So you’ve decided to try your hand at growing magic mushrooms at home. Now your journey begins! If you are new to mushroom growing, it can be challenging to land on the right home setup. There are plenty of considerations, like how much space (and privacy) you have and whether or not you want to grow indoors or outdoors. Selecting your mushroom growing container is likely the first thing you do when purchasing your supplies, and the two most common choices are between tubs and tents. Here’s the low-down on what to consider before you get started.
How to Grow Mushrooms at Home
Growing mushrooms at home aren’t as hard as you may think. However, there are some things to keep in mind when growing mushrooms at home. Mushrooms are fungi and not plants, so they don’t require light as plants do. Instead, they need a dark space at or below 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius) with a humidity between 70% and 90%.
In addition to those basics, you must decide on your preferred method, medium, and mushroom growing container. No matter which option you choose, hosting a sterile environment is paramount to your success.
Mushroom Growing Methods
As you begin your foray into the world of mushroom cultivation, it’s essential to understand what methods can be used to grow mushrooms successfully at home. The first step is deciding whether you’d rather use a mushroom growing tub or a growing tent.
In nature, mushrooms grow on the forest floor, in logs, and other decaying matter—obviously not in a tub or tent. That said, there are several fairly simple ways to replicate the ideal conditions for cultivating mushrooms in your home using containers, tubs, trays, and tents.
Mushroom Growing Mediums
The material that you use to grow mushrooms on is called a substrate. Many different substrates can be used, and each has its pros and cons. One of the most common ingredients for the mushroom substrate is straw. Straw is cheap and easy to find, but it’s also hard to sterilize because of the way straw absorbs water so quickly; it will make any water you add spread throughout your container instead of staying where you put it.
If you’re growing mushrooms outdoors, you can inoculate a log to replicate a natural growing environment. This is fun if you have space on a property. If you are growing magic mushrooms, you definitely want some privacy. Be sure that the mushrooms are not accessible to pets or animals that might eat them.
Coco coir and vermiculite are popular substrates, and so are many types of grains. Ultimately, the kind of mushroom substrate you like may change with time or the type of mushroom. So do plenty of research before you decide.
Importance of Sterility
When growing mushrooms, you need to maintain a sterile environment. This is important for the growth of mushroom spores and mycelium and the final fruiting bodies themselves. The spores are not alive in a dormant state like seeds would be—instead, they are completely inactive until they are exposed to moisture and warmth. They only become active once they’ve been placed in an environment that meets their needs for germination.
Mycelium growth occurs after spores have been introduced into your growing medium (i.e., spawning). When you submit freshly-collected mushroom spawn material into your substrate, these little black dots will begin slowly expanding outward. This is when the magic begins, and germination takes place. This is a delicate environment, and cleanliness is critical.
What happens in a non-sterile environment? The competing fungus can decimate your mushroom spores, or mold, mildew, and other bacteria can destroy your substrate. Then, you’re starting over again. Take the time to create a sterile environment, and you’ll save time and money in the end.
Benefits of Growing Mushrooms in Tubs
Tubs as mushroom growing containers are precisely that: tubs. It can be your average storage container with minor airflow modifications or something specifically designed for growing mushrooms. There are plenty of benefits to using mushroom tubs.
- Mushrooms are easy to grow in tubs, and you don’t need a lot of space or equipment. For example, you can grow mushrooms in your home’s basement or on your kitchen countertop.
- Tubs are portable and easy to move around. If you have limited space in your house or backyard, consider buying a smaller tub that will fit wherever it needs to go. Has family swung by for a visit? Just put that container in a closet, and they’ll be none the wiser about your magic mushroom hobby.
- Another great reason to use tubs is that they’re easy to clean and sterilize between harvests. There aren’t many grooves or nooks where bacteria can hang out, waiting for the right moment to ruin your crop.
Benefits of Growing Mushrooms in Tents
Mushroom tents are tall, stand-alone structures with multiple racks for mushroom-growing trays. They are sealed to prevent outdoor elements from coming in, and many of them are clear so you can see what’s going on inside. Some benefits make the tent a stand-out option for mushroom growers.
- Tents have more open airflow than tubs, which means there is less chance of mold growth on the walls and ceiling. You can also keep your tent cleaner by ensuring everything (including your mushroom growing substrate) is clean before starting a new batch!
- You can grow a much larger harvest in a tent. The ample space means more room for fruiting bodies, or the ability to grow multiple varieties simultaneously.
- Tents give you the ability to control and monitor the environment more effectively. You can attach humidity and temperature devices to the outside and always know what’s going on in there. Need to adjust? No problem.
Most importantly, a mushroom tent is perfect for reducing possible contamination. It’s a special house for your mushrooms and adds a double layer of protection against pesky problems.
Tubs or Tents: Which is Best?
Growing mushrooms at home is a rewarding hobby. It’s important to know what kind of growing method will work best for you before getting started—that means considering things like the types of mushrooms you want to grow and how much space you have available. The best choice is usually a combination of both methods since each has its benefits and drawbacks.
For example, using plastic tubs as growing containers lets you easily move them around your house without damaging floors or carpets. Conversely, mushroom tents keep humidity levels even higher than other setups while providing an enclosed environment that helps prevent contamination from outside sources such as dust particles in air currents (which may contain harmful bacteria). The best mushroom growing container is one you feel most comfortable using.
The Shrüm All-In-One grow kit is perfect for either environment. You can set it up inside a tub and easily move it around where needed, or you can store it inside your grow tent. But you know what else you can do? Just place it on a shelf and let it do its thing. It’s designed for optimal airflow and humidity so your little buddies can spawn and fruit their way to a successful flush. Grab yours today and get growing.