For those who want to grow magic mushrooms in hot climates
If you are struggling with high temperature while growing magic mushrooms
For fruiting period Psilocybe Cubensis mushrooms prefer +20..25ºC or 68-77ºF.
Starting from 25ºC or 77ºF it is possible to get a mushroom harvest, but cultivation process becomes challenging. Due to high temperature you can face some issues like extreme secondary metabolites, overlay and stroma, poor pinning etc.
Technically it is possible to create favorable conditions (cooling for fruiting chamber) or postpone your Cubensis cultivation for better times.
Today, I’d like to share some tips for those who really struggle with high temperatures while growing shrooms during the hot season.
Cycle mushroom species due to the season of the year
Let’s follow nature's approach first if you don’t want to bother with cooling solutions, but wish to continue your growing hobby.
Choose the right mushroom species for hot period!
All heat tolerant species are not Psilocybe Cubensis. What are they?
Hot season is the best time for Magic Truffles aka sclerotia growing P. Tampanensis, P. Mexicana, P. Galindoi, P. Galindoi Atl etc.
Nature invented sclerotia exactly for the hot season of the year. Sclerotia growing is newbie-friendly true neglect tek, because you grow them in vitro (right in the jars).
Temperature range for magic truffles growing: +25º..+33ºC or 77-91ºF that makes them great for hot season!
Just inoculate the substrate, put jars in a dark place and forget about them for the next 3-6 month.
And boom! Harvesting time!
Ultimate guide: Growing magic truffles Psilocybe Mexicana and Tampanensis
Psilocybe Natalensis aka Natal is a species of psilocybin mushroom very close to Psilocybe Cubensis, but differs in its habitat preference and genetic sequence.
Considered more potent than Cubensis. For instance, due to many subjective results, 3g of dry Cubes = 2g of Natalensis.
It is originally from South Africa and these mushrooms are extremely tolerant to high temperatures.
Temperature range for Natal fruiting: +23º..+40ºC or 73-104ºF.
Growing steps, substrate types and substrate content are totally the same as for P. Cubensis cultivation.
The main issue with P. Natalensis is making them fruit. Natal has extremely aggressive mycelium that makes this mushroom resilient to contaminants during fruiting period. However it can form marshmallow blobs and overlay instead of normal mushrooms.
For shoebox/monotub/growbox flip the lid to have a gap between tub and lid for natural air flow and fan the bin manually 2-3 times/day to have good pinning and great mushrooms.
Fruiting chambers with automated additional FAE and humidifier or automated grow tent would be great for Natal, although not required. However Natal sensitive to CO2, if there are lack of fresh air you'll such get leggy shrooms usually called 'Natal snakes'.
Casing layer for Natalensis is optional, but extremely beneficial. It helps to maintain perfect microclimate for pinning, helps to avoid extreme mycelium overgrowth.
YES, Natal is able to cultivate outdoors successfully!
Growing Natalensis outdoors can be amazing experience. Especially if you have some space in the shades of plants, trees: backyard, garden, greenhouse for plants.
The temperature up to 40ºC or 104ºF is not a problem for Natal growing outdoors.
Just bury colonized mushroom cake and cover it with 1/2 inch of soil.
Panaeolus mushrooms are considered high temperature tolerant mushroom species.
They feel good at +25º..+33ºC or 77-91ºF
Panaeolus are x2 or x3 more potent than Cubensis. 3g of dry Cubes = 1g of Panaeolus. Recommended for those, who usually have nausea and stomach pain while taking shrooms. With Panaeolus you don't feel any side effects at all, your trip is smooth and calm.
There are 4 tricky moments in Panaeolus cultivation, that we usually skip for Cubensis:
1. Panaeolus mushrooms need manure (horse, cow, camel, elephant poo or manure pellets).
2. Panaeolus is one from the list of species that requires a casing layer. Otherwise it is impossible to make them fruit.
3. They are extremely sensitive to CO2. Neglect tek is not about Panaeolus cultivation.
Additional FAE, automated fanning and humidifier are required for fruiting period. Or cultivation in a big volume like Grow Tent with automated humidifier and fanning. All these influence pinning and further fruiting greatly.
4. Panaeolus is sensitive to acidic substrates (pH lower 7.0), pH’d casing is necessary!
Briefly there are 2 options for Panaeolus cultivation:
1. Start with manure mix in jar for inoculation
Prepare: 30% dry poo (powder) + 70% hay soaked in water for 24 hours.
Fill the jars. Sterilization in PC for 2 hours.
Inoculate this mix. Wait for 20-30 days for full colonization.
Then cover colonized manure with sterilized pH adjusted casing layer
2. Start with grain spawn
No soak no simmer millet is perfect to use for Panaeolus. Any other types of grain also can be used.
The next step after grain colonization is spawn to bulk substrate (sterilized substrate mix) for your choice:
1) 30% dry manure + 70% sawdust or hay + 5% gypsum and hydrated lime
2) or 70% manure pellets + 30% vermiculite + 5% gypsum and hydrated lime
3) or 30% dry manure or pellets + 60% sawdust + 10% bran + 5% gypsum and hydrated lime
Make spawn to bulk and small mushroom cakes.
Cover them with sterilized casing layer: soil for tomatoes or cacti, sphagnum and vermiculite 1:1:1 + Lime for pH adjusting.
As I mentioned before, sclerotia species, Natalensis and Panaeolus are not Cubensis. So you have a great opportunity to try yourself with new species
Spend hot season for working on mushroom genetic
Spend this time for working on genetic - selection and strain isolation.
This required agar work and a series of agar to agar transfers
Great opportunity to make the full cycle: pure strain on agar -> liquid culture with great genetic -> grain spawn for the new Cubensis season.
During 'summer time' colonization process is extremely fast. You don't need incubator to speed up colonization process.
Make a cooling system for fruiting chamber
If you are ready to become an engineer you can make a DIY cooling system for your growbox /monotub /shoebox and/or use it as a small fridge for your LC, spawn jars, agar plates.
As an example, you can make cooling system for small fruiting chamber based on the Peltier module or water cooler with compressor
Check out: Cooling for mushrooms with Peltier element
This system also works for heating in the cold season.
Sum it up!
Hot season is not an obstacle for true mushroom growers.
It’s time for new mycology opportunities, new species, teks, DIY and trip experiences.
What are your solutions? How do you deal with high temperatures during hot season cultivation? Share in comments ;)
Enjoy your home mycology!