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How Does Growing Mushrooms Work?
How Does Growing Mushrooms Work?
Many people see growing mushrooms as something extremely complicated and risky (due to the common knowledge that some mushrooms can be highly toxic to humans). The truth is quite different though – if you take the time to educate yourself properly on the manner, you’ll have no problem growing a perfect batch of mushrooms anytime you’re feeling like it, and you may even start making a profit off of it by selling the mushrooms to your local stores or to consumers directly, as long as you have the right business instinct as well as a good green thumb.
Even if you’re not planning on selling your produce though, and you’re only interested in growing mushrooms for fun or for the idea of growing your own food, you can still benefit a lot in terms of a sense of reward, and the overall idea of growing what you eat. Getting started with the whole procedure of growing mushrooms isn’t that difficult and you just need the right information.
Getting that information can be done in a variety of ways – but the most reliable one is to read a book on the subject. There are lots of different guides on the market nowadays that cover the topic of growing mushrooms in great detail, but you shouldn’t just trust any random edition – make sure that you’re getting one that’s written specifically for beginners, and covers the parts of the growing process that you’re most interested in/lack any knowledge in.
A good choice in this regard would be “Mushroom Grow Pro,” a book that combines the best sources of information on the subject together with lots of original research with the final result being a well-rounded guide that should work very well for beginners and even some more advanced mushroom farmers who’ve already built some experience with the subject and want to learn some more advanced techniques.
We’d advise you to start your mushroom growing ventures with a type of fungi that grows in substrate – this is opposed to the ones that grow in a woody base, and it’s very important to ensure that the mushrooms you’re about to grow don’t require the latter because this can affect the whole growing process very significantly.
Compost can be made from a variety of things and the materials it includes vary greatly from one guide to another – but the common result is a material that contains all the important nutrients that mushrooms need to grow properly and quickly, combined in very specific proportions in order to have the fullest possible effect. In addition, compost can be acquired commercially but it’s always best to make your own – especially while you’re still learning, as this can be a great learning experience that can make it much easier to grow mushrooms reliably and more easily afterwards.
Set aside at least a few weeks for developing the substrate on its own, because this usually takes a lot of time – just mixing the materials isn’t enough, you’ll need to wait for them to develop the specific bacteria that mushrooms utilize in their growing, and control the environment the compost develops in all throughout – things like temperature and humidity are crucial for developing proper compost.
These controls are going to be vital for the later stages of the growing process as well – mushrooms need some very specific conditions in order to develop properly, otherwise you’re going to get a far smaller yield than you might expect. In the beginning, on your first few attempts, this may not be such a problem because you’ll likely not be expecting some spectacular results anyway – but later on you’ll definitely want to invest in some specialized equipment for maintaining the temperature and humidity levels properly around the mushrooms you’re growing. Remember that growing mushrooms boils down to chance for the most part, and you can greatly maximize your chances if you know what kind of equipment you have to get for those purposes.
The mushrooms themselves don’t take very short to develop either – you’ll generally need another few weeks for that as well, especially for some specific strains of fungi which can be very pretentious to their growth environment and may be difficult to get them to grow very fast. All in all you’ll need at least 3-4 months for the whole process, and that’s considering that everything goes smoothly – you may very well encounter some problems in the course of the growing process that can set you back significantly, so you might want to add an extra month to the estimation to be more accurate.
Proper education can prevent many of these problems from even occurring though – which brings us back to the point of investing in a good mushroom growing guide. Even if you don’t get the one we recommended, still make sure you’re investing in something worth your money – not every guide out there manages to pull off the right balance between a good dose of information and easy accessibility for the reader, but when you find that one which works perfectly for you, you’re going to advance very quickly in the growing process.
Also make sure that you compare the deals you’re offered on things like spores and spawn very thoroughly, because the market for these products can be very diverse in some regions and you’ll want to ensure that you’re not missing out on a potentially better deal that lies somewhere else. While it’s true that you’ll have to make some initial financial investment into your mushroom growing, you don’t generally have to spend a lot of money on it if you know how to do your shopping right.
Speaking of money, consider the options of profiting from your growing like we outlined above – this is certainly a possibility if you start growing good mushrooms, but you may need to obtain a license or another type of permit in order to do that; even with those costs factored in though, it can be a very worthwhile activity and some people have even managed to make a living for themselves that way.
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