The process of how to grow mushrooms indoors is something that a lot of homeowners are interested in learning. Mushrooms are a healthy addition to every meal. They are rich in fiber but low in calories and fat. Moreover, they contain high amount of selenium and potassium.
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It is best to grow mushrooms indoors because the light and temperature conditions can be easily managed. Growing them outdoors takes much longer.
Growing mushrooms indoors is all about managing their growing conditions more carefully. You need to establish the right growing conditions for the plant. You also need to purchase a mushroom spawn to start with. This is a material used to propagate mushrooms indoors.
Decide on the Type of Mushroom You Want To Grow
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When it comes to the process of how to grow mushrooms, the first step is to decide on the type of mushrooms to grow. There are three common types of mushrooms that are easy to grow indoors. You can choose from the Shitake, white mushrooms and oyster mushrooms. Growing each mushroom is pretty much the same. However, they differ on the ideal growing substrate.
The oyster mushrooms can grow best in a straw or coffee grounds. On the other hand, Shitakes can grow best on hardwood sawdust. Moreover, button mushrooms can best be grown in composted manure. Aside from the growing substrates, each mushroom have varying nutritional needs. You can also grow all three mushroom species easily in straw or sawdust.
Choosing the type of mushroom to grow is just a matter of your own taste. Go for something that you want to include in the dishes that you prepare.
Also Read: How to grow Cauliflowers from Seeds in Pots
Purchase Mushroom Spawn
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First of all, purchase your mushroom spawn. The mushroom spawn is a type of sawdust that’s permeated with mushroom mycelia, which is the root structure of fungus. On the other hand, the spawn is like plant seedlings that facilitates growth.
You can acquire high quality mushroom spawn from garden supplies store. Or better yet, look for online retailers that sell mushroom spawns. You can also check out those organic store and all natural stores.
Make sure to purchase spawn instead of spores. There are retailers that will also sell spores that are more akin to plant seeds instead of seedlings. Growing mushrooms from the spores will require more time and effort. This is why it is only best suited for seasoned mushroom growers.
Sterilize the Growing Substrate
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Whether you’re growing mushrooms at home in sawdust or straw, it is best to sterilize the mediums before you inoculate it with the spawn. Basically, this involves killing any micro-organisms that may compete with the mycelia.
Use a microwave to sterilize the substrate. Place it in a microwave safe container then pour enough water. You will then have a sawdust or straw damp. Next, place the container inside a microwave and heat it on high flame, up to two minutes or until the water boils off. This process kills any micro organisms and will make it safe for the substrate to receive the mycelia. You may need to do this in batches so you will be able to sterilize all of the sawdust or straw.
Heat the Substrate
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Next, heat the substrate so the mycelia will spread. Spread the mycelia thoroughly into the substrate before the mushrooms are produced. A warm temperature can help to encourage the growth.
After you choose the substrate that is well suited to the mushroom you have chosen, place a few of them into a pan. You can use a shallow pan that has a large surface and can provide for the most room for your growing mushrooms.
Add the spawn into a substrate using a sterilized utensil. Afterwards, place the baking pan in a heating pad. Set the pad to 21 degree Celsius as this is the ideal temperature for growth.
You can also place the pan in any warm area in your house. Choose a dark environment, such as in your cabinet. Leave it there for three weeks. This should be enough time for the mycelia to permeate into the substrate.
Place the Substrate into an Appropriate Environment
After about two weeks, check the substrate. See if it has been colonized fully. When growing mushrooms at home, it is important that the substrate is covered with a white fuzzy. This should happen between two to four weeks. Move the pan into a dark and cool environment if the substrate is already colonized. You may also consider placing the substrate at the basement. During winter, you can place it in a drawer or cabinet of an unheated room.
If you will notice any dark spots, take them off from your substrate and throw away. These spots are usually brown or green, similar to what you see on a moldy bread. Cover the substrate with potting soil. Next, spray the entire mixture with water enough to dampen them thoroughly. Cover the pan with damp towel in order to prevent the loss of moisture.
You may also place a low heat lamp beside the pan. This is done in order to simulate the sun and help in successfully growing mushrooms at home. You should keep the mix cool and moist as it grows. To ensure success in growing mushrooms, check regularly and spray with water if needed.
You should make sure to place the mushrooms in a cool environment because this is what they love. The key to grow your own mushrooms is to not let them get very hot. If the temperature is less than 21 degree Celsius, then it should be able to grow just fine.
Harvest the Mushrooms When They Are Fully Grown
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After about three weeks, you will be seeing small mushrooms appearing. You should continue to maintain a moist, dark and cool environment in order to encourage more growth. Moreover, once the mushroom caps will separate from the stems, then they are now ready for harvest.
You may pluck the mushrooms with the use of your fingers. However, you will risk damaging the newly developed fungi below the surface. Use a sharp knife instead when it comes to cutting the mushrooms from the base of the stem.
For your safety, rinse the mushrooms before you cook or eat them. You can store all your harvested mushrooms in a paper bag. Afterwards, place the bag inside a refrigerator and cook or consume them after a week.
Also Read: How to grow Bell Peppers Indoors from Seeds
More Tips On How to Grow Mushrooms
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When looking for a location to grow your own mushrooms, check the temperature of the area. Most mushrooms can grow best in areas with temperature between 55 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Moreover, you should choose a location that is far from drying, drafts and direct heat. Growing mushrooms in the basement is a good idea. However, since it gets too warm in summer, consider growing mushrooms during winter.
You can choose to buy mushroom kits for growing mushrooms. Buying the kit is a great way to start with your knowledge in growing mushrooms at home. You can start without a kit, but make sure that you know the substrate that’s appropriate to the type of mushrooms you will grow.
If you’re someone who loves mushrooms, then you should familiarize yourself with these steps on how to grow mushrooms.