How to Grow White Button Mushrooms - Mushrooms 101
How to Grow Portobello Mushrooms - Mushrooms 101
How to Grow Oyster Mushrooms - Mushrooms 101
How to Grow Morel Mushrooms - Mushrooms 101
How to Grow Enoki Mushrooms - Mushrooms 101
How to Dry Mushrooms - Mushrooms 101
1.) Consider buying a kit if it's your first time growing mushrooms. Mushroom kits normally have all of the materials that you need for planting and growing mushrooms, and are great for beginners. They usually contain manure, substrate, trays, and a spray bottle for watering the mushrooms.
2.) Buy large trays for growing the mushrooms. Select trays that are about 14 by 16 inches (36 by 41 cm) and at least 6 inches (15 cm) deep. To start out, only plant in one tray, which will continue to produce mushrooms for 3-6 months.
3.) Make a mixture of equal parts compost and manure. Button mushrooms require a growing environment that contains a lot of nitrogen. Use your own compost and purchase manure, like horse or cow manure, at the store, or buy both if you don't have a compost pile.
4.) Fill the trays with 6 in (15 cm) of the growing mix. Pour the mixture into the trays carefully, leaving at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) of space at the top of the tray. Make sure the soil is level and is spread evenly across the tray.
5.) Purchase ready-made spores online or at a nursery. To easily grow mushrooms, purchase spores that have already been “inoculated” or mixed in with a substrate, like dirt, hay, or sawdust. Button mushrooms are very common and available through online retailers, and can even be found in local nurseries.
6.) Spread the spores on top of the compost and mist with water. Since the spawn is pre-treated, you can apply it directly on top of the compost mixture. Try to make an even layer across the substrate so the mushrooms will grow in all parts of the soil.
7.) Place the tray on a heating pad to raise the temperature to 70 °F (21 °C). Set the tray directly on top of a pre-heated pad that plugs into a wall and has a temperature control dial. Place a thermometer in the soil to monitor the temperature as it rises.
8.) Move the tray to a dark room, and spray with water 2 times per day. The mushrooms will grow best in a dark place, like a root cellar, basement, garage, or even a closet. Throughout the day, check the temperature and moisture of the soil to make sure it isn't to warm or dry. Spray the soil with water thoroughly 2 times per day.
9.) Lower the heat to 50 °F (10 °C) once tiny, thread-like roots form. After 3-4 weeks, the top of the soil will be covered in tiny, white roots, called “mycelium.” When the soil is completely covered, lower the temperature to encourage growth of the first mushrooms.
10.) Cover the mycelium with 1 in (2.5 cm) of potting soil. As the temperature falls, spread a layer of regular potting soil over the newly formed roots. This layer will protect the delicate mycelium and provide nutrients for the new mushrooms as they grow.
11.) Water the soil daily and cover the tray with a damp cloth. In order for mushrooms to grow, the environment has to be constantly moist. In addition to spraying the soil with water, drape a damp cloth over the tray to release water into the soil throughout the day.
12.) Wait 3-4 weeks for mushrooms to sprout from the soil. About a month after spreading the potting soil, the first mushrooms should sprout from the soil. Allow them to reach full maturity before harvesting them to eat.
13.) Harvest the mushrooms when the caps open. When mushrooms are mature, the cap will pop open. Use a sharp knife to slice through the stem, just below where the cap meets the stem. Some gardeners choose to twist off the caps to avoid cutting the stem.
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1.) Build a tray frame out of scrap wood. Pick up some scrap wood from a lumber yard or purchase boards from a home improvement store. The frame should be about 8 in (20 cm) deep and at least 6 in (15 cm) long. Nail the wood together to form the bed.
2.) Fill the bed with manure-based compost. Purchase a bag of compost from a gardening center, then pour it into the bed until it is 6 in (15 cm) deep. Avoid filling up the tray so you have space to mix the soil and add peat moss later.
