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InvisibleWaltHenderson
Drug Geek
Registered: 04/23/05
Posts: 4
Avoiding first time growing mistakes
    #4121676 - 05/02/05 02:29 AM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Howdy, I'm new here. :smile:

I've been waiting quite awhile for an opportunity to try my hand at growing, and should finally have the chance when I move into a new apartment next month. I want to make sure my first grow is as successful as possible, so I was wondering if anyone would be willing to share a few stories or mistakes from their first grow? I've spent quite a bit of time reading up on various teks, so I feel like I have a basic understanding of what to do and not to do; nevertheless, I know that sometimes even the simplest directions can be difficult to put into practice if one is inexperienced. Were there any mistakes you made with your first grow that could have been avoided with some more experience, and how might one avoid them?


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OfflineBlue Helix
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Re: Avoiding first time growing mistakes [Re: WaltHenderson]
    #4121799 - 05/02/05 03:02 AM (12 years, 4 months ago)

With the standard PF Tek, it's pretty hard to mess it up. For that reason, I'd stick with the basic cake techniques in the beginning.

One thing you can quickly screw up is the water content. DO NOT add extra water. It's always better to be slightly on the dry side than the wet side.

I would also recommend incubation of your jars. It'll cut down colonization time big time if your home has an average room temperature of the low 70s. When colonization times go down, so do chances of contamination, especially bacterial which can show up later in the incubation period.


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OfflineCaptainCrunch
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Re: Avoiding first time growing mistakes [Re: Blue Helix]
    #4121904 - 05/02/05 03:22 AM (12 years, 4 months ago)

One suggestion, Follow the 2-1-1 ratio, 2 cups of verm 1 cup of brf 1 cup of water.. Also Ive run across a wonderful incubation method, its recommend to follow the tub in tub, but ill go ahead and show you how i do it.. Since i suck at the Build it your self system, and or tub in tub, if your familiar with the pf tek this is a good investment.. I went out and bought a $99 dollar compact refrigerator, with digital thermostat control that can heat up to 140 degrees, as well a humidity controlled.. Its a great incubator and its not very conspicuous either.. But if that is to expensive i saw bunch with a little less room for 50 - 60 dollars.. But make sure they can heat, and also have a temperature setting..

Captain


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OfflineScU
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Re: Avoiding first time growing mistakes [Re: CaptainCrunch]
    #4122076 - 05/02/05 04:29 AM (12 years, 4 months ago)

the fridge can heat up or did you buy a seperate unit to heat it? Also where did you buy it?


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Offlinebrewwhaha1
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Registered: 02/13/05
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Re: Avoiding first time growing mistakes [Re: ScU]
    #4122431 - 05/02/05 10:16 AM (12 years, 4 months ago)

if this is your first grow and if your not too sure about how seroiuse you want to be about it. keep it simple. get a couple of rebber maids and do a t.i.t. method. no sense spending alot of cash on something you might throw away or grow disinterested in.
second don't over love your shrooms. checking on them every couple of hours is fun for you but deadly for them. prep em and leave em alone like a coulple of teenagers and wait for them to produce.
third Be clean be sterile and grow safe.


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OfflineSammy
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Re: Avoiding first time growing mistakes [Re: brewwhaha1]
    #4122487 - 05/02/05 10:39 AM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Something that noone can stress too much to you is sterility. If all else fails, if you're sterile you might just get some shrooms!! Like they said, it's hard to fuck up the PF TEK.

I guess what I want to know is.. how much are you wanting to cultivate?? The PF TEK worked great for me in the beginning. But, with time I ended up wanting to do a BULK TEK. Such as your colonized PF or grain jar spawned to a substrate like compost, poo, straw or a mix of either or.

Do your research, it looks like you're coming along quite nicely. Don't be afraid to ask whatever you like. It's a nice community here. Just make sure to do a little searching before asking a bunch of questions that might be answered by reading some of the stuff this site has to do. Utilize the "SEARCH POSTS" and "FAQ's" buttons at the top of every page.

Sammy


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Offlinebluhoney
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Re: Avoiding first time growing mistakes [Re: WaltHenderson]
    #4122718 - 05/02/05 12:08 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Here are a few to keep in mind:) My friend remembers all of these well  lol.

Always put enough water in the PC, if not, it evaporates,the jars of substrate burn, you get a bad smelly burnt mess.

Give your jars time to cool, or you will be handling some of the hottest things you have ever grabbed ahold of.

Don't open up a spore print when you get it to see it, wait until you are ready to place on agar or make syringes.

Never leave an ultrasonic humidifier on all day in a small growing lab. Wet, wet, wet, wet, ruined casings.

Make sure that even though the bag says organic lime, you turn it over and read the small print on the bag, if it says dolomitic, don't use it.

Always watch over your birdseed while it is simmering on the stove, soaking up water. If the water runs out, nice burnt seed smell through the house, and useless substrate.
When working with Lysol, if you go spray happy in the inoculation room, wear a particulate mask

Don't make your casing too thick, or you will either get a few fruit on the sides, none at all, or fruit growing on the bottom.

