Best Substrate for Lion’s Mane Mushroom
What is the best substrate for growing Lion’s Mane?
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
- Sterilized straw
Each substrate type will produce varying yields of lion’s mane, so you might have to try out different ones before finding the best fit. But you can learn more in the video below:
Once you have injected the starter, the fruiting body should fully colonize in 2 weeks. Lions mane mycelium may be wiry thin and will not have the same thickness as other mushrooms’ mycelium have, so do not worry if a block does not appear to be fully colonized. Lions Mane mushrooms are fairly easy to grow, so chances are that you will begin seeing little fruiting bodies forming in your package. 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 growing kit.
Growing Lion’s Mane Starting from Scratch
You may even want to grow your own lion’s mane that is generated from a 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 grow your own fresh lion’s mane whenever you like. The process of growing with a culture is similar to other methods, only slightly more involved.
Growing Lion’s Mane 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 kit, 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 out of. 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 well.
To help encourage airflow, you can make a little fruiting chamber. 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 mushrooms to grow.
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