3.) Cover the bed with black plastic when growing portobellos outdoors. To sterilize the soil, lay a piece of cardboard over the compost. Cover the cardboard with a single layer of black plastic sheeting, which you can find at a general store or home improvement store. Make sure it’s tight inside the bed and won’t get blown away by the wind.
4.) Leave the bed in the sunlight for 2 weeks when growing outdoors. Leave the plastic in place and let the bed sit out in the sun. The sunlight will pass through the plastic and cardboard, clearing the compost of harmful bacteria that can damage the mushrooms.
5.) Place the bed in a dark room to grow portobellos indoors. Put the tray in a dark corner of a shed, closet, basement, or other suitable area. The dark room should be kept between 50 to 70 °F (10 to 21 °C). Because you’re working indoors, the temperature most likely won’t need to be adjusted.
6.) Move the bed to a climate-controlled area for outdoors growing. For the mushrooms to grow, the temperature needs to be no higher than 70 °F (21 °C) in the daytime and no lower than 50 °F (10 °C) at night. If the temperature goes beyond this, you may need to move the bed to a safer location, such as in shade or indoors.
7.) Mix the mushroom spores into the compost. Mushroom spores can be purchased online and may also be found at some gardening stores. Once you have them, put on a pair of rubber gloves. Sprinkle the spores onto the compost, then gently mix them in about 1 in (2.5 cm). Press down on the compost when you’re finished.
8.) Cover the compost with peat moss and newspaper. Get some peat moss from a garden center or home improvement store. Spread a 1 in (2.5 cm) layer over the compost. Then spread a single layer of newspaper over the peat moss.
9.) Mist the newspaper daily to keep it moist. Use a spray bottle at least once a day to keep the newspaper wet. If it looks dry, spray it to keep up the humidity level in the bed. Mushrooms thrive in damp environments, so it’s unlikely that you’ll supply too much water by misting.
10.) Remove the newspaper in 2 weeks if the mushrooms are growing. After the 2 weeks are up, lift up the newspaper. Look for tiny, white heads coming out of the peat moss. If they’re there, leave the newspaper off.
11.) Continue misting the mushrooms as they grow. Mist the peat moss every day so water continues to drip into the bed. After about 10 days, the mushrooms will be fully-grown, although you can harvest the mushrooms sooner if you wish.
12.) Dig out the portobellos when the caps have fully unfurled. Portobellos reach their peak when the mushroom caps are about 4 to 6 cm (1.6 to 2.4 in) in diameter. Dig them out of the compost by hand, then clean them off with a damp paper towel and store them in a brown paper bag in the refrigerator.
13.) Repeat moistening the compost until new mushrooms form. Keep your tray with compost intact for now. Continue moistening the compost daily, then add a new layer of newspaper once white streaks form again. By following the same steps, you will usually get 2 or 3 batches of mushrooms out of 1 tray.
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1.) Purchase oyster mushroom spawn. If you live in the USA, it’s relatively easy to come by oyster mushroom spawn or starter cultures: they can be ordered from Amazon, and from any number of other online seed catalogs. Order at least 50 spawns or starter cultures for this growing method.
2.) Cut the tops off of your 2 milk cartons. Use a sharp pair of household scissors to cut the tops off of both 1⁄2 gallon (1.9 L) milk cartons. Make the incisions right at the point where the vertical sides of the cartons intersect with the sloped tops.
3.) Punch 4 to 5 holes in all sides of both milk cartons with a pencil. The holes should be situated at different heights around all 4 sides of each carton. For example, each side could have a hole at 3 inches (7.6 cm) and 1 at 6 inches (15 cm). This way you’ll end up with 20–25 holes total per carton at a variety of heights.
4.) Mix together sawdust and coffee grounds in a microwave-safe bowl. Use a large kitchen spoon to stir 8 cups (680 grams) of sawdust and 2 cups (170 grams) of coffee grounds together until they’re completely mixed. The bowl that you use should be large enough to contain the full 10 cups (850 grams) without overflowing, and ideally should be made of plastic, glass, or porcelain.
