Easiest Way to Grow Mushrooms: Be Surprised at How Simple It Is
Mushrooms are well-loved for their unique flavor and culinary versatility. Because of their popularity, many people start to grow them at home. It’s a good thing that there is an easiest way to grow mushrooms, unlike the popular belief that it is difficult to cultivate. If you are excited to find out how, just continue reading our guide.
There are several ways to grow mushrooms at home even with a limited space. You can grow them in your basement, front porch, rooftop or yard.
Before proceeding to the procedures in growing mushrooms, it is important to first identify those varieties that are easy to grow:
1. Lion’s mane – With a texture comparable to a crab’s meat, the lion’s mane is a popular seafood substitute. You can grow this in an old tree, cut hardwood log, or grow bags with a specialized substrate.
2. Shiitake mushroom – This type of mushroom grows best in a cut hardwood log or grow bag. This mushroom is well-loved for its meaty and umami flavor.
3. Maitake mushroom – Maitake is one of the most valued mushrooms used for soups because of its mild taste. It grows best in most sterilized growth media that you can readily buy online or in many garden centers. You can also grow it in an old or dying tree as well as in cut hardwood log.
4. Oyster mushroom – This mushroom is known for its seafood flavor, more like scallops. You can easily cultivate it in sterilized grow bags.
5. Chicken of the woods – You can grow it in a dead tree, in stumps or in cut hardwood logs. This mushroom is high in protein. As its name suggests, it has a similar texture and flavor to that of chicken.
The first step to growing mushrooms at home is to identify that type that you want to cultivate. Once you have done this step, you can then choose from any of the common ways of growing mushrooms.
1. Mushroom Beds (outdoor)
Depending on the mushroom that you want to grow (some love sunlight while others prefer shaded areas), carefully choose a perfect spot in your yard. The mushrooms that you can possibly grow in beds include Wine Cap, Inky Cap, Blewit and Almond Agaricus.
After selecting the location, you can now start building the mushroom bed. You can follow the step-by-step procedure in this video.
One of the advantages of mushroom beds is that you are free to choose the material for frame as well as its style, depending on your available space. The most common material for the frame is a standard lumber. However, many people now prefer using inoculated logs with other mushroom species. This option is a space saver, not to mention that it gives you an opportunity to grow different varieties within a small space.
2. Mushroom Rafts
This technique uses logs that are laid side by side, forming a raft. This is an ideal method of growing mushroom if you have a small backyard space. You could position the raft under a tree or in a shaded area against a fence or wall.
If you are interested to grow mushrooms using rafts, you can follow the procedure in this video.
When growing mushrooms in rafts, you need to first inoculate the logs with your chosen substrate. This procedure can take several months. Once you can see signs of white mycelium on the log, you can then start building the raft. Choose an ideal site and then arrange the inoculated logs side by side, in a small bed. It is important to note that each mushroom specie has its growing requirements that you need to follow before constructing the rafts.
Among the mushrooms that you can grow in rafts are Reishi, Nameko, Maitake and Pioppino.
3. In the Garden
If you always do a no-till gardening, or mulch your crops regularly, this technique might best suit you. Plants and fungi have a symbiotic relationship and you should have no problem growing them together. Plants love mushrooms and oftentimes, growing them side by side helps you have a bountiful harvest.
Curious how to do it? Here is a short video that will show you the step-by-step procedure.
4. Grow Bags (indoor)
Mushroom grow bags are widely available online. These grow bags allow you to grow mushrooms in huge quantities in a more compact setting. Grow bags are sterile plastic bags with filter ports that allow complete ventilation for the growing mycelium. Many of the grow bags sold online already come with sterile substrate sealed inside.
To use this, simply follow the instructions in the label and you should be good to go. Here is a short video to give you an idea on how grow bags work.
5. Grow Kit
For first-time growers, a ready-made mushroom grow kit is an easy option. Each kit normally comes with a plastic bag filled with sterilized and inoculated substrate. You’ll just have to follow the directions in the label and in a week or two, the mushroom should already start to sprout. Depending on the mushroom specie, you can expect two to three flushes of growth in 3 to 4 months.
Popular mushrooms in grow kits include Portobello, Lion’s mane, Shiitake, Crimini and Oyster mushrooms.
Which is the easiest way to grow mushrooms?
All of the techniques I’ve listed above are easy ways to grow mushrooms. However, if you are a beginner, a grow kit may be the easiest option. If you are already experienced in growing mushrooms at home, you may consider the other techniques available.
Growing mushrooms at home is easier than you might imagine. In many cases, it is even easier than growing vegetables. If you are an avid gardener, growing mushrooms should be easy for you. The techniques of growing mushrooms I have listed above are just some of the ways that you could try.
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