Growing mushrooms is a great project for the novice gardener or for children. Unlike most other plants, mushrooms do not require significant amounts of sunlight as they do not produce chlorophyll (the substance that makes leaves green). Mushrooms are easy to grow indoors with minimal care and, with pre-spored mushroom kits on the market today, a few easy steps will get you growing your favorite mushrooms quickly.
Read all instructions included with the mushroom kit. Each kit and each mushroom variety will have slightly different requirements but most will follow this basic set of instructions. Your kit will include a compressed sawdust mushroom log that has already been "seeded" with mushroom spores and a vented plastic bag.
Place the mushroom log in a large un-vented plastic bag and fill the bag with water. Ensure that the entire log is covered with water and allow it to soak in the kitchen sink for several hours or overnight. The entire log must be moist for the mushroom spores to begin to multiply.
Remove the log from the bag after the soaking period is over. Place it on a shallow pan to finish draining. Tip the water out of the pan when the draining has finished. Poke the dowels or sticks through the top of the mushroom log at an equal distance from each other. The dowels should stick up approximately 6 inches from the top of the log.
Invert the vented bag and place it loosely over top of the dowels, ensuring that there is air flow between the bag and the mushroom log. The bag should cover the entire log and loosely touch the pan. This creates humidity around the log which encourages mushroom growth.
Find a location in the house to grow the mushrooms. The initial growing temperature should be around 70 to 80 degrees to spark quick growth. The location does not have to be in complete darkness but should be out of direct sunlight. An unused spare room or a closet works well. If the temperature of the area is not warm enough, place a heating pad underneath the pan and adjust the temperature control until the correct temperature is achieved.
Remove the humidity tent and spray the log with a plant mister twice per day, or more often if it appears that the log is drying out. The log should not be soaked but should be moist to the touch. Replace the tent after misting and return the log to the growing location. After two to three weeks, growth should start to be visible on the log as tiny mushrooms begin to emerge. Reduce misting to once per day when this growth begins.