It is not difficult to learn how to plant mushrooms, although they are not planted in a similar manner to garden plants. An easy way to have your own delicious produce is to purchase a kit which is set up with all you need. You just open the box, water the contents according to the directions, keep the container in a cool, dark place and wait for little white caps to appear.
Fungi grow from with spore or spawn. It is quite difficult for an amateur to raise a successful crop from spore. Buying spawn is easier and cheaper for the home gardener to use spawn. With this method, the spores have already germinated. They are contained in a wafer or bale. This consists of the growing medium complete with already-developing mycelium (root structure).
Whether you’d like morel, button or some other type, there will be spawn available. White types are not as fussy about their conditions as morels, which are also slower to reach maturity. The special medium in which the fungi are grown is called substrate. This may be a compost mix, rotted sawdust or rotting hay. A mixture of horse manure and straw is also a good choice. Most mushroom types need a soil rich in nutrients. Place the substrate in a container and dampen the top with water.
A trough, tub or even a bucket can be used as a container. A cellar or basement is often ideal as a location. It needs to remain relatively dark. The temperature should be raised to around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. To help regulate the heat of the compost a heating pad can be used and adjusted to the temperature required.
It is usual to spread the spawn over the compost. The spawn should not be covered over or watered. It will take about three weeks for the white pins to appear on top of the soil. Let the temperature drop to around 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Stems will start to appear and growth will continue until the crop is mature.
Once the cap has opened up completely and has separated from the stem, the mushroom can be harvested (except for button varieties). Take the largest first. Use a sharp knife to cut the stem at ground level. Don’t disturb any remaining fungi. It may take up to two months before the first are ready to harvest. By leaving the stem in place, more will develop.
Sprinkle your container with a little water if the soil seems very dry. With luck you will be able to continue harvesting for quite some time. Knowing how to plant mushrooms successfully just requires a little attention to details.
Author: Estelle PetersenThis author has published 1 articles so far.