Mushroom life cycles and cultivation is important to understand for taking advantage of mushrooms for monetary, health and natural soil biology reasons. Mushrooms is used for health benefits: For Information on health benefits from mushrooms, click here Mushrooms is used to make or save money: For growing and fruiting mushrooms, click here Mushrooms are germinated in compost teas and extracts: How to germinate spores in compost teas, click here
Mushrooms play a major part in the eco-system and soil food web. Soil Food Web Information, Click here
The mushroom cap and stem is the flower of fungi. Not every fungi flowers in the same way. There are many different ways it flowers. The flower grows in a few days depending on the conditions and mushroom type. At this time the spores ripen (powder looking) and the flower releases them into the air. Depending on conditions, some can land into an environment where they may germinate.
There are many genders for spores. Basically spores are categorized as a + or a -. When released spores connect (land or touch) to something solid like a rock or wood, it sticks to it and waits for the right temperature and humidity before germinating. If a spore does not connection to something, it will not germinate, but stay dormant for years (or centuries).
Spores need to be attached to something before they germinate. When brewing fungi spores in compost teas, it is best to pre-germinate the spores before placing them into the tea brewer. Spores can be pre-germinated by placing spores or mushroom caps with some oats, fish hydrolysate or powered rock in your compost bin. Cover and let it sit there for a couple of days before brewing. Spores that germinate without ever connecting to another germinating spore of the opposite sign makes a little small network of hypha. This is often called mold.
After spores germinate, they have enough energy to make hypha. For saprophytic mushrooms, the mycelium start to decompose the surrounding material. When two germinated spores have their mycelium cross each other, they make a new genetically different mycelium if both started with a + or -. A + needs to meet a – spore type.
When a whole net of hypha has grown, it is called a mycelium. When the right conditions (usually rain) come a long, mycelium start send up a new mushroom. The mushroom propagation cycle starts over.
See graph below for mushroom cycles.
It’s very easy to clone mushrooms. The two best places to take clone starts are from just under the bulb of the mushroom stem. The other place in half way towards the center of the cap and stem. That is the most sterile place. Cloning mushrooms does not means you have to mess with germinating spores. Once you have clone, it can be placed in growing material. If two different clones are planted close to each other, they will remain two separate mushrooms. If two clones from the same mycelium are planted close to each other, both plants will join together an make one.
The method described below is only good for certain mushrooms. Most of the mushrooms in grocery stores can be planted in this method. Japanese food markets have the widest verity of cultivated mushrooms. It’s a great place to start experimenting with cultivating. There are many books on the subject.
Take mycelium from the bottom of the mushroom flower. Or you can take mycelium within the ground without a mushroom flower. Take the material and place it into lightly soaked wood chips. Place the whole thing in a paper bad. Place the bag inside a Tupperware container. Place the container in the crisper inside your refrigerator. In about 4 months the mushroom will grow to the outside of the bag. It will look like white mold. At this time, you can take the mushroom mycelium out of the refrigerator, open the lid and expose it to air. This will trigger the mycelium to flower. For details how to clone your own mushrooms: Cultivating your own mushrooms at home Video, Clcick here