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Growing Mushrooms Organically At Home – A Full Guide

Growing Mushrooms Organically At Home

Hello gardeners, today we are here with an organic topic again. Today’s topic is all about growing mushrooms organically at home. Do you want to have mushrooms organically? Well, and then follow this complete article to know about how to grow mushrooms organically at home. In this article, we also discuss all the requirements for growing mushrooms organically.

Introduction to Growing Mushrooms Organically At Home

Mushrooms grow very quickly compared to most fruits and vegetables and they will not take up precious space at your home. You can start with oyster-type mushrooms, these are the easiest type to grow, but once you learn the tools of the trade you can easily try your hand at dozens of species.

Mushrooms are very excellent sources of antioxidants in general as they contain polyphenols and even selenium, but they also contain antioxidants that are very unique to mushrooms. One such antioxidant is which scientists are now beginning to recognize that as a master antioxidant.

A Step By Step Guide for Growing Mushrooms Organically At Home

Guide for Growing Mushrooms Organically
Guide for Growing Mushrooms Organically At Home (Image credit: pixabay)

Mushrooms are a culinary treat, and many of them contain beneficial vitamins and nutrients like vitamin D, vitamin B, selenium, antioxidants, and even iron. Purchasing mushrooms is very worthy. So, to save your money and peace of mind, you can easily grow organic mushrooms that offer you all the benefits of mushrooms with very few of the risks.

Varieties for Growing Mushrooms Organically At Home

Here are a few varieties of mushrooms that you can easily grow at home. Remember different varieties have different needs.

  • Cremini mushrooms
  • Enoki mushrooms
  • Maitake mushrooms
  • Portobello mushrooms
  • Oyster mushrooms
  • Shiitake mushrooms
  • White button mushrooms

Choosing Spawn for Growing Mushrooms Organically At Home

Buy an organic mushroom spawn. Mushroom spawn is specially harvested and grown fungal tissue that can be easily used to grow mushrooms. For the log method, you need to select spawn in the plug form, which is spawn contained inside very short wooden dowels.

You can buy mushroom spawn at any garden store or online store. To grow organic mushrooms, you need to have better luck shopping at online shops that specialize in organic mushroom spawn.

Suitable Soil for Growing Mushrooms Organically At Home

You can also use ordinary potting soil to grow mushrooms at home, but you need to add additional organic material for the mushroom spawn to eat. Coffee beans, cut in half and then soak in water for five minutes, then placed on the soil gives the potting soil more structure and nutrients for growing mushrooms organically.

Best Growing Medium for Growing Mushrooms Organically At Home

Common substrate recipes for growing organic mushrooms usually involve straw or hardwood sawdust, although there are many other different and good options to be considered. The mushroom substrate needs to be properly prepared by adding water and add additional nutrition and even further processed by sterilization or even pasteurization.

Best Conditions for Growing Mushrooms Organically At Home

Most mushrooms grow best in temperatures between 13°C and 16°C, away from direct heat and drafts. Enoki mushrooms grow better and good in cooler temperatures, about 7°C. Growing mushrooms is a very good project for the winter because many basements will get too warm in the summer for ideal and optimum conditions.

Growing Oyster Mushrooms Organically At Home

  • Preparing paddy straw

Cut the straw into 2-inch pieces and then soak it in a water tank for about 6 to 8 hours. It should be completely submerged in water.

You need to drain out the water from the tank. Toxins from the straw are released into the water and so the water looks yellow. Let the excess moisture drain out.

The straw should be dried to nearly about 50-55% moisture content. To check squeeze the straw very hard. If no water is squeezed out from straw but palms become just moist then it is at approx. 50-55% moisture.

  • Preparing bags

You need to take out the spawn from the bottle using a metal wire onto a tray. Then tie one end of the bag. Then place ¼ of the straw inside it. Then again place ¼ spawn on the sides next to the wall of the bag. Repeat the above two steps three to four more times till all the spawn is used up.

Now press the straw with your palms and then tie the bag on top after taking out all air from the bag. Make 25-30 holes around the bag with the help of a 2-3 mm thick needle.

Keep it in a very cool and dark place for 15 days. Mycelium growth will have taken place at this time. It will look like a spider web-covered cylinder of straw.

