Knowing what wild mushrooms prefer to grow will help anyone be more successful at growing their own fresh mushrooms. They are a spring and fall crop outdoors when days are cool and conditions are moist. Mushroom hunters looking for morels and shaggy manes head out a day or two after a rain because the delicacies need good moisture to pop and tend to mature really fast in perfect conditions.
When you shop mushroom kits, you’ll find that no vendor offers one for the most common ones used in cooking; button mushrooms, portabello mushrooms and crimini mushrooms. This is because they are more difficult to succeed at growing. The conditions they require are far more exacting than oyster and shitake mushrooms. The easiest and fastest growing is the oyster mushroom. These kits are a plastic bag filled with coffee grounds and grain that has been inoculated with spawn and pre-populated with mycelium . Shitakes are different. They must be grown on logs and take longer to produce a harvest. There are shitake kits that arrive with a short hunk of log that you can grow inside your home or outdoors.
A lot of people have been experimenting with growing mushrooms without ordering kits or buying spawn from a mushroom vendor. Failure appears to be pretty common after watching a bunch of YouTube videos about it. Its curious that someone who has never done this before would post something titled, The Easy Way to Grow Mushrooms At Home. Some of them may have gotten busy and just forgot to post part two, but others have definitely failed. Too much moisture and using chlorinated water are obvious in one of them, along with assuming that button mushrooms grow in the conditions that oyster mushrooms do. Even a guy who has many successful cultures in storage who did videos to show everyone how to do it easily ends up with both coffee ground and wheat straw batches failing by the end of part two. The problem? Contamination.
Watching videos on YouTube done by really successful home mushroom growers you see almost fanatical sterilizing of equipment, the spawn syringe and the surgical gloves the guy is wearing. Wonder no more why even someone who has succeeded before commonly has problems with contamination.
For the fast, easy method of growing mushrooms at home successfully – buy a kit. If oyster mushrooms don’t sound appetizing, there are kits for other types, look around and you’ll find some places have reishi, enoki, and lions mane. If you really want to learn how to be a successful mushroom grower from scratch, get ready to study and learn by trial and error. This can be a bit expensive until you figure out just what your crop needs, but those who pay attention to what works and what they did wrong do become successful repeatedly. The cost once you’ve reached that point is about wholesale price or less.
Here’s a post from a seasoned indoor home mushroom grower you will find informative and interesting: Homemade Mushrooms
For more in depth study here are books written by Paul Staments who knows more about mushrooms than probably any other person alive:
Pan of fresh mushrooms courtesy of Little Eco Footprints