Knowing how to grow mushroom species at home will help you produce more of your own delicious, local food
Learning how to grow mushroom species at home is a great opportunity for farmers, gardeners, and food enthusiasts alike.
Today we are going through four methods for growing mushrooms at home, both indoors and out.
How to grow mushroom species at home: Wine cap mushroom on hardwood chips
After buying wine cap sawdust spawn from us and you have acquired the hardwood wood chips to use as the substrate, then it is time to mix it all together.
The most opportune time to make a wine cap mushroom bed is at the beginning of the spring or in the fall, about 30-45 days before the first frost. If you end up making the bed in the summer, make sure that it does not dry out.
The best location for the bed is in partial sunlight or full shade. If you have plants in your garden that provide enough shade, you can cultivate the mushrooms there.
Begin making the bed by laying down cardboard and layering a couple of inches of woods on it. Then sprinkle your sawdust spawn onto the wood chips. Add another layer of wood chips, and then more spawn on top of it. Continue to do this until you have reached the desired size of the bed. Finish with a layer of cardboard on top, and wet the pile with a hose. Spray the bed everyday for a week or two.
The mushrooms should colonize and then start fruiting as soon as six months after making the bed. If you make your wine cap bed in the early spring, you can be harvesting tasty wine caps that following fall. Then you will have an established mushroom garden for years to come! (It’s also recommended that every year or two you add one or two inches of new wood chips to give the mushrooms more food.)
How to grow mushroom species at home: Shiitake
Shiitake totems are best made with large diameter logs. Typically oak, beech or sugar maple logs with a diameter greater than 8 inches can be used for this method. It is best to use shiitake sawdust spawn to spread onto the totems.
Starting with a 3 foot log, cut one part about 1.5 ft long, the second 1.3 ft long, and a third section about 2 inches long. Find a suitable place for cultivation, ideally somewhere that is shaded year round by conifer trees. The North side of houses and sheds can work as well.
Place a handful of shiitake sawdust spawn on the ground. Place the first 1.5 ft length of your log on top of the sawdust spawn. Then place another handful of shiitake sawdust spawn and put the second 1.3 ft log on top, securing it with 2-3 nails. Place another handful of sawdust spawn on top of the log and attach the 2 inch disk with 2-3 nails onto the log below. You have now made a mycelium sandwich! The mycelium grows up and down through the log sections and one year later begins to fruit. With the large diameter it takes the mushroom a while to eat through a totem so they can continue to fruit for over 10 years!
How to grow mushroom species at home: Oyster on straw
Blue oyster mushroom cultivation on straw can be broken into four parts: treatment of the straw, inoculation, incubation, and fruiting. Each step is crucial to the next and affects the overall yield. The step-by-step process of growing oyster mushrooms on straw is outlined below.
- Chop the straw: Chopping the straw ensures that the cell walls of the straw are broken, making it easier for the oyster mycelium to access the nutrients in the straw. Furthermore, chopping the straw makes the particle size smaller, allowing for a more compact substrate. A relatively small gap of 1-2 inches between pieces of straw is like the Grand Canyon for mycelium to grow over. It takes wasted energy and time for the mycelium to try and grow over these sorts of gaps. By chopping the straw and firmly packing the bags air pockets can be minimized and yield increased.
- Treat the straw: By treating the straw microorganisms are killed and competition for the available nutrients is limited. This helps best meet the needs of the grower.
- Inoculate the straw: Add spawn into the treated straw. This is the material used to introduce the mushroom mycelium to the new substrate. Plastic filter bags are often used to house the inoculated straw.
- Incubate the straw: Incubation should ideally occur at 75 degrees F for about three weeks, depending on the inoculation rate. Spawn bags should be placed with at least a palm distance between each other to limit overheating.
- Fruit the mushrooms: There are four parameters to be aware of when fruiting. They are light, humidity, temperature, and CO2 level. For most oyster mushrooms a well-lit room at 85-90% humidity, 65 degrees F, and CO2 below 800 PPM is ideal.
- Harvest the blue oyster mushrooms: Harvesting typically occurs about 5-10 days after the substrate is moved into fruiting conditions. Mushrooms should be harvested before the caps completely flatten out.
Using a colonized kit is the easiest method of how to grow mushroom species at home
We offer 10 pound mushroom growing kits that come colonized and ready to fruit. These kits can produce 3-5 pounds of fresh mushrooms and our kits are certified organic.
Take a look at our entire collection of mushroom growing kits here.