Growing Mushrooms in Hydroponics – A Full Guide

Growing Mushrooms in Hydroponics.
Growing Mushrooms in Hydroponics.

Introdiction: Hello gardeners today we are back with a great information of growing mushrooms in hydroponics system. Mushrooms can be grown hydroponically as fungi. Growing your mushrooms hydroponically means that you are using water or other growing mediums instead of soil to cultivate the crop. Hydroponic mushrooms grow quickly and quite tasty. Mushrooms are among the easiest plants to produce. Mushroom growing has become a general practice as its consumption has increased.

A step by step guide to growing Mushrooms in hydroponics

Mushrooms can be grown hydroponically, in a similar fashion to that used for conventional rooting plants. Mushrooms do not have roots but could still thrive in a soil-less hydroponic media. They mature and produce faster than either conventionally cultivated mushrooms or other standard hydroponic crops. Fungus, which is what a mushroom is – does not need expensive grow lights. They do not use the photosynthesis process to produce sugars or to fruit and they contain no chlorophyll. Fungus feeds on Organic material and extremely modest amounts of light only trigger the fungus to bloom into a mushroom.

Mushrooms grown hydroponically are grown as fungi instead of plants. Hydroponically grown mushrooms have a unique form and are of superior quality. Hydroponics mainly means growing plants in nutrient-enriched water solution instead of soil. Mushrooms both add flavor to bland staple foods and valuable food in their own right. They are often considered to provide a fair substitute for meat, with at least a comparable nutritional value to several vegetables. The consumption of mushrooms can create a valuable addition to the often unbalanced diets of people in developing countries. Fresh mushrooms contain high water content, so drying them is an effective procedure to both prolonged their shelf-life and preserves their flavor and nutrients.

Mushrooms contain a good source of vitamin B, C, and D, including niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, and folate, and various minerals contain potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, iron, and copper. They give carbohydrates, but are low in fat and fiber, and contain no starch. Edible mushrooms are a good source of high-quality protein. And white button mushrooms have more protein than kidney beans. In addition to all the necessary amino acids, some mushrooms have medicinal benefits of certain polysaccharides, which are known to boost the immune system.

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A guide to Hydroponic Mushrooms.
A guide to Hydroponic Mushrooms.

Importance of hydroponics

Growing plants without soil is an effective method to study the needs of plants. By varying the amounts of nutrients, we can get the best ratio of nutrients for the successful growth of the plant. It is suggested that hydroponics can be used for good crop production. In places where the soil is not obtainable, such as on ships at sea, deserts and in covered Arctic areas, hydroponics is an effective alternative. Hydroponics is used in large-scale cultivation of flowers and vegetable plants. The yield is the same as for soil-grown plants and the hydroponic technique saves time by automatically watering and fertilizing the crop.

Importance of Mushroom growing

  • Mushrooms are a good source of high-quality proteins and also rich in vitamins and minerals. Mushroom contains 20-33% of proteins. They have a good amount of vitamin C and B complex, potassium, phosphorus, and sodium.
  • They also have medicinal properties. For example-mushroom extracts have a high quantity of retene that has an antagonistic effect on some forms of tumors.
  • They are capable of agro-waste degradation. They are grown on organic substances either raw or composted. They are generally waste materials from farms, plantations or factories. Useless by-products can be recycled as a medium to produce mushroom for human consumption. This helps to reduce environmental pollution.
  • Mushrooms have huge export potential and Mushroom grows independent of sunlight without fertile land.
  • Mushroom growing is a woman-friendly operation. Women in the farming system contribute a high percentage of labor in the field, especially in developed countries. It is one agricultural activity in which women can play a very important role without sacrificing their household responsibilities.

Steps of growing mushrooms in hydroponics

There are essentially two methods to grow mushrooms hydroponically; one is using a pre-populated “cake” the other is populating a growing medium with spores. If you want to grow hydroponic mushrooms the easy method, buy a mushroom kit. And this is a block of compacted straw-like material containing mushroom spores. You soak the block in water, cold and non-chlorinated, for a few hours and then place it in a dark place with the temperature ranging between 60ºF and 75ºF.

If you are a hydroponic gardener you already have an appropriate temperature-controlled environment, but you must make sure it is dark. The spores become fungus and, thus the mushrooms grow. It is best to maintain the mushrooms watered with cold water as this makes them grow faster. If you want to try growing hydroponic mushrooms from scratch, then you want to grow your mycelium, effectively the fine branching roots from which fungi grow. To get this, you can either use, a mushroom, cut up in pieces, a culture purchased from a culture bank or seeds. These are located on a petri dish, kept in a dark place and the thread-like mycelium will grow out of this. The mycelium is transferred to grain or seeds then spores are created, and after a few weeks fungus starts to develop and you have mushrooms. All of this has to be done in a sterile environment as mycelium in the early phase is susceptible to bacteria. Though at the end of all his, you have grown hydroponic mushrooms.

Set-Up for growing mushrooms in hydroponics

Your mushroom hydroponics system must contain a tank or tub filled with grow media and an air pump with an air stone attachment which is essential for aeration or oxygenation. Optional accessories that are useful under some circumstances are a water heater, humidity gauge, light.

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The air stone or bubbler is located at the bottom of the tank and covered with your grow media before being submerged in water. The inoculated vermiculite cakes are located on top and air is pumped through the air stone to oxygenate the water. The water must be kept warm, which is why you might want to consider the optional heater.

