Do you love Mushrooms? The good news is, you can have them fresh right at your home! How? Learn How to Grow Mushrooms in India!
Growing mushroom is a great option for indoor vegetable gardening. You can grow it in practically zero light, and it is one of the most fun things to cultivate! Once you get familiar with the process, mushrooms are quite easy to grow. Besides, these tasty veggies are rich in protein, iron, fibre, and have almost zero fat. So read on to find out How to Grow Mushrooms in India!
The process of growing mushrooms at home begins with choosing a suitable variety. The most common mushroom varieties are:
- Button Mushroom
- Oyster Mushroom
- Shiitake Mushroom
- Cremini Mushroom
- Milky Mushroom
- Straw Mushroom
If you’re new to growing mushrooms, it is recommended to go with the most basic, the oyster variety (Pleurotus ostreatus). They are the simplest to grow and can be cultivated in very little space. Moreover, the oyster mushroom is packed with nutrition and it will give you a steady harvest.
Have a look at the different varieties of Mushroom here
How to Propagate Mushrooms?
Mushrooms do not originate from seeds – they originate from microscopic spores. So, for starters, you need to obtain the spores or spawns of the desired mushroom variety. You can either find it online or source it from a horticulture center/local nursery.
How to Grow Mushrooms
Any place that remains dark all day, makes for a perfect place for growing mushrooms. They can be grown in an empty closet, in a basement, under a sink, or just in any dark corner. Try to choose a place that remains undisturbed most of the time.
The most bizarre part about growing mushrooms is that you do not grow them in soil! Soil does not provide the appropriate nutrients for growing mushrooms. Use ‘substrates‘ for growing them. They can be straw, hardwood, hardwood sawdust, wood chips, composted manure, horse manure, or coffee grounds.
Selecting the substrate depends on the mushroom variety. Here are a few examples:
- Straw- Any Oyster Variety
- Harwood/Sawdust/Wood Chips- Shiitake, Oyster
- Manure- White Buttons
The best way to cultivate mushrooms is to get a Mushroom Growing Kit. It will make the work a lot easy as it comes with all the details and growing instructions.
If you are not using a kit, then simply take straws in a plastic bag and add mushroom spawns at the side of the bag. Take out all the air from the bag, make 20-30 holes around it and hang it in a dark place. The pin heads of the mushroom will appear in 7-10 days. Use a sprayer bottle to keep the bag wet.
Mushrooms like humid conditions, so keep them damp at all times. A good way to ensure this is to cover the mushrooms with a light, damp cloth, and mist it whenever it dries up.
Temperature & Humidity
Mushrooms thrive best in cold, damp places. In the initial stage, the spawns should be kept at a temperature of about 20-21℃. But after a few weeks, the temperature should be reduced to 12-15℃, which is the optimum temperature range for growing mushrooms.
Taking Care of Mushrooms
Mushrooms can get green mould and Dactylium disease. You can easily prevent the diseases by keeping a clean environment and growing medium. Pests don’t usually bother small-scale mushroom produces.
In a matter of 4-5 weeks, you will see tiny mushrooms appearing. They are ready to harvest when their caps are separate from their stems. Remember not to pull the mushrooms out harshly; you should twist and pluck them one by one. This way, they will continue growing produce for about a month more. Also, make sure you eat the mushrooms fresh and do not store them for more than a day.