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A Step by Step Guide to Mushroom Growing
Mushroom growing is very easy if you know exactly what you’re doing, and it’s not difficult to learn the different steps involved in the process. Now, the basics of preparing growth medium and containers has been covered elsewhere, but the actual basics of how to plant and care for mushrooms will be covered in detail in the course of this article.
You will most likely buy mushroom spores or spawn when you first learn to grow mushrooms, and before you learn to harvest the spores from mushroom caps for yourself. Now, there are two types of this spawn available. It is available in flakes, but it is also available in bricks as well. How you plant the spores or spawn depends on what sort that you buy. I would suggest, if you’re thinking of planting mushrooms regularly, that you buy and plant both types, and see what works better for you.
If you buy and plant both types, there are very different methods of planting them. The bricks need to be broken into chunks, each about one inch in diameter. These chunks are put into the growing medium, spaced about half a food from each other. You need to make holes about an inch or two deep before you put these chunks in. Flakes are mixed right into the growth medium. Take about a quart of these flakes and spread them over fifteen square feet, and continue until you have the growth medium evenly covered. You need to mix these into the growth medium while doing this.
Make sure that the flakes are not visible on the surface of the growth medium. Whether you use chunks or flakes, the next steps to mushroom growing are the same. You spray a mist of water on to the mixture regularly, and keep it in the dark. Soon the mushroom spawn will begin to put out mycelia, which are the fungal version of roots. Once these are out, the mushrooms will really start to grow. As a matter of fact, in time you will see an intricate web of these pale white mycelia form.
Slightly increasing the temperature to about sixty five degrees
Fahrenheit in this time will encourage growth. Remember to water daily.
In a few weeks you should be able to see the mushrooms. You should not
water in the period between when the mushrooms appear and the harvest.
You can harvest mushrooms when they are either very small, or when they
mature. Just use a sharp knife to harvest each mature mushroom, and
there’ll soon be another mushroom growing in its place.
If you have some spare area in an outhouse or even in your cellar or garage, you can utilize it for mushroom growing, which are tasty, nutritious and a great source of organic protein. Remember that food that you grow yourself will always be guaranteed to be free of harmful fertilizers and pesticides, as well as of all the subtle array of bio-chemicals that commercial food providing companies today use to maximize yields. If you’re at all conscious of the food you eat, and if you want it to be healthful, then you could do worse than growing your own food.
Growing your own food ensures that not only will the food be healthful, but also that you can maximize yields by providing the best possible growth environment for the food you’re growing. This is especially true with mushrooms. If you go in for mushroom growing and get the growth environment right, you can have enormous yields. Of course you can go in for commercial growth medium, but these things are best created yourself. And it’s not difficult. So if you want to get started growing mushrooms, what would you need?
Well, first of all, to best use the space you have available, I would suggest that you get yourself some shelving. This can also be made oneself. Then you need a large number of flat trays in which you will actually plant the mushrooms. Of course the length and breadth of these trays will be based upon the space you have available, and the size of tray that will best make use of that space, but as a general rule, don’t purchase any tray that might potentially be too hard to lift. The trays should also as a general rule not be any deeper than four inches. See if you can get a good deal on a larger number of trays at your usual gardening store – trays like these are often used for seedlings.
Once you have your trays, fill them with growth mixture and add in
mushroom spore or spawn flakes, which are easily available in gardening
stores, or on the internet. Water the mixture carefully, and the
mushrooms will start putting out their mycelia, which is a sort of
fungal root. Once this happens, keep watering at least twice a day,
preferably with a mist-spray, until the young mushrooms start to appear.
Once you reach this point, you need to stop watering while the
mushrooms mature. Once they reach the size that you need, you can
harvest them. This is all you need to know to go in for mushroom
Tips and tricks that can help you towards successful mushroom growing
How you go about mushroom growing can directly impact how successful (or not) you are at growing them, of course. If you go into this without sufficient information, you may end up with a lot of wasted effort. On the other hand, if you do a little research (something that’s so easy to do with the internet as available as it is) you can easily make it a vast success. Because the simple fact of the matter is that it’s extremely easy to grow mushrooms. You just have to do things right. To start with, it’s best not to use mushroom spores directly.
While it’s possible to buy mushroom spores, these spores are actually so tiny that they’re microscopic. This means that they can be quite difficult to handle, at least until you get used to things. You can also harvest spores from mature mushrooms, simply by cutting the cap off and placing it on a large sheet of paper or on a sheet of glass. However, I would advise against using spores, not only because they are inconvenient to handle (a single breath of wind will scatter them all over the house or yard), but also because they’re vulnerable to contamination, and if they contaminated with spores from wild, poisonous mushrooms, the consequences could be disastrous.
Preventing contamination is also the reason why it is recommended that you always go in for mushroom growing indoors. Indoor growing greatly reduces the chances that a few wild spores might come to rest in your mushroom beds, and grow up among your safe mushrooms. If the mushrooms that grow from the wild spores turn out to be poisonous, it could cause serious problems for anyone who eats them. And that’s just one reason why you shouldn’t grow mushrooms outdoors.
Another reason is that the growth medium is so rich that a lot of germs and unhealthy algae and fungi can start to grow in it if it’s left in an open environment. In a closed environment, things are more controlled, and this means that your mushrooms can be relied upon to not only not be poisonous, but also not to carry any disease producing pathogens. Of course, you will wash the mushrooms before cooking them, but considering the growth medium that mushrooms grow in, it’s better to be safe than sorry. These are just a few tips that you can use to help you with your mushroom growing.