- Mar 08, 2018 -
How to Grow Mushrooms: Tips for Success
Straw makes a good substrate because it is both nutritious and easy to break down. Cereal straws such as wheat or rye are best. I buy mine in large bales for under $10 at my local garden and feed store.
You can cultivate many different types of mushrooms on straw such as enokitake, the garden giant, certain Agaricus species, and oysters. Growing oyster mushrooms is often easiest for the beginner, and I'd recommend this if you're just starting out.
Of course we'll need to start with some preparation before we move on to the step-by-step how to guide. After you've read through those, review the tips section to maximize your success.
Just a few things to keep in mind:
Pay close attention to the moisture level in your straw bags. Too dry and your mycelium will die; too wet and mold will start to grow. If you see a lot of standing water, poke some extra holes in the bottom for drainage.
When growing oyster mushrooms and most other species, the mycelium is a white color. If you see large patches of red, black, blue, brown or green then you're looking at mold. As painful as it is, you should discard your bag as you could make yourself sick.
You don't need complete sterility for this method but do pay attention to cleanliness. Wash your hands, lay your straw out on a clean tarp, and don't hang your bags over the cat litter box.
Learn how to grow oyster mushrooms on strawResearch the species you want to grow before you begin. Some do better on wood than straw. Others may need a certain temperature range for incubation. Knowing these specifics will increase your success rate.
Be cautious when pasteurizing straw on your own. The burner is hot, and wet straw is very heavy. Asking a friend to help will make it more fun and be safer. Bribe them with the promise of delicious mushrooms.
Some people mix some leached cow manure in with the straw and spawn. Most mushrooms thrive on this. Use a ratio of about 3:1, or three parts straw to 1 part manure.
Don't be discouraged if nothing happens your first time. Everyone fails at this at one point or another. Read some more and refine your methods. Try, try again!
I sincerely hope this article has helped you learn how to grow mushrooms on straw. This is an interesting activity that almost anyone can do.
The method outlined here is pretty low-tech. There are many other ways to grow your own mushrooms, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.