Mushrooms do not need oxygen to grow. Mushrooms do ‘breathe’ and exchange gases directly with the atmosphere, but not oxygen.
High humidity causes the fungus to suffocate by disrupting the gas exchange balance.
How Do Mushrooms Breathe?
Mushrooms spend most of their growth phase away from sunlight and other living organisms. However, although mushrooms live underground, they have to breathe like other living things.
They breathe via naturally formed pores on the soil. While the soil is made up of minerals, water, and roots, air holes are located between all these elements and support this exchange.
Natural gases in the air allow mushrooms to take what they need from the soil, just as plants absorb the gases they need from the atmosphere when they are above ground.
If you grab a mushroom and pluck it from its base, you will see a large filamentous root emerge from its substrate. These filamentous root fibers are called hyphae, they support gas exchange with the soil, rather than gases in the atmosphere, through microscopic holes in plant roots.
Do Mushrooms Need Air?
Mushrooms do not need fresh air as much as we humans do. Mushrooms complete their development with the gas exchange they receive from the atmosphere. If there was a way for the mushrooms to complete this gas exchange without air, they would still thrive.
If this exchange is not done completely, the mushrooms will be skinny, stunted, and frail, and their caps and stems will not be fully developed.
Do Mushrooms Need Light to Grow?
Mushrooms do not have chlorophyll, this eliminates their need for light and photosynthesis. Mushrooms can produce fruit in dim light and complete darkness, but some sunlight is beneficial to their health because sunlight helps to keep the ambient temperature that mushrooms need.
If you are an indoor grower, it will be sufficient to use sodium light or fluorescent light as a substitute for sunlight.
Do Fungi Need Moisture To Grow?
Moisture is the most important factor in the growth of mushrooms. The more moisture there is, the faster your mushrooms will grow.
Mushrooms located in places with high humidity contain a larger mushroom population than places with low humidity.
Mushrooms tend to spread more in moist areas, the regions where there is no dry heat and plenty of rain are the best places for fungi and favorite hunting spots for mushroom collectors.
Mushrooms generally prefer shaded places with little sunlight, with high humidity, and moist, warm, nutritious soil.
Do Mushrooms Need Oxygen or CO2 to grow?
Fungi release carbon dioxide (CO2) into the air due to gas exchange between them and the atmosphere.
During the incubation period, the mycelium, namely the roots, can tolerate high CO2 levels, while the release of carbon dioxide is very important.
Mushrooms do not need oxygen to grow, however, some oxygen is beneficial to their health. They use oxygen to rid themselves of bacteria that thrive in oxygen-free environments. So while they don’t need oxygen to grow it can help.
What Conditions Are Needed For Mushrooms to Grow?
A suitable climate is one of the most important conditions for the cultivation of mushrooms. Mushrooms tend not to grow in very hot and very cold seasons.
Very hot weather is especially bad for mushrooms, it causes them to dry up and shrivel, while cold weather can cause them to freeze and die. So a cool, tepid season like spring is the perfect time for fungi to grow.
Moisture is one of the most important factors for the growth of mushrooms. Humid areas are indispensable habitats for fungi.
The higher the humidity, and moisture in the soil the faster the growth of mushrooms. Therefore, moisture is an indispensable factor for fungi.
Although fungi do not need much light, a few hours of sunlight a day has a positive impact on their development. Sunlight taken at certain intervals of the day allows the mushrooms to grow larger and mature faster.
However, growth abnormalities can be observed in mushrooms that receive more daylight than necessary.
Mushrooms spread on dead plants and trees and feed off the minerals. Dried or burnt wood chips and sawdust simulate these conditions and are necessary food sources for fungi.
What Season Do Mushrooms Grow in?
Mushrooms generally prefer cool seasons to grow. The most favorable months for the growth of a fungus are the first months of spring, April-May.
This is because the cold weather is slowly ending and the earth is waking up with new life abundant. With the awakening of nature, fungi begin to grow with the changing temperature and feed off the plants and animals that died during winter.
At the same time, it is possible to see the mushroom groups in the mountainous regions next to the melting snow waters. The high humidity and col air in these seasons are necessary for the reproduction and growth of mushrooms.
Do Mushrooms Need Air, Food, and Water?
Since mushrooms are not plants, they cannot produce their own food. However, like every living thing, fungi do need air, water, and food to grow and develop.
Mushrooms meet their nutritional needs from dead trees and plants. At the same time, rain and moisture play a major role in the development of mushrooms.
How Much Water Do Mushrooms Need?
Mushrooms are 90% water. Therefore, if you are an indoor producer, it is sufficient to water your mushrooms twice a day.
Also, ensure that you have an Irrigation system in place so your mushrooms do not become waterlogged, this will help balance and accelerate the development of your fungus.
If you have time during the day, check the soil frequently and moisten it if it feels dry to the touch.
Do Mushrooms Need Fertilizer?
Mushrooms need a cool, shaded, and moist environment to grow, and as much nutrition as possible.
Store-bought chemical fertilizers are not recommended for mushrooms, instead, use a compost mix of manure and add the appropriate nitrogen compound to trigger the growth of your fungi.
Is Compost Good For Mushrooms?
The use of compost for the growth of mushrooms is optional but great for their health. Compost contributes positively to the growth of mushrooms in addition to organic fertilizer, burnt wood particles, and sawdust dust.
Hi, I’m John Stephens, chief editor and writer for Totalgardener.com. I’ve been gardening and raising animals for over 15 years starting with a small backyard plot in Northern Virginia where I grew corn, potatoes, squash, and using a high mulch technique called the Ruth Stout Method. I also raised ducks and small mammals for meat and eggs in a movable pen similar to the ones used by Joel Salatin. I later moved to Colorado where I experimented with growing greens using aquaponics inside. I eventually added a microgreens setup and home sprouting operation. I’m excited to share everything I’ve learned plus more from the other local gardening and animal raising experts I know.