5.) Pour water over the mixture until it has a spongy texture. This sponge-like mixture will have both the moisture and the nutrients that your mushrooms need to grow, so don’t skimp on the non-chlorinated water. Start by adding about 2 cups (0.47 L) of water, and add more water as necessary.
6.) Microwave the mixture for 2 minutes. This will disinfect the sawdust and coffee grounds, and kill any bacteria and microbes that may be living in the mixture. Depending on the heat settings of your microwave, you may need to microwave for longer. The water should be boiling hot after microwaving, so if it’s not that hot after 2 minutes, microwave for another 2 minutes.
7.) Let the mixture cool to room temperature. The mushroom spawn won’t survive being planted in boiling-hot temperatures, so you’ll need to wait at least 30 minutes for the sawdust mixture to cool off. Periodically test the temperature of the spongy coffee grounds and sawdust by pressing your finger into the mixture.
8.) Pour another 2 cups (0.47 L) of water over the sawdust mixture. Microwaving the coffee grounds and sawdust mixture tends to dry it out. Adding more non-chlorinated water will dampen the mixture before you add the mushroom spawn.
9.) Add the mushroom spawn to the mixture. Dump a generous handful or 2 of the mushroom spawn into the mixture, and use your hands to thoroughly work the spawn into the sawdust and coffee grounds.
10.) Pour the mixture into the 2 milk cartons. Now that you’ve completely mixed the oyster mushroom spawn into the soil substitute, you can dump the whole mixture into the milk cartons. Don’t be afraid to pack the sawdust mixture in. Use your hands to press down on the mixture every 3–4 inches (7.6–10.2 cm) or so, to ensure that it’s packed at an even consistency throughout.
11.) Set the mixture in a cool room. Oyster mushrooms thrive in slightly cool environments, so place them in a room that’s about 64 to 77 °F (18 to 25 °C). Try placing them in a cellar or basement. If you don’t have a basement, you could set the mushroom cartons under your bed or in a pantry cabinet.
12.) Dampen the sawdust mixture while the mushrooms grow. As the mushrooms grow, use a plastic spray bottle to keep the soil damp. Test the soil with your finger, and when it begins to feel like it’s drying out, give it a thorough misting.
13.) Cut the mushrooms off at the base with a sharp knife. You can tell that the oyster mushrooms are developed when the caps are fully separated from the stems. Rather than tearing off the mushrooms by hand—which can damage the delicate fungi—use a sharp knife to cut the individual mushrooms off at their base.
14.) Remove the stems and rinse the mushrooms. The hard, woody stems of oyster mushrooms are unpleasant to eat. Use a sharp kitchen knife to slice off the stems. Then rinse any lingering dirt off of the mushrooms before you cook them.
15.) Cook the oyster mushrooms before eating them. Oyster mushrooms can be eaten just like any of the more well-known types of mushroom, like Portobello or white button. Sauté the mushrooms in butter and add them to a rice or pasta dish, or put them on top of a pizza.
16.) Store the mushrooms in your refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. If you’d rather not eat the entire harvest at once, the rinsed mushrooms will keep for 1 or 2 weeks in your fridge. Place them in an airtight container or plastic bag, and set them in a section of your fridge where they won’t be crushed.
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1.) Buy a morel mushroom kit online. A morel mushroom kit is pre-packaged with spawn seed as well as a set of instructions to help you get started. A growing kit will typically cost you only a little over $30.
2.) Prepare to plant between summer and autumn. This will give it time to grow over the next couple of seasons. Morel mushrooms typically sprout around spring. Morel mushroom hunters usually seek them out during the spring time because that’s when they grow naturally in the wild which is a useful reference point for when yours should start sprouting.
3.) Pick a spot in the shade that is 4x4 feet in size. It’s good to have a pre-determined portion of your garden organised for where you want to plant your mushrooms because most growing kits require a specific set of dimensions. Most growing kits need 4x4 feet but check the specifications of your growing kit to make sure how much your one asks for.
4.) Create your spawn bed with a mixture of peat moss and gypsum. Concoct a blend that includes 10 gallons of peat moss as well as 1 gallon of gypsum and insert it on your 4x4 garden space.
