I AM A BEGINNER. WHAT SPECIES SHOULD I GROW?
Oyster Mushrooms are by far the most Beginner friendly Gourmet Mushrooms you can grow.
If you are looking to grow psychedelic Mushrooms then 'Psilocybe Cubensis' Strains are more forgiving with their growing Conditions and more resistant to Contamination than other Strains.
A few Beginner friendly 'Psilocybe Cubensis' Strains sorted by Ease of Cultivation:
'B+' - 'Golden Teacher' - 'Cambodian' - 'Ecuador'
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FROM START TO HARVEST?
1-4 Weeks if you are using a Growkit that is already colonized.
2-3 Months if you are going with the DIY Method like a 'Monotub'.
HOW CAN I MAKE MY MUSHROOMS HAPPY?
Mushrooms like the Twilight. That means no direct Sunlight and no complete Darkness.
They like a high Air Moisture over 90% so spray clean Water every 2 or 3 Days but don't spray directly onto the Substrate or the Mushrooms.
Moderate Temperatures between 19°C and 23°C (66°F - 74°F) are ideal for Fruiting.
Higher Temperatures between 24°C and 27°C (75°F - 81°F) are ideal for Colonization (Mycelium Growth).
CO2 Levels should also be kept minimal so make sure to 'FAE' twice or three times a Day when fruiting.
This is for 'Psilocybe Cubensis' Strains. Different Strains might want different Conditions.
WHAT IS 'FAE'?
'FAE' refers to 'Fresh Air Exchange'. It is the Process of opening the Bag and swapping out the Air inside.
The best Technique of doing that is to wiggle the Bag by opening and closing it quickly several times so that the CO2 that is heavier than Air gets swirled up and can be transported out of the Bag efficiently.
Just opening the Bag and fanning Air into it will in most Cases not do the Trick.
Fanning is one of the best Techniques if you are growing with a 'Monotub' though.
You will also get rid of Air Moisture when doing 'FAE' so make sure to reprovide it every second or third Air Exchange by spraying clean Water.
SHOULD I USE A HEAT MAT FOR MY GROWKIT?
I personally would not recommend the use of Heat Mats.
They just make Things more complicated and more can go wrong than right when using them.
Development of Mycelium Scar Tissue is a real Risk when providing too much Heat, which renders your Growkit useless and essentially kills it.
Heat Mats will also dry out your Kit more quickly and they provide a Heat Gradient which confuses the Mycelium and lowers your Yield.
WHEN SHOULD I HARVEST MY MUSHROOMS?
Mushrooms have a thin protective Veil/Skin under their Caps.
When a Mushroom opens its Cap this Membrane will rip and the Mushroom will start releasing Spores.
You don't want the Mushrooms to release their Spores all over your Substrate as this can lead to Complications.
So you should harvest the Mushrooms right before or during this Veil breaks which takes a little bit of Intuition and Observation.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO PICK MY MUSHROOMS?
Do not just pull the Mushrooms out, you will hurt the Mycelium and delay further Growth significantly.
Instead, grab the Mushrooms at their Base and gently twist and wiggle them until they come off easily.
HOW DO I BEST DRY MY MUSHROOMS?
There is no real best Way to dry them but many different Techniques.
Personally I just let them lay around on a Plate uncovered in a Room with good Air Circulation. Your local Air Moisture might limit how thorough they will dry though. Moving around in the Room usually provides enough Circulation.
Some People put them into a Paper Bag to let it soak up the Moisture but this risks Mold due to the amount of Water inside the Mushrooms (90%) so you should change the Bag regularly until they are fully dried.
Others use Food Dehydrators or even their Oven to dry them quickly with gentle Heat but that risks partial loss of Potency.
Psilocybin chemically breaks down at around 200°C (392°F) but extended exposure to Infrared (Heat Rays) or Ultraviolet (from the Sun) will break it down aswell.
10 Grams of fresh Mushrooms will result in approximately 1 Gram of dried Mushrooms.
THE BASES OF MY MUSHROOMS ARE ALL FLUFFY?
Hmm yea. This is commonly referred to as 'Fuzzy Feet' and indicates high CO2 Levels.
When CO2 Levels are too high the Mycelium thinks that the Air is Substrate and wants to grow into it.
This is not too bad but constant high CO2 Levels can also cause so called 'Overlay' and 'Stroma' (Mycelium Scar Tissue) if left unchecked and when that happens there will be no more Mushrooms.
You should 'FAE' more often.
THERE ARE MUSHROOMS GROWING ON THE SIDES OF MY KIT.
WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Don't try to pick/harvest them when it is really hard to reach them.
It could result in you hurting the Mycelium severely and killing the Organism in the Process.
These so called 'Sidepins' will either not develop or work their Way up to the Surface eventually.
Over Time the Mycelium will eat up the Substrate causing the 'Cake' to shrink. It will make it much easier to reach and pick them.
Many People use Aluminum Foil to cover the Sides of their Growkit so that the Light doesn't provoke Mushroom Growth on the Sides.
This will also save Energy for the Mushrooms growing on the Surface.
If you are growing inside a 'Monotub' there are so called 'Liners' you can use to cover the Sides of the Substrate.
Some People also just spraypaint the lower Sides of their 'Monotub' with black Paint.
THERE IS BLUE COLOR APPEARING ON MY MUSHROOMS!?
Yes. This is the active psychedelic Substance inside the Mushrooms called 'Psilocybin'.
'Psilocybin' turns blue when reacting with Oxygen and it is Proof that your Mushrooms are indeed magical.
When handling your Mushrooms you will find that more and more blue Spots appear.
This is commonly referred to as 'Bruising' and will happen to Mycelium aswell.
Nothing to worry about.
THERE IS A STRANGE YELLOW LIQUID INSIDE MY KIT!?
These 'Metabolites', often also called 'Mushroom Pee' or 'Mycelium Pee', are perfectly normal.
The Mushroom Organism uses these Metabolites to fight off bacterial Infections and keep itself sterile.
Fun Fact: Antibiotic Medicines (Penicilin) are also made from fungal Metabolites.
THERE IS GREEN COLOR APPEARING INSIDE MY GROWKIT!?
Ouch. Green is not good. Chances are really high that this is aggressive Mold contaminating and killing your Kit.
Take Pictures of this and consult the Vendor you got the Kit from. Some Vendors will send you a new Kit.
Optionally you can try to fight the Contamination by spraying a Hydrogen Peroxide Solution (H2O2).