If growing mushrooms is your hobby or your means of owning your weekly salary, I bet you have already dealt with green mold. Trichoderma is actual pain, as this nasty green mold has the capacity of multiplying faster than you even think.
Truth be told, the entire process is annoying, and you’ll feel like all of your work is ruined by this green mold.
If left unchecked, Trichoderma will spread quickly and become your main issue. However, you should stop worrying because if you act quickly, you will be able to prevent the green mold and, finally, protect the crop from one of the significant losses during the growing process.
But before going through all the methods of green mold cleaning, let’s understand better what is Trichoderma and the contamination sequences.
Trichoderma spp, also known as green mold, is a disease that appears in mushroom cultivation growth. Passionate growers know what it means to deal with and worry about this Trichoderma contamination, as green mold can genuinely affect the mushroom’s health.
As such, they are always interested in the newest treatments during spawning.
Trichoderma is that spore that stays as the leading cause of green mold growing on plants and mushrooms. When growing on plants, green mold is not harmful at all. However, when it comes to mushrooms, Trichoderma can overtake and kill these vegetables.
This is why green mold is a particular issue for those who are growing mushrooms and farmers. Here are some basic facts about this mold:
- Trichoderma will mostly be grown on the roots, right below the surface; this is one of the main reasons why some inexperienced people will hardly detect it;
- Trichoderma is a bit stubborn when it comes to most of the pesticides; controlling the growth of green mold is a bit tricky due to this fact;
- Trichoderma lives in all kinds of soils and tends to spread in mushroom substrates; as such, steaming the substrate in between harvests is essential;
Does Trichoderma Have A Specific Smell?
Yes, it does. Green mold has that coconut-like fragrance. However, the mold can give off this aroma, and you might notice this once inspecting the mushrooms you are growing.
When it comes to appearance, Trichoderma is easy to notice due to its distinctive green color. You will quickly identify the formation of green mold. Furthermore, the smell will also be a helpful indicator.
While most Trichoderma species are not harmful to humans, I do not recommend standing too close to green mold and breathing its spores. Although, one of the primary instincts is to sniff Trichoderma to check their particularities, this habit can be very harmful.
Tips To Kill Green Mold On Mycelium
Let’s go back to the promise I made starting with the title and check the main tips to get rid of green mold on mycelium. Please check them all, as I will demolish some of the most popular myths.
Bleach Or Peroxide. Do they work?
Well, the answer is not. Do not use bleach or peroxide, as these solutions are a waste of time. As you have probably noticed so far if you have encountered green mold, Mycelium is pretty tolerant to bleach.
This resistance is due to the spores. Usually, bleach works properly against bacteria, but considering bacteria contaminates only the fruiting substrates, you have almost no reason to use bleach against green mold.
Alcohol – Does it work against green mold?
Avoid using alcohol to get rid of green mold, as the effects can be devastating for Mycelium. Alcohol can kill the mushrooms and make them stop growing ever again. Furthermore, the alcohol solution evaporates immediately and works slower.
Getting Rid Of Trichomoniasis Spores
If you want to avoid the green mold spores, there is a simple solution to do it: measure a 1:10 ratio of laundry bleach and pour it in water. Mix everything evenly, then combine the ingredients with the same amount of vinegar.
Put everything into a spray container and spread the solution into the air and all over the affected area. This might not be the ideal and successful solution. Yet, this is the best you can do for having released millions of spores into the air.
Clearing out the cobweb molds
In comparison to green mold, cobweb is more accessible to get rid of. As most people might already know, cobweb is also a prevalent mold. If you want to avoid growing all over the mycelium, you only need to spray the surface using some hydrogen peroxide (3%).
Wait for the cobweb to start melting in just a few seconds. It is essential to cover the whole surface of the mold with this spray solution; otherwise, you will not get rid of it.
How To Stop Green Mold From Growing All Over Mycelium?
The truth is that there is almost nothing truly capable of removing molds and leaving mycelium healthy. The main tip is not to treat the consequence but to kill the issue from its “roots.” As such, the key is to follow different sterile procedures during all the growth steps of mycelium.
The secret is to remove the substrate as soon as you notice green molds growing. Do not forget that mushroom substrate should be removed once in a while and leave it outside.
In addition to the prevention methods of Trichoderma, here is what you can do: use hot water (60 degrees Celsius) and immerse it for 30 minutes.
You can use some alkalized water for 36h immersion as well. These are some of the best treatments to avoid green mold contamination, as well as the multiplying process of Trichoderma on mycelium.
Steaming The Growing Room
If you want to prevent and treat green mold, the steaming solution can be one of the best methods. One of the main reasons why green mold appears is due to the non-sterile growing environment.
The green mold can live in soil and on pots, so sterilizing the growing room is the best you can do. Use steam and warm it up until 66 degrees Celsius for 12 hours.
The high temperature of the moisture will kill any green mold leftover and prevent spores from multiplying all over the new mushroom crop.
Keep in mind:
- I recommend steam for those rooms with fertile parches and a particular substrate where mushrooms can grow. If you have a growing space with no substrate, use steam only for 12 hours instead of 24 hours.
- Those who grow mycelium as a hobby and don’t own a significant growing operation might not want to purchase a whole steaming operator. And they don’t have to, as they can rent a commercial steamer and do their job ideally.
Just make sure you will only sterilize the substrate of growing pots and run the steamer for 24 hours to eliminate all mold spores.
Let’s clear out some of the most common wondering questions about green mold and get rid of them.
Q: Is Trichoderma spreading only to mushrooms or plants as well?
A: Well, unfortunately, Trichoderma is often spreading to plants too. Some of the primary means of spreading the mold are contaminated tools and pots.
The ideal way to prevent the green decay from spreading is by disinfecting all the tools you are using after every single use.
The best method is soaking the gardening tools in 10% bleach, mixed with a water solution. Leave them in this solution for a while. Use rubbing alcohol to wipe everything away and kill the rest of mold spores.
Tip: If you have been using only soap and warm water to clean the tools, this solution might not be a successful one. Some mold spores will keep on your means, so use alcohol or bleach as the leading disinfectants.
Do not forget about washing your hands; otherwise, you might introduce some pathogens, even Trichoderma, to the growing mushrooms.
Q: Is the pH of soil helping Trichoderma grow?
A: As long as the soil is more acidic, yes, Trichoderma will grow faster. The ideal pH range for growing Trichoderma is between 4 and 6, so this mold prefers more acidic soils. Just keep the ground in a range of 5 to 7 pH. This way, you will discourage Trichoderma from multiplying and growing.
Tip: The easiest way to control the soil pH and make it more alkaline is to sprinkle some lime juice all over the surface.
Q: Do moisture and heat help Trichoderma grow?
A: Yes, considering Trichoderma is a mold, heat and humidity help them grow. If the growing area is cold and dry, the Trichoderma will stop spreading and growing so fast. The optimal temperature for green mold growth is around 25 and 30 degrees Celsius.
Keep away the mycelium from green mold by making the room cooler and drier. The most important aspect is the type of mushroom you grow and their optimal conditions to be healthy. Keep this in mind.
In a nutshell
Bleach, peroxide, or alcohol might not be the best solution in getting rid of green mold. However, it is more important to “cut” the issue from its roots, so work with temperature, humidity, and steam power to get rid of Trichoderma.