Open the bag and then hang the paddy straw bundle. You can start watering it with the help of a handheld sprayer after 2 days of opening the bag.

In another 7 days, you can observe pinheads. These will grow very fast and turn into full-sized mushrooms. Harvest can easily continue up to a month after opening the bag.

Oyster mushroom is very easy to grow, but you can often fail if the conditions in which you grow them are not very hygienic. Always clean and sanitize the equipment you are using for better and good production. Better keep your hands clean while handling the spawn and the bags. Good quality straw makes a lot of difference to grow organic mushrooms at home. You will get very low production if the straw is of inferior quality. Hence make sure that you get good paddy straw as described above for your bags. And last but not least maintaining proper moisture level and even light also plays a very big role in the production. But these are things that come with huge experience.

Growing Organic Mushrooms on Logs At Home

Choose a very good log. The wood needs to be taken from a hardwood tree, like oak or sugar maple. If cutting a branch or log from your tree, you need to make the cut sometime during late fall to mid-spring for very ideal moisture conditions and then select a portion that is 3 to 8 inches or 7.6 to 20.3 cm in width. Each log should be 3 to 5 feet or 0.9 to 1.5 meters long.

If you do not have trees on your place that you can take wood from, buy logs from sawmills, or even home improvement stores.

Inoculate the logs within two to two and half weeks. The longer you wait to use the logs, the more is the risk of having the wood rot. Moreover, logs that have rested for too long can sometimes react very poorly to inoculation and they may grow inedible fungus, rather than edible mushrooms.

You need to drill holes in the logs. The spawn plugs should accompany instructions about how big the holes should be, except for many plugs, you ought to use a 5/16 inch or 7.9 mm drilling bit.

Drill holes on the log in a diamond pattern. Keep a margin of two inches or 5 cm at the highest and bottom of the logs. the highest and bottom of every diamond should be between 6 and eight inches or 15 to twenty cm apart and therefore the sides of the diamonds should be about 1 inch or 2.5 cm apart. Make as many diamonds as you’ll fit, or as many diamonds as you’ve got plugs for.

Then insert the plugs into the holes. The package should accompany instructions, but essentially, you only got to fit the plugs into each hole.

After, that seals the holes completely. Heat organic beeswax in a double boiler until it becomes very pliable. Remove the wax from the heat and then spread a little wax over the top of each plug.

Store your logs outside, in a location where that receives partial sun and partial shade. The logs should be stored vertically, leaning against another object.

The mushrooms can take nearly 8 to 16 months to appear.

Harvest very quickly. After mushrooms completely emerge, you will only have about one week to harvest them before they go bad. You can either pluck the mushroom by twisting and pulling them up or you can even cut the mushroom at the point where the stem meets the log.

Growing Mushrooms Organically At Home by Using Coffee Grounds

Collect the coffee grounds. To grow organic mushrooms, you need to use grounds from organic coffee beans. Better to keep the coffee grounds fresh and free of mould as you collect them by storing the grounds in a sealed plastic container in the freezer. Thaw the grounds out to room temperature 24 hours before using them for growing mushrooms.

If you do not drink coffee to collect the grounds, go to any local coffee shop that sells organic coffee and then ask if they would be willing to sell you the grounds.

Dump the grounds into a 5-gallon or 20-liter plastic bucket. The bucket needs to only be filled about halfway.

Moisten the entire coffee grounds. Dry grounds won’t work well. Add a touch little bit of water to the grounds, only enough to moisten them, and drain out any excess.

Get organic mushroom spawn. For this method, spawn that comes within the sort of sawdust mix works better than spawn plugs. You’ll usually find this spawn at garden supply stores or online specialty shops.

Add the spawn to the coffee grounds. Then break it up by crumbling the spawn in your hands and then sprinkle it over the surface of the grounds.

Mix the spawn into the coffee grounds. With the help of your hands gently stir the spawn or sawdust mix into the moistened coffee grounds until they are mixed well. Use your hands to pat gently on the surface, by compressing the spores into the coffee grounds.

Continue filling the bucket with grounds and even spawn. There need to be only 1 inch or 2.5 cm of space in between the surface of the mixture and the rim of the bucket.

