Growing Sawdust Mushrooms
There are many kinds of mushrooms in the world and several different ways of growing them. To help schools improve their food situation, we have been growing oyster mushrooms using sawdust spore bags. The spore bags are easy for schools to care for but many people are unfamiliar with this method.
The sawdust from rubber trees is the best for making sawdust mushroom spore bags. R2G does not make our own spore bags. We purchase them from a factory just outside Mae Sot. I have spent a lot of time at the mushroom factory in the past months and learned a lot about mushroom making that I want to share with you.
1. The Buildings
Everyone uses a different style for constructing their mushroom hut. Mainly, we can use either thatch or zinc for the roof. The walls can be made from thatch, zinc, or bamboo, often covered with black cloth to keep the sun out. We can use cement or sand for the floor of the mushroom house, but inside the building, we have to make the bamboo bench or wood bench to put the mushroom spore bags. The mushroom house should have good ventilation and lighting.
2. Spore Bags
100kg Sawdust (no wood, only pure sawdust)
6 – 8kg Rice Bran
1kg Sugar or
1kg Lime (white)
200g/ 2 kit Declo (mushroom fertilizer)
70% Purified Water
20 or 30 Mushroom Seeds (Sorghum)
If you mix this ratio, you can get over 200 mushroom spore bags per time.
- Mix the Declo with water and then spread the mixture on the sawdust pile.
- Mix all the other ingredients together and stir them.
- Put that mixture in clean plastics bags. Place 800g or 8 kits in each bag.
- Put the bags in the streamer to collect distillate from a still for three hours. When finished, leave the bags to cool.
- After cooled, prepare your mushroom seeds. First shake the bottle. Then, heat the top of the bottle with methyl alcohol, to protect the seeds from fungal diseases. Put the around 20 to 30 mushroom seeds in each bag. After you take out the seeds from the bottle, close the bottle immediately.
- Put the seeds only in the hole from the seed bags.
- Put the bags in an air tight room. (You can put them on the waterproof canvas which is on the ground)
- Put the spore bags vertically on the waterproof canvas. Don’t water them. One month later, take the spore bags to your prepared mushroom house.
- When you put the spore bags on the benches in your mushroom house, open the top of the spore bags (cap) and lay down the bag on the benches. You can put the spore bags layer by layer on the benches, stacked horizontally. After you filled the saw dust and the seeds in the spore bags, put them with waterproof canvas on the ground.
- Then, put a cap on the top of the spore bags, and stack them vertically.
- After you filled the saw dust and the seeds in the spore bags, and use the cap on the top of the spore bags, and put it vertically.
- Clean your hands with spirit (methyl alcohol) before you begin preparing spore bags.
- Clean the stir stick with spirit before mixing the mixture.
- Stir over the waterproof canvas.
- Make benches inside the mushroom house to save space when stacking the spore bags.
- If the spore bags become black, throw them away.
Rules for growing sawdust mushrooms
- Lie the bags down on the benches and take off cap.
- Water on the bags, not inside them.
- If you see fungus and black color in or on your bags, throw them away.
- Pick mushroom at the root.
- Water bags two times a day.
- Water with sprinkler.
- Keep people out of your hut – one or two at a time, not more. It will help control the temperature and moisture in the hut.
- Keep watering for three months, no matter what.
- After three months, use the saw dust for the fertilizing your garden.
- Don’t tear the plastics bags.
- Put sand on the floor of the mushroom house to hold moisture.
One week after putting the spore bags on the benches inside the mushroom house, you can start picking mushrooms. For the first weeks, the mushrooms will grow a lot, but for the next weeks, the number of mushrooms produced will decrease. You can water and pick mushrooms from your bags for three months, but don’t forget the rules that you have to follow and enjoy your mushrooms!