Gardening Tips

How to grow mushrooms

How to grow mushrooms

The common mushroom, scientific name Agaricus bisporus, is a fungus (Kingdom Fungi) of the Agaricaceae family, very popular for its multiple culinary uses in all kinds of dishes. A few years ago it was quite common to go out to pick mushrooms, but today this activity is much more regulated, in addition to requiring in-depth knowledge of mycology.

Therefore, growing edible mushrooms at home is a very good option to have this precious culinary resource for very little money. In addition, it is an educational activity that can be very interesting for the little ones in the house. if you want to learn how to grow mushrooms at homejoin us in this EcologíaVerde article in which you will find a practical and easy guide to achieve it.

What do I need to grow mushrooms

before explaining how to grow mushroom at homewe must bear in mind that if we want to grow our own mushrooms, we will need the following materials:

  • A container or box of polystyrene that will act as a greenhouse.
  • A tall lid for the box.
  • boiled straw.
  • Compost.
  • Mulch or peat.
  • Mycelium in grain, which would be the “seeds” or mushroom spores. We recommend common mushroom or Portobello mushroom.

All this list of materials is prepared taking into account that we are going to assemble the greenhouse box ourselves. If we want to simplify the task, we can acquire a alpaca mushroom grow kitwhich are already prepared with the mycelium and the substrate for the mushroom, thus guaranteeing the first production and this can be extended up to a year.

How To Grow Mushrooms - What I Need To Grow Mushrooms

How to grow edible mushrooms at home

First of all, we must emphasize how important it is to have very clean and sterilized hands as well as all surfaces, containers and tools with which we are going to work to prepare our mushroom cultivation. We must bear in mind that we could inadvertently contribute, with our hands, sneezing or coughing nearby, harmful microorganisms for the development of the desired fungus. For grow mushrooms at home from scratch, follow these steps:

  1. Put the straw in a bucket along with the compost.
  2. Add a little water to moisten the material and mix it.
  3. If you usually drink coffee at home, it is a very good idea to save the coffee grounds to add them to the mixture at this time, since they are an excellent and very nutritious contribution to the fungus, which will make many more mushrooms grow.
  4. Once the mixture is well homogenized, transfer it to the polystyrene box. Don’t be afraid to fill it to the top, especially if the lid is high enough to allow the mushrooms to grow. Keep in mind that this mixture is what will be the food of the fungus and, the more substrate it has, the more mushrooms will come out.
  5. Sprinkle on the powdered mycelium, which is the mushroom itself.
  6. Cover the surface with between 1 cm and 2 cm of previously moistened peat or mulch, on which you will have to sprinkle a little more water spray to provide the necessary humidity for the growth of fungi.
  7. Leave the box covered at some point with a temperature between 22 ºC and 37 ºC protected from light.
  8. It is important to keep the box moist, always applying moisture in small amounts with a sprayer.
  9. After about 7 days, you should be able to distinguish the whitish hair from the overgrown mycelium. Then it is convenient to make an opening in the lid that lets in some light. Just make a hole and cover it with cling film.
  10. From now on it will be advisable to keep the box out of direct sunlight, but not in total darkness, and regularly spray water on the soil, but never on the mushrooms, to maintain a good humidity level of around 80%. In about 12 days you should see the first mushrooms grow, and in about 20 you should be able to harvest the first ones.
How To Grow Mushrooms - How To Grow Edible Mushrooms At Home

How to grow hydroponic mushrooms

Hydroponic cultivation is a technique that makes it possible to optimize the cultivation resources to a great extent, since all the nutrients are administered in the water itself in a nutrient solutionusually in constant circulation, from which plants or, in this case, fungi, take only what they need at any given time.

However, the hydroponic crops they require larger facilities than traditional crops on land or substrate, so their execution is more expensive and complicated, usually being relegated to the industrial field in one of its many variants. If you want to start growing at home, it’s best to start with simpler techniques. However, here we leave you a guide on How to make a homemade hydroponic crop.

Tips for growing mushrooms at home

Here are some basic tips and reminders of the most important points to follow:

  • wash your hands and sterilize all tools before preparing the box and mix.
  • Some say that mushrooms grow better in the dark, but some light will promote further development. Do not expose them to direct light but do not leave them in the dark either.
  • Apply the moisture spraying water on the lid if it perspires a little or directly on the ground but do not let it fall on the mushrooms themselves, which could rot.
  • Collect your mushrooms by ripping them carefully, without cutting themto avoid foci of putrefaction.

To learn more about this type of cultivation, we encourage you to read this other EcologíaVerde post on Growing mushrooms at home.

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