Mushrooms in the garden
Knowing how to identify mushrooms is interesting knowledge to have. This awareness of fungi fundamentals can enable you to begin growing your own abundance of mushrooms in your garden at home – leaving those wonderful wild mushrooms to stay free and uncultivated.
Different mushrooms grow in particular settings. As such, be sure to find out what kind of medium you will need for the species of spores that you have purchased.
The most popular choices of mushrooms are Shiitake mushrooms, Oyster mushrooms and White Button mushrooms. To grow them yourself, you first need to buy a selection spores, or even spawn – these are quite easy to find online. Spores are like seeds for mushrooms, while spawn are like the seedlings, so either can be used. However, for home growing, spawn is much easier to use.
As we said before, different mushrooms grow in different mediums.
Shiitake mushrooms usually grow on hardwood or hardwood sawdust, while Oyster mushrooms prefer an environment of straw and Button mushrooms grow from the nutrients of composted manure.
Be sure to find out what kind of medium you will need for the particular species of spores or spawn which you have purchased. In general, mushrooms like a cool, dark and damp place to grow in. If you have a basement or wine cellar, this is the perfect place for mushroom growing, otherwise, it is also fine to use an old unused cupboard or trunk. As long as you can control the temperature, humidity and keep the area in relative darkness, your mushrooms will thrive.
Once you have chosen the mushrooms you want, and have collected their correct growing medium, there are basic steps for growing the mushrooms that remain, in most instances, the same.
Place the growing medium in a pan and raise the temperature to about 21 degrees Celsius in the area you have chosen to cultivate your fungi friends. One can easily use a heating pad to achieve this.
After about an hour, the medium should have warmed up nicely, and you can then place the spawn on it. About three weeks should pass when the spawn will have rooted, which means the filaments would have spread into the growing medium. At this stage, you need to reduce the temperature to around 15 degrees Celsius.
Cover the spawn with two to three centimetres of potting soil, and then cover the pan and potting soil with a damp cloth. It’s important to keep spraying the cloth, as well as the soil as they dry, to keep both moist.
It should take about three to four weeks before you see the little mushrooms appearing. Shiitake mushrooms take a little longer and will be ready in about seven to eight weeks. They will be ready to pick once the cap has fully opened and has fully separated from the stem.
Fungi make an exciting and wonderful addition to any garden. Once you have mastered the art of growing mushrooms, you will have a lot to go around, and the next fun step will be finding new and exciting ways of preparing your home-grown mushrooms. Happy mushroom farming!