Hydrogen Peroxide in Fruiting ChamberFaizan Khan
Don’t we all just love mushrooms? We love eating them, and we love picking them. However, mushrooms themselves are incredibly picky. In order for mushrooms to bloom appropriately, they need an ideal growing environment.
According to the International Journal of Herbal Medicine, mushroom growth needs a closely monitored optimized condition. These include temperature, humidity, wall material, and even the breeds of mushrooms in one space.
In particular, the fruiting phase will yield the maximum yield when indirect light, high humidity, fresh air exchange, and optimal temperatures exist.
A fruiting mushroom body is the part of the mushroom plant that grows out and is harvested. A fruiting chamber is an enclosed space that growers use to control the conditions to produce a maximum variety of mushroom species.
This is especially necessary for places where the local climate is unfavorable for mushroom growth.
Fruiting Chambers — Here’s All You Need to Know!
A little mushroom greenhouse, this easy chamber setup mimics the perfect condition for growing your favorite fungi.
It is a clear bin covered with air holes, layered with a few inches of damp perlite on the bottom. The purpose of holes is the exchange of fresh gases and air, and the perlite acts as an agent for humidity maintenance.
The ideal humidity for a fruiting chamber is above 80%. The perfect temperature sits around 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit, with decreasing levels of carbon dioxide.
The tote you use should be clear as it will allow your mushrooms to receive adequate sunlight. You can choose between a transparent and opaque lid, as long as the fungi get sufficient light.
Components of a Fruiting Chamber
If you would like to build your fruiting chamber, the steps are pretty simple. You would need just a few common materials and tools and about an hour of your time.
You will require a clear plastic tote, some coarse perlite, a spray bottle, and an optional hygrometer. Additional tools are a power drill, a measuring tape, and a permanent marker.
You will drill about five holes into your clear plastic bin on all sides. Make sure to wash it thoroughly and completely dry. Pour about 4-8 liters of your perlite soil and add water to wet it, not soak it.
Your goal is to have about 3 inches of damp perlite layered at the bottom of the container.
Benefits of Using a Fruiting Chamber
You may wonder if you even need a fruiting chamber. One of the most significant deciding factors is your local climate. If you happen to reside in areas with the correct temperatures and humidity, you’re in luck!
You can grow mushrooms without the help of fruiting chambers on mushroom beds, outdoor logs, or even kitchen counters.
However, if your local weather does not support these conditions, you need not be deprived of mushrooms as you can readily use fruiting chambers.
You can grow your mushrooms indoors using fruiting chambers instead of mason jars. This will guarantee a better yield and is a much more efficient process due to the carefully controlled environment.
Additionally, using a fruiting chamber is a cost-effective process. This is because it helps the growers in staying within budget. Otherwise, this may be an expensive process to achieve desired results.
Fruiting chambers are highly versatile as they can be used for other vegetables and fruits. The perfect temperature help in growing not just organic harvest but also tasteful produce. The growing chambers can yield healthy, nutritious, and delicious mushrooms.
Using indoor growing chambers is beneficial to the growers as the mushrooms do not need as much maintenance and attention. In addition to their time, growers also save energy, which they can use for other purposes.
Why Should You Use Hydrogen Peroxide in Fruiting Chamber?
A mushroom enthusiast should always have some hydrogen peroxide ready on hand.
This chemical agent is a multi-use product for many facets of the mushroom growing process thanks to its broad disinfectant properties.
It is renowned as a magical elixir for your ailing garden to help pest control and prevent infections.
To Disinfect the Chamber
When growing your precious mushrooms, sometimes you may encounter unwanted fungi and molds. In such cases, you simply need a few drops of hydrogen peroxide to apply in your fruiting chambers. This will eliminate all the unwanted bacteria and mold without affecting the growing spores.
The more the mushroom tissue grows, it will breakdown the more hydrogen peroxide into oxygen and water. Ultimately the result will show a healthy, fast-growing mushroom culture.
The best part is that hydrogen peroxide is a great weapon against harmful microorganisms and mold, which do not hurt your fungi. So spray away!
To Provide an Alternate Oxygen Source
Hydrogen peroxide has been termed a grower’s best friend in a dissertation by Wilfrid Laurier University. It is an oxidizing agent used to efficiently disinfect irrigation systems without any harmful by-products efficiently. Hydrogen peroxide breaks down into water and oxygen when combined with water.
When this extra oxygen is released into the soil, it aids the plants in growing new healthy roots. However, ensure that you properly dilute it. You can do this by combining a part of 3% hydrogen peroxide with two parts of water in any clean spray bottle or watering can.
To Prevent Future Contamination
If you notice any grey, blue, black, or green patches inside your fruiting chamber box, you are likely looking at contamination.
