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Mushroom/Mycology Terms Glossary

15th Feb 2014

Growing mushrooms can seem overwhelming at first, and a large part of this overwhelm can stem from the diverse and unique vocabulary, abbreviations and process-talk that simply is not encountered anywhere else. In this blog post, I'll attempt to cover, explain and deconstruct many of the terms. Over time, I'll add extra juicy tidbits to the terminology to make the definitions more comprehensive and add details to relevantly correlate them to growing processes:

Substrate: 

Broad Definition: Substrate is the material or collection of materials that provides a nutritional canvass for mycelium to colonize. Usually, substrate material is mixed with colonized grainspawn and kept in a high CO2/low FAE (fresh air exchange) environment to spur on vegetative colonization where the hyphae progressively expand to colonize nutrition. 

Specific Examples: CVG: This substrate consists of Coco-Coir, Vermiculite and Gypsum. Typically, CVG substrates are somewhere in the ratio of 70% Coco-Coir, 20% Vermiculite and 10% Gypsum by dry weight. This weight is taken as a dry ratio, but in order to use a CVG substrate it has to be hydrated to field capacity, and subsequently pasteurized (or even better, sterilized). This substrate is commonly used for the growing of Psilocybe species.

H-poo/manure: Horse poo substrates, or other manure substrates, are used as an ideal substrate for dung-loving species. Typically, Manure substrates are not 100% manure, but manure mixed with Coco-Coir, Vermiculite and Gypsum. Manure substrates are considered to be more nutritionally complete for Mushroom cultivation, and this is in part due to their high Nitrogen content. Unlike CVG, where there's no benefit to Pasteurization, H-poo substrates may be pasteurized in order to preserve M.G.P's (Mushroom Growth-promoting Bacteria). These bacteria perform microbial mineralization, freeing up substrate nutrition, increasing nitrogen content, and secreting growth factors. While pasteurization of H-poo can spur on better yields and colonization rates, it can also create contamination issues. In order to reduce contamination issues, we recommend sterilizing Manure substrates & repopulating their microbial counts with our MGP Plus or MGP Pure microbial consortia's. 

Master's Mix: Master's Mix is a simple yet effective substrate originally formulated as an alternative to using straw based substrates due to seasonality. This substrate is a simple blend of 50% soybean hulls, and 50% sawdust, which provides a nutrient dense, nitrogenous substrate that ingredients can be easily acquired for in pellet form year round. Most wood loving mushrooms can be effectively cultivated on Master's Mix, including Oyster mushrooms, Lion's mane, Chestnut mushrooms, Shimeji and Enoki. Shiitakes, although wood loving, do better on hardwood sawdust blocks amended with low levels of wheat or oat bran - and Master's Mix may cause low yields and deformities in their fruits.