Black Poplar Mushroom Kit Instructions
Cyclocybe aegerita (Cyclone cylindracea), known colloquially as Pioppino, Black Poplar mushroom or Poplar Fieldcap is highly prized in European countries such as Italy, Spain, Portugal and France for its nutty flavour and crunch. The smooth yellowish to dingy brown caps can grow up to 30 cm in diameter and the grey gills become chocolate brown with maturity. In nature, It can be found growing in large clusters on dead deciduous trees, preferably poplars, It thrives in wine-growing areas in the spring to late autumn.
Each species of mushroom is a different growing experience. Even if you have grown mushrooms before, please read the instructions for your kit carefully before proceeding. If you run into any problems please see our FAQ.
Step 1: Mycelium Check
Inside this box mycelium has has been happily breaking down the organic growing medium and converting it into energy. At first the mycelium is often wispy and hard to see, but as it gets ready to produce mushrooms it becomes more dense and white in colour.
Open the box and remove the bagged block of mycelium and growing medium.
Brown or Brown & White =
needs more time in a warm location
Mostly White =
ready to move on to stage 2
Entirely White =
ready to move on to stage 2
If your block is brown, unroll the bag and move your block to a dark location - over 15°C and NO MORE THAN 25°C. Check it once a week until at least 60% of block is covered with white mycelium.
If your block is covered with over 60% white mycelium you can now move on to step 2. If you do not want to move on to step 2 at this time, you can keep your kit in the fridge or a cool place for up to two weeks.
Step 2: Finding an ideal location
Find a place in your house that it out of direct sunlight. If you've purchased a thermometer/hygrometer, a temperature reading between 13°C and 18°C is ideal.
Your mycelium block comes in a grow bag with a breathable micropore filter patch to help facilitate gas exchange. You will also be gradually increasing the airflow to your mushrooms as they begin to grow by making a series of slits in the bag (explained below).
Step 3: Initiating Fruiting
During the process of fruiting your mushrooms you will gradually increase the airflow while keeping in the humidity:
Make a slit along one side of the growing bag, from the halfway up to the bag to the top.
Step 4: Misting & Fresh Air Exchange
Mushrooms prefer to grow in an environment with 80-90% humidity. Because of this, you'll need to gently mist your kit regularly with a clean spray bottle. You want to create a humid environment for the mushrooms and to keep their bodies moist, rather than to 'water' them as you would a plant. When your mushrooms begin to grow you'll need to give them more airflow.
Before your mushrooms begin to grow, a gentle mist with a spray bottle once a week will help keep humidity up.
When your mushrooms begin to pin, make a second slit in the other side of the bag.
When you mushrooms begin to grow larger, cut open the top of the bag to allow for even more airflow.
Step 5: When to Harvest
Tiny mushrooms or pins should be allowed to develop further.
You can choose to harvest mushrooms before their caps have flattened to increase selflife
A broken veil and concave cap indicates that your mushrooms are ready to sporate. Harvest immediately!
If you'd like to increase the shelflife of your mushrooms, harvest them before the veil has broken. For larger mushrooms, you can wait until the caps have flattened.
Step 6: Harvest
Black Poplar Mushrooms can be harvested one at a time or in whole clusters.
To harvest twist and pull your mushroom or cluster away from your. block cleanly.
Be sure to cut off any attached substrate before storing or using.
Step 7: Initiating The Next Flush
Black Poplar mushrooms will generally yield 1-2 flushes. To attempt a second flush of mushrooms try the following:
Fill your growing bag with enough tap water to cover your block and store your block in the fridge for 12-24 hours.
Drain away excess water, replace the paper clips and resume misting and fresh air exchange.
Step 8: What to do with your kit when it stops producing mushrooms
Did you know that fungi play a key role in storing carbon? Trees and plants remove carbon from the atmosphere and fungi break down plant waste to create new carbon-rich soil. Clean air, healthy soil and delicious mushrooms: just one of the many ways fungi are incredible!
Once your box has finished flushing, open the box and remove the mycelium block from its plastic bag. Discard the bag in the general waste. You can now recycle the box and additional packaging and compost the block. Alternately plant it in the garden to see if it will gain a some energy and produce one last seasonal crop for you! Simply dig a hole in a shady spot, bury the block and cover it over with around 5cm of soil. Water it occasionally to keep the soil moist.
We hope you've enjoyed growing your Black Poplar Mushrooms!
We're passionate about sharing the diversity of the fungi kingdom & making more of its edible & medicinal delights easy to grow. Want to try another strain or learn how to cultivate mushrooms? See our full range of mushroom growing kits and cultivation workshops!