Growing mushrooms indoors: From Psilocybe to shiitake, some things remain the same
There are many different methods that you can use for growing mushrooms indoors with hundreds of different species that can be cultivated. Sometimes it can become overwhelming and confusing with all the different material available on the internet. With this post we will break down the easy methods for growing mushrooms using a grow kit, toilet paper, or using straw. We will cover some basics that will apply to growing mushrooms indoors regardless of the method or species you choose. There are many little tweaks and specifics to be aware of for individual species but if you follow these basics you are bound to be successful as a beginner. These concepts lay the foundation to become a pro at indoor mushroom growing.
The process of indoor mushroom growing can be broken into these 7 different steps as discussed in this post. The most vital part regardless of the species or method is fruiting the mushroom. Typically the point of indoor mushroom cultivation is to produce large flushes of beautiful medicinal, spiritual, or edible mushrooms, so let’s go over indoor parameters for fruiting.
The most important parameters for growing mushrooms indoors
The big four:
- CO2-below 800 ppm, depending on species
- Humidity–above 80%
- Lighting—Enough to comfortably read a book
- Temperature–is ideally between 55 and 75 degrees depending on the species
Now if you are doing a small grow in your house, it is not necessary to measure these parameters. In fact, my favorite way to tell if these are in the right range is looking at the mushrooms. The mushrooms and how they are fruiting should really be the main factor that you watch to adjust environmental controls. If the substrate or pins are drying out or slightly browning you need to increase humidity. If the mushrooms have long stems and little caps, it’s likely that they either have to high CO2 or not enough light. If bacterial growth is proliferating, it is likely too hot for the mushroom to properly fruit. To create a really nice area for growing mushrooms indoors, place the fruiting substrate into a plastic bin, fish tank, or 18 gallon tote with the top on at a diagonal. Mist inside the bin twice a day and watch the mushrooms to see how they look. You may be able completely leave the top off, increasing CO2 and light levels, depending on the moisture content in your house
Growing mushrooms indoors using a grow kit
This is probably the easiest way to grow mushrooms indoors. All the substrate prep and inoculation has been complete. All you need to worry about is following the directions to get proper fruiting. This is a good video about using grow kits. If you are interested in getting a grow kit, you can buy them now here.
Growing mushrooms indoors: Prepping and inoculating substrate
If you are ready to go to the next step of indoor mushroom cultivation and preparing and inoculating your own substrate, you will first need to decide what species you want to grow and how you want to do it. If you are just starting, growing oysters on toilet paper is a very easy, fast way to begin. Toilet paper can be easily consumed by the mycelium and hard for other microorganisms to grow onto. By inoculating with oyster mushrooms the mycelium will inhabit the paper very quickly and be ready to fruit within three weeks. Yields are not amazing but this gives you a basic concept of how indoor mushroom cultivation works. If you want a little more support check out this blog on the process.
Growing mushrooms indoors on straw
Growing mushrooms on straw is a great step for many growers to grow on a higher-yielding, faster substrate that needs a little more preparation. This method of indoor mushroom growing becomes more economical to continuously cultivate mushrooms and produce a good yield that can be eaten or sold commercially. This is not the most effective way to commercially cultivate mushrooms but it can be a good starting point. This method is relatively straight forward.
- Treat the substrate using either heat or lime.
- Inoculate and pack the straw into plastic tubes that the mushrooms will fruit from.
- Wait three weeks and then place the mushrooms into proper fruiting conditions.
- harvest let the bags rest and then harvest again in about 3 weeks.To see way more detail on this check out our guidebook or this blog post about growing on straw.