Growing mushrooms is reasonably simple and provides tasty rewards, as well as a sense of achievement. If you have children, growing mushrooms together is a fun project that provides lots of exciting and engaging family time, and helps children enjoy the natural world. With several growing options to choose from, gaining an understanding of the most popular methods enables you to choose the one that best suits your space and preference.
Buying Mushroom Spores
With so many different types of mushrooms to choose from, consider the appearance, the taste, and the ease of growing to make the right selection when buying mushroom spores. Oyster mushrooms have a subtle flavour and are very easy to grow, particularly in straw. Shiitake mushrooms have a host of health benefits, are popular in Asian dishes, and are easy to grow on logs. Lion's Mane mushrooms grow easily on logs and are popular because when you cook them in butter, they give a distinctive lobster-like taste. They are also a popular ingredient in Chinese medicine.
Supplies You Need for Growing Mushrooms on Straw
Growing mushrooms on straw requires you to thoroughly clean all surfaces to prevent bad fungi from growing. Pasteurize the straw after cutting it into 9-cm lengths. To pasteurize, heat the straw to 75 degrees Celsius for 40 to 45 minutes in a large pan with water. Let the straw cool to room temperature, as putting mushroom spores in straw hotter than room temperature kills the spores. Place the straw in robust plastic bags. Pack it in firmly, then put three to four pieces of dowel rod covered with mushroom spores into the back and distribute them evenly. Sterilise a nail or a skewer and pierce the bag in multiple places. The straw needs to stay damp to facilitate mushroom growth. Place the bag in a dark place with a constant temperature of between 15 and 20 degrees Celsius. Within two weeks, mycelium appears. The mushrooms should appear out of the mycelium after roughly five weeks. At this point, use a sterilised knife blade and cut larger holes in the bag through which the mushrooms grow.
Supplies You Need for Growing Mushrooms on Logs
For the best results, use a hardwood log, such as oak. Many types of softwood have fungicidal properties in the resin or sap, so mushrooms do not grow on them. Use a log no older than three weeks for the highest yield. Drill holes to about 3 centimetres deep all the way along the log, and then tap the spore-covered dowels into the holes so that they are flush. Place the logs in a shaded woody area or wrap them in black plastic and bury them. It takes anywhere between six and eight months to grow mushrooms ready to harvest.