It can be a fun activity when you forage for mushrooms, especially if you’re getting a lot of luck at finding them.
However, if you’re not so fortunate in your foraging activity, you may end up feeling frustrated. The truth about getting mushrooms is that you don’t get any guarantees if you’ll find what you’re looking for.
You can also choose to buy your mushrooms because it’s easier to go to the grocery store, right? The downside of this is you have no way of finding out where the mushrooms came from.
So, if you want to have access to mushrooms anytime, you can grow them. That way, you know exactly how they were grown. Don’t worry, it is so easy to grow mushrooms.
When it comes to growing mushrooms, you get to have control of the varieties that you want to produce as well as the conditions of their environment. You no longer have to go to the woods so you can get mushrooms because they’re easily accessible in your backyard.
Another great thing about growing mushrooms is that you don’t have to guess the varieties anymore. You’ll know what type of mushroom it is because you grew them yourself. So, now that you know some of the benefits of growing mushrooms, let’s take a look at the steps you need to take.
What Type of Mushroom Should You Grow?
The mushroom type that you should grow would have to depend on your preference, of course. For example, what varieties do you like to eat the most? You may choose to cultivate Wine Cap, Reishi, Shiitake, and Lion’s Mane mushrooms.
But if you’re a beginner, it’s best to start planting Oyster mushrooms. The reason for this is that this type of mushroom is among the easiest to grow. You can learn a lot from cultivating Oyster mushrooms. When you’re more familiar with the process, then you can try growing other varieties.
How do You Obtain a Mushroom Spawn?
So, now that you know the mushroom type to cultivate, the next step is obtaining the spawn. There are several ways that you can do this. Perhaps the easiest way is to buy mushroom spawns from a local retailer. You can also go online and check on plant stores that are selling mushrooms spawns. As a beginner, it’s best to begin growing mushrooms this way.
When you are experts at cultivating mushrooms, you may then choose to grow your oyster mushroom spawns, which start from spores. You have to know upfront that the process of doing this can be challenging. You would have to take a spore print from a mushroom. It may be tedious, but this is also the best way to learn how to grow mushroom spawns.
How about Choosing a Substrate?
When you already have your mushroom spawn, the next step is to choose the substrate where you can grow it. The substrate is the material where you will grow the mushrooms. Choosing the material depends on the mushroom type that you want to cultivate.
As for the Oyster mushroom, you can use any material for it. Some mushroom growers have cultivated them on paper bags, corn cobs, wood shavings, wooden pellets, and cardboards. Regardless of the chosen substrate, an important step is to treat it first before you begin your cultivation. You can treat it through cold fermentation, lime baths, or stovetop pasteurization.
How to Plant the Mushroom Spawn?
When you have already treated the substrate, then you can grow the mushrooms. The technical term for this is inoculating the mushroom spawn. This process is a complex one that involves using a heated syringe so you can implant the mushroom spawn into your chosen substrate.
Nevertheless, don’t worry about that for now. Since you’re cultivating Oyster mushrooms, it will be a much easier process. First, moisten the substrate enough so that the spawn spread out on the surface where you want them to grow. Then, you can incubate your substrate until the container bag you’ve put it in has turned to white.
When to Harvest the Mushrooms?
When the mushrooms are ready to be harvested, cut an opening in the incubating bag so that air can go in, place it somewhere that has indirect light. The Oyster mushrooms thrive at temperatures between 50 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
After a week, the mushrooms you’ve cultivated will be ready for harvest. Once the caps of these Oyster mushrooms are flattened out, you’ll know you can already harvest them. You can now enjoy your homegrown mushrooms!
As you can see, it’s not that complicated to grow your mushrooms. Yes, it can be quite challenging, but it’s also rewarding.