How to Grow Mushrooms at Home in 5 Steps

mushrooms

Plain and simple, mushrooms are delicious. We rely on this vegetable for so many of our favorite dishes, from topping burgers to being a key ingredient in chicken marsala. While many people choose to buy mushrooms from their local grocery store,  it is just as simple to grow them yourself. All you have to do is follow our steps below.

Supplies

– Mushroom spawn
– Straw, manure or hardwood sawdust
– Baking pan
– Heating pad
– Potting soil
– Spray Bottle
– Water
– Towel

What To Do

1. Select a mushroom variety to grow. Three of the easiest types of mushrooms to harvest at home are oyster, white button and shiitake mushrooms. Although it’s a relatively similar procedure to grow each of these, there are some differences. For starters, oysters grow best in straw, while shiitakes prefer hardwood sawdust, and white buttons like manure. Choosing which kind of mushroom to grow is a personal taste and you should pick one that you would most want to eat.

2. Buy mushroom spawn. For those who are unfamiliar with this term, mushroom spawn is essentially sawdust permeated with mushroom mycelia. It helps gardeners facilitate growth, making it a crucial supply when planting mushrooms. You can purchase mushroom spawn from your local nursery.

3. Heat up the straw, manure or hardwood sawdust. Place a couple handfuls of the growing medium into a baking pan. The pan’s large surface area will give your mushrooms plenty of room to grow. Thoroughly mix the spawn into it with your fingers. When you’re done with that, grab a heating pad and set it to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The baking pan should then be laid down on it, since this warm temperature will speed up growth.

4. Leave the growing material in a suitable environment. Cover the mixture you created with a small amount of potting soil. Spray it with some water so that it is damp all throughout. Place the growing material in a spot that is dark and cool for about three weeks. We recommend putting it in a basement, although a cabinet or drawer in an unheated room will work during the winter.

5. Pick off your mushrooms when they are fully grown. After three weeks, small mushrooms should start appearing. However, they are not ready to harvest until their caps separate completely from their stems. That’s when you can start plucking them off to eat. Remember, they must be rinsed off first.

 Photo credit: Thinkstock

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