Growing Psilocybe Natalensis, also known as Blue Meanie, is a fascinating endeavor that requires attention to detail and a few key steps.
The aggressive nature of Natalensis mycelium makes it resilient against contaminants during the fruiting period. However, it can sometimes form marshmallow-like blobs and overlay instead of developing into normal mushrooms.
It is worth mentioning that the cultivation process for Panaeolus cyanescens and Panaeolus tropicalis is quite similar to that of Psilocybe Natalensis and Psilocybe Cubensis. However, these two species require more attention and precise growing conditions. They have less robust mycelium compared to Psilocybe Cubensis, making them more vulnerable to fluctuations in their growing environment.
To begin growing Psilocybe Natalensis, you will need the following items: spawn, straw, cow manure, vermiculite, casing material, filter bags, and an impulse sealer. Strong spawn is crucial, and using rye as a basis is highly recommended. It is advisable to inoculate the rye with a strong single strain on agar, rather than using a spore syringe.
Once the spawn is fully colonized, it is time to prepare the substrate. The substrate consists of straw, cow manure, vermiculite, and water. Mix the dry components thoroughly in a pot and then add water to the mixture. Afterward, sterilize the substrate in a filter bag, leaving it unsealed for the addition of spawn later on. Once cooled, spread the spawn evenly in the filter bag with the straw. After two to four weeks, the substrate should be fully colonized by the mycelium.
In the final phase, transfer the colonized substrate to a large, clean bag and apply the casing layer on top. Seal the bag with plastic foil and return it to the incubation space. Allow the mycelium to establish a strong network through the casing layer. After a few days, when the mycelium becomes visible through the casing layer, the bag can be moved to fruiting conditions.
Instead of a bag you may use a container and flip the lid of it (after colonization), to create a gap between the tub and the lid, allowing natural airflow. Additionally, manually fan the bin 2-3 times a day to encourage proper pinning and robust mushroom growth.
Creating a suitable fruiting chamber with automated additional fresh air exchange (FAE) and a humidifier, or using an automated grow tent, can greatly enhance the cultivation of Psilocybe Natalensis. While not mandatory, it helps to ensure optimal conditions for the mushrooms. Natalensis is sensitive to high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), and insufficient fresh air can result in the growth of leggy mushrooms known as “Natal snakes.”
In summary, growing Psilocybe Natalensis involves careful attention to temperature, fresh air exchange, and humidity. By following these steps and providing optimal growing conditions, you can embark on a successful journey of cultivating this remarkable species of psilocybin mushroom.