How to Grow Your Own Mushrooms

Overview

One of the best things about growing your own food is the money you save in the process. Mushrooms are available year round, but they are often quite pricey and the quality declines rapidly once they have been harvested.

Step 1

Select and purchase a mushroom growing kit. This is the safest way for a beginner to master the basics as it ensures the mushrooms are edible and safe for human consumption.

Step 2

Prepare the growing medium, or substrate, provided by the kit. This is generally a simple matter of mixing the ingredients and moistening them. Mushrooms are fungi and will require a moist and dark environment to thrive.

Step 3

Allow the substrate to cool and then carefully sow the mushroom spores. Pay close attention to the depth at which you are positioning your spores as each variety of mushrooms has its own ideal planting depth.

Step 4

Place the kit in a dark, cool location. Try to find a spot where the temperature tends to be between 60 and 70 degrees F; most mushrooms grow well when kept in this temperature range. If you have one, the basement is generally an ideal location because it tends to be cool and damp by design.

Step 5

Place a large bowl of water near the mushrooms to help increase the relative humidity of the immediate environment. In addition to this, spray the mushrooms each day with a bit of cool water.

Step 6

Wait six to eight weeks, watering your mushrooms daily, for the spores to mature. Harvest fully mature mushrooms. These can be identified by observing the mushroom cap. When the cap is beginning to tear away from the thin tissue which attaches it to the main stem, the mushroom is ready to be picked.

Step 7

Pull mushrooms gently out by the root. Most "crops" can be harvested once a week. Approximately four weeks after the first mushrooms have been picked, discard the substrate and start over.

Things You'll Need

  • Mushroom growing kit
  • Substrate
  • Mushroom spores
  • Bowl
  • Spray bottle

References

  • How Mushrooms Grow
  • Growing Mushrooms in the Garden
  • Mushroom Growing

Who Can Help

  • Edible and Poisonous Mushrooms
Keywords: grow mushrooms, mushroom planting, edible mushrooms

About this Author

Lisa Parris writes on a wide variety of topics, but focuses on health and wellness. First published in Stone Soup at the age of 7, Parris's work has also appeared in the Journal of Comparative Parasitology and The Monterey County Herald. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in biology and attended medical school for one year before admitting she "didn't have the stomach for it".