Mushrooms are a great source of nutrients, and you can consume them in numerous ways, including eating them as a pizza topping, grilling, or frying them. They have a high content of fibers, are rich in antioxidants, contain copper and potassium, and have plenty of B vitamins.
Growing mushrooms at home will allow you to save money and have access to their wide varieties because most of them are difficult to find on the stores’ shelves. However, before you start doing it, you must keep a few key aspects in mind beforehand. Discover them below!
How to Grow Mushrooms At Home
Indoor Growth Kits
Mushroom growing kits come with an already-inoculated and incubated substrate so that you can start growing them the moment you receive your kit.
These kits typically require cutting a hole and adding water or mist to your kit every day. In about a week, you will be able to see mushrooms emerging, and they should reach full maturity in about two weeks.
Mushroom kits come with instructions that will guide you through the growth process, so don’t worry if that’s your first time. Using a mushroom kit is a great way to get them if you are a beginner gardener or want to harvest them faster. They can also help you understand more about the life cycle of fungi.
Growing Button Mushrooms
These are some of the most common mushrooms, and it’s easiest to find them in stores and markets. To grow them, you will need trays filled with composted manure that you will have to inoculate with button mushroom spawn.
The soil you use needs to be around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. You can place a heating pad underneath the tray to achieve this temperature. It’s crucial to provide the soil with constant heat for about three weeks (or until you notice mycelium). Once you notice these threadlike roots emerging from the soil, cover them with an inch of potting soil, and reduce the temperature to 55 or 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
During this time, spray the soil with water to make it moist. You might also need to cover the soil with a damp cloth for better results. If you add a cloth on top, make sure you spray that as well since mushrooms need all the moisture they can get.
Button mushrooms reach maturity in about a month. When they are ready for harvest, you can pick them up using a sharp knife to cut the base of the stem.
Growing Outdoors on Logs
Mushrooms that grow outside often thrive on hardwood logs. Shiitake mushrooms are the best example of that. The first step for log mushroom growth is determining the number of spawn plugs you need. For example, a log measuring 4 feet will require between 30 to 50 plugs for complete coverage.
To prepare the desired environment for your mushrooms, drill holes spaced 6 inches apart. Then, insert the plug spawn dowels by gently hitting them with a hammer. The plugs should be below the bark’s surface. The next step requires you to seal the plugged holes, and wax is the best way to do so. You will need to heat the wax and melt it. Then use a wax dauber to apply wax to the holes, covering all the plugs to seal them and protect your mycelium.
Once you complete these steps, leave your logs in a shady place, so they can benefit from good air circulation and maintain a proper humidity level. You can use a hose to water the logs once or twice a week, but never let them dry out completely, or the mycelium will die. You can also shock your logs to speed up the growth process. The method implies soaking the logs in cold water for a full day.
You can harvest most shrooms grown on logs once or twice per year, typically in spring and fall. Since different factors contribute to how fast or slow your shrooms will grow, check your logs frequently. It is not uncommon for shrooms to pop up out of nowhere, so be ready for harvest. Ultimately, never leave the mushroom on the logs for too long. After three weeks of reaching maturity, they become too tough to be edible. Plus, they will be exposed to all sorts of pests and diseases.
Growing Outdoors in Beds
You can also plant mushrooms in a mushroom garden bed, but place them outside in a shady spot. It is up to you whether you want to grow your mushrooms in a regular garden bed or build one used for other vegetables. A lot of people like to make raised beds out of inoculated logs so that they can grow more mushroom varieties. Unlike vegetable beds, mushroom beds generally require about 6 inches of substrate.
The rules for growing mushrooms outdoors in a mushroom bed will vary depending on the type of mushrooms. Some spawns, for example, have different temperature requirements than others, so it’s essential to read the information about your specific spawn. If you are a beginner gardener or have never grown mushrooms, wine caps are a good variety to start.
Mushroom Growth FAQ
Can You Regrow Mushrooms?
Yes, you can, but the process is rather difficult. It takes about 10 to 15 days. So if you’re interested in doing it, you will have to save some mushroom stems. You can then transfer them to moist soil, but there is a high chance that they will rot.
What Conditions are Needed for a Mushroom to Grow?
Mushrooms need a moist environment to thrive, but the percentage level varies from one type of mushroom to another. As for the temperature, it also depends on the mushroom variety. Another requirement for mushroom growth is a proper combination of organic matter that contains nitrogen, protein, fats, starch, lignin, and sugar.
How Long Does It Take to Grow Mushrooms?
Again, it’s important to note that varied mushrooms take different periods to grow. For example, truffles can grow in 10 years, while oyster mushrooms are ready for harvest in 10 days. You can also purchase mushroom growth kits and have mushrooms that grow in 10 days.
Is it Hard to Grow Mushrooms?
It depends on the mushrooms you want to grow and where you want to grow them. The easiest way to grow mushrooms is to buy a mushroom kit with instructions and everything else you need to get mushrooms putting in a minimum amount of effort. Mushrooms grown on logs, for example, have a much more complicated process, so it’s usually more of a challenge for non-expert gardeners.
Make (Sh)room For Mushrooms!
Unlike plants people grow in their gardens, mushrooms are very distinct and rather pretentious when it comes to the growth process. The good news is that you have many options for growing shrooms, but some of these methods are complex and not the most suitable for beginners.
If you are interested in growing your mushrooms, buying a mushroom kit is a great idea for starters. It will teach you more about how mushrooms grow, and as you begin to understand their growth cycle, you will be able to tackle more difficult mushroom growth challenges.
Have you ever grown mushrooms? Share in the comments below!