GROWING MUSHROOMS: MYCELIUM CULTURE MEDIA

  When growing mushroom, culture media are usually medium solid and consist of a water base to which nutrients are added, and a compound with solidifying properties, which is normally Agar. The compound is mixed in the liquid phase, bringing the water in which the nutrients and Agar powder are dissolved to a boil. The liquid is sterilized and then poured into Petri dishes where it will cool and solidify to obtain a gelatinous consistency where it is possible to inoculate the mycelium to start the culture. The culture medium…

GROWING MUSHROOMS: THE LIFE CYCLE

  To learn how to grow mushrooms it is essential to know their life cycle in nature. During the cultivation of mushrooms the grower needs to simulate all the conditions that the mushroom would encounter in nature. So, instead of a rotting tree trunk, we will give the mushroom to feed it sawdust or straw that has a similar composition to its natural substrate. Instead of the shade and fresh air that you would find in an undergrowth, we will set up an air-conditioned greenhouse that simulates the conditions of…

GROWING MUSHROOMS: THE SPORES

  WHAT ARE MUSHROOMS SPORES? We know that re the spores that allow mushrooms propagation. They separate from the fungi and travel long distances thanks to the air currents until they fall on a suitable substrate, giving birth to another colony of mushrooms.   When we collect these spores, we can place them in a container containing substrate, and start cultivation. Growers do not normally use spores to grow mushrooms due to the high genetic variability. Each pair of spores will generate a different individual. This means that hundreds of…

MUSHROOM CLASSIFICATION AND CULTIVABLE SPECIES

  Mushrooms are classified into categories based on how they feed. There are basically four categories. These are: saprotrophs, mycorrhizal, parasites and endophytes. Saprotrophs Saprotrophic fungi use specific enzymes and acids that help them break down decaying organic matter, hence the dead tissues of trees, other plants and sometimes mammals. This allows them to feed on the decomposed matter. Saprotrophic fungi play a fundamental role in the decomposition process in nature, and therefore in the entire food chain. These mushrooms include: Agaricus Bisporus (White button, Portobello, Cremini) Morel mushrooms Reishi…

HYDROPONIC IS THE FUTURE OF FARMING

  A BETTER WAY TO GROW OUR FOOD Hydroponic is a way of managing plants allowing to grow them soilless. This technique works great fo herbaceous plants, fruits and shrubs with equal success. Hydroponics allows you to grow in confined spaces by optimizing unconventional areas, without losing sight of the main needs of plants, such as light, temperature, water and nutrients. In these systems the essential mineral elements are provided by the nutrient solution. The yield of hydroponics under the right conditions is much higher compared to traditional farming in…

WHAT MUSHROOM SPECIES TO GROW

  AGARICUS BISPORUS (Button, Cremini, Portobello mushrooms) The collection of these mushrooms in different stages of their life produces types with different names, even if in reality it’s always the same species. The classic white Champignons or Button mushrooms are harvested at the beginning of their growth, or at most in an intermediate phase. Cremini are also called baby portobello or brown mushrooms. Portobello mushrooms are simply the most mature mushrooms of this genus, have a more apologetic brown color and the hat is more open. These mushrooms also grow…

PASSIFLORA: Properties of the Passion Flower and Fruit

  Genus: Passiflora Common names: Passion Flower, Passion Fruit   Among us who has never noticed the Passiflora climbing on some wall or fence? It’s just impossible not to be enchanted by the particularity and beauty of its flower. As a climbing plant, it lends itself well to ornamental purposes to cover walls, fences and pergolas. There are more than 500 species in the genus Passiflora among perennials and annuals, climbing, shrubby, herbaceous and  looking different, but in this article we will focus on the properties of Passiflora Incarnata and…

WHAT NOT TO THROW IN THE COMPOST

  Organic matter undergoes a fermentation process in landfills that generates highly polluting elements, namely methane gas and toxic leachate. Leachate is a highly polluting liquid generated by the infiltration of water into the mass of decaying waste. This substance contains a very high load of harmful substances must be carefully collected and stored. Even small quantities dispersed are able to contaminate the underlying aquifers with disastrous results. Gases, on the other hand, contribute negatively and directly to climate change. The good news is that it is still possible to…

