growing mushrooms

SKYSTEPPER(6/OH)January 29, 2004

Hi I have looked high and low and can't find anything on where to get seeds? spores? or how to grow large decorative mushrooms in my yard? also looking to grow edible mushrooms in my garden? I live in zone 5 is this possible? any one have any links or advise?


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Judy_B_ON(Ontario 5B)

There are a number of companies that sell mushroom spawn for home gardeners, see the link below.

They will warn you against doing this outdoors due to the chance that wild, toxic mushrooms could contaminate your edible mushroom patch. You need a source of sawdust, wood chips or coffee grounds to keep adding to your mushroom patch; as they grow they consume it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fungi Perfecti

    Bookmark   January 29, 2004 at 10:13AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

For the first time, I am attempting to grow mushrooms at home. I started a couple of weeks ago using some store bought packets of button mushroom spores made by Triumphplant of New City NY. The spores look like oat seeds, and I followed the limited directions on the back of the packets. Instead of the 6 inch round pots, I am using a heavy duty plastic seed starter tray (12"x20") filled with a mixture of well decomposed compost as well as some commercial potting soil that contains peatmoss. Before planting, I was concerened with the sterlity issue, so I placed all of the soil mix in my oven and baked it for several hours at about 300 degrees to ensure there were no bad bugs or other nasty stuff that might normally thrive. Once the soil mix was cooled, I added some tap water that had been aged for several days to remove the chlorine. Also, I added some organic based fertilizers, one of which was seaweed based powder, and the other was mostly regular organic dry fertilizer made from animal products. The trays were covered with a clear plastic dome and are sitting on a planting shelf I normally use for growing flowers indoors. They are in a semi-darkend room at about 70-75 degrees. Today, I noticed large blotches of a 'whispy' kind of fungus growth on the surface of the soil. Its almost like a light mound of spider webs. I was not sure if this is normal or not. I don't see any actual mushrooms of any size, but there seems to be a lot of this fuzzy stuff all aver the surface of the soil and mounds up about an inch or so.

Anyone out there know if this is normal for the mushrooms when they first start out..

    Bookmark   June 28, 2004 at 3:51PM
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jenny_in_se_pa(USDA7 Sunset 32)

ksrogers - wish I could help out. I know the past couple years I have ordered from the earlier linked Fungi Perfecti to buy 'shroom kits for both my sisters and the kit came with what I believe was a woodchip preformed "log" where the log was either pre-inoculated or they had to innoculate it themselves. Then they placed in a plastic bag where it was moist and in a warm somewhat dark location. I don't recall them saying whether the surface of the log had the fuzzies (which might be some type of mold that can form on the soil - ie., even after sterilized, once it hits the air, it'll pick up spores again. ;-))

I'm wondering if you can scoop that off if it is that thick and see if anything sprouts - although the little guys might manage to sprout through it.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2004 at 6:45PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

I have done a bit more research and found that the fuzzy stuff may be a normal occurance. It forms above the soil then the mushrooms form below it. The kind of mushroom that grows from a wood log is usually a shittaki, and maybe some others. MIne are the common button mushroom which usually lie regular compost, and I may be seeing some growth in a few more weeks hopefully.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2004 at 11:39AM
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jenny_in_se_pa(USDA7 Sunset 32)

Let us know how it goes then. I know that right outside of Philly is (one of the) "Mushroom Capitals of the World" in Kennett Square (or so many areas of the country make that claim to fame for their locations...LOL). I'm curious how your technique turns out...

    Bookmark   July 5, 2004 at 6:52PM
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mkirkwag(Puget Sound)

These people have giant mushroom spawn, among others:

    Bookmark   September 18, 2005 at 12:03PM
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i think the fuzzy stuff might be the mycelium, which is the actual mushroom "root" the mushrooms that you eat are the fruiting bodies. i can't imagine that the spores were oat size, it might be some sort of substrate like bark chips or something. the spores of mushrooms are usually very small.

it is really hard to grow mushrooms outside. there are very few mushrooms that can be grown. oyster, stropharia and shiitake are probably the easiest, though people also grow morells.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2005 at 11:14PM
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oklahawg(NE OK z6-7)

I tried to grow indoors one summer. The A/C kept the humidity levels low and may have contributed to a rather lackluster event. After about 2 months and 3-4 total mushrooms I wrote it off as a failed experiment and tossed the log.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 10:27PM
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Fungi Perfecti is a good company, probably one of the best. The owner Paul Stamets has written many books on mushroom.

The grain might be rye, as it is a common substrate for growing out mushroom spawn. Different fungi need different end substrates to consume. Button mushrooms like compost made of straw and manure, shittake like hardwood, either wood chips or logs. Oysters grow on either straw or wood, and though they grow well on paper, but I'm not sure I would want to eat them.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2009 at 2:13PM
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Has anyone tried to grow morels out in their backyard? I miss hunting in the spring for mushrooms, wild plums in the summer & bitter sweet in the fall at my aunt's house in the country.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2009 at 5:44PM
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In terms of growing Button Mushrooms in a basement, everything tells me the growing medium needs to be made ouy of horse manure and wheat straw. finding wheat straw is not so easy. Can other types of hay/straw be used??

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 12:47PM
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Most nurseries & garden stores in my area have mushroom composts which work well.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 2:21AM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

Interesting you mentioned coffee grounds because I always dump my coffee grounds on the citrus trees in pots, and this morning I noticed various weird (inedible, I'm sure) mushrooms growing out of the coffee grounds. Hmmmmmmmmm

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 12:08PM
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i grew some oyster mushrooms in a bucket in my basement. got mine from (purchased through ebay). i just used shreded paper and added in a little bit of coffee grounds, kept it moist and covered with saran wrap. i threw it away though because it got infested with bugs and i usually only get 1-4 mushrooms per flush

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 10:02AM
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I must clarify that "mushroom compost" commonly sold in garden centers is spent compost already used to produce a mushroom crop! It is very, very good for vascular plants because the mycelium (which is the real fungus as stated here correctly) has actually improved the availability of nutrients for the plant roots, simply by inhabiting the soil/compost. Once again it is a soil amendment for plants.
For growing mushrooms you have to use what the seller of mushroom spawn recommends - straw, wood chips, logs, whatever they say depending on the mushroom species. For a modest crop of button mushrooms good garden soil inoculated with mycelium works just fine. Yes, the medium for commercial growing of the button mushroom is made by thoroughly mixing straw and horse manure in correct proportions and letting it decompose together.
Just in case, when the "mushroom seeds" you bought look like grain, that is because they are actual grain that has been pasteurized, inoculated with mycelium and incubated to let it grow, and is now fully colonized by it so it is ready to spread to the next available substrate.
I have ornamental mushrooms growing in my backyard :) because I just let them. Have some beautiful dryad saddles' specimens on tree stumps right now in lieu of winter flowers.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 1:28PM
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skyjs(z8 OR, USA)

Fungi Perfecti is a good company. So is Mushroom People, and Field and FOrest.

Outside is not so hard: Try wine cap stropharia, elm oysters, or many types on logs. Best books to learn are by Paul Stamets of Fungi Perfecti: Mycelium Running and Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms.
JOhn S

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 1:25AM
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Raw_Nature(5 OH)

Yes Paul Stamets is the man you want to talk to for anything mushroom! Shroomery forums has great tutorials on growing mushrooms.. Same as YouTube ....

Best of luck,

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 9:10PM
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Saw an interesting website, might do you good

Here is a link that might be useful: Mushroom Source

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 5:29PM
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