Beginner's Guide to Mushroom Cultivation - GreenCoast Hydroponics Knowledge Center (2024)


Determine Your Needs

First thing you want to do is determine what is the preferred growing methods and what type of mushroom you are looking to grow. If you have no idea, then the All-in-One-Bag is recommended. It is user-friendly and contamination resistant. Then, review the supply list and process of inoculation, colonization, and fruiting.

Supplies & Preparation

Some of the supplies you’re going to need are gloves, masks, 70% isopropyl alcohol, spray bottle for isopropyl alcohol, lighter, and syringes. It is highly recommnened to use a still air box, however, it is not mandatory. Sterilization is extremely important. Contanmination can easily ruin your run. Here are a couple of best practices when prepping your area. 1.) Always put on a mask and gloves 2.) Sanitize work area, your hands, and equipment (syringe, all-in-one bag, grain bag) with the isopropyl spray bottle.


Once preparations are done, then you’re ready for inoculation. First, heat up the tip of the needle red hot with a lighter and let it cool for 30 seconds. Inject the needle into the self-healing injection port (grey square). Squirt 5-10cc of spores towards the bottom and side of the grain bag. Some liquid may be visible through the bag after injection. If the liquid is not visible, then it may have been injected towards the center which may result in not seeing mycelium colonize as quickly. Re-sterilize the needle every time if you are planning on injecting any other bags.


Colonization occurs after inoculation. This is when the mycelium will start to take over the grain that was inoculated with spores. This period usually lasts between 3 to 6 weeks depending on strain and environmental conditions. Ideal conditions for this phase are in a dark place and temperature between 72 F – 80 F. Pro Tip: Once grain is 1/3 - 2/3 of the way colonized you can break up the grain inside the bag and mix it with any grain that hasn’t been colonized. From there, let it re-colonize for about 1-2 weeks.


Fruiting happens after your all-in-one bags are fully colonized or when your grain mix with fruiting substrate has been recolonized. Fruiting temperature conditions of 70 F – 80 F is similar to the colonization phase. Introduce your colony to a 12/12 light cycle of a low watt light. T5 is a perfect light and preferably set it at 6000-7000k, but not necessary. Oxygen is also introduced during this phase. Light and oxygen or FAE (Fresh Air Exchange) are the triggering factors in fruiting.

All-In-One-Bag Method: For the all-in-one bags, you can either fruit directly in the bags or just cut the top of the bag off. When you are ready to harvest, the preferred method is cutting the whole entire “cake” (your colonized block) out of its bag and putting it into a clear tub. Fan it for 30 seconds every day and make sure to keep the sides of the tub moist.

Mono-tub/Dub-tub Method: Take the colonized grain and break it up inside the bag so it’s as many loose pieces of grain as possible. Cut it open and mix it with the fruiting substrate hom*ogenously. Gently pat down flat to create an even surface and let it recolonize. In about 1-2 weeks, a big white mat of fuzz will form. Introduce it to fruiting conditions (12/12 light and oxygen). Visible pins will form in 1-2 weeks. Time will vary depending on environmental conditions and strain.


Agar - An extract from a seaweed used to solidify media and is made available in powder form for mushroom cultivation.

AutoClave - A big pressure cooker that when operating at higher pressure over 15 PSI it achieves sterilization temperatures above 250°F.

CoCo Coir - Dried fiber from the outer husk of a coconut.

Colonization - The period of the mushroom cultivation starting at Inoculation during which the Mycelium grows through the Substrate until it is totally permeated and overgrown.

Contamination - Undesired foreign organisms in a growing medium. Often due to insufficient sterilization.

Culture - Mushroom Mycelium growing on a culture medium.

Flow Hood - A fan powered HEPA filtered device that produces a laminar flow of contaminated free air. The air moves across the workspace allowing for open sterile work area.

Fruiting - The mycelium will form mushrooms in its reproductive stage. This is called fruiting as the mushrooms are actually the fruiting bodies of the mycelium.

Gypsum - Calcium sulfate. A powder used in spawning and prevents the clumping of the grain kernels. Also, acts as a pH-buffer.

Incubation - The period after inoculation during which the mycelium grows vegetatively.

Inoculation - Introduction of spores or spawn into substrate.

Mycelium - The portion of the mushroom that grows underground. The “roots” of a mushroom.

Pasturization - A method of processing substrate that reduce competing pathogens. Does not completely eliminate all competing bacteria nor fungal spores.

Pinning - A term to describe a very young mushroom when the cap has the size of a pin.

Spore - They are the “seeds” of the mushroom. Microscopic and produced by the millions by each mushroom.

Still Air Box - A clear container with armholes with restricted airflow that reduces airborne contaminants. Using this will improve the success rate of mycology projects.

Sterilization - The process of completely destroying all microbes that are present by heat (autoclave, pressure cooker), uv light or chemicals. Spawn substrate must be sterilized prior to inoculation.

