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Mushroom portraits - Grain spawn, inoculated plugs and substrate blocks

Our mushroom portraits on the following pages in this section describe a variety of mushrooms which you can grow at home or in the garden. To ensure that your harvest is successful as possible, each of the portraits described special aspects, tips and tricks for growing the respective mushroom.

Depending on the mushroom type, we ship our grain spawn in bags of 1, 2 or 5 liters. The bags are filled by volume and thus we specify in "liters" and not "grams". Grain spawn consists of mushroom mycelia, which is a mesh of very fine white filaments, which has been inoculated onto a substrate.
The substrate typically consists of a mixture of different grains which provide the nutrition for the mycelia. Depending on the type of mushroom, the substrate can also consist of sawdust or even straw.


The latter is e.g. suitable for brown stew fungus spawn (stropharia rugosoannulata).
Garin spawn must be produced under sterile conditions. this is because you will also grow bacteria and far mushrooms to which would spoil the substrate. To ensure that you as a customer always receive a fresh and vital product, we manufacture the grain spawn in small batches at regular intervals.

After you receive it, you can store the grain spawn for a certain amount of time in the refrigerator. It is important to put the special bags which we send you into the refrigerator without opening them first. The bags have special filter strips at the edges since grain spawn a living product and needs some air. Accordingly, please do not wrap up the grain spawn airtight before putting in the refrigerator. Ideally, the grain spawn should be used within 2-3 after receiving it from us.

The term spawn can also be used for innoculated plugs. However, in contrast to grain spawn, inoculated plugs are only suitable for inoculating logs of wood, not for straw or wood chips. The mycelia grows from the plugs into loose materials such as straw much too slowly. Bags with the inoculated plugs (do not have filter strips) should also be stored in the refrigerator and until you are ready to use the plugs. The plugs can be stored in a refrigerator for a longer period than grain spawn, since the mycelia only has wood for its "nutrition" instead of grain. As long as you do not open the bag, the plugs can be stored in a refrigerator for at least 5 weeks.


You often hear the term substrate block in connection with growing mushrooms. Substrate blocks are manufactured and used in commercial mushroom farms. they are placed on shelves in large purpose-built air-conditioned halls where they remain until the mushrooms are ready to harvest. this allows the mushroom farms to grow large quantities of mushrooms at regular intervals. our tree to produce new substrate blocks continuously, because they are only suitable for two or three harvest before they are exhausted. Our so-called combi-sets are similar to substrate blocks. after receiving these kits you mix the mushroom spawn and the straw pellets or special sterilised woodchips (according to required mushroom type) and and thus produce your own substrate blocks.


Unfortunately, porcino mushrooms (boletus edulis), morel mushrooms (morchella) and chanterelles (cantherllus) cannot be grown in cultivation. they enter into a symbiosis with trees and/or their requirements for growth can hardly be provided artificially.

© Nicola Krämer. Mushroom spawn and growing advice since 1999