Are you looking into growing mushrooms for your own personal consumption or to start a business? Are you unsure about what mushrooms you should grow as a beginner?
Although mushrooms seem to pop-out on forest floors or dead logs, it can be challenging to grow them especially when you are trying to grow different types of mushrooms.
There is a way to increase your chances of growing mushrooms at home or in your own backyard. This is by selecting specific types of mushrooms that are easy to grow. Below is our list of the easiest mushrooms to grow.
1. Lion’s Mane Mushrooms
Scientific Name: Hericium Erinacious
Appearance: You can easily identify the Lion’s Mane mushrooms because, as the name implies, they look like a lion’s mane. They lack the usual cap and stem appearance and instead they have a snowball like formation with whitish spines that turn to brown as it ages.
Why grow this mushroom: These mushrooms are grown for their lobster-like flavor. It is a good substitute for lobster or shrimp dishes, especially if you are allergic to shell fishes. It is also used in traditional Chinese medicine to aid in various problems of the digestive system.
Where it’s naturally found: The Lion’s Mane grows naturally on dead or decaying hardwood logs during the autumn season.
How it is grown: If you want to grow Lion’s Mane, you should use a substrate that has hardwood sawdust. Wheat bran is also mixed to increase the chances of full colonization.
This type of mushroom loves humidity but is very sensitive to direct sprays or rainfall because of the fragile tiny spines. You have to be careful in spraying water on the substrate. Harvesting the grown mushroom done by using a sharp knife to cut the whole mushroom as close to the bag as you can.
Useful Tip: The mushroom will last longer if it is carefully handled. The tiny spines are delicate and will turn to a brownish color when bruised. This lasts longer when refrigerated.
2. Portabella Mushroom
Scientific Name: Agaricus bisporus
Appearance: Portabella mushrooms are known for their large cap. They have a rounded and flat cap with black underside. The stem is white and is also edible.
Why grow this mushroom: This mushroom is good substitute for meat products. Due to its size and shape, it is simply grilled and used as a substitute for the meat patty in veggie burgers. Similarly, it can also be chopped or cut into pieces and used for soups or other dishes.
It is one of the most consumed mushrooms around the world, therefore it is also one of the most cultivated mushrooms around the world. Nutritionally, it contains high levels of vitamin D. It also various vitamins and minerals like vitamin B and phosphorus.
Where it’s naturally found: They usually grow after the rain in grassy areas by the end of spring up to the autumn season.
How it is grown: If you wish to grow it out doors, you have to make sure that you prepare the area well before inoculating it. It thrives well in manure based composts but sterilization of it is ideal to prevent contamination. Peat moss is then added to the inoculated surface and daily misting is done.
It is also possible for you to grow portabella mushrooms indoors. Again, manure based compost is used and daily misting is done after the spores have grown. Harvesting is done once the mushrooms reach the size you want.
Useful Tip: When watering your portabella mushrooms, make sure to use water that doesn’t have chlorine. If your water comes from the tap, make sure that the chlorine completely evaporates first. Darkness is also required in order to help in force fruiting of this mushroom.
3. Oyster Mushroom
Scientific Name: Pleurotus ostreatus
Appearance: The scientific name of the oyster mushrooms describes its appearance. In Latin, pleurotus means sideways, which is the direction of the growth of the cap in relation to its stem. Additionally, ostreatus is a Latin word meaning oyster, which describes the shape of the cap.
This mushroom has a fan shaped bivalve cap that has a tan, gray or dark brown cap color with a white flesh. Underneath the cap is a white to cream color up to the stem.
Why grow this mushroom: Oyster mushrooms are also commonly consumed all around the world. They are delicious but they can be very expensive too. Instead of buying them, you can simply grow them at home for your own personal consumption.
Where it’s naturally found: They usually grow in the trunks of dead trees in forests where the humidity and light are very low.
How it is grown: There are different kinds of oyster mushrooms and growing them will depend on what kind you choose. Pink oyster mushrooms for example grow fast but they require warmer temperatures because they are tropical mushrooms. They are great to grow indoors inside your warm house even during the winter.
What is great about the oyster mushrooms is that they can be grown in various materials. Straw is one of them and these are first pasteurised before use. Once pasteurised and cooled, the spores can be mixed with it.
These should be kept out of direct sunlight but some oyster mushrooms can do well with some indirect sunlight. Make sure that the temperature is right for the type of oyster that you want to grow. To harvest these mushrooms, you simply need to twist them at the base.
Useful Tip: Leave the bottom part of the mushroom while harvesting to help increase your chance of more mushroom flushes.
Are any of the mushrooms in the list familiar to you and have you tried growing any of them? This list includes the easiest mushrooms that you can grow indoors or outdoors in your property.What do you think of the mushrooms in our list? Do you have any more to add? Tell us in the comment section.
Author of this post is Ella Wilson, the founder of TinyPlantation.com. She has a great interest in plants and gardens and she is fascinated with fruits and vegetables. She wishes to share her passion with you through this website. Feel free to read her articles and guides and share them with others who might benefit from them. You can reach out to her anytime if you have questions.