Growing mushrooms in Georgia is an easier process than in states farther north as the sub-tropical climate of much of the state allows for outdoor cultivation of many types of mushrooms used in gourmet cooking, such as morels, oyster mushrooms and hen-of-the-woods. Mushroom spores can be purchased from many specialty gardening stores or online suppliers, and few other supplies are required. Growing mushrooms in your Georgia garden can provide you with baskets full of healthy and delicious mushrooms throughout the year.
Locate the growing area for the mushrooms. Most varieties of mushrooms grow in shady moist locations that have air circulation, but are protected from heavy foot traffic. Popular locations are underneath porches or decks. Ensure that the location has access to natural rainfall.
Prepare the growing bed by removing any grass, rocks or sticks and raking the bed flat. Apply aged manure to the bed to a depth of two to three inches, and incorporate into the top layer of soil by raking over the area several times.
Distribute the mushroom spawn over the bed evenly. Review the coverage instructions included with the spawn to calculate the correct amount needed for the specific size of your growing bed. Sprinkle more manure over spawn if the instructions call for it.
Water the bed lightly with a garden hose with a mister head or a hand-plant mister. The soil should be damp, but not soaked, and there should be no puddles of water. Keep the growing bed moist at all times, even after the mushrooms begin to grow.
Check for the growth of wild mushrooms in your growing bed at least weekly. Georgia has hundreds of species of wild mushrooms that favor the humid climate. Removing them from your growing bed ensures that they will not take over and drown out your cultured mushrooms.
Harvest mushrooms as they become mature. Some mushrooms, like morels, will only grow during the spring in Georgia and then go dormant for the rest of the year. If your bed has been well-prepared, you may get several years of mushroom growth without additional work.
Things You Will Need
- Aged cow or sheep manure
- Mushroom spawn (reproductive spores of the mushroom)
- When your mushroom bed stops producing, revitalize it by adding more manure and spawn to continue production.
- Do not use fresh manure as it contains too high a nitrogen content for the mushrooms to grow in.
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