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Being a mushroom cultivator requires in-depth knowledge about the craft. One of the first things you need to become acquainted with is the various terms and mushroom anatomy. Without this knowledge, you won’t be able to grow your mushrooms efficiently—or even know what goes into the process. Key terms to define are “substrate” and “casing.” What’s the difference between mushroom substrate and casing, and what are they? Read on to find out.

Mushroom Substrates

A mushroom substrate is a material that the mushroom mycelium can grow in. Mycelium is the body of the mushroom—it’s the part that can sometimes span acres of land underneath the ground. The “fruiting” body of the mushroom is the part most of us are familiar with: the stem and gills that protrude out of the ground. It may be useful to consider the substrate as the “soil” in which the original mushroom grows. A good substrate has fibrous materials, like straw, manure, coffee grounds, and vermiculite.

Mushroom Casing

mushroom casing is a layer of moist materials placed on top of a colonized substrate. It can be either organic or inorganic, but it’s usually a combination of both. It helps the mushroom retain moisture and contains microorganisms required for fruitbody formation. Normally, colonized substrates dry out when exposed to the environment, depending on how low the humidity is. A good casing is great at holding moisture, but very slow to succumb to contamination.

The Difference

As we can see, the mushroom casing layer covers the substrate and helps protect it, retaining moisture. However, this is different than the substrate itself, which operates as the “soil” of the mushroom. They can both be made of organic or inorganic materials. They are also both much-needed parts of the cultivation process. The difference between substrate and casing isn’t as complicated as it appears.

In short, mushrooms can be complicated to grow. However, once you understand the terms, you’ll be better equipped to know how it works. This knowledge will greatly augment the growth process. Luckily for you, here at Midwest Organics LLC, we have all the products you need to start the mushroom cultivation process. Shop Midwest Organics today!

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