Blue Mould on Shiitake Mushroom
Answered by: Richters Staff
Question from: Claire Picard
Posted on: July 20, 2006

I received a shiitake kit a few weeks ago. I have had two beautiful crops of mushromms already. They were delicious. They were the best I’ve ever eaten (so fresh). But I’m having a problem with my shiitake kit, now. There is some blue mould on the substrate (which is rather white elsewhere, not brown as it appears on the image in the catalogue). Could I cut that part with a knife? Let’s say I would take off a slice of substrate big enough to get rid of the mould. And if I do so, should I use tools that have been chlorinated? And should I use rubber or plastic gloves (chlorinated as well)? And, if I can do that, how can I avoid that problem in the future?

Typically shiitake mushroom kits will produce for 2-3 months. However, during hot weather, i.e. above 25 degrees Celsius, they will suffer. The growth is slower and foreign fungi can invade and cause problems. Using a sharp knife sterilized in boiling water for 5 minutes or treated with bleach, you can cut away the mouldy parts. Then enclose the whole kit in a clear plastic bag with a few holes and place it in a cool shady location such as a dark basement to slowly dry it out. When the weather is cooler in the autumn soak the mushroom block in water, remove from the water, and wait for the colony to regrow.

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