How to harvest mushroom spores
Mushroom Spores


Mushroom spores can be a great way to reuse and run a cycle of growing magic mushrooms. Since fungi reproduce by releasing spores that go into the atmosphere and continue the cycle of life, you can use that to your advantage by harvesting the mushroom spores and keeping them safe and ready for use for your next batch. However, harvesting mushroom spores is rather easy; not much is needed in the terms of getting mushroom spores that can then be stored and used later on. So, lets look at how to harvest mushroom spores. 

If you think store-bought mushrooms can allow you to harvest mushroom spores, yes, they can. You can also grow your own mushrooms and harvest spores from there, but that would be too time-consuming and would complicate an otherwise simple procedure. Instead, you can buy mushrooms and then go through these steps to learn how to harvest mushroom spores.

Let’s start.

How to harvest mushroom spores

In order to harvest your mushroom spores, you will need a couple of things, aside from the mushrooms themselves. Let’s look at what is needed to harvest mushroom spores.  

Things you will need

To harvest mushroom spores, you will need, 

  • Tin foil (to collect the spores in)
  • Knife, cutter 
  • Water dropper
  • Any container for the shrooms

The mushrooms that you will use for the process of harvesting spores need to be mature; which means that they should be fully formed, especially the gills that are underneath the cap of the mushroom. Gills play an important part in the process of reproduction for mushrooms, using spores, and intact gills are the one thing that you need to look out for. Aside from that, you will also need to make sure that the mushrooms are fresh and are not too old, since this will not translate well in the process of harvesting the mushroom spores. 

Harvesting the mushroom spores

To begin the process of harvesting the mushroom spores, start by getting all the things you need and proceed to the first step.

Gain access to the gills

The gills are fine line like structures underneath the cap of the mushroom, which is the main part of the entire effort. Getting access to the gills can be a bit tricky, but if you follow these steps, it will be like a walk in the park. For starters, try and remove the cap of the mushroom by hand, without shaking or agitating the mushroom itself too much. You will want to keep a steady hand in doing so, otherwise excessive shaking will release the spores before you can collect them. If you cant do that, try using a knife or a cutter and cut the stem off the mushroom. Ensure that no part of the stem remains attached to the cap and the mushroom is entirely devoid of the stem. This will expose the gills to the fullest and we can now proceed to the next step in harvesting mushroom spores. 

Ready your collection foil

You can use a tin foil to collect the spores. For doing so, you will need to gently set the mushroom cap on top of the foil, again, without disturbing it too much. With the gills facing downward, simply place it onto the foil. If you are using a mushroom that has a rather large cap, you can always cut it into pieces (again, gently and without too much tugging) and place different parts of the mushrooms on different pieces of tin foil, with the cap facing upwards. 

Encourage spore dispersal

Once you have the ideal placement of the mushroom cap on the foil, don’t shake it just yet. Instead, you need to encourage the spore dispersal by placing a drop of water on the top of the mushroom cap. This water will provide the necessary catalyst to the mushroom to start their spore dispersal. Once you have done so, place a cup of a container over the mushroom cap and cover it. This is done to make sure that the spores, when released, are not blown away by the wind or affected in any way by the environment. Placing them in a secure space is crucial. However, in doing so, you will also need to make sure that the container itself does not touch or disturb the mushroom cap, so, it needs to be big enough. 

Let the apparatus sit for 24 hours

Now, you will need to keep the apparatus untouched for the next 24 hours. With the water on the mushroom cap and the cap in the container, the spores will be released by the mushroom onto the tin foil. While 24 hours is enough, some mushroom types may need more time or less; so, if you can’t be bothered to check which type of mushrooms you’ve got there, just give it some more time. Ensure the room in which the apparatus is placed does not have too much light or too extreme of a temperature. 

Remove the cover

Once sufficient time has passed, start by removing the cover gently from on top of the mushroom cap. Keep the foil under the cap steady as you lift the mushroom cap to reveal a very fine spore print underneath. These are your mushroom spores, and if done correctly without any disturbance at all, you can see the gill or pore pattern of the mushroom by the way the spores might have fallen on the tin foil from the bottom of the mushroom cap. 

Harvesting the spores

Now that you have your mushroom spores, all that needs to be done now is to harvest them. Start by first disposing off the mushroom cap. Next, place the foil with the spores in a place where wind or anything else might not disturb it. Using a knife or any other sharp-sided tool, carefully scrape off the spores into a dry container. Be careful and refrain from using any excessive force or pressure in scraping the spores off.

Storing the excess for later

Using spores to grow mushrooms? Good. If you’ve got some left over from this bid, you can always save them for later. Mushroom spores, when stored correctly, can be used again even after long periods of time. Just make sure that the storage container being used is dry and not too humid. Excess moisture in the jar or container can damage the spores or can allow harmful bacteria to grow on the spores, which could potentially ruin your spores, and you might have to start the process all over again. 

Using mushroom spores to grow psilocybin shrooms

You can always use mushroom spores to grow your very own psilocybin shrooms or mushrooms with psychedelic components. The process of growing your own mushrooms from these spores will involve the usage of substrate and a couple of other things. Here is a quick rundown of how you can grow mushrooms from spores. 

  1. Start by selecting a substrate in which your mushroom spores will grow. You can use coffee gourds, sawdust, soil and any other organic material that will supplement the growth of your spores. 
  2. Place your spores in the substrate and ensure no extreme temperature or humidity is allowed near the enclosed bags of substrate. 
  3. Once you see a small mycelial growth, introduce it to moisture and oxygen by cutting off the top of the bag. 
  4. Keep the mycelial growth untouched in the bag, exposed to the environment and humidity to promote the growth of the classic capped mushrooms. 
  5. Once sufficient time has passed, the mushrooms will bloom out of the substrate. Carefully remove them from the substrate and harvest these mushrooms with care and store them in a dry container. 

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