Mushroom Growing Terminology

There are a plethora of terms involved with mushroom growing that you may not be familiar with. For this reason, we’ve created the following terminology guide to help you understand the basics. If you still need any help, you can always click the site chat button and ask one of our customer associates directly.

Cultivation – Another term for growing mushrooms, which can be done indoors or outdoors. Cultivation has four key phases: Inoculation, Colonization, Fruiting, Harvesting.

Colonization – When mycelium is growing, but no fruiting bodies (mushrooms) are present.

Culture – Mushroom mycelium of a particular species or strain, usually kept on a petri dish or slant.

Culturing – The act of isolating mushroom genetics into a culture.

Flush – A ‘crop’ of mushrooms. Mycelium tends to produce fruits in groups, followed by a brief resting period.

Force Fruiting – A process used to trigger the mycelium to produce fruiting bodies. Also called “shocking.”

Fruiting – The phase of growth in which visible mushrooms begin to appear on the substrate.

Fruiting chamber – An enclosed space mushroom growers often use to create an optimal growing environment.

Laying yard – The place where logs are incubated and routine maintenance is performed.

Inoculation – The process of introducing spores or spawn into a substrate.

Mycelium – The vegetative part of fungi that grows underground, consisting of fine white filaments.

Pins or pinning – When tiny fruiting bodies (the ‘baby mushrooms’) first begin to appear.

Spawn – The colonized carrier that holds a specific strain of mushroom mycelium until it is ready to transfer to another substrate.

Spawning – The act of adding mushroom spawn or spores to a media to kickstart the colonization process.

Spawn run – An incubation period after inoculation in which mycelium colonizes wood.

Spores – What mushrooms release into the air to reproduce. In the lab, you can use them to isolate specific mushroom genes and create a mycelium.

Strain – A specific variety within a mushroom species.

Substrate – Any material on which mushrooms can grow.