983);
Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms, Paul Stamets, Ten Speed Press, Berkeley/Toronto;