What are the additional advantages of using peroxide in mushroom cultivation?

Peroxide-treated mushroom spawn and agar cultures growing on a bookshelf

[Back to FAQs menu]

With peroxide, you can make sawdust spawn medium from wood pellet fuel with just a ten minute steaming, rather than pressure sterilization. This is one of the fastest methods of making mushroom spawn yet devised. The spawn can then be grown on a bookshelf in your home, rather than in a sterile laboratory. And, the amount of spawn you can make isn't limited by the size of your pressure cooker, since you can use any of a variety of large pots with fitted lids instead.

With peroxide, you can prepare sawdust cultures without pressure sterilizing either the bulk substrate or the supplements. You can even do it without heating the substrate. To do this, you will need to use peroxide-compatible starting materials such as wood pellet fuel and selected nitrogen supplements. Volume I of the peroxide manual describes a simple pellet fuel procedure with a boiling-water pasteurization, and it gives the details on how to select appropriate materials and supplements. Volume II of the manual presents an "add-and-stir" protocol for preparing peroxide-compatible porous substrates such as pellet fuel, paper fiber pellets, and kiln-dried sawdust, using peroxide at room temperature.

Peroxide can do away with costly filter-patch culture bags for bulk substrate. Grow cultures in ordinary trashbags (placed inside boxes) right out of the package, or in reusable plastic buckets with lids.

Added peroxide keeps cultures from going anaerobic (breakdown of the added peroxide by the mushroom mycelium releases oxygen). This makes it possible to pack sawdust-based substrate more tightly, creating a denser substrate favored by many species.

Peroxide kills mushroom spores, so you can grow agar cultures in the same building you use to fruit your mushrooms, even if the mushrooms produce a high spore load.

Peroxide kills contaminants without encouraging new resistant strains. (Antibiotics, sometimes added to agar medium, kill only bacteria, and can select for antibiotic resistant mutants).

Hydrogen peroxide in 3% solution is inexpensive, odorless, non-volatile, non-allergenic, low toxicity, non-irritating, stable, readily available, easy to handle, mechanically dispensable, entirely biodegradable, and environmentally benign.

  • Return to home page Main Menu
  • Return to list of Peroxide in Mushroom Growing FAQs
  • Ordering Information

  • You may freely copy and distribute the information on this webpage to friends or colleagues, as long as you include the following notice:

    This document is Copyright: ©2000 by Randall R. Wayne, Ph.D. All commercial rights are reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or used for sale in any form or by any means without permission of the author.