5.) Apply the spawn seed from your growing kit. When you spread the spawn seed over the soil, make sure you do it evenly to give the morel mushrooms more chance to grow. The instructions that came with your kit will give you appropriate directions on how to do this.
6.) Add hardwood chips to finish the spawn bed. You don’t have to be meticulously tidy when you do this, simply tossing it on top of the spawn bed will do the trick.
7.) Wait for your morel mushrooms to grow. Be aware this can sometimes take up to two years. The good news is that once they sprout, the morel garden can continue to provide mushrooms for several years after. To guarantee that it does, remember to reapply fresh compost bi-annually.
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1.) Purchase an Enoki mushroom starter kit. Mushroom starter kits are available online from websites that specialize in fungi. They most often come in the form of pre-made, ready-to-use grow blocks made of compacted substrate material like sawdust or straw. To begin growing the mushrooms, you simply wet and store the block.
2.) Drizzle 1 cup (240 mL) of filtered water evenly over the grow block. Your grow block should arrive inside an insulated plastic container or sleeve. Remove the lid of the container and pour the water directly over the top and sides of the block. Try to wet as much of the substrate material as you can.
3.) Cover the grow block container with a lid or plastic bag. If your container didn't come with a removable lid, drape a grocery bag or gallon-sized zipper bag lightly over the opening. This will help trap moisture inside, making it an optimal environment for speedy growth.
4.) Keep the grow block in a cool, dark place. Situate the covered container somewhere where it can remain at a constant temperature of 40–50 °F (4–10 °C). A shelf on your refrigerator or a dim basement or pantry will work well. You could also leave your grow block in a shady spot outside, as long as temperatures don't drop below freezing.
5.) Wait 2-4 weeks for the first batch of mushrooms to appear. First, a fuzzy white substance called mycelium will appear on the outside of the block. Soon after, the mushrooms themselves will begin to pop up. Once the small caps are fully formed, they'll be ready to harvest for cooking or propagation.
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1.) Clean the mushrooms you are going to dry. If possible, use a brush or dry paper towel to wipe any dirt off of the mushrooms. You want to avoid getting the mushrooms wet while cleaning them because the water could cause other competing fungi or mold to grow on the mushroom while they are drying or after they have been stored. This extra fungi or mold could, in turn, make you ill if you eat it.
2.) Cut the mushrooms. The thicker the mushrooms, the longer it takes for them to dry out. To speed up the drying process, cut the mushrooms into slices approximately 1/8 inch (0.3 cm) thick. They will still have enough flavor packed into the slices that they will be an excellent addition to any dish, but they will dry in a much shorter amount of time than whole mushrooms.
3.) Place the mushrooms on a baking sheet. Make sure that the mushrooms lay flat and side by side. None of the mushrooms should overlap, as this could cause them to fuse together while drying. Lay them out in one layer.
4.) Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Fahrenheit (65 Celsius). Once the oven has reached the designated temperature, place the baking sheet with the mushrooms into the oven. Leave the mushrooms in for one hour.
5.) Take the mushrooms out of the oven after an hour. When you take them out, flip them over so that they dry evenly. At this time, blot any moisture that way have risen on their surfaces during the drying process. Use a paper towel or dry cloth to remove any of the moisture.
6.) Place the mushrooms back in the oven. Bake the mushrooms for one more hour or until they are completely dried.
7.) Continue to check the mushrooms until they are fully dry. Repeat the baking and removing moisture process until the mushrooms are totally dry. A properly dehydrated mushroom should snap apart like a cracker.
8.) Allow the mushrooms to cool. Once you have taken them out of the oven, allow the mushrooms to cool on the baking sheet.Do not place them in tupperware with a closed lid while they are still hot as the heat might cause condensation in the tupperware, thus ruining all of your efforts.
9.) Store the dried mushrooms in air-tight canisters. Once they have cooled completely, place the mushrooms in canisters with working seals. Keep the canisters in a dark, cool location until you are ready to use your mushrooms in soup, a baked pasta dish, or a yummy risotto.
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