Imagine growing your favorite mushrooms for your own home use.

That dream can easily become a reality. The tasty fungi grow well indoors. In fact, you can even purchase handy mushroom growing kits or fashion your own custom grow setup. The process is remarkably carefree. 

If you are interested in growing mushrooms at home there are many great DIY mushroom grow kits that supply you with everything that you need and are super easy to set up. 

For more information on how to grow mushrooms at home, check out our article on 5 Easy Steps to Grow Mushrooms at Home.

Choosing A Mushroom Type

Your first step to growing mushrooms at home is to pick a type of mushrooms to grow. 

Below are a few most common types of home cultivation mushroom varieties.

Benefits of Medicinal Mushrooms

Maitake Mushrooms

Growing maitake mushrooms (Grifola frondosa) have been a popular pastime for centuries. A Japanese legend tells how cultivating the mushroom variety is a joyous experience because the gardener will see a maitake cluster and break into a happy song and dance. The small mushrooms sprout up in happy clusters on logs. 

Oak logs are the preferred growing substrate for maitake mushrooms. Simply drill holes into the log and sprinkle mushroom spawn into the drilled hole.

When done properly, it can take six months to a year before the mushrooms start to sprout but the log will easily produce mushroom colonies for up to seven years. The mushroom clusters grow best when the temperature hovers between 55 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

Each cluster can easily weigh 50 pounds. The mushroom clusters look like a hen sitting on a net which is why the variety is often referred to as the “hen of the woods.” 

Maitake mushrooms are loaded with vitamin D which makes them favored to promote bone health and fight osteoporosis.

Beta-glucan found in maitakes also helps lower cholesterol and help with maintaining heart health. 

Maitake Mushrooms

Reishi Mushrooms 

Reishi mushrooms (Ganoderma lucidum and lingzhi), are often used in teas or soups for their reputed medicinal purposes. The easy-to-grow mushrooms flourish in a standard mushroom substrate such as a fine and coarse hardwood mixture (preferably an oak sawdust). You can also use calcium carbonate or gypsum mixture as opposed to sawdust. 

Fruiting takes place about 60 days after the first spawn. The Reishi mushrooms grow best when the temperature hovers between 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit with a humidity of 90 to 95%.

Reishi mushrooms have a positive impact on the body’s white blood cell count which assists the immune system’s response. Many believe they also have potent anti-cancer properties. 

Turkey Tail 

Turkey tail mushrooms (Trametes versicolor – also known as Coriolus versicolor and Polyporus versicolor)  are a great first mushroom choice if you are looking for an easy to grow fungi. The mushrooms grow well in sawdust, or you can purchase logs to inoculate. Many people compare the process of growing turkey tail mushrooms to shiitake because they are remarkably similar. If you opt to use logs, be sure to pick hardwood logs for best results. Some people actually recycle their own Christmas trees for turkey tail mushroom cultivation. 

For over 1000 years, Chinese and Japanese have cultivated turkey tail mushrooms for medicinal and culinary purposes. The mushrooms grow slow but are remarkably hardy. They grow best when the room temperature hovers at 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Turkey tail mushrooms are believed to promote weight loss because they foster healthy digestion. Many believe they also help fight cancer and boost immune response. 

Shiitake Mushrooms 

 Around the world, approximately 25% of all mushroom cultivation involves shiitake (Lentinula edodes) varieties. In the wild, the shiitake mushroom grows in the decaying logs of the Shii tree found in East Asia. For home garden cultivation, you can use hardwood logs as a substrate, but it can take from six to seven years for harvest. Ideally, you should use an inoculated mixture of sawdust and bran as the substrate to ensure a faster and easier harvest. You can create your own substrate mixture with sawdust, wheat bran, rice bran, and chalk. When grown in a sawdust substrate, fruiting will occur in eight to twelve weeks. 

