There are many types of mushrooms that are available, whether they are in the wild or cultivated. It is a part of the Acanthaceae family and a native to Papua New Guinea. It is a type of fungi that commonly refers to white button mushroom, a mushroom that is for cultivation. It has a stem, cap, and gills under the cap. To be more technical, even if most people would consider mushroom as a plant, in reality, it is not. It is a fruit from its body, which also contains spores or seeds.
When growing mushrooms, one of the most important things to keep in mind is that they are not all edible. There are varieties that you can eat, while there are also many that are toxic, especially those that grow in the wild. If you are looking for the easy types of mushroom to grow, one that should be on the top of your list is an oyster mushroom, which can also easily survive in places with fluctuating temperatures. Shitake mushroom should also be included in your options, which are not only beginner-friendly, but also delicious. It is important to do your research carefully on what variety to plant to avoid frustration and to make sure that you are growing a non-toxic mushroom
Planting and Growing Conditions
To start with, you need to decide on the specific type of mushroom that you will plant. Choose one that will require low-maintenance and will grow even indoors. In this case, three of the best options are white button, oyster, and shiitake mushrooms. Aside from ease of growing, you also need to consider the flavor that you want to decide on which mushroom is the best.
Take note that mushrooms do not grow from seeds. With this, you need to start by purchasing mushroom spawn. In its simplest sense, the spawn will be the root structure and will act as the seedling. Make sure to avoid spores, which are comparable to seeds. The latter means that it will take quite a long time before the mushroom will grow.
Once you have the spawn, the next thing that you need is the potting medium. In this case, you will need to have substrates and not the usual soil. Sawdust or straw will be a good choice. It is necessary to sterilize it to remove microorganisms. To sterilize, just place it in a bowl with water and microwave. Heating it is also required for the spread of mycelia. Keep it for about two to four weeks in a pan with substrates. During such point, make sure as well that the temperature does not go above 70 degrees Fahrenheit. This will allow the spawns to grow. You will know that it has reached its growth stage when white fuzz is already visible on the surface.
Another great alternative to a potting soil is coffee grounds. Sterile bag or a carton will be an excellent choice for a container. Wash your hands with an antibacterial soap and spread the spawn on the coffee grounds. Place the container in a dark location with an average temperature of 64 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the spawns turn white, transfer the container to a room where it will receive bright light. Within a week, small mushrooms will start to be evident, which is also an indication that they are ready for harvest.
While a lot of you are familiar that mushrooms are delicious, only a few are aware of its many health benefits, including the following:
- Prevents Cancer: Several studies in the past were in chorus with the conclusion that mushrooms have cancer-fighting properties. In Experimental Biology and Medicine, a journal, it has been written that shiitake and white button mushrooms can suppress the growth of breast cancer cells.
- Boosts Immunity: If you have a weak immune system, there is a high likelihood that you will suffer from a variety of health problems. Mushrooms contain lentinan, one of the compounds that can be effective in the prevention of cancer. This is especially abundant in the case of shiitake mushrooms.
- Lowers Cholesterol: Making mushrooms a part of your diet is a good thing because it does not have any cholesterol. It is even made better by the fact that it contains beta-glucan and chitin, which are two compounds that are effective in making sure that bad cholesterol in the body remains low.
- Treats Anemia: Low levels of iron in the blood can make you anemic. To treat and prevent this health problem, you should consume more mushrooms, which will supplement the iron that your body needs. This will also help to increase the level of red blood cells for a healthier function of the body.
- Improves Bone Health: When you age, you will suffer from a number of health problems, and one of them would be weaker bone. To prevent this from happening, you will benefit from eating mushrooms, which will supplement the calcium that the body needs. It also lessens the likelihood of having osteoporosis.
- Helps in Weight Loss: Dieting should never be a burden. You can still enjoy delicious food with mushrooms without worrying about the additional calories that you are taking. It will not only burn fat, but this will also be helpful in building muscle mass. It has no fat and cholesterol. It also has an abundance of fiber to make you feel full easier.
Pests and Diseases
Some of the fungal diseases that cause an infestation in mushrooms include mildew, damping off, white mold, brown plaster mold, and dry bubble mold. On the other hand, it can also be prone to bacterial diseases, such as bacterial spot, which will cause the mushroom to produce sticky excretions. Meanwhile, for pests, some that attack different varieties of mushrooms include nematodes and arthropods, among other invertebrates.
Care and Maintenance
To ensure the health and survival of mushrooms even in an indoor environment, below are some of the most important things that you should do:
- As noted earlier, it is important to keep the mushroom in a location that is dark and cool during the initial stages of its growth. The basement or the cabinet are some of the best places to grow mushroom. Once the plant is mature enough, you can transfer it in a sunny location.
- To minimize frustration, it is a good idea to purchase ready-made mushroom growing kits, which are complete with everything that you need, including the spawns. They will also have comprehensive instructions, which will provide a comprehensive guide for beginners.
- Mushrooms do not need light to survive from spawns. Nonetheless, they need to have water and moisture, which is why they grow best in cool and damp places. With this, it is necessary to spritz the soil with water to make it moist, but see to it that it will never be soggy.
Mushrooms will grow not from seeds, but from spores. Therefore, there is no need for chlorophyll for the mushrooms to germinate. For this reason, it can survive even indoors and without the need to have direct sunlight. Even if you are a beginner, there is no problem. You can easily grow mushrooms at home and maintaining it does not require too much effort and time on your end.