Growing vegetables may require a little effort and space in garden beds or containers, but growing mushrooms is for everyone! “It’s not difficult at all,” says Mike Snyder, amateur mycologist at WildWise Botanicals and member of the North American Mycological Association’s cultivation committee. “Mushrooms are beautiful and mysterious, and growing mushrooms is easy and satisfying because anyone can do it in your garage, basement, or apartment.”
There are so many techniques to grow mushrooms right in your own home. In recent years, the popularity of this hobby (dubbed the “mushroom boom” by mushroom lovers) has exploded, and many mushroom growing kits are now available. These kits come with everything you need to grow mushrooms, making them perfect for beginners. Within a week or so you’ll have mushrooms for all your favorite mushroom recipes!
If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can also grow mushrooms without the help of a kit with a few inexpensive supplies. All you need is a bucket, growing medium (called substrate) and mushroom spawn containing mycelium growing into the substrate. “Once the mushroom mycelium has eaten the substrate and gained enough nutrients, it will multiply. These fruiting bodies are what we eat,” says Snyder. Keep in mind that the cost of purchasing the individual components (substrate, lime, and spawn) will yield more mushrooms overall than a standalone grow kit, but also requires more work.
Here’s what else you need to know about growing mushrooms.
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What types of mushrooms are the easiest to grow?
Oyster, shiitake, and lion’s mane are all good choices for beginners. Auster is the easiest, says Snyder. Order a grow kit or pick one up at the local farmer’s market. They usually provide a pound or two of mushrooms a few weeks apart.
Where can I grow mushrooms?
You can grow mushrooms indoors all year round if the conditions are right. Follow the grow kit instructions, but in general, mushrooms like high humidity, moderate temperatures, and indirect light. A basement is a good place to start!
How to grow mushrooms without a kit?
You can absolutely grow mushrooms without a kit! It’s definitely more practical, but you’ll also harvest more mushrooms. To start you will need a bucket, substrate (growth medium), lime powder and mushroom spawn. Take a five-gallon plastic bucket and drill 10 to 12 holes in a diamond pattern about 4 to 6 inches apart on the side; This aids in air transfer so the fungi don’t suffocate, Snyder says.
Next, prepare your substrate, which will provide the nutrients for growing the mushrooms. While you can use anything from toilet paper to coffee grounds to cat litter, straw is an easy and inexpensive choice, says Snyder. You need to cut it into 3 to 4 inch long pieces and then pasteurize it by soaking it in a lime bath. The powdered lime raises the pH to kill other competing organisms that may be trying to grow in your substrate.
Then mix (or “inoculate”) your moist substrate with spawn. Again, oyster mushrooms are a good choice for beginners. A ½ pound spawning block will inoculate about 7 to 8 buckets; You can order online or buy from a local mushroom grower. Keep your bucket at a moderate, but not freezing, temperature, such as B. in the basement. You don’t have to water it, but once the little mushrooms start popping through the bucket’s holes, you can spray them lightly with a spray bottle.
How long does it take to grow mushrooms?
You should have mushrooms ready to harvest in a few weeks! It is really that easy. Typically, you’ll get a few pounds of shrooms several weeks apart. When your bucket stops producing, empty it all into your composter where it can surprise you and keep growing mushrooms!
You can also grow mushrooms like shiitake outdoors in a log. But this is more complex and takes 6 to 12 months before you have a harvest. However, many local mushroom clubs offer workshops to help beginners grow mushrooms using these more advanced techniques.
Arricca SanSone has written on health and lifestyle topics for prevention, country living, women’s day and more. She loves gardening, baking, reading and spending time with the people and dogs she loves.
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