You’ll encounter several types of shiitake mushrooms. Cool-season strains grow best in temperatures that hover from 41 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Warm-season varieties fruit when the temperature ranges from 60 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Shiitake mushrooms contain prominent levels of natural copper which the body uses to manufacture healthy blood vessels, immune support, and build strong bones. A half-cup of mushrooms contains 72 percent of an adult’s daily allowance of the mineral. Shiitakes are also loaded with selenium which acts as a potent antioxidant. 

Portobello Mushrooms 

Portobello mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus) grow well indoors or outdoors. When cultivating indoors, use a substrate of peat moss, compost, and newspaper for best results. You’ll use approximately six inches of substrate in a tray and sprinkle the spores across the surface. Cover the spores with a light layer of peat moss or moist newspaper. 

For the best growth of portobello mushrooms, maintain a room temperature that hovers from 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep the newspaper, peat moss, and substrate moist by lightly misting the mixture daily with water to encourage growth. 

Portobello mushrooms are a wonderful source of fiber. They also contain very few calories per gram so are often favored by individuals who are striving to maintain a healthy weight or shed unwanted pounds. 

Button Mushrooms 

White button mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus) thrive on a substrate of nitrogen-rich manure such as horse manure. Simply fill a wooden box with about six inches of manure. Spread the spores onto the manure and mist lightly. Keep moist to encourage growth.

When growing white button mushrooms, maintain a room temperature of around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The mushrooms require no light and actually grow and thrive in a dark and warm place. 

Button mushrooms are one of the only foods that are naturally loaded with vitamin D. A diet rich in the tiny nuggets promotes strong bones and a healthy immune system. They are also filled with antioxidants that further reduce inflammation and are a potent anti-cancer compound. 

Oyster Mushrooms 

Oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus) can be grown in a log or straw. Typically, most home gardeners opt to grow the mushroom variety in wheat straw for best results. You can sterilize the straw in the oven by placing it in an oven-safe bag (such as the one used to cook a turkey). Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the bag flat on a baking sheet. Cook for one hour. 

When using straw, add a little flour or coffee grounds to the substrate for the best growth.

The small mushrooms grow well in a temperature range of 55 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Use only non-chlorinated water to keep the substrate moist. Lightly mist daily. 

Oyster mushrooms are reputed to boost the immune system with elevated levels of vitamins D, D3, D5, and A. The protein-rich fungi are believed to have strong anti-cancer characteristics and may even increase strength. They also have impressive antiviral and antimicrobial qualities that effectively fight off E coli, Candida overgrowth, Staph, Enterococcus infection, and Streptococcus. 

Enoki Mushrooms 

Enoki mushrooms (Flammulina velutipes) are considered major decomposers because they rapidly break down the logs and wood they grow upon in the wild. When cultivating at home, the mushrooms will grow in a wide array of organic substrates, but most home gardeners prefer cultivating the mushrooms in hardwood sawdust or straw. 

For best results, grow enoki mushrooms in a room that hovers between 72 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit. The mushrooms prefer when the humidity is remarkably high so keep moist for best results. 

Use a glass jar (such as a canning jar)  to help maintain the perfect environment for the mushrooms to flourish. 

  • Sterilize the jar. 
  • Place a grow medium such as aged hardwood sawdust into the bottom of the bottle. 
  • Mix  the spores into grow medium. 
  • Moisten the grow medium. 
  • Screw the lid onto the jar.  
  • Store the jar in a dark location to create white enoki mushrooms. 

If you place the jar in light then the caps will turn brown but remain edible and delicious. 

Enoki mushrooms are loaded with fiber and B vitamins. They are also high in both thiamine and niacin. Considered antioxidant powerhouses, the enoki mushrooms are favored for providing an immune system boost, fighting free radicals, and anticancer properties. 

Conclusion 

Home cultivation of mushrooms is on the rise as a fun hobby. The above mushroom varieties will all thrive with minimal care in a home setting while providing a wide array of health benefits. 

For further reading, take the time to check out these awesome books: –

Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms can Help Save the World;
Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms;
Mushroom Cultivation Book for Beginners and
Mushroom Cultivation: An Illustrated Guide.

Delicious Mushrooms