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I am starting a science project about the different environments to grow up mushrooms. Do you know where can I get the mushroom spores and how long does it take for them to grow? I really need your help!
Question Date: 2008-03-07
Answer 1:

Although you can buy mushroom kits commercially, the technique used to collect mushroom spores can be done easily at home. You will need some mushrooms (the edible non-toxic varieties available at your local grocery store or vegetable market should work perfectly), a piece of white paper, a piece of black paper, and a glass container that when inverted, will cover the mushroom like a bell jar. Start by placing the black and white paper side by side on a table or counter. Carefully remove the stem from the mushroom and place the cap spore-side down onto the paper, so that half of the cap is covering white paper, and the other half is covering black paper. Some mushrooms have dark spores, while others have light spores, so by placing your mushroom over both types of background, you will be able to see the spores when they have dropped, no matter what their color is. Next, cover the mushroom with the glass container. This will prevent the mushroom from drying out. Leave the mushroom alone overnight, and in the morning, the spores should have dropped onto the paper. These spores can then be carefully spread over a soil containing decomposing material (like manure or compost). Growth times vary with the species of mushroom and the environmental conditions they experience. Fungi grow well when it is moist and warm (between 25 and 27 Celsius degrees should be optimal), and need a daily light/dark cycle.

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