Easily learn how to grow edible mushrooms by following the steps in this article. Growing mushrooms are not hard to do, however, the steps to grow them are a bit different than the traditional fruits and vegetables most people grow in their gardens.
Decide On What Variety of Mushroom
First, you’ll need to know which kind of mushroom you want to grow. Certain types will do better in a wood base compost and others in a manure based mix. White button, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms are some of the easier varieties for beginners to grow. All types will need to be placed in a cool, dark, and damp area for growing. Cellars are often a good area for them, however, a small dark room or unused closet/cabinet would also be suitable.
Items You’ll Need
You’ll need the following ingredients to grow your edible mushrooms: sawdust or manure based mix, growing tray(s), corrugated cardboard (2’x3′ pieces), a mister or spray bottle, and mushroom spores or spawn. Spores are another way of saying mushroom seeds and spawn are equivalent to seedlings. Ensure you buy these from a qualified supplier as they will guarantee that you grow edible mushrooms that will not make you sick. You may find a supplier by checking out a nearby farmer’s market or greenhouse.
Spores are usually purchased within sawdust that has already been inoculated, or prepared, for the growing of mushrooms.
Prepare the Mushroom Environment
To start, soak your cardboard piece(s) in water for approximately an hour. Cardboard should be the unwaxed variety. When soaked, take apart the layers of cardboard until you reach the ribbed portion. Keep the ribbed portion and throw away the other layer. Cover the wet ridged cardboard with the sawdust and roll up the cardboard end to end with the sawdust coat to the inside. Pin, staple, or clothespin the cardboard to keep rolled up.
Your cardboard pieces are now ready to be placed in the cool, dark area designated by you for growing the mushrooms. Each type of mushroom will require a different temperature setting, however, most will not be above 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Ensure the temperature required for each type of mushroom is met and keep the cardboard moist. For optimal growth of the mushroom spoors, mist the rolled cardboard daily with a spray bottle or mister. This will also encourage the correct humidity for the spoors to grow quickly.
When Are the Mushrooms Mature?
Each type of mushroom will have its own growth rate, however, most mushrooms will require anywhere between a few weeks to a few months for full maturity. Mushroom maturity is determined when the cap is fully opened on the mushrooms.
Depending upon the region and season in which you live, you may be able to place the rolled cardboard in a dark or shady area of your lawn or garden. The temperature, depending upon the variety of mushroom you are growing, will need to be at a constant 55 – 70 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have a greenhouse that has a dark corner, that may also be a suitable place to contain the rolled up cardboard while your mushrooms are growing.
Starting a New Crop of Mushrooms
Once your mushrooms have matured, clip or cut the mushroom stems where they meet the soil, clean up the surface of the soil by removing all fungi debris, and restart a new crop.