The process of growing mushrooms is very different than growing other veggies and fruits. Other vegetables and fruits require a lot of sunlight but mushrooms are totally opposite. If they get light, they will die and if other plants do not get light they cannot grow. The darkroom is the number one priority for growing mushrooms.
Growing mushrooms is a very simple and easy process. Bodies of mushrooms require a very limited number of conditions or factors to grow in a better size. If you fail to provide these conditions, mushrooms will not grow. Fortunately, giving mushrooms these conditions is not that hard. In this article, we will talk about all the required conditions to grow mushrooms and much more.
How do Mushrooms grow?
Mushrooms grow from spore. Spores are the seeds of mushrooms (actually these spores are not seeds, we cannot see them from our naked eyes). Spores grow best on substances like grain, straw, dust, and wood chips rather than normal soil. A mixture of spores and substances like grain and straw known as spawn.
Spawn is like the seedlings of mushrooms (not actual seedlings). We can order spawn of mushrooms and grow mushrooms at home in no time. This spawn grows and makes a threadlike structure called mycelium. These threadlike structures then grow to make mushrooms.
Best Conditions To Grow Mushrooms
A spot under the sink, your basement, or any location in your home that can provide dark and humid conditions, is ideal for growing mushrooms. Along with the dark and humid location, the temperature is another important factor. Mushrooms grow very well in a range of 55 – 65 degrees Fahrenheit. So check the temperature before doing anything.
Some varieties of mushrooms grow best at lower temperatures. Like enoki mushrooms grow well at a temperature of 45 degrees Fahrenheit. So it is good to grow mushrooms in winter as the majority of the basement’s temperature rises in summer which is not suitable for mushroom growing.
As I mentioned before, mushrooms like a dark room, like basements. But you can grow them outside on the ground or logs if you have six months to three years’ time. Yes! The outside process of growing mushrooms is very time-consuming. So you should grow them indoors in a dark room. They can handle a little light but try to give them full dark surroundings.
Varieties Of Mushrooms
Wild can grow any kind of mushroom. Fortunately, we can grow almost all the varieties at home with a little effort and time. Plus growing mushrooms at home is an insurance that we are not harvesting some kind of wild poisonous mushrooms.
Here are a few varieties of mushrooms that you can grow at home. Remember different varieties have different needs (especially growing medium).
- Cremini mushrooms
- Enoki mushrooms
- Maitake mushrooms
- Portobello mushrooms
- Oyster mushrooms
- Shiitake mushrooms
- White button mushrooms
Oyster mushrooms grow greatly on straw, shiitake mushrooms grow well on wood or hardwood sawdust and white button mushrooms grow very well fully decomposed manure.
Note: We cannot grow morels mushrooms at home because they only grow in nature.
Grow Mushrooms Without Any Mushroom kit
As I mentioned before, different varieties of mushrooms require different growing mediums. So keep the growing medium in your mind before purchasing the spores or spawn of your favorite mushroom variety.
Here is a full process to grow button mushrooms with any mushroom kit:
Purchase Spawn: Spawn of oyster mushrooms has a benefit over spores. The process is short and not that long when you choose to spawn over spores. I suggest you go with spawn no matter which variety you are trying.
Fill Your Container: Any kind of shallow container, grow bags or pots will do the trick. Fill your containers with fully decomposed manure. Sprinkle spawn on the top of the manure and give it water.
Moisture Level: Keep the moisture level a little high, as mushrooms love damp mediums to grow. Do not let the medium dry out. Sprinkle water on it with a sprinkler and use a damp cloth to cover the medium. Sprinkle water on the cloth when it feels dry.
Use Of Heating Pad: Mushrooms require different temperature levels at different stages. In the beginning, mushrooms love 70 degrees Fahrenheit. When spawn turns into threadlike mycelium, lower the temperature to 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit. You can use heating pads to optimize the temperature level.
Harvesting Of Mushrooms: Button mushrooms will be ready to harvest in just 3-4 weeks. When caps of mushrooms open, you can harvest them by using a sharp and sterilized knife (in fact all your tools should be sterilized). Do not harvest mushrooms by pulling the stem or you can destroy the young mushrooms.
Continuous Supply Of Mushrooms: It is very easy to keep growing mushrooms when there is a setup at your home. Keep harvesting your mushrooms when they grow to a certain size. Eventually, you will need to add some extra spawn to grow more. Keep the moisture level high by keeping the piece of cloth damp, you will get a continuous supply of mushrooms at your home for at least 6 months.