How to Grow Mushrooms

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Mushrooms grow from spores, not seeds. You can grow this curious food indoors or out with a little preparation and the right supplies.

Step 1: Pick the right culture
Pick the right culture spores for your skill level — oyster and button mushrooms are the easiest to grow, while shiitake and morel mushrooms can be difficult.

Search online for the different types of spores and their difficulties.

Step 2: Choose a growing area
Choose a growing area that is cool, dark, and free from pests that may eat or contaminate your mushroom farm.

The best growing areas are basements or crawl spaces.

Step 3: Apply soil
Spread a dark, nutrient-rich soil evenly over a level growing bed to a thickness of about 2 inches.

Step 4: Sterilize substrate
Sterilize your substrate by soaking it in hot water or putting it in a pressure cooker to kill undesirable fungi and bacteria that can ruin your mushroom batch.

Different species of mushrooms thrive on different substrates, like straw, compost, wood chips, sawdust, newspaper, or cardboard.

Step 5: Apply substrate
Apply the appropriate substrate or growing medium over your soil to feed your hungry mushroom spores.

Step 6: Implant spores
Implant or inoculate the substrate with your mushroom spores and fine tune the temperature and humidity levels based on the species.

Some varieties require higher humidity than others. You may need a humidity tent to increase humidity levels.

Step 7: Look for sprouts
Look for sprouting, or “pinning,” after about three weeks. The mushrooms will be ready for harvesting in as little as one month.

Did You Know?
A fungus colony discovered in Northern Oregon may be the largest single organism in the world, covering over 2,300 square acres — that’s about 1,665 football fields.

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By Barta IV on 2012-05-20 14:10:37