Substrate - Whatever you’re using to grow the mushrooms on. Each varieties of mushroom likes to consume different things such as rice, rye grains, straws, composts, woodchips, and birdseeds.

Trichoderma - A type of green mold.

Vermiculite - A highly absorbent material made from puffed mica. It gives the mycelium room to breathe and grow by maintaining a light fluffy casing layer.

Visit any of our many locations and our helpful staff will be able to answer any questions you have. GreenCoast Hydroponics is the leading retailer of Hydroponic Equipment & Organic Gardening supplies on the West coast. Offering unparalleled commercial grow design services and a wealth of knowledge. Amateur or pro, we can increase your yield.

Beginner's Guide to Mushroom Cultivation - GreenCoast Hydroponics Knowledge Center (2024)


Who owns GreenCoast Hydroponics? ›

Who is the founder of GreenCoast Hydroponics? Jordan Weiss is the founder of GreenCoast Hydroponics.

How much hydroponics to feed one person? ›

If outdoor space is available, hydroponics can be used to create more output and feed more people. Generally, around 200 sq. ft per person would be needed to have a self sustainable garden. So, to feed a family of 4, you would need around 800 sq.

What is the difference between NFT and DWC hydroponics? ›

DWC is more forgiving for people who are trying to grow plants for the first time at a commercial scale. NFT is good for experienced growers who know what they're doing and want to fine tune their systems to work for them, but it's harder to learn with more room for error.

Is Kratky a DWC? ›

DWC is used heavily by commercial hydroponic farmers, and this method most definitely gives much better yeilds, compared to Dr Kratky's methods. Dr Kratky's systems are more popular with home growers, since these systems are far less complex and do not need electrical power to run them.

What is the easiest hydroponic system for beginners? ›

Deep Water Culture (DWC) is the easiest type of hydroponic system that you can build and maintain at home. In this system, the plants grow with their roots submerged directly in nutrient-rich water.

What is the easiest thing to grow hydroponically? ›

If this is your first foray into hydroponic growing, try one (or more) of these easy-to-grow plants:
  • Lettuce. Lettuce and other greens, like spinach and kale, may just be the most common vegetable grown in hydroponics. ...
  • Tomatoes. ...
  • Hot Peppers. ...
  • Cucumbers. ...
  • Green Beans. ...
  • Basil. ...
  • Strawberries.

How long should I run my hydroponic system? ›

Here's a sample watering schedule that can accommodate most hydroponic herbs: Seedling Stage (Days 1-7): Water every 2-3 hours for 10-15 minutes during the light cycle. Vegetative Stage (Days 8-21): Water every 4-6 hours for 10-15 minutes during the light cycle.

What cannot be grown hydroponically? ›

In fact, pretty much the only plants that don't adapt well to hydroponic gardening are ones that need a lot of space to sprawl, climb, or grow (like vines and trees) and root crops (think potatoes, carrots, onions).

What are the disadvantages of hydroponics? ›

The disadvantages are high installation costs and the need to test the solution frequently. There is a steep learning curve to hydroponics, and small errors can affect the whole crop. The systems are also very vulnerable to equipment failure or power outage, which can kill the plants within a few hours.

How often should you fertilize hydroponics? ›

If you drain, clean and remix the nutrients every 7 to 10 days, it's okay to top off with fresh water daily. As plants consume nutrients and water, the nutrient strength in the hydroponic reservoir will change. GENERALLY, nutrient strength should run between 800 to 1500 parts per million (ppm).

What growing medium is best for hydroponics? ›

Of the many options for hydroponic media, these are some of the most common.
  • GRAVEL. ...
  • HEMP FIBER. ...
  • PERLITE. ...
  • ROCKWOOL. ...
  • SAND. Sand is inexpensive and easy to source. ...
  • SAWDUST. Sawdust can have excellent water absorption and retention. ...
  • SOILLESS MIXTURES. There are many kinds of soilless mixtures available.

What vegetables are good for hydroponics? ›

What types of crops can be grown in these systems? Leafy greens such as arugula, butterhead lettuce, collard greens, herbs, kale, mustard greens, microgreens, spinach, and swiss chard are suitable crops for hydroponics. They have shown good performance in NFT systems.

Who is General Hydroponics owned by? ›

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company

Who bought botanicare? ›

Valued Retail Partners, I am very excited to finally announce that Botanicare has agreed to be acquired by Hawthorne Hydroponics. As many of you may know this year marks Botanicare's 20th anniversary and with that milestone came a time of reflection.

Who owns Hydrobuilder? › Is Part of the Hydrobuilder Holdings Family

More recently, we have acquired Way to Grow, Home Grown Ventures (HGV) Nutrients, and New England Hydroponics. Together, the six businesses create a leading omnichannel retailer of specialty agriculture and hydroponics equipment and supplies.

Is AeroGarden a DWC? ›

The Herbie and Sprout LED models are the entry-level AeroGarden. They lack some of the bells and whistles of the other models but are still great at growing small plants. These models use the DWC method of hydroponics, aerating the water in the reservoir.


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