How to Grow Your Own Backyard Mushrooms

How to Grow Your Own Backyard Mushrooms
Image: Getty Images

Mushrooms are a versatile food but the humble fungus has another important feature — it’s easy to grow at home.

Given we’re all now expert backyard produce growers thanks to coronavirus restrictions, it’s time to level up your game. And mushrooms are a great next step.

For many, the mushroom remains a bit of a mystery. Childhood warnings about toxic wild mushrooms have poisoned our relationship with the fungus and have meant it’s simply easier to just buy it from the store. The good news is there are plenty of ways to grow your own backyard mushrooms and to make sure they aren’t going to make you sick.

Get a DIY mushroom kit

The easiest way to do it grow your own mushroom is by buying a DIY mushroom kit. Companies like Little Acre Mushrooms offer all-inclusive kits that provide you the tools you need to get your own fungus farm going. You can choose from a range of different mushroom types depending on the climate you live in around Australia.

There are a number of other options if this is the route you want to go so it’s just about finding a supplier that gives you the types you want.

Grow your own from the store

If you’d like to take a slightly tougher but cheaper route, it’s also possible to grow a farm from store-bought mushrooms. It will depend on which mushrooms you buy but the common button mushroom is a good one to start with.

Firstly, mushrooms grow from spores, not seeds so you’ll need to harvest those from the store-bought packet. To do that, you need to cut the stems off your mushrooms and lay them on baking paper or wax paper for about a day. The spores will fall onto the paper for you to then set up your soil tray for growing. This handy infographic below outlines some of the key steps.

Growing Mushrooms at Home: DIY Mushroom Kit
Source: Fix.com Blog

Tips to care for your mushroom children

Mushrooms like a dark, moist environment so popping them on your sunny window sill is not a good start. As Bunnings suggests, total darkness is not necessary but somewhere out of direct sunlight is key. As for giving them moisture, a spray bottle will help to keep the soil damp without disturbing the spores too much.

It’s also important to note that mushrooms like moderate temperatures between 14 and 25 degrees Celcius. If where you live regularly registers temperatures either side of that, you’ll have to be a bit more strategic about where you place your ‘shrooms.

But hey, like everything we’re doing in coronavirus times, it’s nice to try it out for yourself. It could also save you heading to the shops more than you need to.

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