Are you a gardener who is fed up with pests eating up all your home grown produce? If mushrooms are among your prized crops, here’s some handy advice on how to deal with the issue.
How to Grow Mushrooms Indoors
There are six easy steps for growing mushrooms indoors. In this article, we’ll give you a complete rundown of each step so that your growing process will be quick, efficient, and totally foolproof.
Step 1: Decide What Type of Mushroom You Want to Grow
There are three types of mushrooms that are generally among the easiest for you to grow indoors. These include Shiitake, Oyster, and White Button.
It is true that, in a pinch, you can grow all three species in straw or sawdust. If you use sawdust, it needs to come from untreated wood. It’s also obvious that the type of mushroom you choose to grow should be based on the type that you most like to snack on.
Step 2: Buy the Right Kind of Mushroom Spawn
The best kind of mushroom spawn to buy is the kind that is made of sawdust that has been specially saturated with mushroom mycelia. Mycelia is the root structure and is used much in the manner of plant seedlings in order to promote quick and healthy growth.
If you are new to this, you need to make sure to buy mushroom spawn rather than spores. Mushrooms can also be grown from spores but this is an activity that will take a great deal more time, patience, energy, and practice to perfect.
Step 3: Make Sure Your Substrate is Properly Sterilized
Your next step will be to make sure that the sawdust or straw that you are growing your mushrooms in is properly sterile. To do this, place your substrate in a bowl that is safe to microwave.
Add just enough water to make your straw or sawdust damp but don’t drown it. Heat it on high for 2 minutes or until the water has completely disappeared. The purpose of microwaving it is to make sure that any harmful germs that may be present are killed off before you add your spawn.
Step 4: Heat Up the Substrate in Order to Spread the Mycelia
Place a few handfuls of your substrate into a baking pan. Make sure it’s a shallow pan with a large surface area so that your mushrooms will have plenty of room to sprout and grow in. You definitely do not want to crowd them.
Use a sterilized utensil to mix your mushroom spawn into your substrate. Place the baking pan on a heating pad. Heat it up to 70 degrees F or 21 degrees C. If need be, you can simply place the pan in a warm area of your home, although this will obviously take a bit longer to do the job.
Leave the pan in a dark area of your home. A closet or kitchen cabinet will work perfectly for this purpose. Allow three weeks for the mycelia to spread evenly throughout your substrate.
Step 5: Make Sure Your Substrate is in the Correct Environment
After two weeks have elapsed, make sure that the mycelia has indeed spread evenly through your substrate. The substrate should be entirely covered with a substance that looks like a white fuzzy coating. It may take between two and four weeks for this permeation to become total.
If you find that your substrate is totally permeated, your next step should be to move the pan into an area that is dark and cool. The ideal temperature should be 55 F or 13 C. The best place to use for this purpose is your basement. If need be, you can also use an unheated kitchen drawer, cabinet, or closet.
If you should notice any unusual dark spots, particularly if they are green or brown, remove them and throw them away. This will be mold and you don’t want it there.
Cover your substrate with a few handfuls of potting soil and then spray it with water. Use only enough water to make the substrate damp. Don’t overdo it. If you are afraid of losing too much moisture, you can spread a damp towel over the pan.
It’s a good idea to put your pan next to a heat lamp set on low. This gives your mushrooms the impression that they are developing in natural sunlight. This is an excellent stimulant to healthy and speedy growth.
Make sure that your mix is kept both cool and moist. If need be, you can spray it with a few drops of water in order to keep it that way.
Mushrooms definitely prefer a cooler environment. This is usually just slightly below room temperature at about 70 degrees F or 21 degrees C.
Step 6: When They Are Grown, Harvest Them
Your mushrooms should be fully grown within a period of three weeks. At this point, they will be ready for you to harvest.
You’ll know they are ready when you see that the caps are fully separate from the stems. Use a knife to cut the them at the base of the stem and then pluck them up.
Make sure you clean your mushrooms before you eat them. You can store them in a paper bag in your refrigerator for up to a week.
Can Mushrooms Also Be Grown in Coffee Grounds?
They certainly can be, although the growing process is considerably different and a bit more detailed.
What Are the Most Profitable Mushrooms to Grow Indoors?
At the moment, the answer is White Oyster and Shiitake mushrooms, both of which are currently selling for $10 to $12 per pound retail or $6 a pound wholesale.