Growing mushroom today is one of the most profitable cultivation industries, requiring less space and investment. However, for mushrooms to grow healthy is also a difficult problem when using inappropriate substrates.
Coco coir mushroom substrate is a suitable substrate and the best for your growing mushroom. If you are looking for a solution to grow mushrooms effectively, please follow the article below to understand more about mushroom growing substrate and how mushrooms grow effectively on coco coir substrate.
What is a mushroom substrate?
Mushroom substrate is simply a type of substrate used to provide energy and nutrients to mushrooms.
Mushroom growth depends on the substrate you use. A good substrate needs to be dense in fibrous material like lignin, cellulose and have better absorption in vulnerable conditions and tolerance towards pests, bacteria, and fungi.
Mushroom growing substrate needs to be properly prepared and treated by adding water, potentially nutritional supplements, sterilization, or pasteurization. When ready, it can be “Inoculated”, in which broken-up pieces of mycelium-covered grain, also called grain spawn, and then are evenly mixed into the substrate.
What’s the best substrate for growing mushrooms?
Because mushroom grows better in nitrogen-rich substrates and is free of mold and bacteria, experimenting with different types of substrate will yield different interesting results.
There are many mushroom growing substrates on the market, however, only a few substrates are truly suitable for mushroom growth.
One of the best options is coco coir mushroom substrate. Coco coir is a naturally growing substance made up of coconut shells, 100% organic, fibers concentrated in coir can expand in moisture and when properly processed can help fungi germinate against mold and bacteria that can kill them.
In addition, there are some other types of mushroom substrates such as straw, sawdust, hardwood chips, soybean shells, manure, coffee grounds, etc. In particular, straw is also a kind of mushroom substrate that many people apply in their growing mushrooms.
However, mushrooms are pickier than other crops, there are mushrooms that only grow on specific types of substrate, but coir is a mushroom substrate that can grow a variety of mushrooms to produce high yields.
Pros and Cons of Using Coco Coir
Here, to know more about coco coir mushroom substrate, EnvironSoil will help you learn about the pros and cons of this substrate.
Coconut coir is a mushroom substrate that is easy to find and use, and these are the outstanding advantages of this substrate:
- Coconut coir is 100% organic and biodegradable and reusable, non-toxic during the coir extraction process.
- Has a highly moisturizing ability – this is an important benefit of using coconut coir when growing mushrooms. Because coco coir has good water-absorbing properties, it will retain moisture for a longer time.
- Easy to find and use
- Good disease resistance – In coco coir, it is naturally resistant to pests, bacteria, and mold.
- Excellent aeration – Coco coir has a fine powder or fibrous texture so the porous structure of coco coir allows good air exchange, which is important for the mushroom substrate during the incubation phase.
Although coir lacks most of the essential nutrients such as Potassium, Sulfur, and Phosphorus, it still has traces of Magnesium, Calcium, and Nitrogen that help contribute to mushroom growth.
Each type of substrate has its own drawbacks, coconut coir also has its bad sides, but if you use coco coir correctly and have treated all harmful chemicals, you can avoid the following disadvantages:
- Contains high content of salt – During the manufacturing process, some manufacturers soak coconut shells in brine but do not wash away the coco coir, so it can cause high salt content. Make sure you thoroughly research the coir production process you choose.
- Coco coir is difficult to handle, if not handled carefully, it will kill the plant when used. Therefore, you should choose a reputable coir factory with a high-standard production process to choose for yourself a quality and healthy coir substrate.
- Possible chemical residues – During processing, some manufacturers use chemicals and thereby retain chemical residues that can affect fungal growth. Therefore, you need to treat the coir thoroughly or find a source of quality pasteurized coir before starting to grow.
- Product quality varies – Not all commercially processed coir is the same, in each facility, the manufacturer will have different processes and in some cases, the processing will destroy some natural elements.
