Pioppino Grow Instructions and FAQ
This newest iteration of the Nearby Naturals grow kit is grown a bit differently than the last, so please follow along carefully for best results.
The setup will be the same for all varieties, but there are some differences in care toward the middle and end of the process. Be sure to view the tutorial for the specific variety you are growing.
First Things First
First remove the big bag of mushroom mycelium from the shipping box and find your care pouch. Lets examine the block. This is the mushroom mycelium that has been incubating for weeks, gobbling up the nutrients from the prepared wood and bean hulls in the bag, preparing to form its reproductive organ, the mushroom.
There will very likely be a small cut in the top of the bag, this is how all of the extra air is removed from the bag when it is prepared to ship, this is purposeful.
Your block may not look exactly like this, its a living organism and no two blocks are identical.
There could be some tiny baby mushrooms trying to grow, it could be a slightly different shape, it could be a bit darker if its been bumped around in transit, you could find some red-orange-is metabolite liquid in the bag, or the outer mycelium may be bruised. All of these things are normal and totally fine. This won’t affect the outcome or instructions.
Site Selection and Setup
The mushrooms need 4 things to grow properly. Air, light, humidity, and temperature.
Pioppino like the temperature between 65 and 80 F
Normal indoor lighting will be fine, and its ok to turn it off at night.
Make sure your site is somewhere with a reasonable amount of air flow and/or air volume. You don’t want air blowing directly at your kit, this will dry it out, but avoid keeping them in cabinets or closets as this will choke them out.
Fill up your spray bottle (potable tap water is fine, but you can use springwater or distilled water if you’d like) Find a nice, well lit area that’s out of direct sunlight, and let’s activate the kit!
First fold back the plastic as tightly as possible, removing as much air as you can from the bag.
Place the two rubber bands around the block leaving a spot between them where the substrate is nice and flush against the bag. You may not need the rubber bands for this first fruiting, but they will come in handy for the subsequent flushes.
Cutting and Misting
Cut a 4-5 inch X shape, making sure to go about a half inch deep into the substrate to help stimulate growth.
Leave the flaps you’ve created hovering over the cut. Don’t tuck them in to try to expose the block too much, this will only cause drying of the substrate.
Mist the cut heavily, about 10 pumps of the bottle should do it. Create a nice little humid microclimate. The mushrooms love this.
Don’t try to open up the cut too much, this whole may seem small but we’re encouraging clustering of the mushrooms. This will make continued care easier after the first harvest and give you better quality mushrooms.
Heavily mist the cut and the plastic around it 2-3 times per day, or more if you live somewhere particularly dry. You don’t want water to pool on your block, just keep it moist.If you live somewhere extremely dry, please view our guide on setting up a make shift humidity tent.
You may see tiny mushrooms attempting to grow from under the plastic. This is very normal, just either ignore them and let them choke (they won’t grow very much without fresh air), or poke them down to retard the growth.
In as few as 3 days, but sometimes up to 8-9 days, you’ll begin to see the baby mushrooms forming. We call these pins.
Congrats! You’re a mushroom parent. The hard part is over.
You may have more of less of a pin set. No two pin sets are the same. Fewer pinheads will mean larger mushrooms, and the yield is about the same. A super crazy amount of pins will likely lead to only a portion of them making it to maturity and the rest will abort.
From here the mushrooms grow extremely quickly. Doubling in size every day.
Continue misting the pioppino pinheads directly, but try not to soak them. We really don’t want them wet, we just want to replace humidity that the drier air is wicking off of them.
3-5 days after the first sign of mushrooms, you should be harvesting.
For pioppini, you want to harvest when this membrane under the cap first begins to break on some of the mushrooms.
If left to grow for too long, you’ll see that the caps flare out, they drop spores, and they don’t look nearly as nice as they once did. They also will become a bit more bitter and have a poor shelf life.
Its better to harvest too early than too late!
For example: If they’re looking pretty darn good and you’re about to leave the house for 8 hours, it might be best to harvest them before you leave
To harvest, simply grab the cluster from the base with two hands. Rock it back and forth, twist, and pull. The whole cluster should pop right off. If not, you can use a knife and then remove the "root" afterward.
Frequently asked questions
How many times will it grow?
The kits are quite large and very well supplemented so you can get 3-4 with proper care. The harvests get smaller each time.
After it seems “spent”, there’s still plenty of mushroom potential in there. You can bury it outside for sporadic flushes (if the temperature is right). You can also break I up and add it to some prepared wood chips to potentially scale your grow. While neither of these methods are guaranteed to work (since temperature and humidity cant be controlled) they tend to work wonders!
What should I do if its been two weeks and its not growing?
If you've cut open the kit more than two weeks ago and you're not seeing any growth, your kit needs some encouragement.
Open up the top seam of the bag and pour about a cup of water over the block and let it soak in.
Close up the bag, fold the excess bag tightly around the block and store the whole block in the refrigerator for 48 hours.
Remove the block and continue on with the instructions where you left off.
My mycelium block looks weird/off, whats wrong?
Likely nothing is wrong with your block.
Keep in mind that mushrooms are fungi and the mycelium DOES look like mold.
Each variety of mycelium will look different. Lions mane has particularly wispy mycelium whereas blue oyster has strong, bright white mycelium.
The mycelium that develops on the outside of the block can also become bruised which can lead to dark green/red-orange, or brown hues. This wont affect your grow.
Now, if you see a very defined patch of what I clearly not the correct fungus (I. green bread mold, black mold, etc.) shoot us an email and we can instruct you on getting a replacement.
My block is broken, what should I do?
If your substrate block arrives I a couple pieces, or with a few fissures, no need to worry, mycelium self-heals.
Smoosh it back together by tightening the bag around the block. Place it back in the box sideways and let it sit for 2 days before proceeding with the instructions.