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Top 10 Magic Mushrooms
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How To Grow Magic Mushrooms Indoors

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How To Shroomshop

Growing psilocybin mushrooms is a rewarding experience. Watching mycelium consume a substrate and give rise to fruiting bodies is utterly fascinating. But the real magic happens when you sample your harvest.

If you’ve ever grown your own food, you’ll be well aware that the satisfaction of a job well done augments the taste. Now, swap out flavour for an introverted psychedelic voyage into the mind. A mushroom harvest is more than physical fruits; it’s a spiritual experience that can induce lasting changes.

Cultivating fungi is substantially more difficult than growing fruits and vegetables. The latter thrives in unsanitary, microbe-rich soil and will grow in varying levels of heat, humidity, and weather conditions. Mushrooms, in contrast, require extremely specific parameters to grow and fruit.

Fungi can be cultivated indoors by replicating the exact conditions they need to survive. This is achieved by growing them in high-humidity environments that are impervious to contamination. Methods such as PF-tek can be used to provide a clean and humid environment. To make things even easier, consider purchasing a grow kit.

Something else that sets fungi apart from the plant kingdom is their life cycle and means of reproduction. Before you start to grow mushrooms at home, it’s helpful to develop a basic grasp of this process.

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The Mushroom Life Cycle: From Spore To Spore

Mushrooms start off life as microscopic packages of DNA called spores. Spores are analogous to seeds produced by plants. When subject to the correct environmental conditions, they release tiny strands of tissue called hyphae. This process can be compared to germination in the plant world. Each hypha carries a single nucleus. When two compatible hyphae from different spores meet, they mate and fuse together. Resulting hyphae will contain the nuclei from both parent cells. This creates an organism that is able to reproduce.

More hyphae form and create an organic matrix known as mycelium. This web-like structure releases enzymes into the environment and externally digests food. Mycelium is highly sensitive to external changes. When it runs out of food or is exposed to light, it produces primordia.

Primordia, or pins, are young mushroom fruiting bodies. The strongest pins grow into fully-formed fruits and go on to release spores. From here, the cycle starts all over again.

THE MUSHROOM LIFE CYCLE: FROM SPORE TO SPORE

Sterile Technique: An Invaluable Skill To Develop

STERILE TECHNIQUE: AN INVALUABLE SKILL TO DEVELOP

You now have a basic idea of how mushrooms grow and reproduce. Before we discuss cultivation methods, it’s time to learn the basics of sterile technique.

Mushrooms are up against a host of competitors in nature. They have to conquer all sorts of bacteria and fungi to secure a foothold. They sound tough, right? It’s only in a domesticated environment that they reveal how sensitive they truly are. Even minor cases of contamination can bring an entire grow operation to its knees. It’s for this reason that growers need to exercise extreme caution during every stage of the cultivation process.

How sterile you choose to make your lab space will depend entirely on the funds available. Experienced growers dedicate entire rooms to their operation. They cover the walls in plastic sheets and douse every object with isopropyl alcohol. Others make do working on kitchen countertops, yet still produce impressive results.

Sterility is only a major concern if you plan on making your own substrate and spore syringes. Cultivators using grow kits are dealing with colonised substrate, making contamination less of an issue.

Pinning: The First Stage Of Fruiting

PINNING: THE FIRST STAGE OF FRUITING

Pinning is one of the most exciting times in the growing cycle. Once your mycelium has fully colonised the substrate, it’s time to expose it to different environmental conditions. This will trick it into thinking it has risen above ground and that it’s time to fruit. A hygrometer is a key piece of equipment during this stage. These devices display readings for temperature and humidity. During pinning, mushrooms require high humidity, high CO₂, and light.

Magic Mushroom Hygrometer / Thermometer

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For Grow Kits

If you’re using a grow kit, remove the lid and pour bottled water into the container until full. Return the lid and let the mycelium soak for 12 hours. Once time has elapsed, remove the lid again and drain off the excess water. Keep the lid for later use.

Place the kit in the bag provided and mist its interior walls once or twice per day until pins appear. Place a hygrometer inside the bag and aim to maintain a humidity of 95–100%. Fold over the top of the bag and secure with paper clips. Place it under grow lights or in indirect sunlight at a temperature of 23°C. Pins will appear within a matter of days.

For Pf-Tek

To force pinning during PF-TEK, you’ll need a fruiting chamber. A large plastic box works great. Spray the inside down with isopropyl alcohol and cover the bottom of the chamber with soaked perlite to maintain humidity levels.

Now it’s time to remove your mycelium from the jar. Sanitise your hands and turn the vessel upside down. The cake of mycelium should slide out. Give the base a tap if it refuses to budge.

Load your cakes into the chamber with a good 5cm between each one. Apply the lid to maintain CO₂ levels. Mist the walls of the chamber 1–2 times per day to keep humidity at 95–100%. Open the lid once per day to enable fresh air exchange. Pins should appear within 1–2 weeks.

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Fruiting: Caps And Stipes Begin To Emerge

FRUITING: CAPS AND STIPES BEGIN TO EMERGE

During fruiting, primordia explode in size. Minute pins transform into large fruiting bodies with wide caps and long stipes (stems). It’s quite shocking how fast mushrooms grow during this time; in fact, they can double in size within 24 hours. In this phase, they’ll need more oxygen and slightly less humidity.

For Grow Kits

After pins have started to show, it’s time to up the oxygen level. You’ll need to open the bag three times a day to increase fresh air exchange. The demand for humidity also drops. Spray the inside of the bag once per day to maintain a humidity of 80–90%.

For Pf-Tek

It’s time to let your fungi breathe. Growers often push the boat out and rig their fruiting chambers with computer fans and pumps. To keep things simple, open the lid three times per day and fan with a piece of cardboard. Spray the walls once per day to keep humidity at 80–90%.

Harvest Time

Harvest time

Within 2–5 days, your mushrooms should be fully formed. You’ll notice distinct features on your crop. One of these characteristics is a sheet-like structure that begins to form under the cap. This is called the veil; it protects the spores until they are ready for reproduction. Aim to harvest your mushrooms before the veil tears.

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How To Harvest Magic Mushrooms

Carefully twist each mushroom at the base of the stipe while gently pulling upward. Once you’ve collected all of the substantial mushrooms, you’ll notice small ones lingering on the surface of the substrate. These are called aborts—slow-growing mushrooms that were outcompeted by the rest of the pack. Remove these from the substrate to make room for another flush.

The Fun Isn’T Over, Prepare For Another Flush

THE FUN ISN’T OVER, PREPARE FOR ANOTHER FLUSH

Mushrooms are a gift that keeps on giving. As long as the resources are available, they’ll send out flush after flush to maximise their chances of reproduction.

For Grow Kits

Grow kits usually produce at least three flushes. Simply soak the block of substrate again as you did in the beginning and repeat the process.

For Pf-Tek

After the aborts have been removed, submerge each cake in clean water. Place them back into the fruiting chamber and repeat the steps from the pinning section to stimulate a second flush. Stripping the substrate down leaves it vulnerable to contamination. If you notice any green mould start to form, discard the affected cakes and wipe down your fruiting chamber.

Luke S

Written by: Luke S.
Luke S. is a journalist based in the United Kingdom, specialising in health, alternative medicine, herbs and psychedelic healing. He has written for outlets such as Reset.me, Medical Daily and The Mind Unleashed, covering these and other areas.

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