If you’re asking yourself this question, you’ve come to the right place. We will try to dispel your doubts. Not everyone is a professional right away, and learning the ins and outs of mycology takes a lot of time and experience. We usually associate mold with a green or white fluffy substance, but recognizing it at first glance is not so obvious to the amateur mushroom wrangler.
What is mold?
Molds are microscopic parasites – filamentous fungi, they do not contain chlorophyll, roots or leaves. Mildew forms in moist and warm conditions on organic surfaces, forming a green, gray, orange, brown, blue or white film with fine hairs. At the end of these hairs are a huge number of spores, which, through the influence of a gentle air current, spread further to form new spines. Mold fungi are saprophages, that is, organisms that feed on dead plant or animal matter or the matter of other fungi. Mold destroys the structure in question, but it is also toxic to the environment. The smell of mold is difficult to confuse with any other smell, it is very specific, and its inhalation is harmful to the body.
Green-blue spots on growkit – is it mold?
You have purchased a growkit, you are already looking forward to testing, you open the package and to your eyes turns out a growbox with a substrate inside, and you see green / blue spots on its surface. Relax… it’s normal. If the shipment was well packed, no signs of cracks on the plastic box – you are unlikely to have to worry. Spots in green, green-blue with a small area are the result of oxidation of alkaline compounds. Such blue spots can also occur on fruiting bodies ( Remember, however, that you can’t allow fruiting bodies (mushrooms) to grow in Poland and many other countries, as their cultivation is prohibited by law). To make sure that the growkit is not moldy, just smell it after opening it, if it smells like mushrooms – everything is ok with it. Before sniffing take care of sterility, wash, sanitize your hands, try not to hog the growbox. And greenish-blue spots on growkit do not necessarily mean mold.
Growkit covered with a white coating, is it mold?
If you have started your research, and your growkit (cake) began to be covered with white fluff – do not panic – it is not mold. This is part of the process of building mycelium, thus forming its fibers, which in the future will want to turn into pins and later into adult mushrooms. This down can also occur on mature fruiting bodies.
How to check if the growkit is moldy?
If you want to check if the growkit has gone moldy, follow two simple steps. The first: check whether the growkit smells of mold or smells of fresh mushrooms – keep it sterile. The second: perform the stick test. Take a cotton bud, keeping it as clean as possible, of course, wash and sanitize your hands, do not blow air inside, touch the stick gently to the potentially diseased area and see if a greenish residue remains on the stick, if the stick is clean – your growkit is also uncontaminated with mold. On the other hand, if you notice that visible traces of a greenish substance remain on it, you can read more about mycelium diseases here.
How to prevent mold and other contaminants on growkit?
- Conduct tests only in a sterile environment. Fungi are ubiquitous and airborne. Although it is difficult to avoid air pollution in the home environment. Make sure the work area is as clean as possible, use gloves and a protective mask.
- Keep it clean. Remember that you, too, can be a source of pollution. Make sure you are thoroughly washed and dressed in clean clothes before you start working with the growing kit. It is also a good idea to disinfect your hands with a suitable soap or disinfectant.
- Sterilization of instruments is essential. Before use, thoroughly clean and disinfect all tools you will use, including the table top.