Growing Mushrooms in Florida
Gourmet mushrooms fetch high prices at grocery stores. Cultivate mushroom varieties at home and save money. Many fungi species grow well in Florida’s hot and humid climate. Wild varieties such as the Florida Oyster are often sought out and are beginning to be cultivated by home growers. Research the ideal growing conditions of your mushrooms before cultivation begins.
Order sawdust inoculated with the mushroom spores of your choice. Strains such as the Almond Mushroom and the Paddy Straw Mushroom grow well in Florida’s climate and can be found online.
Place cardboard in water and allow to soak for at least one hour. Each piece of cardboard should be 2 by 3 feet long to provide enough room for growth.
Peel apart wet cardboard until the ribbed side is fully exposed.
Coat the ribbed side of the cardboard in the inoculated sawdust. This is the food the mushrooms will grow on.
Roll the piece of cardboard into a burrito shape with the sawdust coating inside. Hold the ends together with paper clips, staples or tape.
Place in a cool, dark location. Shady garden areas or ventilated porches and basements work well as mushroom grow houses.
Mist the cardboard with fresh water daily to elevate humidity and encourage the growth of spores.
Give the mushrooms time to colonize the cardboard. Mushrooms can take anywhere from several weeks to several months to fully mature. Most are ready to be harvested when the cap has fully opened.
Growing Mushrooms In Greenhouses
Though a small amount of light will not hurt your mushrooms, they are best grown in darkness. You may also need to take steps to ensure that the temperature stays fairly stable, somewhere between 55 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Two of the most common ways to grow mushrooms are in trays or logs. Mushroom trays are typically at least 2 feet long and 10 to 12 inches deep, and they can be purchased prefabricated or built from scrap wood. To use the log, drill several holes into the log and plug the holes with mushroom spawn. Mushrooms grow best in organic materials that are rich in natural sugars as well as nitrogen. Unless you plan to grow a large quantity of mushrooms, however, making your own growing medium may not be practical. Once the mycelium forms, drop the temperature back down to 60 degrees Fahrenheit and cover the trays or logs with a thin layer of garden soil or damp newspaper. You may also harvest the mushrooms by hand, pressing down the soil around the stem with one hand and gently twisting the mushroom to separate it from the compost. Once your first batch of mushrooms appears, new growths should appear every 10 to 12 days until the compost becomes exhausted of nutrients.
Monitor your mushrooms for pests such as slugs and sprinkle with wood ash to deter them.
Protect cardboard rolls from high winds and animal scavengers.
- Monitor your mushrooms for pests such as slugs and sprinkle with wood ash to deter them.
- Protect cardboard rolls from high winds and animal scavengers.
- Inoculated sawdust