Mushrooms are a type of fungus, and the edible types provide tasty toppings for steaks and salads. You can grow your own white button mushrooms at home as long as you carefully control temperature and humidity. You can purchase mushroom kits or create your own growing environment for the button mushroom spawn.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Glass jar
- Dishwashing soap
- Knife or pliers
- Aged compost
- Mushroom spores
Sterilise a glass jar with a lid with hot water and dishwashing detergent. Rinse well to remove residual soap. Use a sharp knife or pliers to punch five or six small holes in the top of the lid for air circulation.
Fill the jar three-fourths of the way with aged compost. Button mushrooms grow better on compost than on other substrates, but the compost must be around the middle of its maturation process, so that competitive fungi are removed but microbes that aid in mushroom growth remain.
Add button mushroom spore to the compost in the jar. The spore often comes in a powdery form or on dowel rods that you can bury in the compost. Make sure the spores are buried within the compost and not just sitting on top.
Store the jar in a dark area that maintains a temperature of 18.3 degrees Celsius. A temperature variation of -16.6 to -16.1 degrees C in either direction will be OK, but do not allow temperatures to fluctuate more than that.
Check the compost every two weeks to ensure that it is moist; add more compost or a little lukewarm water if necessary. Mushrooms should sprout within five to six months.
Tips and warnings
- Only grow mushroom spawn or kits purchased from reputable garden centres or nurseries. You can also find properly aged compost from these retailers. This is the only way you can ensure your mushrooms will be healthy.
- Buttons can also thrive on moist straw.
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