Love mushrooms? What’s not to love? They are a “super food”, are super tasty and super versatile. They also can be super expensive. If you love to grow your own veggies and herbs for cooking for your family and friends, you are gonna love this. Learn how to grow mushrooms that you can cook with – safely, simply and in less time than you might have thought. You don’t need a lot of space, expensive supplies, or even sunlight! In fact, mushrooms grow in the dark. All you need is a couple of simple supplies (we tell you where to get them!) a cool, dark place (a closet or cabinet works!) and the desire to have up to six months supply of fresh mushrooms right at your fingertips. So whether you are a button, shiitake, portobello or oyster mushroom fan, you can be growing mushrooms at home in no time.
How to Grow Mushrooms
There are some pretty hardcore mushroom farmers out there that would have you believe growing mushrooms is a full time commitment, and you can go that route, if you want. But the truth is, there are a lot easier ways to learn how to grow mushrooms, right at home! Here is a quick primer for the “easy method”.
- Mushrooms need a cool, dark place to grow. A closet, basement or even under the kitchen sink can do! So first, scope out a growing site. Between 50-60 degrees is ideal. This makes growing mushrooms a great way to “garden” in the winter!
- Mushrooms grow from spores, but that can be complicated. Buy mushroom “spawn”. Mushroom spawn are spores that have already been placed on a growing medium perfect for the mushroom type you wish to grow.
- Next, determine the proper growing substrate for your specific mushroom spawn. For instance, button mushrooms prefer composted manure, and oyster mushroom prefer straw. A little Googling will get you the info you need. If you buy your own medium, make sure you sterilize it by placing it in a microwave for 2-3 minutes.
- You can make this even easier by purchasing a mushroom growing kit that is already matched with the proper medium. At the end of this post, find our recommendation for where to buy kits and supplies.
- Fill a seed flat with your growing medium, and sprinkle the spawn on top. Place a heating pad under the flat, and set it so that the soil stays at about 70 degrees for about 3 weeks. Mist thoroughly. Photo by ‘BHG‘.
- When the spawn begins to show white, thread like growth, remove the heating pad, cover the spawn with an inch of potting soil and mist with water until moist. Cover with a thin cloth to keep the surface wet, and mist daily.
- Most mushrooms should be ready to harvest in 3-4 weeks. When the cap (umbrella part of the mushroom) opens, cut them with a sharp knife. Do not pull them up, as the soil needs to stay intact so the spores can continue to produce mushrooms.
- Your mushroom garden should continue to produce every day for 4-6 months. After that, you can simply add more spawn or start over with a new flat.
Super easy, right? If you want to grow specialty mushrooms, here are some tips for the most popular types.
Growing Oyster Mushrooms
‘Mother Earth News‘ has a complete tutorial on how to grow oyster mushrooms in spent coffee grounds. They use a bucket or a glass jar, and have tons of great growing tips. Or learn how to grow them in a five gallon bucket, courtesy of Tony at ‘Fresh Cap‘.
How to Grow Shiitake Mushrooms
If you want to learn all the basics in how to grow shiitake mushrooms, check out another tutorial at ‘Fresh Cap‘. Shiitake’s are one of the more difficult varieties to grow indoors, so you can also grow them outside on hardwood logs or in sawdust. And of course, check out our supply list for kits.
Growing Portabello Mushrooms
Portabello mushrooms are pretty easy to grow indoors, and ‘Wikihow‘ has a great step by step tutorial. Remember, you can skip steps if you purchase a kit.
Mushroom Growing Kits & Supplies
So growing mushrooms indoors doesn’t have to involve building a whole mushroom farm. And it doesn’t have to mean sterilizing compost, or searching out the right sawdust. The easiest way to grow mushrooms? Buy a kit. Both Amazon and Etsy have kits and supplies you can buy, that have all the directions, and literally just need water and time. Here are a couple picks with great reviews.
Organic Mushroom Growing Kit from ‘Amazon‘.
Golden Oyster Mushroom Growing kit from ‘Amazon‘.
Shiitake Mushroom Growing Kit from ‘Etsy‘.
Learn how to grow mushrooms at home for the safest, best tasting super food for your everyday cooking! We think you will also love our posts on How to Grow Basil, Growing Seeds Indoors, and Top Garden Seed Catalogs. You might also enjoy Organic Foods : The Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15 over at OhMeOhMy!