Take a walk through any forested area, and you will likely find a mushroom or two hiding near a log or growing out from the side of a tree. If you’re really looking, you can find them underneath leaves, cow dung, or other areas of decaying matter. Although they are a living organism, mushrooms do not quite grow like other foods and plants. For starters, they require no light because there is no photosynthesis needed for mushroom fruiting to begin.
Cultivating mushrooms is a growing trend for hobby gardeners, and it presents a challenge beyond a tomato crop or pot full of succulents. Growing mushrooms at home can be done both indoors and out, but which is easier? Or, which is better? Here’s the rundown on indoor vs outdoor grown mushrooms.
How Do Mushrooms Grow?
We’ve all seen mushrooms, the gorgeous and mysterious beings that pop up in the forest and on woody material. How are mushrooms and plants different? Mushrooms are actually fungi, which means they don’t have chlorophyll like plants do, so they need to get nutrients from dead organic matter like trees or composted material.
So, where do mushrooms grow? Most mushrooms grow above ground on logs or other organic matter where their spores have fallen after being spread by wind or rainwater runoff over long distances when conditions are right for them to germinate. However, some types can also grow underground in symbiosis with trees, such as oaks which provide them with water through their roots while they receive nutrients from tree-bound mycelium strands extending outwards into surrounding soil areas.
What Are the Best Mushroom Growing Environments
The best mushroom growing environments are dark, humid, and cool. The ideal temperature range is 50 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (10-24 degrees Celsius). The humidity should be between 90 and 100 percent. Ideal humidity levels can be achieved with a simple spray bottle, or you can use a humidifier if you’re feeling ambitious.
Mushrooms are not picky about light levels, but the darker it is, the better for them since they thrive in low-light conditions. A dark room with no windows will work perfectly fine for growing mushrooms indoors!
Can You Grow Mushrooms at Home?
If you love mushrooms, and you’re willing to invest time and effort into their growth, then growing mushrooms at home is a worthwhile hobby. But if you’ve never tried growing them before (or even if you have), it can be hard to know where to start. Before investing in a setup, consider the pros and cons of indoor vs outdoor mushrooms.
Indoor Mushrooms Growing
Growing mushrooms indoors is a great way to have fresh mushrooms all year round, assuming you have the right tools and equipment.
The pros of indoor mushroom growing include being able to grow mushrooms at home year-round. They’re generally easy to care for since you can just pop your head into their environment and make sure everything looks okay.
Plus, there’s less worry about pests and diseases because they’re grown in an isolated environment.
The main benefit is that indoor mushrooms grow much faster than outdoor ones. If you want to harvest your crop sooner, then outdoor cultivation might be right for you!
The cons of indoor mushroom growing include space limitations for one. If you live in small quarters or share a home with family or roommates, you might have a hard time allocating dedicated space to your new hobby.
You need a place that is dark and humid, which may be difficult if you live in an apartment or other place where it’s hard to control such things as ventilation and light levels. In addition, mushrooms put off an interesting aroma which may not be pleasing to some people. If you are trying to be discreet, this can be a giveaway.
Outdoor Mushroom Growing
Growing mushrooms outdoors is certainly not an option for everyone, but if you live in an area where this might work out for you, consider the following pros and cons.
You’ll likely have more space to grow larger harvests or have multiple types of mushrooms growing at once. This means you could grow magic mushrooms for medicine and then have a batch of Lion’s mane going for nutrition while rocking some portabellas for dinner!
It’s unlikely that you can grow year-round, so you must take advantage of the perfect weather conditions. Also, mushrooms tend to grow slower outdoors than indoors.
There are plenty of environmental concerns like rain, wind, snow, and sleet that can decimate the mushroom fruiting process.
What Types of Mushrooms Thrive Outdoors
Almost all mushrooms grew solely outdoors at one time. It was only when we decided to produce them commercially that indoor cultivation really became a viable option. Still, if you are interested in growing mushrooms at home but want to try outdoors, there are several varieties that are good for beginners.
The most common types of mushrooms grown for food are Agaricus bisporus (common button mushroom), Lentinula edodes (shiitake), Pleurotus ostreatus (oyster mushrooms), and Flammulina velutipes (enoki). These are easily grown in your backyard or on an inoculated log. If you are growing psilocybin mushrooms, hardy varietals like Penis Envy are a good choice.
What Supplies Do You Need to Start Growing Mushrooms?
Depending on whether or not you decide to grow indoors or outdoors, the materials will vary. If you want to grow outdoors, you might have great luck using a log. You can also make a mushroom bed with straw and a homemade blend of substrate. This can get tricky to maintain, and you certainly want to keep it in an area where no pets or wildlife can come along and contaminate it or eat the mushroom fruiting bodies.
Growing indoors has never been easier. The Shrüm All-In-One Grow Bag is the best way to get started. There’s no need to worry about mixing substrate, boiling grains, or dealing with not-so-sterile equipment. It contains everything you need to get started (minus the mushroom spores or liquid culture). It’s perfectly designed to let CO2 out and let fresh oxygen in.
Forget about mold and wasted attempts, just inoculate through the injection port, put the grow bag in a dark place, and let the magic start to happen. Check out the tutorials to see how easy it is to start growing mushrooms at home today.