Make sure that no one will be visiting when you pasteurize straw, or manure. Its hard to explain steamed poo smell to your guests.

Make sure to leave the pressure toggle off the top of the PC until you see a good head of steam, then put it back on. If you don't the jars will be dry pced and not wet pced. Wet PCed assures true sterilizing.

When using quinoa seed, lol, you will get grass growing in your substrate along with mushrooms. Doesn't hurt the mushrooms, but weird to watch both grow.

Do not leave a contaminated casing in with your other casings just because you think it will not spread- it will.

Try to get pre chopped wheat straw- or you will be suffering some hand cramps, and blisters from cutting for hours.

Don't use all your spore syringe one jar, give your self extra chances by spreading them around.


Don't spray your cakes directly, you'll kill the primordia.

use a dust mask when you use perlite--its glass, it isn't good on the lungs.

make sure if you use alcohol to sterilize your scalpel, you do not wet the whole think and get it close to a fire--that was a unique experience for my friend.

Don not use one of those hot water steamers (you use when your sick) to humidify your lab-- you'll send your jars to the sona if you do.

Don't seal the lids on your jars when PCing, have some way for the jar to breath. If you try to open a sealed jar, the vacuum will draw in germs, or your mycelia will run out of oxygen while colonizing.

If your using Peat, make sure to use a buffer, or you will have some of the nicest green stuff around.

Don't try to hurry up PC ing by cooling off the pc cooker in cold water. You will get nice cracked glass jars.

Don't put fresh fruit in the freezer, it will save it alright, and be totally useless when you eat your mushroom Popsicle.

Make sure to clean everything before you use it. Just because you just bought it, doesn't mean its clean.

Always have a back up thermometer going at the same time, or you could cook your jars or not get them warm enough to colonize, same with your casings.

Don't leave wheat straw soaking in a bath of water for more than a day- SOUR!!, very bad smell.

Don't let your compost dry out

Don't let your mushrooms drop spores on the casing .

Never let light get to the bottom of your casing, the fruit will grow on the bottom.

Always turn your cakes the same direction they were in the jar.

When growing out doors, make sure the neighbor doesn't mow them down when they mow their grass.

Always heat the tip of the syringe before you use it.

Use an alcohol lamp to sterilize with, a candle makes everything black.

When using brown rice as a substrate, don't let the jars completely cool before you use them, or you will never shake the cakes apart, shake them while there still warm-not hot, but warm.

Wear a hat, lab coat, gloves, face mask when working in your grow lab, betters the chances of lower contamination.

Don't flush excess chopped wheat straw down the toilet--ummm we will not even talk about that. lol

Make sure the marker you use to label your jars is water proof, or it will be a guessing game later on.

Well, that should get you started, there are alot more to watch out for, but these should help. :smile: bluhoney


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Offlinelordoftheshroomz
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Re: Avoiding first time growing mistakes [Re: bluhoney]
    #4122853 - 05/02/05 12:35 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

go bulk as soon as u get the pf tek down


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OfflineOl_Mr_Owl
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Re: Avoiding first time growing mistakes [Re: lordoftheshroomz]
    #4123006 - 05/02/05 01:14 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Remove the tape from your innoc holes. Definitely speeds things up.


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InvisibleWaltHenderson
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Registered: 04/23/05
Posts: 4
Re: Avoiding first time growing mistakes [Re: Ol_Mr_Owl]
    #4123386 - 05/02/05 02:54 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Thanks guys, this is exactly the kind of stuff I was looking for. Bluhoney, that list is great??I printed it out so I can remember some of those tips when I actually start growing. :smile:

Sammy, right now I'm trying hard to be patient and convince myself that I should pick up the basics of growing using the PF Tek before trying my hand at bulk??it's so tempting just to jump straight past cakes. Still, I think I'm going to be reasonable and start out using some PF Tek variant. I'd hate to burn myself out on growing by getting too complicated, too quickly. :smile:

One other question: can anyone tell me how many posts I need before getting access to the grow logs forum? I've seen posts mentioning this, but nothing telling me how many I actually need to view the forum. I figure the best way to get off to a good start is by looking through what has and hasn't worked for everyone else. :smile:


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OfflineOl_Mr_Owl
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Re: Avoiding first time growing mistakes [Re: WaltHenderson]
    #4123508 - 05/02/05 03:35 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

I think you should be able to view the grow logs... you just can't post to it.
From what I remember go to the homepage for Mushrooms and Mycology. Under the heading Mushroom Cultivation (that's this place), there's a list of moderators, and a list for subforums. I think that's where I found the grow logs.

Or maybe you can Click Here.

Hope that works for you. Good luck.


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InvisibleWaltHenderson
Drug Geek
Registered: 04/23/05
Posts: 4
Re: Avoiding first time growing mistakes [Re: Ol_Mr_Owl]
    #4123546 - 05/02/05 03:50 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Thanks! It's strange, for some reason the link gives me an 'access denied' message, but I can get at the grow logs if I go through Subforums?>Grow Logs as you suggested. I guess I just assumed that if links from posts didn't work, then the forum itself certainly wouldn't. Silly me. :rolleyes:


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