As any new mushroom grower quickly learns, contamination is just a part of the hobby, and will eventually rear its ugly head when growing mushrooms at home. One of the most common contaminants that mushroom growers face is Trich mold, commonly known as “Green Mold”.
This article will provide you with all the information on Trich mold you need, such as what it is, what it does, how you can get rid of it, and a product that we love for reducing the likelihood of contamination from Trich mold. Let’s get started:
What is Trich Mold?
Christiaan Persoon, a German scientist, discovered Trichoderma mold in 1794. It is currently the most prevalent type of naturally occurring mold in various ecosystems across the world and goes through a variety of growth stages.
This mold usually starts off as a white or off-white color, but as it matures and releases spores, it turns green. Wind, water, and insects are all propagation agents, which lend it to spreading quickly through the ecosystems it inhabits. Though Trichoderma is commonly used in industrial and agricultural products, the fact is that you don’t want it growing in your monotub, as it will completely overtake the mushrooms and pose a health hazard to anyone breathing in those spores.
Trichoderma thrives in many environments and thrives in humid climates with mild temperatures. It’s common in soil, and soil additives, but is also found on wood, drywall, and many other products. Some species of Trich colonies grow quickly, often maturing in just five days.
Negative Effects of Trich Mold
Trich molds are a major issue in the production of edible and medicinal fungi. When mushroom substrates are contaminated with green mold spores, the mushroom mycelium is no match for the speed and aggressive nature of trich. If not caught early enough, green mold will quickly envelop the substrate and prevent the mycelium from fruiting mushrooms.
In addition, Trichoderma doesn’t just affect your precious mushrooms, but it can also affect human and animal health. Individuals with weakened immune systems stand a higher risk of contracting diseases from Trich mold, but any individual who comes into contact with its spores has the ability to become sick.
Coughing, sneezing, sore throats, and asthma are all indications of exposure to its spores, which can cause lung illness. Trichoderma exposure can also cause an allergic reaction, which can involve everything from breathing problems to skin problems like a rash or hives.
Green mold can also make pets sick, and since they are so small, they may get sick faster than adult humans when exposed to mold. Similarly, infants are more sensitive to mold-related sickness as well.
How to Get Rid of Trich Mold
If you notice little green patches growing on your substrate, the chances are that it’s already too late. By the time Trichoderma has turned green, the spores have begun to be released into the air, covering any exposed surfaces.
With that said, combating green mold is most successful prior to sporulation.
We have had “temporary” success in the past using a combination of methods, however, the mold always came back.
Method 1) If caught early enough you can try to isolate the contaminated area by pouring salt on and around the affected area. Then use a dropper filled with bleach to completely soak the salt. The bleach will kill the mold, and the salt is used to confine and hold the bleach to only the affected area.
Method 2) Surgically remove the mold. Gather a clean spoon and flame sterilize it. Once cool, wipe off using an alcohol wipe, then dig the spoon into the substrate just underneath the affected area. Work the spoon around underneath and scoop out all of the substrate just underneath and around it. You may then pour salt in the carved-out hole and soak it with a diluted bleach mixture to ward off any new contaminates from taking hold of the exposed grains.
Method 3) Use only in the early stages, prior to the mold turning from white to green. Some growers have had success killing trich mold by using a hand torch. Send that trich back to hell by applying a torch to all visible contaminated areas. Continue to torch the substrate that surrounds the affected area as well.
As mentioned earlier, in our experience, these methods only buy us a little more time and the mold eventually will likely come back with a vengeance. While we’ve found it nearly impossible to completely get rid of trike mold, there are a couple of things you can do to prevent it from happening in the first place
Mold Inhibiting Mushroom Substrate Additives
Luckily for those of us without a professional clean room, there is a product that stops molds from growing in the first place. MGP Plus (formally Trich-Evict) is a substrate additive that not only inhibits the growth of molds, but it also adds additional micro-nutrients that increase growth speed, fruit production, and overall fruit size. It’s so effective, in fact, that of the thousands of reviews, the most notable are of those growers who report multiple, prolific flushes with record-sized.
The best part is that there are no dangerous pesticides, herbicides, or chemicals in MGP Plus. It’s made from natural bacterial compounds that work to improve growing conditions for your mushrooms.
MGP Plus works to eliminate existing Trichoderma mold and prevent new Trich growth by adding nutrients to your mushroom substrate that is normally found in the wild but not in conventional store-bought or homemade growing substrates.
This works to do two things:
- The extra nutrients help your mushrooms to grow faster and more abundantly, as well as increase their overall size
- The additional nutrients also prevent and eliminate Trichoderma mold by creating conditions that aren’t conducive to its growth.
If you’re dealing with Trichoderma mold on your mushrooms or want to prevent it from the get-go, we highly recommend trying MGP Plus on your next grow. We know it’s worked GREAT for us, and we’re confident it can do the same for you.
Have you tried it? Let us know your experience in the comments.