One of the biggest misconceptions that people have when it comes to mushrooms is that they consider them to be a certain type of plant. In reality, that could not be further from the truth. When dealing with the question of the nature of mushrooms, it is important to understand that mushrooms do indeed share a lot of characteristics with plants. However, they do have so much that is different as well. The answer to that essentially lies in how mushrooms are grown. This illustrates exactly the difference between plants and mushrooms since it provides detail on how the requirements of plants are different from those that mushrooms have.
For indoor farmers, there really is no reality other than mushrooms. This is due to one simple word, sunlight. Plants require a lot of sunlight and thus need to be able to spread out over a larger area. This is done so that each sapling can get its fair share of sunlight in order to grow well. For someone who wants to grow in the comfort of their own home, the requirement of that much space will simply never be fulfilled. Considering the increasing cost of housing, having even a few acres is a dream that will stay that way for most aspiring farmers. Mushrooms are the answer to this question. In sheer contrast with plants, mushrooms do not need sunlight and in fact, HATE sunlight. This makes them extremely suitable for basements and garages. Since they have a tendency to grow in clusters, a much smaller surface area can produce quite a bit. There is even the option of a mushroom growing kit if you are a beginner. A pink oyster mushroom kit is a wonderful way to start.
Without further ado, let’s get into the process itself.
Mushrooms are actually a type of fungi. More accurately, the part of mushrooms that you would want to eat is the fruit of the fungus which is known as mycelium. They will grow underground or in the shade or something such as inside trees.
The one magic word that you need to remember is spores. For people who google ‘do mushrooms produce seeds’, the answer is that the equivalent of seeds in the world of mushrooms are spores. Although spores are much smaller in size, and a single mushroom will contain billions of them.
For that, first, you need to collect the spores. In terms of the things you need, a mushroom, paper, and glass that are all you require. Take the mushroom and place the gills down. Add the glass over the top. Once is done, you can leave it be for about 2 days. Once the required time has elapsed, remove the glass and take the mushroom out. The spores will have fallen down from the mushroom and onto the paper. It is extremely important that you do not expose these spores to sunlight or water. A great bonus would be to keep it in a sealed container.
Once you have obtained the spores, the next step and the most interesting one is to take the spores and cultivate them. For that, you need to first take clean water that has been sterilized from bacteria and add a few drops of it to the spores. You should immediately be able to see some form of discoloration in the water and clusters of the spores being formed. Now, one of the questions that you might have is: Where do mushrooms get their energy from when they cannot be exposed to sunlight? Essentially, they need a substrate such as sawdust or wooden plugs in order to achieve that same effect. Since they are what is known as Fungi, they will be feeding off of it. Take the spawn and add to some sawdust. You should be mindful of the fact that different types of mushrooms will require different types of substrates in order to grow most efficiently.
It must be kept in mind that conditions have to be maintained and kept the same to a degree of perfection. Mushrooms are extremely sensitive when it comes to their requirements for growing. A mistake here won’t be forgiven by the mushroom as the fruit might end up being seriously affected even by very little negligence. One of the ways that you can counteract this is to use mushrooms that are considered to be more resilient. One of the most resilient types of mushrooms is oyster mushrooms. Known for their savory taste as well as the plethora of health benefits that they are able to provide, oyster mushrooms are one of the favorites of amateur mushroom growers. Even for foragers, they are easy to spot due to their oyster-like shape. They are even quite aesthetically pleasing as well, with a lot of people keeping them as decorations. Blue oyster mushrooms are the most popular type of oyster mushrooms. They grow to an almost explosive level and have one of the shortest time periods required to grow. Moreover, they do not mind a little negligence when it comes to growing conditions and will still be able to grow even in environments that have less-than-ideal growing conditions.
Growing mushrooms is no joke. People spend a lot of time trying to figure this out and end up wasting a lot of spores and time just to end up with nothing. Most of us simply do not have the time and attention that mushrooms can require. To that end, mushroom growing kits have become a favorite of amateurs as well as experienced growers alike. Essentially, mushroom growing kits take much of the pain and anguish out of growing mushrooms. The first few steps that we talked about are already covered and all you need to do is to press the metaphorical resume button and the kit will be ready to go. Just a bit of frequent watering will be able to achieve the goal.
Growing Oyster Mushrooms
Oyster mushrooms are generally grown on logs inside dead trees. If you want to grow them inside the comfort of your home, all you have to do is take some hardwood and dowel spawn. Make sure that the log of hardwood came from a tree that was completely healthy and the log has not been cut for more than a month. Just add small holes into the hardwood and add oyster mushroom mycelium to it. Make sure to keep the hardwood in a moist and cool environment. In a period that could be anything from half a year to a whole year, it will start to fruit.
Growing Shiitake Mushrooms
The process for these mushrooms is more or less the same as the process for oyster mushrooms. They can also be grown on blocks of sawdust as well. Interestingly, you can expect fruiting to happen much quicker in the sawdust medium.
Considering that the world is moving towards a more organic way of living, it is important to orient yourself that way as well. Mushrooms can be a big part of your turn into that lifestyle, with their health benefits being only the terrific icing on the cake. The convenience that grow kits have been able to provide is also a big factor. Available widely in the country now, these grow kits are a way into the future for mushroom growers.