Growing Mushrooms in Containers:
The following details are about Growing Mushrooms in Containers.
Introduction: Mushroom are the consumable bulb body of a fungus, that is grown above ground on soil or on some food source. The most common mushroom that are available in the market are white button mushrooms. The mushrooms that have a stem and gills underside of the cap are called Agaricusbisporus.
There are many varieties of Mushroom they are differentiated by their gills; some mushroom grows with or without stems. The gills of a mushroom produce microscopic spores, these gills that help the fungus spread across on the ground or on its growing source.
Growing mushrooms at home is an interesting task for the gardeners who are interested in growing food at home. Mushrooms are the best ingredient to make your diet healthy. Mushrooms are rich in fiber. Mushroom are the rich sources of potassium and selenium and these are low in calories and fat.
Mushrooms thrive well indoors, where the temperature and light conditions are maintained at a constant level. For growing mushroom, you should have complete knowledge in managing their growing conditions and temperature levels.
Mushroom takes approximately 3 weeks to germinate and harvesting period of mushroom is about 8 to 10 weeks. Mushroom grows well in indoors and outdoors and grows well in all types of containers.
When you are a new gardener growing mushrooms directly is not a good choice, growing mushroom should have good knowledge of maintaining suitable growing environment. Mushroom growing kits are available in the market in the market, but those kits are not necessary. This article gives you the complete information about growing mushrooms, for beginners.
Mushrooms can be consumed both cooked or raw, shiitake mushrooms look more appealing texture when they are cooked. Mushroom are the good source of obscure mineral called selenium, potassium, fiber and B and D vitamins.
Varieties of Mushrooms for Growing Mushrooms in Containers:
There are many varieties of edible mushrooms that can be grown in containers. The varieties of mushrooms are oyster mushrooms, white button mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms. Shiitake mushrooms are very expensive.
White button Mushroom:
White button mushrooms easy to grow and maintain. White button mushroom is very tasty than other varieties. White button mushrooms growing kits available in the market, and a white button mushroom grows well in a nitrogen rich manure for example horse manure. Ideal temperature for growing white button mushrooms is 21 C degrees.
Oyster mushrooms are a high yielding variety, these mushrooms are quickly growing. These mushrooms are a great source of potassium, iron and proteins and very low cholesterol levels. Ideal temperature for growing oyster mushroom should be in the range of about 10-20 degrees. Growing kits are the best options for growing oyster mushrooms, these kits are filled with small inoculated log or a holey plastic bag filled with sterilized, inoculated straw or sawdust. Oyster mushrooms are tolerant to temperature variations and it can be the best choice for new gardeners.
Shiitake mushrooms are normally grown on hardwoods or hardwood sawdust. These mushrooms can be grown easily in a container in indoors and outdoors, these mushrooms are best option for commercial farming.
How to Start Growing Mushrooms in Containers:
Mushroom doesn’t grow like normal plants, Mushrooms are a fungus. So, growing mushroom is not like growing plants, you should follow a bit different process.
Mushroom doesn’t grow from seeds, they grow from spores and spores will be clearly visible when seen through a microscope.
Firstly, mushrooms have no seeds. They have spores, which look like dust to the naked eye because each spore is microscopic.
For propagating mushroom in containers, loose spores are available in the market. Buying mushroom spores are like buying seed for sowing plants. Growing mushrooms from spores is time taking and a bit difficult task.
So best option is to buy mushroom spawn. Mushroom spawn is insulation of spores. And it is the root structure of the mushroom. Purchasing spawns are like purchasing seedlings. You get little plugs that are insulated with mushroom spores in the spawn you get in the market. Growing mushroom from spawn makes your work very easy.
Material Requirements for Growing Mushrooms in Containers:
First, you need to get basic information about the growing mushrooms. Growing mushroom is very simple and easy for container growing, but growing mushroom doesn’t grow on the soil. You should know about a good source where you can grow mushrooms. You need to choose some organic material, that should be able to hold the moisture, growing materials can be sawdust, aged manure, aged compost, shredded newspapers or straw. Some mushroom can also grow on logs, but growing on logs is not suited for indoor gardening.
Growing material used for mushroom should be sterile compost, hay, peat moss or even dried. There are many types of growing medium available choose the suitable one depending on your type of mushroom and also the cost.
Material required vary depending on the type of mushroom you are growing.
- Oyster Mushrooms: Growingmaterial required for oyster mushrooms is straw.
- White Button Mushrooms: Growing material required for white button mushroom is composted manure.
- Shiitake Mushrooms: Growing material required for shiitake mushrooms is sawdust or wooden logs.
Container Required for Growing Mushrooms in Containers:
- Mushroom are ideal for growing in containers. Mushroom can be grown outdoors on trees or or on some, but edible mushroom should be grown in suitable container filled with suitable growing material.
- Suitable containers for growing mushrooms are plastic trash bag, a plastic container, or a laundry basket.
- The containers you choose should be 8 to 12 inches deep. With good draining system.
- The Container should be sterilized and cleaned with warm water and mild antiseptic soaps.
Location for Growing Mushrooms in Containers:
Choose a dark or complete shade location for growing mushrooms. The Location you should be capable of adjusting the temperature. A closed cabin or unused closed corner or any dark place in indoors or even an empty kitchen cabinet will be enough for placing mushroom containers. Once you decide the type of mushroom, a container and growing medium and a location, then you can start growing mushrooms.
