How to Grow Mushrooms
Instructions for Growing Mushrooms
Mushrooms are a fungus, with the edible part being a spore producing head and the stem. Unlike plants, they have no leaves or chlorophyll and absorb no carbon dioxide from the air. Remember, there are many poisonous varieties, so be careful in your identification process.
Dietary Fiber, Copper, Chromium, Potassium, Manganese, Vitamin C, D, B6, Riboflavin, Selenium, Niacin, Zinc, Pantothenic Acid, Iron, Phosphorus
Since growing mushrooms can be done indoors, any climate will work. Mushrooms like dark conditions the best, but will tolerate a little light. Customary locations for growing mushrooms are: dark cupboards, basements, or cellars.
When growing mushrooms, pick a spot for that has good ventilation. Mushroom beds produce carbon dioxide, so you want good air circulation. For optimal growing conditions, keep the temperature of the air around the mushroom bed between 55 to 65 degrees (F) and the humidity at around 80 percent.
Some have had success in growing mushrooms outside in the summer months, but it’s considerably more difficult to control the crop and conditions.
Another alternative is building a “mushroom house” or cellar/shed specifically for growing mushroom crops. It needs to be dark, well ventilated, clean, and insulated to offer an environment with constant temperatures. If you're planning to use the building year round, you may need to offer some artificial heat to keep the temperatures at +/- 60 degrees. If you have a spot that's shielded from cold winds, that's even better. Of course, when growing mushrooms in this type of shelter, the building needs to be rain, draft, and critter proof.
Use sterilized mushroom farm compost (already mixed with mushroom spores). Cover with a 1” layer of sterilized topsoil or peat. Water lightly to dampen the soil. In about 1 or 2 weeks, you’ll see gray matter appear that spread all over the compost. Your mushroom crop then will grow out of this.
Water 2 or 3 times per week (with a spray bottle), keeping compost moist but never too wet or soggy.
Do not fertilize.
If you don't use sterilized compost, or if you keep the soil too wet, you may experience insect problems when growing mushrooms. Sticking to sterilized compost, watching the water content of the soil, and washing the bed container between new crops will keep these problems at bay.
The first crop of mushrooms will likely mature in about 1 month (there will be several waves/flushes of crops from one batch). Cut stalks at soil level and pick regularly to encourage additional flushes. When new mushrooms stop appearing, the cycle has finished. Then sanitize the bed and you can start all over for a new crop.
The used mushroom compost makes good fertilizer for your garden.
Note: the advice and information contained herein is based upon our experience and study. As with any advice, please apply at your own discretion.