The mushroom is a fungus that grows wild in many areas. Since many types of mushrooms are poisonous, commercially grown mushrooms provide safe produce for consumption. Mushroom gardening is one way to ensure fresh produce for your culinary purposes, and it's also an interesting hobby for many people. Mushrooms require some basic elements in order to thrive. You can grow your own mushrooms at home in a tray.
Select a location in your house for growing mushrooms. Choose a place that is free of drafts and temperature fluctuations. Avoid sunny areas; mushrooms require semi-darkness for proper growth. Place a thermometer in the selected location to determine the average temperature. The ideal temperature range for mushroom gardening is between 55 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
Prepare your compost. Mushrooms require rich, organic materials for healthy growth. Horse manure provides the necessary blend of nutrients. Make compost out of fresh manure by turning it over with a rake or pitchfork every four or five days. Do this every few days. Add a little water to the compost pile while turning the ingredients. Three or four sessions provide adequate time for ripening.
Place your prepared compost in a mushroom tray. Purchase this tray and the mushroom spores from your local garden center or online supplier. Set compost tray aside for about a week to provide enough time for the compost to cool to approximately 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
Plant your mushroom spawn in the prepared tray. Push the spawn a couple of inches into the compost. Allow eight to 10 inches between each one. Place in your selected location and provide a constant temperature near 70 degrees Fahrenheit for about 21 days. After this time, allow temperature to lower to the ideal growing range.
Add potting soil to the top of your mushroom tray. Gently level an inch of soil over the entire tray. Spray the surface of the tray to create a moist, crumbly appearance. Cover the tray with a burlap bag to hold in humidity.
Keep the mushroom tray in the dark location, gently watering whenever the soil forms a powdery surface on top. Watch for maturing mushrooms to appear in about three weeks. Carefully pluck mushrooms as they mature. Wash thoroughly before eating.