Steps for Growing Mushrooms in Containers:
Once the container is selected, fill the container hardwood chips, chopped cereal straws, like wheat, or shredded corn cobs depending on the mushroom variety. There is no chlorophyll in mushrooms, which is the main substance in making leaves green and must obtain their food from the growing medium.
Sterilize the growing medium for Growing Mushrooms in containers:
First, you should sterilize the growing material. If you are growing mushrooms from the growing material like sawdust or straw, it is compulsory to sterilize the growing medium before inserting the mushroom spawn in the growing medium. Sterilizing will help to kill the harmful bacteria in the material and gives you healthy edible mushroom.
Growing materials can be sterilized by placing them in micro oven and by placing the in a heating pan. Damp the material with sufficient amount of water, heat till the water boils off for 2 to 3 minutes.
Take a shallow container, with more surface area that gives good amount of place for the more mushroom to grow. Fill the container with the growing. Now mix the spawn with growing medium with a sterilized utensil. Now place the container in a warm area at a temperature 21 C which is ideal for growing mushrooms. Place your mushroom container in any corner in your house where it receives little to no sunlight, like a basement or even a closed cabinet. This allows the bacteria called mushroom mycelia to permeate, this bacterium is the main source for the growth of mushrooms.
Check the container after two weeks, check the growing medium to see whether it is colonized properly.
If you see growing medium completely covered with white fuzz, it means the environment is proper and mushroom has started its growth. But sometimes it may take 2 to 4 weeks for white fuzz to appear.
If the growing medium is colonized, then move the container into a dark and cool environment where the temperature should be around 13°C. A basement or a cabinet or drawer is best the spot in your home.
If you observe dark green or brown spots on the growing medium, just remove them instantly and throw them off. Then cover the growing medium with a good quality commercial potting soil and sprinkle enough water to damp the soil thoroughly. And cover the container with damp cloth to preserve the moisture.
Placing a low heat near the container, this will work as a sun. Which helps the mushroom to grow faster and tastier.
Check the moisture levels of the potting soil constantly. The soil should be moist, so sprinkling water periodically will keep the soil moist.
Mushroom thrives well in a cooler environment, for growing quick and tasty mushroom, don’t let them temperature (21 degrees) go high. Maintain a cool environment. Mushroom grown well, even the temperature fall below 21 C degrees.
After 2 to 3 weeks, you can see small baby mushrooms appearing on the container. Maintain the constantly moist, cool and dark environment that encourages its growth. Mushroom should be harvested once they are completely grown.
When the mushrooms appear with the caps fully from the stems, then they are ready to harvest.
Using Coffee Grounds for Growing Mushrooms in Containers:
- Another method of growing mushroom is from coffee grounds. Coffee grounds are a good growing medium for growing mushrooms. Both oyster and button mushrooms grow well in coffee grounds.
- Get some fresh coffee grounds, there is no need to sterilize these coffee grounds as they are already sterilized.
- Now select a container, the container can be grow bag, freezer bag or ice cream tub will small holes poked.
- Now wash the hands with antiseptic soaps and them mix the mushroom spawn with containers. Mix the spawns properly, make sure that the spawn is spread evenly on the coffee grounds. Now seal the container tightly.
- Place the container in a dark, cool and dry environment. And the temperature should be ranging between 18 to 25°C. Store the container for two to four weeks. Store it till the surface of the substrate turn completely white.
- Remove the dark or green spots it appears on the substrate instantly.
- Now replace the mushroom container, when the surface of the substrate turns completely white. Place them in bright areas and mist the container with water twice in a day. Make sure that the growing doesn’t get dry.
- Mushroom grown in coffee ground take five to seven days for tiny mushroom to sprout. Mist the container constantly, so that the mushroom grown day by day. When the mushrooms are fully grown with large caps with a stem them you start harvesting your mushrooms.
Growing Mushrooms In Containers Using Growing Kits:
Ready-made mushroom growing kits are available in the market. This can be a best option for new gardeners. Growing mushrooms from a ready-made kit is quick and a busy option for growing own mushrooms. Mushrooms kits container plastic bags that are filled with sterilized growing materials for mushrooms. You just need to buy these growing kits and place them in exact growing climate. And within a week or 10 days you can see the mushroom sprouting.
Pests and Diseases in Growing Mushrooms in Containers:
As the mushroom grown under a controlled environment in sterilized materials, you no need to worry about the insects and diseases. But main concern should be that, too much moisture may cause root rot. Maintain a constant moisture level to avoid root rot.
Harvesting Methods for Growing Mushrooms in Containers:
- Harvest the mushroom when they are completely grown.
- You can harvest the mushroom by picking them directly with your finger. But picking with finger may damage the young fungi with developing in the growing medium.
- Use sharp knife to harvest the mushrooms, cut the carefully at the base. If want harvest with fingers first just twist the base of mushroom until the base becomes loose, don’t pull them directly.
- Gentle picking will promote the growth of new mushrooms for more the 3 weeks. Once the session of growing mushroom is completed, then next session of mushroom can be planted on the same growing
Storing Tips for Mushrooms:
- Mushrooms stay fresh when stored in refrigerator. Pack them in a loose paper bag and store them in freezer.
- When they are not stored properly, they start to shrink.
- Mushroom can stay for long periods, when they are sliced thin and dried. Use a dehydrator or dry them on a low heat in an oven.
- Frozen mushroom like other edible things, is not a good choice in case of mushroom. Mushroom get discolored when they kept in freezer. Mushroom should be eaten fresh by cooking or when want to eat raw just blanch in boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes.