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Learn Mushroom Cultivation with Braimy – B.Sc Agriculture
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  1. Virgin Spawn:

-Spores of mushroom fall on the substrate, during suitable environment they germinate and form a mat of mycellium which is dug out and used as spawn. This type of spawn is known as virgin spawn.

– It was first used in France and exported to other countries.

  1. Brick Spawn:

– It is made by mixing composted horse and cow manure with loam soil (equal portion of each) along with water and tapped to a layer of 2 inch thick and cut into pieces when half dried.

– A hole is made in one edge and inoculated with old spawn/ mushroom mycellium.

– After this the spawn grow through the entire piece then the bricks are left to dry and sold as brick spawn.

  1. Flake Spawn

– The flake spawn, or “flakes,” is commonly known as the French spawn, because it is so extensively manufactured in France.

– It is made by breaking down beds through which the mycelium has run, and before the crop of mushrooms appears.

– That is, the bed is spawned in the ordinary way.

– When the mycelium has thoroughly permeated the bed, it is taken down and broken into irregular pieces, six to eight inches in diameter.

– The beds are made entirely of horse manure, with no admixture of soil, consist merely of the fermented and cured manure.

– Thoroughly dried used as spawn.

  1. Grain Spawn:

– Grain spawn is sterilized grain that has been inoculated with spores or a culture of mycelium.

– Many types of grain can be used generally wheat, bajra, sorghum and rye are used for making spawn.

– Larger grain carry greater reserve food material per grain for mushroom mycelium. So, the spawn prepared with larger grain can with stand adverse condition such as poor composting


– Small grain provides more points of inoculum so the spawn prepared with small grain will cover the compost/substrate soon.

Advantage of grain spawn:

– It’s much more nutritious than sawdust, making it ideal to create more spawn or to inoculate indoor substrates.

Disadvantage of grain spawn:

– It’s not as good a choice for inoculating outdoor beds. The grains are a big target for birds and rodents.

  1. Sawdust Spawn

– Sawdust Spawn is sterilized sawdust that has been inoculated with mycelium, often by grain spawn.

– The sawdust is usually made out of some type of hardwood with pieces neither too large nor too fine (a few mm in diameter).

Advantage of sawdust spawn:

-The big advantage of this spawn is it’s size.

– Spawn of sawdust are so small and numerous, there are many more inoculation points for the mycelium to grow into the substrate.

– This results in faster mycelium colonization with less time for contaminants to take hold.

Disadvantage of sawdust spawn:

– Its not as nutritious for mushroom growing as one would like.

  1. Plug or Dowel spawns:

– Plug spawn is a collection of small wooden dowels that have been inoculated with mycelium. This can be done with sawdust spawn, or even with stems of live mushrooms.

Advantage of plug or Dowel spawn:

– It’s very effective for inoculating substrates made from wood or fibers.

– It easily colonizes cardboard, wood chips, paper, stumps, and logs.

Disadvantage of plug or Dowel spawn:

–  It’s not always the best choice for straw or grain based substrates.

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