THE IMPORTANCE OF MOISTURE LEVELS IN THE COMPOST BIN

  The humidity inside the compost container is a crucial factor for the proper functioning of the composting system. Especially when making composting at home in small containers, there are some factors that influence the whole process that must be taken into account. If these conditions are not monitored, the internal environment with its micro-organisms will suffer, as will our precious earthworms. Before discussing the influence that humidity has on the process, it is essential to make some background on the factors that determine the conditions within the worm compost…

GROWING MUSHROOMS: INTRODUCTION and TECHNIQUES

  GROWING MUSHROOMS IS SMART, SUSTAINABLE AND PROFITABLE! Do you plan to grow mushrooms? There are many good reasons to begin  this hobby or activity: if desired, mushrooms are a good, profitable and economically attractive commercial crop. In addition, they are easy to grow even at an amateur level and finally they have important nutritional values. Some species, if that weren’t enough, also carry important medicinal properties. The period between inoculation and harvest can be very short, just three weeks. After the cultivation, the support can still be reused to…

HOW TO CLONE, PRUNE AND MAKE CANNABIS CUTTINGS

  MAKING CLONES Cuttings are the basis of large indoor crops. Cannabis reproduces in two ways: sexually and asexually. Sexual reproduction occurs when the male fertilizes the female’s flowers with his pollen, which then produces seeds. Asexual reproduction occurs when a part of the plant emits roots and becomes an independent individual, precisely through the cuttings. Asexual reproduction is well known in other plant varieties such as geraniums for example and all succulents. The interesting thing about this technique is that the cuttings are genetically the same as the mother plant,…

BEST SUBSTRATES TO GROW MICROGREENS

  CHOOSING THE RIGHT SUBSTRATE FOR GROWING MICROGREENS One of the most critical aspects in growing microgreens is the choice of the cultivation substrate, which plays a fundamental role in determining the productivity and finally the quality of these small vegetables. Furthermore, this choice determines the sustainability of the entire production process. In order to ensure a good germination and optimal growth of the seedlings, a good substrate must have physical characteristics such as to ensure a porosity greater than 85% of the total volume. It must ensure a correct…

PLANTS THAT ACTS AS NATURAL REPELLENTS

  There are indeed many plants that act as natural repellents against certain plant parasites, keeping therefore pests away from our fruit, vegetable and ornamental plants. Not only that, they can also keep annoying and biting insects away from us, our families, and our pets. Most are herbs, so we can quickly start growing a few. Just as the fragrance and taste of some of them is pleasant or unpleasant to us, the same is true for many pests that would harm our crops and ourselves, as is the case…

BASIC GUIDE TO WORM COMPOSTING

  As Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier summarized in the 1700s, “Nothing is created, nothing is destroyed, everything is transformed”. Fortunately, there are those who still today base their business on the concept of circular economy, transforming waste into a resource. Why not use earthworms to decompose our organic waste and produce a valuable fertilizer, reducing their disposal costs, as well as the resulting environmental damage? Worm composting is the biological process of valorization of organic matter that makes use of the work of earthworms, in addition to that of microorganisms present…

MAKING TINCTURES AND CANNABIS EXTRACTIONS

  Cannabis growers often find themselves, after harvesting and pruning the inflorescences of their plants, with many leaves that are poor in resin that they don’t know what to do. Leaves have much less THC level then buds and they’re not worth smoking. However, there are several ways we can use these leaves. Cannabinoids are compounds that are soluble in alcohol or fat. So there are basically two types of extractions possible here: those made with alcohol and those made with fatty substances such oils and butter. All extracts can…

3 NATURAL REPELLENTS FOR YOUR ORGANIC GARDEN

  All plants can be attacked at some point by parasites, whether on the balcony, in our garden or greenhouse. Applying chemical pesticides is just as if not more harmful than the parasites themselves, both for the environment than for our health. The good news is that we can take care of our plants and protect them from parasites attacks with simple and inexpensive natural remedies, respecting the environment, plants and ourselves. PLANTS  PARASITES Before saving our plants from the attack of parasites, we should understand which parasite it is. The…

