Mushrooms – How to Grow and Care for Mushrooms Easily

How to Grow and Care for Mushrooms easily

Do you like mushrooms?

When you buy mushrooms from a supermarket, we are not sure about how they grow and are not safe to eat. Growers might use some pesticides or harmful chemicals like potassium or zinc to grow more quickly than the actual maturity time and to look beautiful. Though it tastes good at the beginning, later you may face some severe health problems.

Instead of buying such costly food items from stores or online, you can grow them easily in your home or garden space.

Do you know how to grow mushrooms within 10 days? 

Well, we are glad if you know about growing mushrooms. But if you don’t, we will help you out to know more about mushrooms growing conditions along with pests & diseases affecting it. Here in this article, we will let you know about how to grow mushrooms at home and care for it.

Mushroom or toadstool is a fleshy spore-bearing fruit fungus. It typically produces on the ground soil as a food source. Farmers cultivate it as a white button mushroom, which mostly grows rapidly during night times.

These are cultivated by the gardeners for its major commercial application in cooking, cuisines and also sold them in supermarkets with high profits. If a farmer knows about how to grow mushrooms easily than he can be much benefitted within a less time than compared to the others who grow fruits and vegetables. Follow this article to know more about white-headed mushrooms.

Mushroom Varieties

All the mushroom varieties can be grown easily with proper care. they can be planted in any growing season i.e. summer, rainy, winter or spring seasons. Out of all the mushroom varieties, the oyster is mostly grown for its commercial application in markets. Here is the list of some popular mushroom varieties that you can grow at both indoors and outdoors.

S. No Variety Specification
1 Agaricus White to small brown color, small size
2 Crimini Light tan to rich brown color naturally with dark cap
3 Chanterelle Pink, Bright yellow to orange color, vase shape mushrooms
4 Oyster Soft, brown to gray color
5 Shiitake Tan to dark brown color, umbrella-shaped caps
6 Enoki Snow puff, golden velvet stem,
7 Porcini 10 inches cap height, smooth, meaty texture, pale brown
8 Portabello Over-mature mushrooms, meat-flavor texture
9 Morel Dark brown color, cone shape, spongy fungus
10 Maitake Ripple and fan-shaped, no caps
11 Beech White or light brown color caps

How to Grow Mushrooms Indoors

You can grow more quickly and easily when compared to fruits and vegetables. It does not require much space to grow in your garden. These mushrooms grow well at home indoors where you can manage the light conditions and temperature properly. Here are some important factors that you need to consider before growing mushrooms indoors…..

Choose a Mushroom Variety

Before planting, you must choose a mushroom variety to grow like oyster variety, white button, and shiitake. All these 3 varieties are easy to grow at home and the method is a very simple economical way but only the ideal growing conditions may vary. You must pick a variety depending on your taste.

You can also purchase a high-quality mushroom spawn which is an essential root structure of the fungus. It is mostly used as a plant seedling to facilitate the growth of mushrooms.

Prepare Soil

To place them use a 14-10 inch trays that are about 6 inches deep resembles like a seed flat. Now fill the tray or mushroom bag with mushroom compost material like straw or sawdust. When you start growing mushrooms, it is necessary to sterilize the growing medium before placing the spawn into it.

To sterilize place it in a microwave added with enough water to make the sawdust damp. Now heat it for 2 minutes until the water completely evaporates. It also helps to kill the micro-organisms and keep the substrate safe.

Provide Water and Sunlight

Check the substrate after 2-3 days, whether it is fully colonized (forming white fuzz). Sometimes it may take 2-4 weeks time to establish completely. Now you can move the substrate to a location where it is cool and dark.

Mushrooms need to be planted in moisture regions. So water mushrooms thoroughly and make sure the soil where mushrooms are kept is completely moist. It develops as a fruit when the temperature is about 60-74F. For best quality, you can also grow between 63-68F. If you maintain the temperature above 74F mushrooms will not grow and at 84F it may die.

Mushroom Pests and Diseases

Pests Diseases
Nematodes Bacterial blotch
Arthropods Browning
Beetles Rotting
Larvae Trichoderma
Spider mites Mucor
Springtails Neurospora
Flies Penicillin

Fertilizing Mushrooms

Mix the compost pile (organic plant fertilizer) with water and provide it with mushrooms twice a day. It is also made up of organic materials like hay, straw, poultry, corn cobs and manure.  Do not dump too much quantity as it can disturb the growth of fungus from forming. Repeat the process for more 2-3 weeks and finally, you can see a thin, white webbing or mycelium.

Harvesting

After 3 weeks of planting, you can see the growth of white mushrooms. Maintain the environment moist, cool and dark to encourage the growth of mushrooms. When the mushroom caps form fully from the stems, they are ready to harvest.

You can use a sharp knife or cutters to cut mushrooms at the base of the stem. But if you use hands to cut mushrooms, it damages the newly developing fungi on the surface. Wash or rinse mushrooms with warm running water before cooking.  Store the harvested mushrooms in a paper bag in the refrigerator for a week.

How to Propagate Mushrooms

You can enjoy homegrown mushrooms at any time of the year. Out of all mushroom varieties, oyster variety is the best and suitable for all climatic conditions. Propagating mushrooms can be done in 3 different ways i.e. From coffee grounds or kitchen scraps, mushroom stem (spores or spawn) and from mushroom ends. Given below are the 3 popular procedures to grow mushrooms easily…

Coffee Grounds Scraps

Growing mushrooms from coffee grounds can be one of the best ways to grow mushrooms from kitchen scraps. Coffee grounds serves the best medium for growing mushrooms as they are already sterilized and are full of nutrients.

