The gardening I’m just taking up is growing mushrooms, and I have the logs here to do it right. I noted that maple is particularly recommended, and have now some spores at work in the first, hole filled, log.
Mushrooms grow from spores — not seeds — that are so tiny you can’t see individual spores with the naked eye.Because the spores don’t contain chlorophyll to begin germinating (as seeds do), they rely on substances such as sawdust, grain, wooden plugs, straw, wood chips, or liquid for nourishment. A blend of the spores and these nutrients is called spawn. Spawn performs a bit like the starter needed to make sourdough bread.
The spawn supports the growth of mushrooms’ tiny, white, threadlike roots, called mycelium. The mycelium grows first, before anything that resembles a mushroom pushes through the growing medium.
The spawn itself could grow mushrooms, but you’ll get a lot better mushroom harvest when the spawn is applied to a substrate, or growing medium. Depending on the mushroom type, the substrate might be straw, cardboard, logs, wood chips, or compost with a blend of materials such as straw, corncobs, cotton and cocoa seed hulls, gypsum, and nitrogen supplements.
Where to Grow Mushrooms
Mushrooms prefer dark, cool, moist, and humid growing environments. In a house, a basement is often ideal, but a spot under the sink may be all you need.
The patience is at work at the moment, but it’s just been two weeks. My first experiment is with golden mushrooms, the poplar are planted in commercially prepared soil, and I am looking for the right place for the oyster mushrooms.
Pennsylvania is the premier state for mushroom cultivation. I chose right, for sure.
(Thanks to Eva Kröcher for the picture, creative commons license.)