I am surprised at myself for not following this thread. And I am very late. Thanks @larry_stewart
for all this very interesting information.
I want to grow mushrooms as I love them. So does my wife. The last time I was in Costco they had a large container of fresh Chanterelle . They were very expensive and I was concerned about using them up before they were no longer fresh. One reason I asked about dehydrating
them on another thread. That would be my best bet for growing and long term storage.
So I plan to follow this thread and to give it a go. Checking out the link provided I saw logs being used. Seems this could be a way to get more mushrooms?
So my first question. Can I grow them in my basement? Its dark and only has light when my wife is doing laundry or the occasional trip down there to the freezer.
Its cool in the winter (no colder than 50°) and very comfortable in the summer. Maybe 70°. Its not a heated space but the humidity seems very low.
I have the room/space as well. We have organized and cleaned up down there.
Thanks again @larry_stewart
for my next project. Any and all suggestions or ideas great appreciated.
The short answer is yes, you can grow them in the basement. Each type of mushroom requires their own 'Ideal conditions' to maximize production.
***Just want to put out there that by no means am I an expert, just blabbing on about what I've read, and the few years of experience with a few different types of mushrooms , that I have***
The basic things to consider when growing mushrooms inside are Temperature ( many of them between 55 - 70 F), Humidity ( Most, if not all, prefer high humidity) and Light (Although they dont need light to colonize the substrate they grow on ( Straw, hard wood ...), Once they are ready to Fruit, man will require some light ( most instructions say no direct light, but enough light to be able to read) and Oxygen. Like my lions mane pics, once I exposed them to light and put slits in the plastic ( exposing them to oxygen) , within a week they were visible and 1 1/2 -2 weeks harvestable.
Light can be from an artificial source ( I have grow lights for my other plants in the same room which give off enough light). They also keep the room at a constant 68 - 70F ( by luck) so they serve dual purpose.
For humidity, I used a clear plastic storage container, with holes drilled in, wet perlite on the bottom to provide the humidity. Some used humidifiers, others use humidifiers used for people who have pet reptiles. This is the first time I used this kind of humidity box. Prior to this, they just sat on the counter or in the dining room ( which is really a billiards room, as I dont have a dining room table, and I never invite anyone over, therefore dont need one).
You dont need professional stuff, but the closer you get it to the specific mushrooms ideal climate, the better results you will have. I am considering getting a mushroom tent in the fall which is kinda taking it to the next level.
Mushrooms Ive grown Inside :
- White common button mushrooms
. Grew them as a kit years ago. Simple, with fair results.
- Oyster Mushrooms:
Ive grown them from kits, in buckets with sterilized straw ( just boiled it for a bit, then inoculated it by crumbling and mixing the contents of a kit into the straw). This actually worked pretty good. I put a clear garbage bag over it to keep humidity in. At that time I didn't realize they needed oxygen and a little air flow, so ID probably do it a little differently now.
I also did oysters by pouring grain inside toilet paper rolls. They did well too.
- Lions Mane:
This is the first time Im doing it, still work in progress, but definitely took it to a new level. I mixed and inoculated my own substrate bags ( hard wood pellets + Bran), and as mentioned above, made my own plastic mushroom fruiting chamber to keep the humidity up.
- Shiitake Kits:
Ive tried Shiitake kits with not much luck. I have since moved to inoculating logs ( outside) which have been much more productive.
Mushrooms Ive grown outside;
- Shiitake Logs:
This has by far, been the most rewarding, most productive and biggest bang for the buck. Basically you need to find the right kind of wood for the right kind of mushrooms ( shiitake like Oak, so anytime there is a hurricane and people are chopping trees down, I'm on the prowl for logs). I think fall is the best time to get them ( many sites have a list of which wood is best for which mushroom and which season is the best to get it ). Basically, you order inoculated wood dowels, drill holes every 6 inches or so in the log, tap the dowels in, coat each dowel with wax , and the cut ends, to keep moisture in and put them in the shade somewhere. I have it within reach of a sprinkler, so it keeps it damp throughout the hot months. Takes about 6 months +/- to inoculate and start producing, but they can last several years and produce several flushes each year ( usually in spring and fall, depending on temp and rain). Unpredictable, have to check every few days, cause one day there may be nothing , 2 days later may have 20 mushrooms full size ( it's amazing how quick they grow).
- Wine Cap:
Very easy, make a bed ( in the Shade)of straw and wood chips, mix the inoculated grain in and wait . Kinds like the Shiitake ( or any outside mushroom) , you dont know exactly when they will produce, so need to check often.
- Almond Mushrooms :
These have an almond scent and flavor to them. Due to their unique smell and taste, limited use ( at least for me). They actually like the summer. You break the spawn block up, bury it in compost ( they suggest burying it in compost under a plant, to keep shaded . I grew them under my tomato plants). Grows during the summer months.
- Chestnut ,Maitake, king oyster, Grey oyster:
The company sold all of these as a package deal n the fall. Bury them under wood chips ( kinda like the wine cap) and they produce within a few months . The oyster and chestnut did very well, The other two did not.
***Definitely have more control over the indoor shrooms, as you control the conditions and therefore , have a good idea of when they will produce ( not real mystery ).***
***Other than Shiitake, the outdoor mushrooms could get dirt, sand, bugs in their gils. Difficult clean, and a real treat to bite into s grain of sand unexpectedly. Slugs like them as well. I could up some chestnut mushrooms, and I cleaned all the bugs and slugs off of them. after cooking, they just seemed so slimy. Im hoping it was just the texture of the mushroom, or my mind screwing with me, but Im guessing a slug made it into the dish. Psychologically, I have difficulty eating them anymore.***
***Outdoor Shiitake logs are the exception. They dont get dirty or buggy***
I recommend starting with a simple kit, just to see how things work, and to test the conditions of where you are growing them. The kits are pricey, and you likely wont get tthe value of mushrooms to pay for the kit, but its a good starting point to learn.
- Indoors I recommend: Oyster , and so far Lions Mane. They seem to be easy and productive
- Outdoors, definitely the Shiitake Logs. these are my favorite. I love the way they taste , they're easy, productive and dry well.
These are the two sites I buy ( and learn) from.
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