Can you grow your own mushrooms?

Yes, you can grow your own mushrooms. But mushrooms don’t grow in a regular vegetable garden. Mushrooms, in fact, like a dark and humid environment. So provide the right conditions and you can enjoy your homegrown mushrooms!

Do you like to eat mushrooms and want to grow them yourself? It is easier than many people think!

How to grow your own mushrooms?

Mushrooms grow well in dark humid areas, so even in your home, you can create a suitable growing area for growing your own mushrooms. Only a few things are needed to grow these delicious fungi.
Because actually, mushrooms are not vegetables, they fall under the heading “Potatoes, vegetables, fruits”. But of course, they are fungi, and they grow better in dark moist places.

There are several types of mushrooms, but the best known and most purchased type is the “white button mushroom”.

  • White button mushroom This most famous mushroom has a very recognizable taste, you can also eat this mushroom raw through for example a salad. This mushroom is very tasty in combination with meat dishes.
  • Chestnut mushroom This mushroom is very similar to the white mushroom but has a slightly more nutty flavor. You can eat this species raw as well, but they are great for grilling or in soup dishes.
  • Portabella The portabella is a mature version of the chestnut mushroom. So this mushroom also has a nutty flavor, but the size of the mushroom makes it ideal for stuffing and serving as a dish. A good meat substitute or for the barbecue.
  • Oyster mushroom The (gray) oyster mushroom has a somewhat sweet taste and is often used as a substitute for meat. In addition, they are often used in the sauce for fish and meat and dishes.
  • Shiitake This spicy slightly sharp mushroom is very suitable for stir-frying thanks to its structure. It is also delicious in salads and with meat dishes.

All these variations are of course great, but we start with the best known and in practice easiest to grow mushroom. The White Button Mushroom.

What should you look for when growing mushrooms?

There are a few things you need to pay attention to when you want to grow mushrooms yourself.

Most vegetables that you grow in the vegetable garden grow from seeds. Mushrooms are different because they grow from so-called “spores”.
When you mix these spores with the right soil, mycelium (also called “hyphae”) will start to grow. This is a white substance that looks like the roots of a mushroom.
The right soil to grow mushrooms in is a combination of Compost and Manure.
To make growing mushrooms a little easier, start with “Mushroom Spawn” which is a substrate that already contains the mycelium.

The proces of growing mushrooms yourself at home.
Grow mushrooms in a dark and cool environment

The growing process (growing cycle) of the mushroom

Before we look at how to grow mushrooms, it is important to understand how the growth process works for mushrooms.

With plants, we all know the seeds, from these seeds new plants grow. With mushrooms, this is called “Spores”. These spores are released by the mushroom, and when they fall to the ground the growth process of a new mushroom begins.

If you let the mushrooms continue to grow, they will turn brown, and then they are called “Cremini Mushrooms”. Grown even larger they become “Portobello Mushrooms”. Mushrooms have a beautiful cycle that we don’t want to keep from you.

It starts with the mushroom releasing spores that fall to the ground. These spores grow into hyphae.

These hyphae find each other and combine. This combination causes the growth of Mycelium.

The Mycelium grows into a Hyphal Knot, which is actually the beginning of a mushroom. As the Hyphal Knot grows, it will become a mushroom which, in time, will release its spores. This completes the cycle and you know the entire process of mushroom growth.

Growing your own mushrooms at home

How to grow mushrooms, step by step.

We provide a clear explanation so you can start growing your own mushrooms step by step.

Step 1 Prepare plant trays for the mushrooms

We start this process by preparing the plant trays. You can make these yourself or buy them ready-made from, for example, plastic or metal. Make sure the trays are about 6 centimeters (2.5 inches) deep, so the mushrooms and mycelium have enough room to grow. Mycelium grows in the ground. The plant trays should have a size of about 50 x 25 centimeters (20 x 10 inches), so you have enough space to grow a nice amount of mushrooms.

Step 2 Filling plant trays with spores

When the trays are ready it is time to start filling them. Use a mix of compost and manure, don’t fill the trays all the way to the rim because you want to keep about 1,5 centimeters (0,39 inches) of space under the rim of the tray so the mushrooms can grow in it well.

Once you have the soil mixture ready it’s time to add the spores. Make sure you work hygienically! You want to prevent other fungi from getting into the trays. For example, sterilize your tools before you start, and wash your hands thoroughly.

You can now add the mushroom spawn to the mixture in the plant trays.

Step 3 Mushrooms need a moist environment

In order to grow the best mushrooms, you have to make sure that the soil stays moist during the growing process. Moisten the soil 1 or 2 times a day with, for example, a plant sprayer so that you add a nice mist layer.

Step 4 Let the mushrooms grow

For the first 2.5 to 3 weeks it is important that the plant trays stay at about 20 degrees Celsius and do not exceed 21.5 degrees (70 degrees Fahrenheit), because the spores can die.
You can achieve this by keeping the trays inside the house, in many houses it is about 20 degrees Celsius which is perfect for the first time of mushroom growing.

Step 5 The mushrooms start growing now

On top of the tray a white layer of mycelium will appear (this layer looks a bit like a plant’s white roots). When the entire planting tray is covered with this mycelium it is time to move the trays to a cooler place.
The ideal temperature at which mushrooms will grow is about 12 to 15 degrees Celsius (55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

When you want to grow mushrooms in the summer you can achieve this, for example, by placing the trays in the crawl space of the house. But of course, you can grow mushrooms in the winter, but make sure that when you live in an area with cold winters that the soil in the trays doesn’t get too cold.

On top of the mixed soil in the tray, add a layer of potting soil over the mycelium.

Step 6 taking care of the mushrooms

Give the trays some water every day by misting them with, for example, a plant sprayer. Or place a damp towel over the trays to create a moist and cool environment.

After a few days, you will see that the mushrooms start to grow. Tiny white mushrooms will emerge above the ground.
Within three to four weeks, the mushrooms will grow into beautiful edible mushrooms.

You’ll know they’re ready to harvest when the cap detaches from the stem and becomes a wider bulb.
Use a sharp knife to harvest the mushrooms, do not pull the mushroom out of the ground as you will damage the surrounding soil and mushrooms.
Note when you harvest the mushrooms they have a limited shelf life (only a few days).

Freshly harvested mushrooms the way you like them.

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