Mushrooms are nutrients rich food, that can be eaten by all the groups of people. When growing of mushroom is easy why don't you give a try to grow this nutritious food at your home.
Growing your food at home and becoming self-sufficient is the need of the hour. As a gardener growing vegetables, fruits, and flowers are handy and can produce much more. Along with these greens why can’t we try growing nutrients rich and healthy edible mushrooms at home. Here I will let you know about easy steps to grow oyster mushrooms at your home.
Mushrooms are not plants but belong to the kingdom fungi. Mushrooms are classified as edible mushrooms and poisonous mushrooms.
1. Edible mushrooms: edible mushrooms will be rich in phenolic compounds, carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids. Majorly there are three groups under edible mushrooms i.e
- Agaricus genus
- Lentinus genus
- Pleurotus genus / Oyster mushroom
- Amanita muscaria
- Amanita virosa
- Amanita bisporigera
Health benefits of edible mushrooms:
- Eating of mushrooms provide high energy.
- Rich in antioxidants, minerals & proteins.
- Improves heart health.
- Eating mushroom may keep you young.
- Helps in the working of the brain as aging occurs.
- May improve memory.
Requirements to grow oyster mushrooms:For one standard size of polythene bag of 20 x 40 cm you need,
- One kg of good quality paddy straw.
- About 100 gm of oyster mushroom spawn
- Polythene bag of size 20 x 40 cm ( opened at both the sides)
- Hydrogen peroxide for disinfecting.
Where can mushroom grow happily:
- Temperature- mushroom grows well under the temperature of 20-37 degrees Celsius.
- Mushrooms prefer dark conditions for their growth. Or shade.
- Relative humidity- 80-90%
- Season to grow : fall and winter season is very good to go
Follow these steps to grow mushrooms:
Paddy straw preparation:
- Cut the straw about 2 inches long.
- Soak the straw in water for 6-8 hours or overnight. Paddy straw should be completely submerged in water.
- The next day boil the straw for one hour at 80 degrees Celsius. It means, boil the straw in medium flame for one hour. This stem needed to kill all the other harmful microorganisms present in straw. And to provide soft growing media for the mushroom.
- After boiling, clean the indoor surface area with hydrogen peroxide (available in pharmacy ), where you want to spread the boiled straw to drain out the extra amount of water present in the straw.
- Do not dry out straw completely. It should have 50-55% moisture content. To check this condition squeeze the straw hard and no water should come, but your hands should become moist.
- The straw will be ready to use after 5-6 hours.
Preparing a growing bag:
- Take out spawn from the container in a sterilized bowl/ tray.
- Tie one end of the polythene bag tightly to give a cylindrical shape to the polythene bag
- Fill one-fourth of the straw into a polythene bag
- Now place one-fourth of the spawn into the polythene bag at sides of the wall of the bag, to make the ring of spawn
- Repeat this step three more times until spawns are used completely.
- Now press the straw using your palm, tie the polythene bag after removing all the air present in it.
- Make 7-8 small holes using a needle or any sharp tool, ( should be sterilized) holes should be big enough to hold the cotton balls. The reason for inserting cotton balls is to avoid dust to enter inside along with air.
- Keep it in a cool and dark place for about 15 days, after 15 days you can observe white mycelial growth on the straw. It looks like a spider web on the straw.
- This stage is called spawning. It takes around 15-25 days depending on the temperature.
- At this stage remove the cotton balls from all the holes.
- 3-5 days after spawning you can see the growth of pinheads of mushrooms through the holes you have made earlier.
- It takes 30-35 days to harvest your mushroom from the beginning.
- You can harvest mushroom three times if you grow it once.
Some precautions to take while growing mushroom @ your home
- Always sterilize the tools you use.
- Sanitize your hands when you handle spawns and other media.
- Using good quality paddy straw makes a difference in the growth of mushrooms.
- So always prefer high-quality paddy straw and spawns.
- Do not buy mushroom spores, always buy mushroom spawn for better production of mushrooms.
Most frequently asked question:
1. Is it safe to grow mushrooms at home?
Mushrooms do release spores, but these spores do not harm humans when inhaled once/twice. Long term exposure/inhalations might cause flu like symptoms or some respiratory diseases. Mushrooms spores are very tiny and cannot be seen with naked eye. It is always better to wear mask and apron while working. Do not forget to disinfect them after use to avoid contamination.
2. What are the conditions that are needed to grow mushroom?
Mushrooms need dark places with high humidity with temperature less than 24-25 degree Celsius (24-25 at early stages and 16-18 degrees for formation of fruiting bodies). Some mushrooms like Enoki can grow even in low temperatures (7-8 degree Celsius), and paddy straw mushrooms can be grown in 35 degree Celsius.
3. Are mushrooms good for health?
Yes, mushrooms are super healthy as they contain antioxidants, proteins, vitamins (C,B,D) and minerals. They help in maintaining heart health, digestive system and also regulates blood pressure. It has many B vitamins like thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3).
4. What are the best mushrooms to eat?
There are many mushrooms like Enoki, Shiitake, White button, Milky, Oyster, Portobello, all these mushrooms differ is size, shape, color and taste. All these varieties have specific health benefits some are high in fiber while some are high in proteins and vitamins. Thereby all mushrooms benefit us in one or the other way.
5. Can i grow new mushrooms from store brought mushrooms?
yes. you can grow new mushrooms from store (trusted source) brought mushrooms by growing the mushroom ends in any suitable growing media (straw, saw dust, cardboard/wooden). Mushroom ends still contain mycelium (vegetative part of fungi) that helps in propagation of fungi. Oyster mushrooms are ideal and easy to grow from mushroom ends.
6. Do mushrooms takes longer period to grow?
Days of harvest for mushrooms depends on the type of mushrooms you grow. Some can be harvested in a month while some takes as long as 4 - 5 months.
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