To obtain mushrooms from this method takes 500 grams of mushroom spawn and a 2.5 kg of fresh coffee grounds. Now find a container to grow mushrooms or use a filter patch grow bag.  Place the spawn into the container, also mix mushroom spawn into the coffee grounds and seal the bag tightly.

Now put the mushroom bag or container in a warm, dark location and leave it for 2-4 weeks until it turns into white mycelia. Move it to the direct sunlight location and water twice a day to prevent it from drying out.

Mushrooms Stems

Growing mushrooms from spores is a very difficult process and you need to have lots of patience until it develops. As it is a lengthy process, you can grow easily from store-bought mushroom stem kits.  Mushroom seed is also called as spores or spawn or inoculums. If you provide them right humid conditions, it will produce a cottony structure called mycelium. Mycelium bunches produce mushrooms; primordia and mycelia are found in harvested mushrooms. It can be further used to produce the clones of the mushroom.

Mushroom Ends

To grow mushrooms from the ends, use straw as a bedding. Now soak the straw in a container of warm water. After a couple of days, takeout from the container also adds cellulose material to the bedding such as a hamster or shredded cardboard.

Take a strong, healthy oyster variety to propagate, separate the bottom ends from the tops. To grow successfully store brought mushroom stems should be of a size (1/4) inch. Use cardboard or plastic bags to layer your medium. Now maintain the temperature between 65-75F and make holes at the bottom for air flow purpose. Within 15-20 days you can harvest beautiful white-headed mushrooms and is ready to cook and eat deliciously.

Growing Tips

Mushroom care is very easy but requires a lot of patience until you get the right one. Following are some of the useful tips that benefit you and the crop while growing mushrooms at home.

  • After harvesting store mushrooms in a refrigerator for a week using a paper bag.
  • Maintain the best-growing temperature i.e. 65-75F for mushrooms at home indoors.
  • Do not overwater mushrooms as it can easily absorb the water and damages the growth.
  • Do not soak mushrooms in water as there may be the chance of absorbing moisture levels.
  • Brush off any dust or peat moss present on mushrooms with your fingers or using a damp towel.
  • While harvesting mushrooms, wear gloves and use a sharp knife, shears or cutters cut the mushrooms properly.
  • Make sure you only buy the mushroom spawn and not the spores. Growing mushrooms from spores can take much more time, practice and is much suitable for seasonable crop growing.

Is mushroom a plant or fungi?

All mushrooms are fungi, but not all fungi are mushrooms. It is very similar to the flowering or fruiting in plants. These mature mushrooms produce microscopic spores that are similar to pollen and seeds.

How long does it take to grow mushrooms?

If you start growing these button mushrooms from a spawn and fresh substrate then it may take about 2-3 weeks time for the standard mushrooms to reach the fruiting stage and some other varieties may even take 6 weeks time to produce mushrooms.

How do you get mushroom spores?

To collect the mushroom spores from the mushroom itself, you need to take 2 color papers and place them side by side. Place mushroom into it by facing the cap upside down and also cover the mushroom with a glass container. If you find it’s a risky process, then you can easily buy mushroom spawn online or from a store as they are very cheap.

Do mushrooms need sunlight to grow?

Mushrooms do not contain leaves (absence of chlorophyll pigment) so as to perform photosynthesis process. So it does not require full sunlight to thrive and can also grow in cool, dark growing conditions at home. They have some specific light, water, and growing requirements to produce the mushroom.

What are the companion plants for mushrooms?

There are no such companion plants for mushrooms as they can grow alone in a well-drain soil. Some mushroom varieties when planted with other perennial plants like sweet corn, grape vines, and brassicas improve their plant growth and fruiting time.

Are mushrooms good for your pets?

Not all the mushroom varieties are poisonous to your dogs. But there is some mushroom (fungus) varieties that are toxic to pets. When you feed your pets with mushrooms it does not harm but the problem arises when taken in excess amounts which results in vomiting, irritations and diarrhea problems.

Mushroom Nutrition

Mushroom is a very good source of dietary fiber, protein, vitamins, carbohydrates, and fats. It also contains iron, zinc, manganese, vitamin D and antioxidants like thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and selenium. One serving a bowl or 100 grams of mushrooms contains 22 calories and is cholesterol free.

Mushroom Health Benefits

Mushrooms are classified as vegetables but belong to the fungi kingdom. Though they are not vegetables but can also provide enough nutrients for humans. Increasing the consumption of unprocessed foods like mushrooms decreases the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Here are some possible health benefits of consuming or making mushrooms in your diet.

  • The antioxidants in mushrooms like selenium help to prevent the cancer cells in the body. It also detoxifies the cancer-causing compounds in the body.
  • A cup of mushrooms serves 3 grams of dietary fiber that benefits the digestive system, reduces the risk of heart disease and improves metabolic activities.
  • Potassium and vitamin C content in mushrooms helps to improve the cardiovascular health. It also regulates the blood pressure levels and other heart diseases.
  • A study shows that consuming mushrooms on a regular basis can improve the hair growth, immune response to the body infections and manages the body weight.

How to Grow and Care for Mushrooms easily

Now you are familiar with mushrooms, start growing mushrooms in your home that monitors your health. If you have amazing ideas about growing mushrooms, please share your experience with us.

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