Many of us are interested in growing fruits, vegetables and herbs in our gardens. But have you considered the possibility of growing mushrooms as well? Mushroom cultivation is often viewed as a rather specialized occupation. But if you’re interested in growing your own food, you’ll find it’s easier than you might have imagined.
As with any type of gardening or food production, there is a lot to learn to become truly proficient. But even beginners should find it relatively easy to cultivate some mushrooms in their own house or garden if they have a suitable moist and shady spot.
In this article, we’re not going to delve too deeply into the different mushrooms that you can possibly grow, nor the details of how to grow them. But we’re going to take a quick look at some mushroom growing ideas to inspire you to delve further and determine how and where you can embrace growing edible mushrooms in your garden.
Growing mushrooms in mulch
An easy and low-maintenance way to incorporate mushroom growing into your garden is to seed mulch around trees and shrubs. Inoculating mulch simply means adding fungal spores, or mycelium, to the substrate you spread on a forest or forest floor, or around trees and shrubs in a moist and shady border.
There are many edible mushroom species to consider; the details depend on where you live. However, you need to make sure you can identify these for sure, as other fungi can sometimes show up as well.
Certain edible mushrooms are grown on logs that have been seeded and inoculated with the right varieties.
These logs can be incorporated into garden design – they are used to create retaining walls, bed borders or perhaps patios in an appropriately moist and shady location.
They can also be placed in a special mushroom bed or stacked somewhere out of sight – behind a garden shed or in a darker corner of your outdoor space.
Mushrooms growing in your home
Mushrooms can be cultivated indoors in sterile environments that ensure no other species of fungus will grow. This is something you can do on a number of scales.
For small spaces in your home, you might consider growing from mushroom kits. There are many kits to choose from for those new to the idea.
You can also take a DIY approach and grow in small buckets or other containers, or in small trays filled with a suitable substrate. As long as you maintain humidity levels and provide the right conditions, you should be able to grow mushrooms successfully even if you don’t have a garden at all.
Cultivation in a garden shed or other building
If you have more space, you might consider repurposing a mushroom growing shed or creating a shaded tunnel or other dedicated mushroom growing structure.
Any garden structure could potentially be adapted to create the perfect environment to grow certain types of mushrooms safely and relatively easily.
Structures can be equipped with small containers in which to grow mushrooms, hold trays with substrate on the stage, or serve as a place to store mushroom trunks.
Mushroom growing under a porch, deck or other facility
Another idea is to utilize potentially wasted space under, for example, a raised porch or covered area. You can spread these shady spots with suitable mulch or use them as storage containers for mushroom cultivation. You might consider installing a trapdoor in the patio or porch to give you access to your crops.
Children’s trampolines and other equipment also result in wasted space underneath – and these spaces could also potentially be used to grow edible mushrooms for your family (as long as they’re not in danger of being crushed by jumping kids!).
There’s a lot to learn about what mushrooms you can grow and eat in your area, and how exactly. But the ideas above might inspire you to think about how you could include mushrooms in your garden plans and make them a part of your homemade diet.