How Difficult Is It To Grow Mushrooms? 7 Easy Steps

Mushrooms are the fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting bodies of fungi. Mushrooms serve as a form of reproduction for some species of fungi. It is somewhat like a plant’s fruit. What are the challenges of growing mushrooms?

Growing mushrooms is a bit more challenging than growing other crops. It requires a lot of pasteurization and temperature control. Once you have practiced it, it will become a part of your daily routine.

The microscopic mushroom spores are like the seeds of a fruit. Some of the spores land on suitable substrates.

They germinate to form microscopic roots called mycelium. Then they penetrate their new food source. 
Many types of mushrooms are edible. White button mushrooms are the most popular edible type. Mushrooms are rich in vital vitamins and minerals. It is a low-calorie source of fiber, protein, and antioxidants. Learn to identify poisonous mushrooms with this video.

Mushrooms have a unique “umami” flavor. “Umami” is one of the five basic tastes. It is the savory or meaty taste of foods. Dried shiitake mushrooms are rich in umami. 

How Difficult Is It To Grow Your Mushrooms At Home?

You can simplify this task by using mushroom growing kits. The complete growing kit includes everything you’ll need, from spawn to growing media.

A cold, moist climate is essential for mushroom growth. An indoor setting is ideal for such an environment. Oyster mushrooms are the easiest and fastest mushrooms to grow indoors. 

Oyster Mushrooms: How Do You Grow Them At Home?

Oyster Mushroom
Step 1: Make The Decision

Select the oyster mushroom type you wish to grow. Oyster mushrooms come in a variety. They include pearl (common), blue, king, phoenix, golden (yellow), and pink oyster mushrooms. 

Decide on the type of substrate you want to use. Choose a substrate that is easier to find. 

Straw is the most common substrate for oyster mushrooms. Sawdust, cardboard, and coffee grounds are also popular substrates. Agricultural byproducts like sugarcane bagasse, coco coir, and cotton waste also work well.

Beginners can enjoy wood pellets as they come already pasteurized. To hydrate them, you only need to add water.

Making your substrate is not always necessary. Instead, you can use ready-to-fruit oyster mushroom blocks. 

Step 2: Before I Start Growing, What Should I Prepare?

Make sure to have mushroom spawn, substrate material, and grow bags or containers on hand. An online search or an online store like eBay or Amazon can help you find mushroom spawn. 

Mushroom spawn is a substrate with mycelium already present. The spawn can also affect productivity. For instance, grain spawn has a higher yield than sawdust spawn.  

You can buy mushroom cultivation bags from the market. These bags have a unique design that promotes proper air exchange. They also keep out competing molds and bacteria. 

As an alternative, you can use a bucket. Large freezer or Ziploc bags with holes poked around them are also possible. 

Step 3: In What Way Can I Prepare The Mushroom Substrate?

Your goal here is to provide the mushrooms with a nutrient-rich substrate. You have to hydrate the substrate. It should be free of microorganisms that may compete with the mushroom mycelium. 

Oyster mushrooms do well in straw, cardboard, sawdust pellets, and coffee grounds. Creating a rich substrate for mushroom growth is convenient for them.

The most common substrate for oyster mushroom cultivation is straw. Compared to other substrate materials, straw is easy to find and inexpensive. It contains essential nutrients that oyster mushrooms need to thrive.  

Soak the straw in hot water (149-176 0F) for 1-2 hours or in a cold water high-PH lime bath for 12-18 hours to pasteurize it. 

The heat and pressure created during pellet production have already pasteurized sawdust pellets. For 30 minutes, soak pellets in equal weights of water. Then mix it to break up the dense pieces into hydrated sawdust. 

Coffee grounds are also a pre-pasteurized resource. Make sure you use fresh coffee grounds within 24 hours of brewing. Brewing has already pasteurized and hydrated them. 

After 24 hours, competing molds begin to develop. Coffee grounds are an ideal substrate for small amounts on their own. Mix in 20-50% of the straw if you prepare it in large quantities. 

Step 4: Is There Anything Special To Consider During Inoculation? 

The inoculation process involves adding mushroom spawn to the substrate. To help start the growth of the spawn, you have to contact the spawn with the substrate. 

Clean your hands, work surface, and mixing containers well before you start mixing. Ensure that the substrate contains the right amount of moisture. It should not be too dry or too wet. 

The proper hydration level depends on the substrate material. Straw, for example, should be moister than sawdust or coffee grounds. 

Is There A Simple Way To Check The Moisture Level? 

The substrate should bind into a ball when you squeeze it in your hand. You should be able to see a couple of drops of water. If more than this happens, you will need to dry out your substrate. 

It is too dry if the substrate does not hold together in your hands. Then add more water to hydrate it. Mix the substrate with the mushroom spawn in a large plastic box or barrel. Fill your growing vessels with substrate and close the top. 

Step 5: What Conditions Do I Need To Provide For Incubation?

Incubation is the time when you sit back, relax, and let the mycelium grow. In preparation for fruiting, the spawn will spread across the substrate. Learn how to grow oyster mushrooms at home in this video

Use any warm space (20-24 0C) in your house, such as a cupboard or boiler room. Dark areas are ideal for preventing early pinning. Humid and warm conditions in the bags allow the spawn to flourish. Once the bag turns a pure white color, fruiting will begin.

Step 6: Now Is The Time When Fruiting Is Ripe.

When the mycelium reaches total colonization of the substrate, it runs out of food. As a result, the mycelium becomes more eager to grow mushrooms for survival. Keep the substrate hydrated by spraying it with water twice a day.

Step 7: Mushroom Harvesting: When And How?

Harvest mushrooms when they stop growing, dry out, or drop a lot of white dust. Now the edges of the oyster mushrooms begin to flatten out or turn upwards. Either twist them off with your hands or cut the cluster off with a knife. 

How Long Does It Take To Grow Mushrooms?

Growing time depends on the mushroom type and substrate. It takes about 14 days for oyster mushrooms to grow in bags. Shiitake mushrooms will need about six months to flourish in logs. It will take between 8 and 12 weeks to grow on sawdust. 

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