Cereal straw substrate preparation: Straws such as wheat, rye, paddy and oat all make a good base for mushroom growth. They’re easy to get and fairly cheap. Cereal straw is that it can be used to grow many different types of mushrooms. Cereal straw is plentiful with other microbes, and if we don’t get rid of those tiny competitors the mushroom mycelium may not have a chance to grow. Therefore, we should prepare cereal straw substrate carefully.
For Cereal straw substrate preparation, there have two ways for straw substrate sterilization
1/ Pasteurization: The pasteurization process can be used to prepare the substrate for the mushroom. Pasteurization does not sterilize the substrate but will remove the unwanted contaminants and retain the beneficial bacteria. This process is the easier and faster of the two but will consume more water. The tools needed for this process is a steel drum (a large oil drum), a meshed basket to hold the substrate, a high pressure gas regulator and burner as well as access to water. Preheat the water in the steel drum to 65°C. Next lower your meshed basket with cereal straw into the warm water. Place a weight on top of the cereal straw to avoid it from floating up. Keep the temperature steady and leave the straw to soak in the water for 1 and a half hours (1:30 min). Now remove the meshed basket from the water or drain the water from the drum. The straw needs to rest for some hours until it cools enough to receive the mushroom culture. This wheat straw is one of the better substrates to use for Oyster mushroom cultivation . Use clean, uncontaminated chopped straw only (4-6cm long).
2/ Using Mushroom Autoclave Sterilizer: The collected lignocellulosic substrates of straws chopped into small pieces and soaked in tap water for overnight.
The excess water in the substrates was allowed to run off until set to required moisture. The substrates were added 5% CaSO4. Wheat bran was supplemented by 20% (w/w) and mixed thoroughly.
Substrate mixture was filled in plastic bags or bottle and sterilized at 1210C for 90 minutes.
After cooling down to room temperature the substrates were inoculated with the mother culture of the selected mushroom strain.