What are Portobello mushrooms?
You most likely have seen them listed on the menu of your favorite restaurant. These mushrooms offer an excellent nutritional value and are delicious. They are big enough for a low fat entrée. You can season them with anything from barbecue sauce on the grill to stuffing them with crab meat. Portobello mushrooms are simply a brown crimini mushroom in disguise. In fact it’s not until the little brown crimini mushroom grows to about 4” – 6” in diameter that it’s called a Portobello mushroom.
What do you need to grow them?
Growing this type of mushroom is much easier than you may think. You’ll enjoy having an endless supply of fresh mushrooms, for cooking your favorite recipes or for snacking. You’re first bite into a home grown Portobello mushrooms you’ll experience more flavor than the one’s you buy any grocery store.
Here are some of the materials that you’ll need to get started,
- Growing tray that is approximately 2 by 3 feet and 6 to 8 inches deep
- Well-rotted compost
- Dry Spawn flakes
- Peat Moss
- Spray bottle
- Non-chlorinated water
- Piece of wood or flat object
How to begin cultivation
There are two important aspects that you’ll need to be aware of when cultivating Portobello mushrooms – moisture and temperature. The temperature must be between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit at all times. You will need to mist it twice a day with a spray bottle filled with non-chlorinated water. Never pour water into the growing box this will ruin the soil and disrupt the growing process.
Step 1: Fill your growing tray with the well-rotted moist compost; be sure that it is not soggy.
Step 2: Now, put 1 1/2 cups of dry spawn flakes into the compost. You can put this into loose piles into the growing tray. And leave it overnight.
In the morning you can press it down with a piece of wood. At this time you’ll need the temperature to be between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 3: After about two to three weeks you’ll begin to see a white webbing grow on the surface. At this time you’ll put about a 1 ½ layer of moist peat moss over it. And cover the damp peat moss with a few layers of newspaper. You should evenly spray the layers of newspaper twice a day to keep moist. Do not lift the newspapers; you want the soil to be left alone for 10 days at 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 4: After 10 days you’ll remove the newspaper and continue to mist the soil twice daily.
You’ll begin to see white pinheads from the soil soon after, which are your Portobello mushrooms. Once they reach the desired size you can pick them and enjoy a delicious meal…
Or alternatively, often the best way to begin is to start with a ready made mushroom growing kit. These kits are very cheap, come with everything you need to get started, and generally will start producing mushrooms in as little as 3-4 weeks (depends on the variety).
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