Mushrooms are a fungus with no leaves or chlorophyll, thus they depend on other plant material for their nutrients. They are also unable to absorb carbon dioxide from the air like most plants do. Mushrooms are a tasty addition to salads and entrees alike, but they can be costly to purchase at a restaurant or grocery store. Because of this, many people prefer to grow their own mushrooms.
Things You'll Need
- Mushroom kit
Decide what type mushroom you want to grow. Some of the most popular types of mushrooms include oysters, shiitake, wine caps and, of course, portobello.
Thoroughly research and find the growing requirements and life cycle for your mushroom. Oyster mushrooms are quick growing, versatile and mild in flavor while portobellos are more time consuming and labor intensive. Also, different mushrooms thrive in different environments; some need live compost, while others grow better on logs and trees.
Order a mushroom kit such as Fungi Perfecti's Outdoor Mushroom Patches. Mix your patch into a bed of material conducive to the mushroom you are planting (portobellos require live compost while shiitakes are a wood-loving mushroom.)
Water, monitor and inoculate your mushrooms according to the directions provided in the kit. Inoculating just means introducing your mushroom spawns into a proper environment for them to grow.
Be patient and give them time to grow. Depending on the type mushroom you are growing, it can take anywhere from a few days to many months before you see results.
Tips & Warnings
- Once your mushrooms start growing, you can replant using their spores rather than purchasing another mushroom kit.
- Some mushrooms produce a toxin that can be harmful to animals and humans. Make sure to educate yourself and your children on which mushrooms are safe and which aren't.
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