Mushrooms are the most common and also the most famous type of edible fungus. They are part of many cultures’ cuisine and are considered a staple cooking ingredient by many. Mushrooms contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The nutritional values and the medicinal values of these fungi have been known far and wide.
Today in this article we will tell you what mushroom spores are, exactly how long do mushroom spores last, what the storage options and some other aspects as well.
Growing mushrooms is also a very profitable business. People who are small-time investors nowadays go for mushroom farms. The process of growing mushrooms is quite simple and yields crops a hundred percent of the time if the spores are collected through certified sellers. As a beginner in farming mushrooms, it is important to follow the process, by the book. From collecting spores to getting full fruit bodies, any mishap can lead to losing the whole investment.
How Long Do Mushroom Spores Last?
Depending on the storing processes mushroom spores can last 6 to 12 months and sometimes if they are kept in utmost care, they can survive for 2-5 years. The survivability rate of spores is listed below according to their storage process.
What Are Spores?
Spores are the most important part of growing mushrooms. Spores for mushrooms can be considered as seeds, these are microscopic and can be collected from the gills of a mushroom. The spores that are found in mushrooms are exuded into the air and naturally, they are used as an airborne means of reproduction.
But in harvesting mushrooms, the spores are collected by hand and stored in convenient ways. The spores when they are put in a favorable environment, they feed and grow. If provided with enough nutrition, they grow into mycelium and these are the white materials you see in your spawn bags.
How Spores grow into Mushrooms
The content from the spawn bags can be put into places where you want to harvest the mushroom. The places of choice can be straw, hardwood, sawdust or fertilizers. It depends on the type of mushrooms. The pins of the mushroom generally start to show after 1 to 2 days. The time may not be the same for different types of mushrooms.
Then the mycelium fully colonizes the harvest area and the fruit body or the final form of mushroom is seen after 16-18 days. Also, the time may differ for some species. So, the spores are the building block for mushrooms. How you handle spores and store them has a big impact on your harvest and profit.
These spores are collected and stored in various ways. The most famous ways of storing them are liquid culture syringes, spore syringes, and spore prints. The means of storing are chosen with the farmer’s needs in mind. If no storing methods are followed, the spores become airborne and are lost. Alternatively, if the storing process is not maintained fully, many other agents like bacteria, dust can get into spores and ruin them.
So, keep a sterile and airtight environment for storing spores. Spores can last a long time in cool, dry places and in an airtight environment. The temperature is very important while storing spores. Spores will die in 122-degree Fahrenheit or in 50-degree Celsius.
The storing processes also should be kept in mind, not every process is fit for the mushrooms you are trying to grow. It is important to learn all the pros and cons of the processes as a beginner. In that way, you can choose the process that serves your needs.
Liquid Culture Syringes
A liquid culture syringe holds mycelium (collected from the spores) in a liquid nutritious solution. In that solution, the mycelium can get nutrition and expand. The solution can be made of honey or other nutritious liquid. The process is good for faster colonization and is widely available.
Although among the three-process this is harder to store and has a very short survival rate for spores if the conditions are not met. The syringes can be stored in household freezers or deep freezers.
Although household freezers are warmer compared to deep freezers and the temperature is not stable as deep freezers. For these reasons, deep freezers are better. So, they are tricky to store and can be kept for a few years if the atmosphere is maintained.
How long do mushroom spores last in a syringe?
Spore Syringes are syringes with spores. They are put in syringes because of the convenience. The spore syringes are easy to use and are used as one of the primary means for selling spores. They should be stored in cool and dry places, away from the sun. The spores in spore syringes are mostly used in a month by farmers.
However, if they are kept in favorable conditions there have been incidents where they survived up to 10 years. It is advisable to use them in the timeframe of 1 month to 6 months.
How long do mushroom spore prints last
Spore prints are very easy to make. They are made by putting the mushroom in a top-down position on a piece of paper, plastic, or petri dish. The spores fall from the gills into the paper or plastic and create a print. The spores can be stored as prints or moved around. They are stored the same as spore syringes but they should be kept away from dust. They also should be kept in airtight spaces.
Spore prints have a good shelf life and there have been reports where they have survived for 8 years. However, it is best not to take any chances and start working with them as early as possible.
Mushrooms are a good source of nutrition. The demand for mushrooms has grown over the years as the medical community discovered their medicinal values. Mushrooms are also a good substitute for protein. For this reason, many people who are vegan choose mushrooms over meat-based products. The need for mushrooms grows every year, the global consumption for mushrooms was 12.74 million tons and is projected to increase to 20.84 million tons by 2026.
So, the harvest of mushrooms is a profitable business for present times. The fund that is needed to get into mushroom harvesting is also very low. Anyone with the right training can earn and live a comfortable life. They are also perfect for casual gardeners and can supply proteins to your whole family.