How to Grow Mushrooms at Home – A Nutritious, Delicious addition to your Home Garden
Imagine cultivating your own delicious mushrooms for all of your favorite culinary creations. You might be surprised to learn that it’s a lot easier than you think to grow mushrooms at home.
Growing mushrooms at home is super easy and doesn’t take much space.
Growing mushrooms at home requires only a cool dark place and a small number of supplies. You can even purchaseDIY mushroom grow kits that supply you with everything that you need and are super easy to set up.
Growth Requirements of Mushrooms
Mushrooms grow well indoors. They prefer a cool, dark, damp location. They can grow outside but if the growing conditions outdoors are not ideal then they can take up to three years to truly flourish.
Ideally, you should grow mushrooms in a basement or under a sink where they are not exposed to bright light. Even if you have limited space, you can still enjoy growing mushrooms.
Top 5 Types of Mushrooms
You can grow nearly any type of mushroom indoors, but the leading choices include
All require remarkably similar growth requirements, but they do need different grow mediums.
5 Easy Steps to Grow Mushrooms at Home
Unlike most plants, mushrooms are grown from spores. The spores mix easily in the soil or grow medium. They will produce a white, root-like substance referred to as mycelium.
Different mushroom times require various substrates to thrive. White button mushrooms prefer growing in a mixture of compost and manure.
Depending on the type of mushrooms you want to grow, you’ll need a particular substrate. If you decide to invest in a grow kit, it will come with the required medium you need to grow your mushroom garden.
Step One: Add the Mushroom Spores to the Grow Medium
You’ll want to set up the substrate or grow medium. Use a planting tray that measures about 14 to 16 inches long and is about six inches deep. The tray can be made of metal, plastic, or wood.
Fill the tray to about one inch from the rim of the tray.
Spread the spores evenly across the surface.
Tip: Whenever you work with the substrate, be sure to sanitize your hands to prevent the transfer of other mold or fungi spores. Also, sterilize all of your gardening tools.
Step Two: Keep Soil Moist
Mushrooms require a humid environment to thrive. Keep the grow medium evenly moist to encourage the growth process. Spray substrate at least once or twice a day with a light misting of water. You can also cover the tray with a damp towel.
Step Three: Incubation of the Spores
During the first three weeks, maintain the substrate temperature at 70 degrees Fahrenheit to encourage growth.
You can invest in a seedling heat mat to ensure that the mushroom spores stay warm and encourage germination. Ideally, the heating pad should have precise controls and you will place it directly under the tray.
Use a soil thermometer to watch the temperature. You don’t want the substrate to be too warm or too cold. If the temperature becomes too high, the spores will die.
Step Four: Lower the Temperature
When you notice white, rootlike growths (mycelium) in the soil then it’s time to lower the temperature.
Mushrooms thrive in cool, moist conditions. Lower the temperature so the substrate is between 55 to 60 degrees F. You’ll need to remove the heating pad from under the tray.
Cover the growing mycelium with about an inch of substrate. Within a few days, you’ll notice that tiny mushrooms (primordia) have started to grow.
Step Five: Harvesting the Mushrooms
It usually takes about three to four weeks for the mushrooms to become fully grown, depending on the variety.
Harvest when the caps open fully. If you are growing button mushrooms, then you’ll want to harvest when they are still white but if you want them to turn into cremini mushrooms then wait until they turn brown. During the final stage of growth, they become large portobello mushrooms.
Use a sharp knife during harvest. Cut the stem using the knife. Never pull the mushrooms because you can easily damage the delicate growth surrounding the mushrooms by plucking them.
Mushrooms will grow for six months, and you can harvest them on a daily basis. Each mushroom will release its own spores to keep the growth cycle going.
Remember, fresh mushrooms do not last exceptionally long once you harvest them. Ideally, you should cook and eat them within a couple of days of harvest to ensure freshness.
Benefits of a DIY Mushroom Kit
If you are new to growing mushrooms, then a DIY mushroom kit might be the ideal choice. There are a lot of advantages to a mushroom kit.
Easy: Mushroom DIY kits come with everything you need to effortlessly grow mushrooms. They are a fun project kit for young and old alike.
Cost-Effective: You’ll find that mushroom DIY kits are remarkably affordable. You can order a kit online or find them at local department and garden stores.
Educational: You can instruct your children about the lifecycle of fungi and then enjoy using the mushrooms that you grow in recipes.
Safe: When you invest in a reputable mushroom kit, then you know that the mushrooms you cultivate are safe to eat. Quality kits are often certified organic and contain no chemicals or pesticides.
Health Benefits of Mushrooms
Mushrooms have been favored for centuries due to their health benefits.
Below are a few potential benefits:
In many parts of the world, mushrooms are favored as components in cancer treatments, according to the MD Anderson Center.
The most common medicinal mushrooms include:
Turkey Tail Mushrooms
Boosts Immune System
The sugar molecule lentinan has been shown to help boost the immune response and it occurs naturally in mushrooms along with the immune booster beta-glucan.
Beta-glucan, also called beta-glucans, are located in the cell walls of many mushroom types. They are believed to increase the number of Th1 lymphocytes in the blood which reduces inflammation.
Mushrooms are cholesterol-free and help lower bad cholesterol in your body. They are ideal for individuals who are trying to control their LDL level of cholesterol. Pink oyster mushrooms appear extremely beneficial.
Loaded with Vitamin D
Yes, mushrooms are brimming with vitamin D. They are favored by vegans due to the vitamin D they contain. Vitamin D is a necessity for bone health.
Boosts Digestive Health
Mushrooms are rich in minerals such as selenium which prevent cell damage and with the body’s metabolic processes.
The human body does not naturally produce selenium so receiving the mineral via diet is essential to good digestive health and may also prevent bladder cancer.
Cooked shiitakes contain 45 percent of your daily selenium value and white mushrooms offer 17 percent.
There is so much to learn about both the medicinal value of mushrooms and how they can even help save the world!!
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