Mushroom growing for the home gardener is very easy! Why pay $12 per Kilo when you can easily grow them yourself!
Forget about the commercial mushroom box: Buy a spent mushroom compost bag at a fraction of the cost. A Mushroom Garden is also suitable for a person who lives in a flat or unit with a patio as it takes up very little space.
To revitalize a spent mushroom compost bag:
- 1. Stab holes in the bottom and sides with a metal skewer or nail.
- 2. Let it drain for a day or two
- 3. If outside, place the bag under a table and drape an old cotton shirt and shade cloth over it. (If indoors, e.g. a garage or verandah, place a plastic tray under the bag to catch any leakage) If you don’t have a spare table, a large cardboard box placed upside down over the bag works well. Make sure you put plenty of small holes in it for ventilation.
- 4. Next, only water ½ to ¾ of a litre so it is just damp.
- 5. In about a week, white pin points should be developing on the surface of the compost – this is the start of your mushrooms. Only water ½ a litre every 3 days (use less in cold weather) as too much water will cause mould to grow and rot the tiny spores.
- 6. Soon you will have more mushrooms than you can eat every day. Plenty of treats to freeze and to give to friends.
To harvest, twist individual mushrooms out of the soil, being careful not to leave any of the stems. Place in a paper bag or wrap in paper towels and store in the fridge.
Always leave one or two mushrooms to fully open up so that they can release their spores back into the mushroom bag – this is the start of your new crop.
Recycling the spent mushroom compost:
Eventually, the compost bag will be spent, (run out of nutrients). At this stage, the level of the compost will sink to roughly half its original height. This is the end of its useful life. However, you can further recycle the compost for the vegetable or ornamental garden as a top dressing for your plants. Tip it in a pile and let it dry out a bit, so that it is just damp. You can add it to your compost bin or pile or to enrich it, add manure or a couple of fistfuls of blood and bone.