Step-by-step Guide on How to Grow Mushrooms
Step-1: Determine the growing method
There are very many methods of growing mushrooms. Mushrooms can either be grown indoors, from a kit, from coffee grinds or on a log. The conditions for growing mushroom in either of these methods vary. In addition, most of these methods favor only certain mushroom species. Due to its popularity, we shall take a look at the indoor method.
Step-2: Decide what type of mushroom you wish to grow
There are many species of mushroom. However, there are only three that are the easiest to grow at home. These include the white button, the oyster and the Shiitakes. While the growing method for each of these species is similar, there is a considerable difference in the ideal growing medium. The oyster mushrooms grow best in straw while the Shiitakes variety does better on hardwood sawdust. On the other hand, button mushrooms do better in composted manure. One thing worth noting is that these different media reflect the different nutritional needs of these species. It is also worth pointing out that each of these species does considerably well in straw or sawdust. All in all, choosing the correct mushroom type to grow all boils down to individual tastes.
Step-3: Purchase a mushroom spawn
Mushroom spawn is simply sawdust permeated with mushroom mycelia or basically the root structure of the fungus. This is used much like plant seedlings so as to facilitate growth. There are many outlets where a high-quality mushroom spawn can be purchased. While most people prefer gardening supply stores and some specialty organic living stores, some favor online retailers. Whichever way you choose to go, always insist of buying spawn as opposed to spores. This is for the simple reason that spores are more similar to the plant seeds as opposed to the seedlings, and growing mushroom from them may take more time as well as require more expertise.
Step-4: Sterilize the growing-medium
Sterilization is especially necessary if you are growing your mushrooms in sawdust or straw. It should be done before inoculating the mediums with the spawn, and the aim is to kill any micro-organisms that could hamper the growth of the mushroom by competing with mycelium. A growing medium is sterilized by placing it in a microwave safe bowl and adding enough water to effectively dampen the sawdust or straw. The bowl is then placed in the microwave then heated up on high for 2 minutes or until the water has evaporated. To ensure that you properly sterilize all the straw or sawdust, it is advisable to work in batches.