Making Cardboard Spawn

You can culture some species of fungi by simply “running” the mycellium on cardboard. Oyster (varieties of the genus Pluerotus), King Stropharia, Wood Blewitt, Nameko among others are amenable to this technique. It is a way of cloning a mushroom by creating the conditions for the mycellium to continue growing on cellulose rich cardboard. Because


  • Cardboard
  • hot water


  • Large pot
  • plastic container with lid / Plastic bag
  • sharp knife
  • chopping board


  • soak the cardboard overnight
  • drain, pour boiling water over the cardboard in stainless steel pot, cover leave for 30 mins
  • drain thoroughly and cool
  • take corrugated pieces, be sure they are not dripping wet
  • take stem butts or thinly sliced pieces of the mushroom flesh (avoid gills) and layer them on the card
  • repeat this layer until the container is full or you have used all of the mushroom flesh
  • put the roll of card in a plastic bag, fold the top and staple (do not seal completely)
  • incubate at around 20c for week or so; or if you are concerned about potential contamination start the incubation in a refrigerator for 2-3 weeks
  • Once the mycellium has fully run throughout the card you can use it to inoculate a suitable growing substrate or expand further on cardboard.
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