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Mold on potted mushroom substrate  RSS feed

Posts: 5
Location: north central Alabama, USA
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Apparently I have sinned.
I decided to try growing my own table mushrooms. got some (innoculated?) wooden plugs from Ebay,, got distracted, put the whole , unopened bag in the fridge & forgot about it for 8 or 9 months.. cooler weather came along, more time available, tried growng shrooms on coffee grounds & in other pots on shredded cardboard.
I used msc plastic containers to hold the substrate. cleanliness is probably abominable, I just washed plastics , and the old styro ice chest that houses my "farm" in the kitchen sink, then rinsed with a bleach solution ( roughly 10%) . Since I only wanted a few mushrooms at a time, I used small individual containers ... cut off quart milk jug bottoms, individual serving yogurt cups, coffee "cans" ( they have a nice handle). plus, since one of the criteria for fruiting seems to be "(complete consumption of the substrate)" , the smaller packages should be ready to fruit rather quickly.
well I thought it looked like the first pot ( coffee grounds) was ready to fruit, I took it out of the ice chest, put it in a loose plastic bag, put it in the fridge for a day, then moved it to the ( east facing) window sill over the kitchen sink. took it out of the bag & waved it around 3x a day, then back in the bag.
then it looked like the substrate was drying out, it was shrinking away from the edges of the milk jug, so I started flicking a few drops of tap water onto it as I aired it 3x daily.. I did not see mushroom pins starting, but I did see patches of mold. ICK.
I checked the rest off my "farm" pots, looks like mold is every where. I dumped the contents of all the pots into the garden mulch bin.

Before I start over, how many "sins" can you spot in this story?
what is the "proper way" to sanitize mushroom growing equipment?
Thanks, CE
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