How to Grow Mushrooms for Food

Overview

Cultivating your own mushrooms for culinary use is a rewarding and interesting experience. It is more simple then people think, and just requires some specific materials, a cool, dark place to grow the mushrooms and time. This will result in fresh mushrooms that taste way better than those at the grocery store. When cultivated properly, you can have gourmet mushrooms to use in cooking within six weeks.

Step 1

Decide what variety of gourmet mushrooms you would like to grow. Shiitake, oyster and white button mushrooms are some of the easiest and most well-known mushrooms to grow at home.

Step 2

Purchase the mushroom spore (seed) or spawn (seedlings) from an online source (see References). Figure out what works best for you, but the spawn are the best for beginning mushroom growers.

Step 3

Choose a location to grow the mushrooms in. It needs to be dark, cool, and slightly damp if possible. Ideal places include basements, cabinets or an outdoor storage shed (in cooler weather).

Step 4

Layer the growing medium in your growing tray or pan about 3 inches deep. Use a heating pad under the tray to make the medium around 70 degrees F.

Step 5

Plant the spawn on top of the medium. (Depending on what type you purchased, this may be done differently; read directions thoroughly). Keep the tray or pan at around 70 degrees until the spawn has taken root, about three weeks.

Step 6

Reduce the temperature to 55 to 60 degrees after the mushrooms have rooted. Layer 1 inch of good quality potting soil into the tray. Lay a damp cloth over the top and keep it consistently moist with a spray bottle.

Step 7

Keep an eye out for small mushrooms to start to sprout within three to four weeks. They will start out as pinpoints. Harvest them once the mushroom cap has opened and begins to separate from the stem.

Things You'll Need

  • Gardening gloves
  • Mushroom spore or spawn
  • Large pan or tray
  • Mushroom growing medium (hardwood shavings, straw, composted manure)
  • Heating pad
  • Potting soil
  • Cloth

References

  • About Gourmet Mushrooms
  • Mushroom Spawn
Keywords: mushroom care, gourmet mushrooms, growing culinary mushrooms

About this Author

Lauren Wise is a journalism major from Arizona State University with over forty published magazine and media articles and over 400 Web site articles. Wise owns Midnight Publishing with over eight years experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food and wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in magazines including Runway, A2Z, Scottsdale Luxury Living and True West.