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Giant Puffball Cultivation

truffler1635 at my-deja.com truffler1635 at my-deja.com
Wed Sep 13 03:20:31 EST 2000

In article <8pik7b$r96$1 at pegasus.csx.cam.ac.uk>,
  "Colin Davidson" <c.davidson at biotech.cam.ac.uk> wrote:
> Hello all,
> I've got a giant puffball, and I'd like to get it growing in culture. Can
> anyone suggest a good growth medium?
> Thanks,
> Colin.

This is just a thought, Colin. I have never found nor expect to find that
variety in my neck of the forest. But I do have some suggestings for
growing or attempting to grow them.

First of all, carefully note where you found it growing. Can you identify
what it was growing from? Was there any nearby rotting organic material?
Is it possible to collect some of that material fresh to create a "bed"
to grow your puffballs? It may take a year or longer to see anything
production, so try to find someplace where you will be looking at the
site on a regular basis for the next year at least.

Assemble fresh or dried organic debris similar to where you collected the
puffball. Create a layer of 2-4 inches of the debris, then water it
thoroughly for at least 2 days. (another faster method is to completely
submerge it for 72 hours: this nearly sterilizes the medium, and allows
you a nearly pure run of mycelium: the growing portion of the puffball)

After the bed is established and semi-sterilized material (substrate) is
placed, add a slurry of ripe puffball spores in 2 cups of water in a food
processor or blender. Blend on high for at least 10 minutes, or until the
sporemass is reduced to tiny particles. Pour this slurry (make more by
adding more water) over the substrate. Cover with another 2-3 inches of
substrate. Cover with a shadecloth that allows water in, but gives some
protection from direct sunlight.

Now comes the hard part: wait.

If giant puffballs only fruit once a year in your area, it may be next
year before you see any production. It could even be later. I don't know
anyone who has been successful in growing it. But that _doesn't_ mean you
should try!

Good luck!

Daniel B. Wheeler

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