BEST ORGANIC FERTILIZERS FOR HEMP PLANTS

  Organic fertilizers are first of all the most respectful for the environment, as well as safe for the plants and us. Organic fertilizers are unlikely to damage the plant when given in excess, while this is rather common and often happen using chemical fertilizers. It’s essential to provide plants with the essential nutrients they need and fertilize. Many novice growers tend to use industrial fertilizers in abundance resulting in serious problems and in same case the death of their plants. Plants in general are more tolerant with organic fertilizers,…

HUMUS: What is it, How to Make it

  Humus is nothing more than soil particularly rich in nutrients that are easily assimilated by the plant immediately. It is a true concentrate of elements such as carbon, nitrogen, iron, phosphorus, calcium and manganese, which are essential for the thriving and healthy growth of vegetation. Furthermore, by increasing the water retention capacity of the soil, humus makes it even more fertile. Biologically, humus acts as a source of energy for the development of microorganisms; without microorganisms humus would not exist, and finally without humus, life on our planet as…

HARVEST AND DRYING CANNABIS

  OVERCOMING IMPATIENCE AND HARVEST AT THE RIGHT TIME To produce quality cannabis, you must above all be patient and respect the timing of the plant, flowering and drying. We know that patience is the virtue of the strong at least as the grower’s anxiety to harvest and taste the buds increases exponentially every day. The plant begins to bloom and the buds to form and swell. The buds begin to develop thousands of tiny crystaline dots filled with resin. Inside the glands, or trichomes, resin and THC accumulate. In full…

GUIDE TO GROWING CANNABIS INDOOR

  Whatever the motivation is, to grow cannabis indoors, we must consider that there are outdoor and indoor varieties when choosing the seeds to plant. Outdoor plants, even of great quality, would need an adaptation to the artificial environment that requires generations of selected seeds to achieve good results. Especially in the Netherlands, this has been done for years, so much so that in recent years there is a great number of seeds of guaranteed quality for all types of crops.  The genetics of a seed is the most important…

MOST FREQUENT PROBLEMS GROWING CANNABIS

  Growing hemp is as simple as growing other plants. Just plant a seed and water it. Every plant needs light, water, air and a substrate to hold on to in order to live, plus some nutrients. For the plant to thrive, all the elements must maintain a certain balance since both the excess and the lack of one of them would compromise its optimal development. In general, it is recommended to apply all fertilizers very diluted to avoid overdosing. As already discussed in the article “Nutrients and micro elements…

CANNABIS PLANT MOST COMMON PARASITES

  Here the saying “prevention is better than cure” applies. The best way to prevent disaster is through hygiene. So if you grow indoors never take your plants outside except permanently. Likewise, do not bring other plants or pots into the system. Before entering the system, if you have been in contact with other plants outside it would be advisable to change your clothes and wash your hands thoroughly. Maintaining ideal atmospheric conditions in the system is another way to prevent problems, healthy plants are more resistant to diseases and…

NUTRIENTS AND MICRO ELEMENTS IN HEMP CULTIVATION

  NUTRIENTS AND MICRO ELEMENTS For their growth, plants need various elements for their development. These are divided into three groups, the primary elements, the secondary ones and the micro elements. The primary elements are Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K) which are always indicated in the order N-P-K. They are considered primary elements because they are the ones that plants consume in greater quantities. The secondaries are Magnesium (Mg) and Calcium (Ca). Micro elements are consumed in very small quantities and are often present in the seeds if…

CANNABIS FLOWERING STAGE TIPS

  Once the light regime suitable for the flowering of the marijuana plants is changed to a cycle of 12 hours of light and 12 of dark, plants undergo a change in the internal chemistry that causes another type of growth, the formation of flowers. It is important that the regime is severe. A longer daytime period would cause a delay or non-flowering. A shorter light cycle, on the other hand, would lead to lower production. The plants will begin flower formation ideally within a couple of weeks. During these…

CANNABIS VEGETATIVE GROWTH STAGE

  Since at the beginning of the process we don’t know exactly how many females we will have.It’s always convenient to plant almost twice as many plants as we intend to grow (as long as feminized seeds are not used). If in the worst case we only get a female, we can continue the process by means of cloning. Cloning is a technique that consists in cutting sections of the branch of a mother plant (cuttings) inducing the development of the root. This allows us to obtain new seedlings with…