Button mushrooms also known as white mushrooms or table mushroom are a very popular type of mushroom. They are delicious as they are healthy. They are commonly found inthe grasslandsof Europe and North America. Their scientific name is agaricus bisporus.Bisporus is cultivated in more than seventy countries, and is one of the most commonly and widely consumed mushrooms in the world. These mushrooms are both very delicious and healthy at the same time. One of the best features of these mushrooms is that they can be grown at home. If you know how to grow these mushrooms at home it can save you a lot of time and money. So here are a few easy steps to grow button mushrooms at your own home.
You can also check this article: Identification of Button Mushroom
Growing button mushroom using spawn kit
Buy the mushroom spawn or kit:
Mushroom spawn is the root structure of the mushroom. Without it mushrooms can’t grow. So you have to make sure you buy the right spawn. There are plenty of mushroom spawn retailers out there. You can also easily buy them online. Or you can also buy a mushroom kit if you want things to be easier. A mushroom kit often comes with growing mediums that’s already inoculated with mushroom spawn. A kit is a great way to grow your knowledge of mushroom growing.
Select your medium:
If you want to grow button mushroom you need to select the right medium where you can grow it. The best place to grow these mushrooms is on a deep tray that can be covered with the mushroom growing components like dung straw etc.
Sterilize the growing medium:
You need to sterilize the growing medium. This is done to kill any micro-organism that can compete with mycelia. To sterilize you can choose two options.
- Sterilization of casing soil: First step is to sterilize the casing soil. Soil is home of many micro organisms including competitor and parasitic moulds. To use it as a casing material it is essential to sterilize it in such a way that harmful micro-organisms get killed. Sterilization of casing material is done either by chemicals or heat. Sterilization may also bedone by passing steam from boiler into soilthrough perforated pipes. The temperature is raised to 60°C and maintained for 5 hours.
- Chemical sterilization: Soil is commonly sterilized by the application of 2% formalin (Formaldehyde). About 500 ml formalin is diluted with 10 liters of waterand used for 1 cubic meter of casing soil. But remember if you’re using less than 1 cubic meter of casing soil then you have to use less formalin and water, For example if you’re using half of a cubic meter of casing soil then you will need 250 ml formalin diluted with 5 liters of water. The casing material is spread over a plastic sheet and sprayed with formalin. The treated soil is piled up in a heap and covered with another plastic sheet for 48 hours. The soil is then uncovered and stirred frequently to remove the traces of formalin fumes. This casing material is fit for use on week after treatment, When it is free form smell of formalin.
Compost is one of the main components to growing button mushroom. But first you need to prepare it.
You will need these things:
- Compost from horse or cow dung.
- Plastic bag or other water-tight container.
- Casing soil.
Once you have these you have to follow these steps:
- You have to gather a good 800 kg of horse or cow dung and straw.
- Add 1 kg chalk (CaCO3) per 100 kg material.
- Then you need to spray water till it leaks out from the stacks.
- After that you have to turn the pile over after 6 days, then after 5, 4, 3 and 2 days consecutively.
- You need to make sure during this process that the compostis moist but not wet. And if somehow the water leaks out you have to add straw. If it’s feeling dry then you have to add water. If the climate condition is extreme you have to protect the plastic sheets.
- Once the compost is ready it will start to smell like bread.
The main target of this step is to get rid of unwanted insect pest, microbes and pathogens. In order to do this you need to put some water into the tray full of compost and put it in microwave until the water starts boiling. After that the other microbes will be killed and the compost will be ready to receive the mushroom mycelia. You might need to work in batches in order to pasteurize all of the compost. Remember the temperature shouldn’t be too high.
Spawning the compost:
After the compost is ready we have to add spawn into the mix. It’s important to note this may not be necessary if you’re using kit but it will be discussed later. But for now it is mainly without kit. First you have to add 1 portion of spawn (mycelium on rye) with each 15 kg of compost. Fill 30 cm of it on the tray or box or plastic bags. Gently press the surface and cover the plastic against drying.
After the steps above you’re almost done. You have to place the tray to proper room temperature. It takes 3 to 4 weeks at 15 to 25 degrees till the mushroom mycelium has completely taken over the substrate. After that cover it with 5 cm thick layer of casing soil. Which is made of, half soils without parasites, drawn from depth of at least 60 cm.half peat mixed with 10% ash or calcium carbonate. When protected by plastic the mycelium filaments will appear on top of the casing soil after 1 more week of incubation.
You need to loosen the casing soil by means of a fork place the tray in a humid environment. Light isn’t necessary. And keep the soil moist by regular watering. The mushrooms will appear as a series of growths called flushes. Every 1 to 2 weeks. The substratum will be exhausted after 5 or 6 such flushes.
Growing using a kit:
Button mushrooms can also be grown using a kit. It’s the easiest way to grow mushrooms. You can buy this kits from online. They usually come with plastic bags filled with sterilized and inoculated straw or soil. All you need to do is keep the bag in correct conditions and in just 7 or 10 days you’re very likely to get your own homegrown mushrooms. Here is a few things to note:
- These kits are pretty cheap all things considered. They usually cost 20 to 30 dollars.
- To start growing you need to open the bag, and place it in a sunny or bright location. Out of direct sunlight. Near a shade windows is a good place. The kit can be put on room temperature but it will need to be watered daily to keep the humidity high. Sometimes the kits come with plastic tents to cover the bag and maintain humidity level.
- After 7 or 10 days the mushrooms will start to come out. But you may also see some flushes in a few months period.
- One of the best ways to use the kit is after you finished using it you can place it outside under bark mulch or your compost pile and you may even start to see some mushrooms popping up. And that is very useful if you want to save budget. It also depends on the weather condition but if it happens you can enjoy some extra mushrooms.