Mushroom cultivation has enjoyed a renaissance in recent years because of the ease at which ordinary people can begin growing and harvesting fresh, edible mushrooms. Growing mushrooms is practical for both cooking enthusiasts and entrepreneurial spirits because it has a large market and it can be used in almost any dish.
You can grow mushrooms for your personal consumption or you can harvest them to sell later to your local market. Either way, you are going to benefit from cultivating them at home because edible mushrooms can either be consumed or sold for a nice profit.
The first thing that you need to know about growing mushrooms is that these fruiting bodies are extremely sensitive to two environmental factors: temperature and humidity.
This is the reason why it is recommended that you start growing mushrooms during the spring/fall seasons. This way, you won’t have to exert extra effort just to stabilize the ambient temperature of your growing area. Your growing area can be an outdoor or indoor space dedicated to your mushrooms.
Many mushroom farmers opt for indoor growing spaces because it is easier to control the humidity and temperature of a given space if it is protected by four walls and a roof.
If you are feeling adventurous, we recommend that you try culturing your own mycelium. This doesn’t require a lot of technical know-how but it will take some time before you are able to master the process and produce mycelium that you would be proud to store for later use.
Let’s talk about the substrate. If you are planning to grow oyster mushrooms or button mushrooms, you have probably been told to use cut wheat straw or even cottonseed hulls. You can choose either one of these two or you can just combine them.
Either way, the mushrooms will grow. However, if you are planning to produce mushrooms for your local market, you might want to combine the two types of substrate to increase the overall capacity of the substrate to retain water.
Moisture is quite important to growing mushrooms. In fact, many beginning mushroom farmers report sudden wilting because their substrates became too dry. In the wild, mushrooms grow because a number of ideal factors came together.
But this doesn’t always happen (which would explain why some tasty edible mushrooms are rare in the wild). As a mushroom farmer, you should be aware of the different factors that trigger the continuous formation of fruiting bodies or mushrooms.
For example, if you are going to grow shiitake mushrooms, you would have to prepare a growing yard for the logs after the incubation period to trigger the formation of mushrooms.
The growing yard is cooler and at this point in time, the logs have to be monitored regularly for moisture content to ensure that the logs will produce the maximum amount of mushrooms during the harvesting season.
Whatever substrate you are using, always remember that your substrate must be of the right temperature, consistency (loose substrate will benefit from a little gypsum) and moisture content. Dry supplementation should also be considered to boost the seasonal yield of the substrate which would probably provide you with new mushrooms every few months, depending on the species of fungi that you have chosen.