When it comes to how to use mushroom spores growing, there are a lot of methods that can be used. Spore prints are one of the most common, and a great place to start for beginners.
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Spore prints are essentially a spore solution stored in a syringe, and they can be used to inoculate a variety of substrates. They’re relatively easy to work with, and can be used for both edible and medicinal mushrooms (but it’s important to use restraint, as the syringe is full of millions of spores!).
First, sterilise your equipment. The syringe can be filled with sterilised boiling water, or a small dish of the same sterile water can be placed in a pressure cooker and brought up to 15psi. It’s also a good idea to sterilise your tweezers and scalpel using the same method.
Using the syringe, draw some of the spore solution out into the shot glass or small dish. This is known as a “spore print.”
Spores can be seen on the surface of the paper, and will appear as unique patterns of colors, shapes and sizes. This is a great way to help identify species, as each mushroom has its own distinct traits.
Once the spore print is made, it should be placed in a dark, cool place for 24-48 hours. During this time the mushroom will begin to release spores, and the spore print will become more defined. Once the spore print has finished releasing, it can be used to inoculate jars of substrate.