Mushrooms are a delicious and creative way to add wholesome flavour to any dish and growing your own can be very beneficial and rewarding. Not only are homegrown mushrooms tastier, but they offer many potential health benefits
Did you know… Many types of mushrooms are used as herbal remedies to counteract common health problems. Some benefits include weight loss, immunity boosters, cognitive repair, and balanced gut flora.
So how do you grow mushrooms?
For first-time mushroom growers, we recommend using a kit. Due to the weather we experience in South-East Queensland, Mushroom Kits are only available between late March to early July.
Mushroom kits contain everything you need to get you started. Allowing for you to grow a variety of gourmet mushrooms for eating. They are becoming more popular and are a great way to get your kids involved with gardening.
Using a kit is quite straightforward. The substrate provided is already inoculated and incubated with mushroom spawn.
There are different types of growing kits so be sure to follow the instructions provided.
If you open the kit and the substrate is brown, then you need to reseal the box and keep it in the dark until the mycelium has colonized. If you open it and it is white or full of white threads, you know it is ready to go.
The two most common growing kits
With one of them, all you must do is open the kit and fold back the plastic lining. Add the casing provided over the compost, loosely, do not compact and mist/spray the substrate every day.
Within a few weeks, the mushrooms will be fully developed and ready to harvest.
Or the other, you simply cut a “cross” into the side of the packaging and through to the substrate bag, then spray/mist twice a day, until the mushrooms are ready to harvest.
All fungi have a growing cycle and to be successful, you must understand the basics of how it all works. Fungi reproduce by sending out spores, the spores attach to other compatible spores creating growth which is called mycelium.
As the mycelium develops it will grow tiny bumps (primordia) that look like pinheads these later form into the mushrooms we know.
- Stage 1 – mushroom spawn. – Is any substance mushroom spores have already attached themselves to. You can buy the spawn already stored within sawdust, grain, or agar
- Stage 2 – inoculation. – Is the process of adding the mushroom spawn to a growing medium
- Stage 3 – incubation. – This is the time which the mycelium will colonize in the growing medium
- Stage 4 – fruit. – Once the mycelium had colonized it will then develop primordia, which later grow into mushrooms
- Stage 5 – harvest. – Mushrooms have fully developed and are ready for harvest
Where to grow them
Mushrooms grow best out of sunlight. They can be grown in garden beds, compost heaps, on logs, and even indoors. Indoors proves to reap the best results because all elements can be controlled as opposed to outdoors where the weather can play a big role in the failure or success of your crop.
Mushrooms need rich, fertile soil, which is moisture-retaining and because of this grow best out of sunlight. While they can be grown in garden beds, compost heaps, on logs. Growing mushrooms indoors proves to reap the best results because all elements can be controlled, as opposed to outdoors where the weather can play a big role in the success of your crop.
Most popular mushrooms to grow at home
- Oyster mushroom.
- Button mushroom
- Portobello mushroom
- Shiitake mushroom
Growing mushrooms can prove to be a challenge for some, that’s why we find the mushroom kits are so popular. They cut the work in half by coming prepackaged with the difficult part already complete. Just follow the instruction provided with your kit and you will be reaping all the benefits of growing your very own mushrooms.