Types of Mushrooms to be grown hydroponically

Suitable mushroom types to be grown hydroponically are nameko, shiitake, oyster, lion’s mane, button, maitake, cinnamon cap, and enokitake.

Temperature for growing Mushrooms in hydroponics

For hydroponic mushroom, 75 to 80ºF are best for germination, 80-85ºF with around 90% humidity is best for growth. If these conditions are not met, you could still get some mushrooms, but nowhere near the quantity or quality that woulda, coulda, and shoulda been under the best conditions.

Nutrients requirement for growing hydroponic Mushrooms

Mushrooms synthesize the nutrients they want from organic material. The particular nutrients they want to grow are sugar, starch, lignin, fats, protein, and nitrogen. Compost made from manure and straw consists of ideal amounts of these nutrients for growing button mushrooms. Whereas shiitake can extract the nutrients they want from the wood of the logs or sawdust where they’re growing. A good mixture of corn, peat moss and sand is an alternative to manure and straw.

Minimal Light is required for growing Mushrooms in hydroponics

Only when coaxing the mycelium to develop mushrooms must they receive 5 – 6 hours daily light – no more.

An easy method to grow hydroponic Mushrooms

Growing mushrooms hydroponically is not a tough job as long as you’re clear about what you are doing. With the help of the hydroponic system, improved size and flavor is guaranteed. You can produce a huge quantity of mushrooms even without having a proper hydroponics garden. The easiest method to grow hydroponic mushrooms is by using a mushroom growing kit. This mushroom growing kit is a square-shape block of compressed sawdust of size not less than 12 inches. You’ll obtain this block with inoculated mushroom seeds. However, you can build own sawdust or seed block.

The popular and convenient process to grow hydroponics mushroom is soaked the sawdust block in cold and non-chlorinated water for few hours. Then place them in a dark place with temperature ranging between 60ºF and 75ºF. Mushrooms grow faster in cold water, therefore, you can obtain a large number of edible mushrooms in very less time.

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The process to grow hydroponic mushrooms;

  • Purchase a mushroom growing kit from a local gardening supply store. These kits are blocks of compressed sawdust that have been saturated with mushroom seeds.
  • And immerse the mushroom block in a container of cold water. Make sure it is immersed; allow several inches of water to cover the top of the block.
  • Allow the block to soak for several hours and the mushroom block has to be thoroughly saturated.
  • Then, put the container in a dark, cool spot. The temperature must range between 60ºF and 75ºF (15.6ºC to 23.8ºC).
  • Harvest your crop of mushrooms and most hydroponic mushrooms are ready for harvesting in 3 to 5 days.
  • Let the sawdust block rest for a week and then repeat the procedure. Immerse the block in cold water and allow it to obtain thoroughly saturated before you place it in a dark, cool spot.
  • Reuse the sawdust block each week until you are no longer obtains a good harvest. The number of times you can reuse block will depend on how much time it takes for the nutrients to become depleted.
  • Toss the sawdust block in the compost pile when it no longer produces mushrooms. You can then start the procedure over with a new mushroom kit.

Harvest of Mushrooms in hydroponics

After your first harvest of mushrooms, you can keep sawdust block to rest aside for a week and then reuse it for another mushroom planting cycle. Every new cycle the size and number of mushrooms might decrease as the quantity of hydroponic nutrients decreases as the same growing medium. When the sawdust block is fully used and is of no use, you can include it in a garden compost pile.

Growing Mushrooms in hydroponics without the kit

Grow hydroponic mushrooms without a kit then you have to start growing some mycelium until it is strong enough to support a mushroom reproductive cycle. For growing mushrooms hydroponically you can use a fresh mushroom, a culture purchased from a culture bank or seeds. Now put mushroom, a culture or seeds on a Petri dish and allow the mycelium to grow out.

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After a couple of weeks, you will see the formation of sterilized grain like wheat, rye or millet. And, after 4 weeks mushrooms will grow on the grain. You can use grain seeds to produce more grain. Carry out this procedure in a clean environment to avoid any contamination due to harmful bacteria or other molds. It’s suitable to clean the growing medium before using it.  To use this method of growing healthy mushrooms it’s important to clean the room and the filter carefully.

The process of growing Hydroponic Mushrooms without a Mushroom Kit can be given below;

  • Start mushrooms with fresh mushrooms or mushroom spores. Both can be purchased online or at a local gardening center. These are required to grow mycelium (fungus). If desired, you can simply purchase liquid mycelium to start the process.
  • Place small pieces of mushroom, spores or cultures on a sterile Petri dish, which allows the mycelium to produce. The mycelium has to produce until it is strong enough to support a mushroom reproductive cycle.
  • Allow the fungus to produce in the Petri dish. This will likely take several weeks.
  • Transfer the fungus to a tightly packed, sterilized grain, for example, wheat or rye. It will take up to four weeks for the mushrooms to colonize the grain.
  • Start harvesting mushrooms when they have begun to grow on the grain. Verify on their progress every few days once they have colonized the grain.
  • Use your grain seeds to grow more grain and you can then use that grain for your next batch of mushroom spores.

That’s all folks about growing mushrooms in hydroponics. Hope you enjoyed the article and leave your suggestions and comments below. You may be interested in Growing Vegetables in Winter.

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