So, the question is whether coir treatment is really important, and how influential it is in growing mushrooms. The answer will be right below, let’s follow along.
Sterilized mushroom substrate: Coco coir for mushroom
Although coconut coir is naturally resistant to bacteria and pathogens, it is still an organic substrate and contains materials that can attract pathogens. So sterilized mushroom substrate before planting is an important thing to pay attention to in order to destroy the most harmful organisms and give the fungus the best chance of growing without competition for nutrients.
According to a study, there is a Trichoderma fungus that occurs naturally in coconut coir. And the cause of the appearance of this natural fungi is due to the coconut coir not being thoroughly sterilized.
Trichoderma is a group of saprophytic fungi that inhibit the growth of plant pathogenic fungi, so Trichoderma is an extremely beneficial fungus that protects the substrate from plant pathogens and causes no negative effect on plants.
However, the occurrence of this saprophytic fungus may result in a deficiency of plant-available nutrients, nitrogen (N) in particular. And this is not a good thing for growing mushrooms, as many fungi need nitrogen to grow well. Therefore, for mushroom producers Trichoderma is unwanted.
So, pasteurizing coco coir or finding a source of quality, the sterilized mushroom substrate is important for those who love mushrooms and want to grow mushrooms.
Coco coir mushroom substrate is found in many places, you can easily see and buy them, but it is needed to choose a reliable supplier if you do not want to harm your mushrooms.
EnvironSoil is honored to be a reputable and reliable Coco Coir supplier for USA professional horticulture, cultivation and hydroponics. With our products’ outstanding features, we would like to provide customers with the finest Coco Coir that will help to improve your mushroom efficiency.
How to grow mushrooms on Coco Coir Substrate
Step 1: Gather resources
To grow mushrooms on coco coir, you will need to collect some of the following materials:
- Mushroom grain spawn – you should buy and choose the mushroom grain spawn of the right type and quality from a reputable local supplier so that the mushrooms you grow yield effectively.
- Pasteurized coir substrate
- Containers or growing bags – You can directly use pasteurized coir bags to grow mushrooms or other appropriate containers.
Step 2: Coco coir mushroom substrate recipe
You can absolutely use coco coir to grow mushrooms directly, but make sure your coco coir needs to be well treated and pasteurized before use.
You can buy pasteurized coco coir or you can pasteurize it by soaking the coir in hot water, but this will not guarantee that the coco coir is treated properly and has good results.
Depending on the needs of the grower and the type of mushroom, there are many different planting mixes. Some people choose to mix their coco coir in a 1:1 ratio with vermiculite or gypsum. However, with high-quality coco coir, you can grow mushrooms directly on this substrate.
Many fungi require a nitrogen-rich environment, so you may need to add more nitrogen to your coco coir to ensure your mushroom farm thrives.
Step 3: Inoculation
Inoculation means the process of adding mushroom spawn to the pasteurized coco coir substrate or coco coir substrate you have prepared.
Make sure your sterilized mushroom substrate has cooled down enough as high temperatures could kill the mushroom mycelium.
You can inoculate the mushroom spawn into a sterilized coco coir mushroom substrate container or transfer it to a clean container to mix the mushroom spawn into the pasteurized substrate more easily.
Step 4: Incubation
After you have inoculated your coco coir mushroom substrate, the next step is to incubate it.
All you need to do is putting the bags or containers of inoculated coco coir mushroom substrate in a dark and warm area at around 65 – 77 °F (18 – 25 °C) and close the mouth of the bag tightly.
The mushroom mycelium will grow from grain spawn and grow through the coco coir substrate, absorbing organic material. After 10-20 days, you will see that the colonized mycelium begins the stage of development spreading throughout the substrate. You will see the entire background become filled with white mushroom sprouts.
At this point, you can transfer them to a storage chamber such as a large container with a lid to protect the young mycelium from harm and can grow to full size.
Thus, you need to wait within 5 weeks and be ready to harvest to deliver to consumers.