I'm a firm believer in growing mushrooms. It's a fascinating pastime, one that always holds a sense of wonder. And it just doesn't get any better than eating something that you've grown yourself.
One doesn't have to be a trained mycologist or even have a green thumb to learn how to grow mushrooms. All you need is the right materials, good resources, and most importantly: patience!
Cultivation is all about the care and feeding of mycelium, which is the vegetative growth of a fungus. Have you ever picked a mushroom and seen a clump of white filaments or tissue in the ground or bark underneath it? That's mycelium, the organism that produces mushrooms. Think of mycelium as a tree, and mushrooms as the apples.
If you've never heard these words before, don't panic. The beginning concepts section below has all you need to get started without being overly complicated.
If you already know the theory and are just looking for some step-by-step guides, skip down to the how to section on this page. Those articles are just straight-up growing instructions, without a lot of terms explained.
The advantages of growing mushrooms are many and varied. You can create your own healthy food. You can save money. You can learn and teach about biology without the classroom. It's fun and exciting (really!).
The list goes on, but I encourage you to try it on your own and see for yourself. If you're a grower and want to post something or show off, click here to share a story with visitors to this page.
Otherwise, read on!
It really helps to know some vocabulary and concepts before you start growing mushrooms. You'll have a better understanding of the grow guides if you're familiar with these ideas.
Think of the articles below as your "Mushroom Growing Primer". If you don't know something, click on the link to learn more.
Below you'll find some step-by-step guides on growing mushrooms. These pages assume you're familiar with the concepts above such as the mushroom life cycle, spawn, and substrates.
That said you don't have to be an expert in mushroom cultivation to read these articles. They're meant to be fun experiments that anyone can do with a little knowledge and the right materials.
There are lots of different ways to grow mushrooms, making this a fun and varied hobby. The pages below go over some popular and well-known methods but there's always more to learn. Once you have the basics under your belt, you can create endless experiments!
Even the experienced cultivator is bound to have some failures when growing mushrooms. I can't tell you how many times a project of mine turned into a big pile of.....well, nothing.
I've tried to shorten the learning curve for you a little with this article on why my mushroom project failed. It covers some of the common reasons including moisture levels, sterility, and mushroom spawn quality. Hopefully it will save you some time and heartache.
Yet once you've succeeded, what do you do with your spent substrate? It can be used to condition soil and bring nutrients to plants in gardens. Read the article on mushroom compost to learn more.
Whether seasoned cultivator or just starting out, growing mushrooms is a fun hobby that can be as easy or complicated as you like. Whatever your skill level, I wish you a rewarding experience and a bumper crop of mushrooms!
Feel free to add your own experiences with growing mushrooms below.
What do you know about how to grow mushrooms? Do you have a great picture or story? Brag to the world about your stunning success, or tell us what you've learned about a failed project!
Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...
My First Mushrooms
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