Button mushrooms are one of the easier types to grow. They don’t need sunlight, and you can buy affordable, simple kits to help you grow them. Hobby farmers find that growing mushrooms is a great way to make some extra cash, as well.
Unlike some mushroom varieties, it’s simple to find button mushroom spores, and they’re some of the most versatile of the mushrooms in the kitchen. Perfect for soups, stir-fries, chicken dishes, and scooped on top of steaks.
Before we focus on button mushrooms, we have to learn how mushrooms in general grow. Mushrooms start from spores rather than seeds, and spores are so small that you can’t see them individually with your eye.
Preparing Plant Button Mushrooms
Button mushrooms are easy to grow for several reasons, one of which is that they don’t require sunlight. That makes them perfect for apartment dwellers and those who have way too many indoor plants taking up window space already.
Not only that, but button mushrooms can be grown at any time of year, including winter. You can get your gardening fix when snow covers the ground. Homegrown crops in the middle of winter sound appealing, right?
Growing button mushrooms can be as simple as grabbing a growing kit and following the directions. It’s an easy way to get your feet wet. But if you really want to make cash or feel a sense of accomplishment, this guide will show you how to grow button mushrooms without one.
Choosing a Spot
Mushrooms enjoy growing in areas that are cool and dark, so you want to pick somewhere to grow them that is between 65-75℉. It also needs to be shielded from light and any disturbances.
Many mushrooms growers choose a basement or crawlspace to grow their white button mushrooms. If you live in an apartment, dark closets work as well.
You need to use spawns, not seeds, to grow mushrooms. You can purchase ready-made spores online or at a nursery. Some spores have already been inoculated or mixed in with a substrate, such as dirt, hay, or sawdust.
Ideally, you want to purchase spawn from an experienced mushroom cultivator rather than a random seller online. High-quality spawn is more likely to produce mushrooms.
Growing mushrooms isn’t the same as growing tomatoes or peas. It takes some supplies that you may not use regularly, so you’ll want to prepare ahead of time.
A Box: A cardboard box works well, so long as its at least 6 inches deep and about 14 inches by 16 inches. You need a box with plenty of surface area for your mushrooms to grow. If you don’t have cardboard, you can use wood, instead. Boxes can be made of plastic or metal as well, depending on what you have available.
A Garbage Bag: The garbage bag is used to line the cardboard box to stop things from getting messy while keeping moisture in its place.
Composted Manure: Composted manure is the perfect growing medium for your white button mushrooms as it’s a food source for them as well. White button mushrooms grow well in nitrogen-rich manure, such as cow or horse manure. If you don’t have 100% manure, equal parts of compost and manure work as well.
Those who want to dive into growing mushrooms on a larger scale will want to start their compost rather than buying it by the bag. Bagged compost and composted manure can cost a lot.