If you do not have enough grounds and spawn to fill the bucket, you need to drill a few holes into the side of the bucket, nearly about 1 inch or 2.5 cm above the surface of the grounds, and spawn.

Cover the bucket with plastic wrap. The plastic wrap will help the mixture to retain moisture. Puncture the wrap, by poking several holes in it, to prevent the build-up of carbon dioxide.

Spray the top of the coffee grounds with water. The grounds should be misted at least twice a day. You can spray the mushrooms through the holes in the plastic wrap, or you can even remove the wrap temporarily as you spray and replace it when you are finished.

Always monitor the coffee grounds. Mushrooms will begin to grow within one or two weeks.

Pick the mushrooms very quickly. You simply have about one week to reap fully mature mushrooms before they are going bad. Snip them off at the purpose where they are available out from the surface, or twist and pluck them by hand.

Water Requirement for Growing Mushrooms Organically At Home

Mushrooms are 90% water so it is very important to water them twice a day at a minimum. With the provided spray bottle, mist 5 times under each flaps at least twice a day, morning and evening. If you are available to attend your mushrooms more often, and then mist them more whenever you notice that the surface of the soil is very dry.

Fertilizers for Growing Mushrooms Organically At Home

Spread the compost over 10- to 12-inch-deep growing trays. Leave a 2-inch gap between the product and the top of the tray. Allow the compost to settle 24 hours before tamping it with a piece of wood or brick. Found out the trays in a neighbourhood that maintains a continuing temperature between 16°C and 21°C, like a greenhouse or basement.

Spray the compost with water until the highest is slightly moistened, using your hose. Place brick spawn into the compost, by spacing the pieces nearly 6 inches apart. Cover the spawn with a final layer of compost and lightly mist the highest with water.

Mist the compost heap with water over the growing mushrooms, twice daily. Lookout not dumps or pours the water, because this may disturb the fungus growth. Do that for subsequent two to 3 weeks, or until you notice the presence of a skinny, white webbing, or mycelium.

Spread a 1-inch layer of potting soil or sphagnum over the mycelium-covered mushroom bed. Cover the soil with a layer of newspaper and mist twice daily for subsequent 10 days to 2 weeks. Remove the newspaper; continue misting twice daily, and therefore the mushroom heads should emerge from the soil within subsequent three to seven days.

Harvesting Time of Mushrooms

Harvesting of Mushrooms
Harvesting of Mushrooms (pic source : pixabay)

The time it takes for your mycelium-colonized substrate to put forth harvestable fruits depend on several different factors. But the whole process of planting mushrooms should take between 1-2 months.

In case if you are interested in this: Growing Mint In Balcony.

Commonly Asked Questions about Growing Mushrooms Organically At Home

Is it safe to grow my own mushrooms?

All kinds of different mushrooms grow in the wild, and you can easily grow most of them at home. For example, white button mushrooms need to be grown on composted animal manure, shiitakes mushrooms on wood or even hardwood sawdust, and oyster mushrooms on straw.

Are coffee grounds good for mushrooms to grow?

Repurpose your spent coffee grounds and then make a potent fertilizer perfect for growing delicious, nutty oyster mushrooms. Planting oyster mushrooms on spent coffee grounds is a very simple and very enjoyable home activity for all ages, resulting in some very good edible mushrooms to boot.

Do mushrooms need sunlight to survive?

Unlike plants, mushrooms do not contain chlorophyll and they will not require sunlight to grow. Whether mushrooms grow indoors or in the wild, they will have certain light, water, heat, and even growing-medium requirements to survive and produce their fruit. Some mushroom varieties are very safe for human consumption, while others are not.

Do mushrooms like to survive in alkaline soil?

Fungi and the mushrooms that grow from them are very essential to the natural process of decay needed to create fertile soil. It is also believed that lime sweetens the soil, raising the pH level in the soil to inhibit the mushroom growth, but mushrooms grow in acid and even alkaline soils.

What mushrooms grow well and best in coffee grounds?

Oyster mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms are the best varieties that grow very well on coffee grounds and they are the easiest to grow even for beginners. Take care of hygiene before opening and even closing the cellophane layer. If you notice any mould on your coffee grounds, then spray less amount of water.


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