When you use any tools or pots to tend to your mushrooms, it is best to wash the used tools with hydrogen peroxide solution to kill any mold spores. Furthermore, avoid touching the substrate and plastic with your fingers, as it may contaminate the plants.
Hydrogen peroxide to clean your fruiting chamber activates its action and oxygen release. This changes the anaerobic bacterial environment, ultimately inhibiting microorganisms and mold growth.
Moreover, hydrogen peroxide also preserves the yield quality and extends its shelf life for long after harvest.
Why Should You Clean Your Fruiting Chamber?
Regardless of the size and scale of your growing chamber, it will work at its best when it is a clean and controlled area. When designing, keep this in mind so that it would be easy for you to clean it. Doing so regularly is vital to prevent contamination and infection.
1. Prevent Contamination
Did you know that contamination sources are not limited to mold spores in the air? It also includes your clothes, breath, hands, and cultivation tools. When handling your precious produce, clean and scrub your hands thoroughly.
One of the main reasons for mushroom contamination is when the bulk substrate is not correctly pasteurized when inoculation with a mushroom culture.
Your tools can contaminate your cultures if they are not properly sterile. Make sure to clean your scalpels, blades, or other tools with hydrogen peroxide or heat.
Perfect sterility may be quite difficult to achieve, but every small step of cleaning will prevent contamination for better cultivation.
2. Avoid Bacterial and Viral Infestations
Mushroom substrates require sufficient moisture derived from the water and humid climates.
When there is excess moisture, this becomes a medium for bacterial and viral growth during mushroom cultivation. The mushroom substrates need to be free of bacterial and viral infestations for optimal yield as they are competing contaminants.
Proper cleaning of your fruiting chambers keeps contaminants at bay.
The substrate should be clean and not muddy or discolored. If spotted at an early stage, you can use hydrogen peroxide to control the cobweb mold and salvage your produce properly.
3. Keep Yourself Safe
Some mold and spores are harmful to humans, such as Aspergillus. They can cause serious health problems in some individuals when they breathe in the spores of this fungus.
Those with a compromised immune system or an underlying respiratory condition can have a worsened reaction.
In the unfortunate event that one consumes moldy mushrooms, it can cause nausea, food poisoning, and nerve-wracking issues like botulism. Molds and spores produce “mycotoxins, “ toxins produced on fungi crops.
The US Department of Agriculture concluded after research that moldy mushrooms should be instantly discarded and not be consumed in any way.
4. Maintain a Controlled Environment
A clean fruiting chamber is the one simple factor that will help you get more consistent, higher yield, and excellent quality mushrooms all year round.
A clean growing chamber can keep the ideal factors in control. If it is contaminated, there are more chances of tampered humidity, temperature, and moisture, all of which affect the growth quality of your produce.
Moreover, a clean fruiting chamber triggers mushroom fruiting. It is accelerated when there is complete colonization of the substrate, lower carbon dioxide gas levels, and higher humidity.
The cleaning process is very quick and definitely worth it.
5. Keep Your Mushrooms Healthy
When you give your fruiting chambers the ideal condition, your mushrooms will thrive. The microorganisms from contaminants will be limited.
If you are growing your mushrooms as a retail business, you will need to take extra care so they do not get infected with other fungi types or microorganisms.
The essential factor for healthy mushroom growth is a humid environment, mainly when they are fruiting. This is because they are made up of over 90% water. Keeping the air and environment clean and healthy will yield better produce.
Using Hydrogen Peroxide in Fruiting Chamber
A study published in March 2012 investigated the role of hydrogen peroxide on plant growth in fruiting chambers.
Another study by the Scientia Horticulturae was conducted to examine the sensitivity of mushroom species to hydrogen peroxide. It was concluded that using hydrogen peroxide is a cost-effective method of effectively producing better yields of spawn and mushrooms.
#1 Using Hydrogen Peroxide to Disinfect Fruiting Chamber
If you find unwanted fungi and mold in your fruiting chamber, even after a thorough cleaning, it’s time to use hydrogen peroxide. Your growing spores will not be compromised in any way. Yet hydrogen peroxide will kill all mold and bacteria, which cause a threat to mushroom health.
You can skip fancy commercial disinfectants and simply use this multipurpose household product to disinfect your fruiting chamber.
It works effectively as an antiseptic as it destroys microorganisms’ cell walls. This process is known as oxidation and works as the compound has incredibly reactive oxygen atoms.
What You Need
- 3% Hydrogen peroxide
- Clean water
- A spray bottle
To start off, mix one part of 3% hydrogen peroxide with two parts of clean water. You can do it in a clear clean spray bottle. Shake to mix the solution properly.
