Best Substrate for Lion’s Mane Mushroom

Best Substrate for Lion's Mane Mushroom

Another option to growing Lions Mane yourself is buying a starter. You will then mix the spawn with the substrate, this is a far more hands-on approach and requires some extra experience.

The best types of substrate to grow your Lion’s Mane mushrooms on include:

  • Hardwood sawdust amended with bran
  • A Master’s mix of 50-50 hardwood sawdust and soy hulls
  • Sterilised straw

Each substrate type will produce varying amounts of mushrooms, so you might have to try out different ones before finding the best fit.

Once you have injected the starter, the fruiting unit should fully colonize in 2 weeks. Lions mane mycelium may be a wispy, thinning substance at places, and it looks very different from something sturdier, such as oyster mushrooms, so do not worry if a block does not appear to be fully colonized. Lions Mane mushrooms are fairly easy to produce fruits, so chances are that you will begin seeing little fruits forming in your package before exposing it to the conditions of a fruit. If that happens, just go ahead to the next step and cut out little “Xs” where fruit is already formed. The X’s will keep developing, eventually producing larger mushrooms out of the sack.

Starting from scratch

You may even want to create your own lion mane that is generated by the culture. To do so, you might find that starting from an agar culture is best. You can start with a liquid culture, but to maintain a longer shelf life, culture on agar is better. As long as you have a healthy culture, you should be able to brew fresh Lions Mane whenever you like. The process of growing culture is similar to other methods, only slightly more involved: you farm your culture in agar, create spawn grains, add them to the mass media, and harvest.

Growing from a kit

Mushroom growing kits are an excellent choice for people new to the hobby, or do not want to dive into the functional mushroom growing practice. They basically consist of a completely populated block of mushrooms fruiting block, or starters that you mix in with potting soil, along with step-by-step instructions.

If you get the set, a lot of the heavy lifting is done for you. You can purchase fungi growing kits at a variety of places online, and sometimes even local farmers markets.

Each mushroom growing kit can vary from producer to producer, but they all include keeping your starters and substrates moist with an “X” carved in the side of the block for mushrooms to grow on. After a short period, the lions mane will begin to form naturally from a hole in the bag. Mist the inside of the bag a couple times per day using a spray bottle, making sure you are ventilating it heavily.

To help encourage airflow, you can make a little fruiting kit. These consist of a plastic jar with holes cut into the sides, where the mushrooms blocks or substrate is scattered, with the cover replaced with a blank. These chambers allow plenty of airflow, but keep humidity in, too, providing a great environment for your Lions Mane mushrooms.

About the author

Bruce Wilson

I've studied Mycology and Forest Pathology and love creating content to help other learn more about my passion. Follow along as I continue to explore the amazing world of functional fungi!

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