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Growing Edible Mushrooms At Home
What No One Tells You Growing Edible Mushrooms At Home
The old motto “don’t tell anyone everything you know” seems to apply quite well in the field of home mushroom growing – even though many people tend to be familiar with the subject these days and some of them are actually quite proficient with it, not everyone would be willing to share their secrets with you. In fact, sometimes it can be very challenging to find the right information you need to do get started on growing your mushrooms.
Thankfully, there are plenty of people out there who’re more than willing to help you in your quest for growing mushrooms – one brief look through the market for mushroom growing guides is going to present you with many relevant results – and all of them have the potential to work very well for you, though not all of them are suitable for beginners so you’ll have to make your pick carefully. “Mushroom Grow Pro” is a good example of a book aimed at people with little next to no experience in mushroom growing who need everything explained to them from the basics.
In order to get started with growing your own mushrooms, you’ll want to learn a little bit about how fungi grow in general and how people have learned to cultivate their growth in order to get a sustainable supply of mushrooms to feed themselves with. Mushrooms grow naturally all around us, and some people have made it a hobby to go out and collect them from parks, forests and other places where they tend to grow in large numbers. That’s not always the best idea though, because sometimes picking mushrooms can require an expensive license, or may even be prohibited.
On the other hand, mushrooms can also be grown manually outdoors, which is typically done on logs where they can grow in the most reliable manner possible. This carries some disadvantages with it though, such as the lack of proper sterilization procedures (or any sterilization at all), and the lack of control over the growth environment – it can be very difficult to get your mushrooms to grow and develop fully when you can’t control their environment, because they need some precise adjustments to the temperature and humidity, as well as light levels, in order to grow to their fullest potential.
Which brings us to the main topic of this little article – growing mushrooms at home. This is by far the best method you could use for a large number of reasons – primarily control. You’ve got complete control over all the important factors that determine the success of your mushrooms’ growth, such as the humidity of the air, the temperature, as well as the light levels. You can also apply very firm control over the concentration of various bacteria and other contaminants, which can also play a major role in the development of your fungi. People who’re truly dedicated to the “art” of mushroom growing even invest into some expensive buildings and equipment, in order to ensure that they can control all of the important factors with the utmost level of precision.
Starting out with mushroom growing is best done with trays – even though there are some more advanced methods available, trays are great both when you’re starting out, as well as when you get more advanced, because they allow you to easily scale up your operations, plus they can be harvested very easily as well. Trays are also easily compatible with most of the popular controlling mechanisms, allowing you to easily regulate the factors we mentioned above in order to get the best results from your growing.
Time will be your most valuable resource in the whole process of growing mushrooms at home – even when you’ve advanced enough to know all of the more complex ideas surrounding the process of growing mushrooms, you’re still going to need to wait patiently as they develop according to their own natural ways. All of the steps involved in growing mushrooms require some time to execute properly, and make sure you don’t rush anything – this can have some detrimental effects on the final produce that you get.
Even the first step you’ll be taking – developing the compost – can take up to two weeks to get it done fully, so you’ll want to be prepared to wait and keep an eye on the progress of the mushrooms’ growth very closely. There’s some equipment that can help you with that process as well, though in the beginning you would likely be better off checking everything by yourself as that would help you gain some experience more quickly.
It’s particularly important to be aware of the so-called “pinning” process, during which the caps of the mushrooms (known as pins) start to form, and the mushrooms need some very specialized conditions in order to ensure that the pins develop fully and properly. Maintaining the balance of humidity, CO2 and temperature is going to have a huge impact on how many pins are produced and the overall size of the mushrooms in the batch, and you’ll want to experiment with this as much as possible until you’ve found the perfect balance for the mushrooms that you’re growing. Different guide books would give you different information regarding how you should control those things during the pinning process, but the truth is that you’ll have to find for yourself what works best for your mushrooms.
Last but not least, we have the harvesting part, which isn’t very similar to what you’d be used to if you’ve been growing regular plants like tomatoes. Mushrooms aren’t harvested just once, but rather over a long period of time (around 10 days) in separate cycles, as that’s the only way to get the full yield of the batch that you’ve produced. There are different ways to accelerate and even automate the harvesting process, but patience is essential to getting it right because you run a risk of spoiling the produce if you don’t get the harvesting done right properly, especially if you rush it due to impatience.
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