Spray the mushroom substrate or fruiting chamber with your hydrogen peroxide solution. This process will act as a chemical sterilant.
It is essential that you use hydrogen peroxide which has been stored in a dark, cool, and airtight space so it would not lose its properties.
Points to Consider
When using hydrogen peroxide as a disinfectant, you should take care to store it away from sources of ignition, moisture, heat, and light. It is also best stored in an air-tight vessel, and away from metals, acids, and alkalis to prevent any chemical reaction
Another point to consider while conjuring up the solution is to avoid inhaling the hydrogen peroxide. High exposure can cause pulmonary edema.
This is a fluid build-up in the lungs, accompanied by shortness of breath, dizziness, headache, vomiting, and nausea.
Ensure to label your containers clearly and properly. You will also need to keep it out of reach from children and pets due to it being a safety hazard.
#2 Using Hydrogen Peroxide to the Fruiting Chamber With Oxygen
When fresh mushrooms respire, they release carbon dioxide and take up oxygen. When hydrogen peroxide comes into contact with water, it breaks down into oxygen and water eventually.
It makes sense that watering your fruiting chamber with hydrogen peroxide will introduce more oxygen into the soil.
The burst of oxygen gives the roots more space to take up extra nutrients. This can work on the plant as a catalyst by growing exponentially. It can even help an ailing plant get back on track. You can make this a weekly watering habit to ward off the pesky gnats.
What You Need
- 3% hydrogen peroxide
- Clean water
- Spray bottle
You will need to mix a pint of the 3% hydrogen peroxide with a gallon of water. When you are watering your produce, you should soak the roots thoroughly. It is recommended to do this practice once every week.
This process oxygenates the root area and hence promotes the development of the plant’s life. It is interesting to know that it will benefit the plant at any growing stage. Hydrogen peroxide delivers extra oxygen even in clayey or compacted soil.
This boosts up the root growth vigorously thanks to the extra oxygen molecule. The oxygen further aids in helping plants absorb nutrients, encouraging healthier and faster development.
Points to Consider
As with all things related to hydrogen peroxide, it is a benefit as well as a nuisance, depending on how you use it. The concentration and amount of hydrogen peroxide you use matter a lot. The optimal amount will bloom your plants and thrive your mushrooms.
However, you should note that too much of the same said solution is likely to harm or even kill them. Excess hydrogen peroxide boosts peroxisome and chloroplast cell clean-out and programmed cell death.
The relationship between hydrogen peroxide and plants is a challenging one. Using higher concentrations may result in oxidative damage to the cells. Use it after it rains, or once a week for best results.
#3 Using Hydrogen Peroxide to Prevent Active Contamination of the Fruiting Chamber
In the mushroom cultivation world, contamination is inevitable. This makes it extremely necessary to have a solid understanding and good practice of the sterile technique.
Even with a flawless habit, contamination of your fruiting chamber is bound to happen at some point.
Commercial level decontamination systems are substantially high-costing with limited safety and efficacy. On the other hand, using hydrogen peroxide in your fruiting chamber effectively prevents active contamination.
A study published in December 1999 concluded that local treatments using 3% hydrogen peroxide could significantly reduce bacterial growth on plastic materials by up to 99%. This result was the same even one-month post-treatment.
What You Need
- 3% hydrogen peroxide
- Clean water
- Spray bottle
Mix a tablespoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide to a cup of clean water in a spray bottle. Shake the bottle until well-combined. You can do this treatment in an empty fruiting chamber or one in use.
A few sprays of this solution around your fruiting room will prevent bacterial growth. It will prevent further contamination by dispatching fungi such as mildew and mold. When you spray, it will give off a fizzy sound which will tell you that it is working.
This treatment will ensure the healthy growth of your precious mushrooms.
Points to Consider
You need to ensure that your fruiting chamber is made of materials appropriate for hydrogen peroxide.
Most plastics, including polypropylene, polytetrafluoroethylene, and polyvinylidene fluoride, are compatible with hydrogen peroxide.
Keep your fruiting chamber free of materials such as oxidizing agents, metals, acids, bases, and combustible materials.
If you do not have the over-the-counter 3% hydrogen peroxide, do not try to use the higher concentrations. The industrial 35%, in particular, is a big no-no. This may burn your growth chamber and harm your growing mushrooms.
Why Hydrogen Peroxide Is Best for Fruiting Chambers
Hydrogen peroxide is a perfect solution to use in fruiting chambers. This is due to its characteristic of killing bacteria, mildew, and mold.
The best part is that the hydrogen peroxide will overcome pathogens without compromising the growing spores. The mycelium or mushroom tissue will thrive with the burst of extra oxygen molecules from hydrogen peroxide.
