Basic recipe to grow mushrooms in sawdust. Growing mushrooms in sawdust is pretty easy if you just follow the directions.
Please see the update at the bottom for my latest thoughts on this method.
6 cups of hardwood pellets and 5-6 cups of water, distilled preferred
Put hardwood pellets into 8″ gusseted bag with filter patch.
Boil water, once boiling pour it into the bag. Use gloves and mix water into the pellets until there are no solid pellets left.
It is HOT, be careful.
Seal the bag by tieing it closed and let sit till it is cool. Anything over 106 degrees will kill your mushrooms.
If you are concerned about contamination, or are growing out a less than vigorous strain, you can put the sealed bags in an ice chest surrounded by towels.
This should keep the temperature over 140 degrees for several hours, long enough to kill most bacterial contaminants.
Once they have sat for several hours above 140 degrees, set them out to cool.
Once cooled you can add in the grain spawn. Use 1 pint per 5 lb bag of sawdust. Mix in thoroughly.
Seal the bag and put in your spawning area. It should take about 6 weeks for them to completely fill with mycelia and begin to fruit.
When they are ready to fruit cut 1 or 2 slits in the bag, the oxygen at the slit will cause the bag to begin to fruit in that area.
These bags can fruit several times. Keep them moist by spraying with a gentle mist of water at least twice a day.
Be sure to not spray the fruiting bodies, this will cause them to develop bacteria.
After the first fruiting is done, soak the bag in distilled water overnight.
Drain and set out to fruit again.
I have gotten 3 flushes from one bag in the past. Each will be smaller than the one before.
Once you have gotten all the flushes you think you will from the bag, it can be broken up and spread out into an outdoor bed, or used to innoculate other bags.
Be very careful if you innoculate other bags with it, the risk of contamination is much higher when it is used in this way.
Watch it carefully.
Spent sawdust blocks can be fed to chickens and/or worms, added to compost piles, or broken up into garden beds and dug into the soil. The mycelium will enhance your plant growth greatly.
I use a lot of mushroom compost in my garden and it makes a huge difference. The plants require less water and are much healthier.
You can add that in at 1 – 1 1/4 cups per bag. Just remember to reduce your hardwood pellets by the same amount.
As the summer months started warming up this method began having issues with contamination. I am switching to the same method as I use for straw and/or pressure sterilization of the sawdust. With us beginning commercial production we can’t afford contamination in our growing room. Once I have enough bags fruited out to be able to report back I will update this page. The lime method works so well on straw I am expecting the same results with hardwood. I had zero contamination in my straw blocks using lime.