Hydrogen peroxide is widely celebrated for its antimicrobial features. It is commonly used as a preservative, sterilizer, and disinfector in both gas and liquid form. It can cover a broad spectrum of microorganisms, making it superior to other target-based cleaners.
It is flexible and potent, as well as possesses a higher safety index compared to other microbicides. The mechanism of action of hydrogen peroxide is mainly oxidation. This means it kills bacteria and microorganism cells by destroying their cell walls.
The compound of hydrogen peroxide, H2O2, has oxygen atoms that are extremely reactive, and they can attract electrons readily.
Hydrogen peroxide is an unstable compound. The moment it combines with other metals, compounds, or even water, it decomposes easily into water and oxygen. It gives off heat in the process.
When a chemical reaction forms between hydrogen peroxide and soil carbon, the carbon from organic matter bonds with oxygen to form carbon dioxide and water. The extra oxygen molecule aids in stimulating the healthy root growth of your mushrooms.
Oxidation is great for enabling the root to absorb more nutrients. This ultimately results in healthier, faster, and more vigorous growth.
One of the top reasons hydrogen peroxide triumphs all commercial biocides, especially when used in living matter, is because of its non-toxic byproducts.
A study published in 2012 discussed the mechanism of hydrogen peroxide biocidal actions. This was done in applications where its decomposition into non-toxic by-products is essential.
The results of the extensive study showed that hydrogen peroxide damages membranes of microorganisms and DNA oxidation.
The main byproduct is large quantities of carbon dioxide, oxygen, and water, depending on the reaction type. These are simple compounds that will not harm living matter.
Availability and Ease of Use
This antiseptic liquid can be found in most households or any pharmacy store. It is ideally stored in a brown bottle to ward off direct sunlight. It is a safe cleaner used for generations for medical or non-medical reasons.
It can be used around children and pets, although some precautions are still necessary. Many consumers buy it over-the-counter and use it to clean and disinfect. The potent oxidizing and antimicrobial agent is cheap and effective in cleaning wounds and cuts.
When you use hydrogen peroxide in your fruiting chamber, it simplifies the whole process of growing fungi. You will not need to get fancy or special equipment like a sterile laboratory, giant autoclaves, or glove boxes.
A simple low concentrated hydrogen peroxide solution will keep out contaminants and make your mushroom tissues thrive.
Safety Precautions to Follow In Fruiting Chambers
There are four primary parameters that are absolutely necessary to control in your fruiting chamber. You will want to produce consistent mushroom fruiting so ensure a low carbon dioxide content, perfect humidity, balanced lighting, and a fairly cool temperature.
The process of adding spawn to the growing medium until mushroom harvest is roughly five weeks. You will need to take utmost care during the colonization stage of the first two weeks.
When your mushroom spawn is fully colonized and the surface is layered in the fluffy white mycelium, your efforts will show!
There are a few ways you can ensure higher humidity in your mushroom fruiting chamber. Spraying and misting your mushrooms manually is a quick, easy and cheap way to add extra moisture.
Additionally, you can also use wicking humidifiers and ultrasonic humidifiers for a less labor-intensive method.
When you set up your fruiting chambers in the ideal conditions, you can have it run on autopilot. However, keep an eye out and tweak the parameters to see which factors produce the best yield. You will need to regularly check your fruiting chamber equipment to ensure that it is running smoothly.
To avoid ruining a whole batch of mushrooms, you must watch and pick them at the right harvest time. This can be done by twisting bunches of mushrooms from the bags. After this process, clean your fruiting chamber thoroughly by removing old spawn bags.
Before adding new spawn for a fresh cultivation batch, you need to remove any potential mold, mildew, spores, and other contaminants. If you operate on a larger scale, you can have multiple chambers running to avoid interruption in your mushroom harvest.
What is Hydrogen Peroxide Concentration Best for Fruiting Chambers?
The ideal concentration of hydrogen peroxide solution to use in fruiting chambers is 3% hydrogen peroxide.
A higher concentration than 6% will result in oxidative damage or death of fruiting cells. Your goal with hydrogen peroxide is basically to give an added boost to your fungo or for pest control.
We know that there are all sorts of concentrations available when talking about hydrogen peroxide. And that this makes it harder for you to pick the best one.
But more does NOT mean better in this regard!
The Take-Home Point
Hydrogen peroxide is a versatile multipurpose agent that is highly beneficial to use in your fruiting chambers. You can use it for oxidation, as a microbicidal, and prevent contamination.
Amateur growers can use a simple fruiting chamber like a plastic tote. Larger commercial growers can dedicate entire rooms or ship containers to fruiting chambers for bigger yields.
Fruiting chambers do not need high or complex technology, just optimal conditions and proper cleaning routines.
So, order your set today!