If you love the umami flavor and the health benefits of mushrooms, you might wonder whether it is possible to grow edible mushrooms in your own back yard. The answer is yes, and there are a couple of simple ways you can learn how to grow mushrooms in your backyard.
Which one you use will depend on your climate, type of mushrooms, and how fast you want to get that first harvest of mushrooms. If you have an area that is humid, you can grow species such as the winecap, oyster, or elm mushrooms outside on your mushroom beds using wood chips and mushroom spawn. You can also grow mushrooms on logs in your yard.
It takes a little more time for the first harvest, but you can keep picking for years until the mushrooms completely decompose the log. Some mushrooms that are common on logs are oyster mushrooms, shiitake, lions mane, and reishi mushrooms, but you may also want to try muscaria, nameko, woodhen, and pioppini. Another fun way to grow reishi mushrooms is to grow them outside in soil using fully-grown fungus blocks. Try experiments to see what types of mushrooms grow well in your area, and what methods will work best for you.
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Backyard Mushrooms
Below, you will find answers to a few common questions about growing your own mushrooms.
1. Are Mushrooms in Your Yard Bad?
Mushrooms in the backyard are not bad, and they will generally disappear relatively quickly after the end of their lifecycle. But, if you have young children or dogs, it is best to pull out and dispose of any unfamiliar mushrooms to avoid an accidental poisoning.
2. Are Mushrooms a Sign of a Healthy Lawn?
Mushrooms are the hallmark of a healthy soil that has lots of organic matter, and that generally means a healthy lawn too. As the fungus breaks down the organic matter in your soil, it makes nutrients available to itself and to other plants. Healthy, fungus-rich soil is a good sign, and it encourages stronger, healthier lawns, trees, and shrubs.
Learn more: How to build a mushroom fruiting chamber
3. Can You Eat Mushrooms From Your Backyard?
Some mushrooms found in your yard can be eaten, but generally, never eat a mushroom unless you can positively identify it as edible and safe. Several toxic mushrooms appear to the untrained eye as being the same as an edible mushroom.
4. Are Backyard Mushrooms Poisonous to Dogs?
Mushrooms that are poisonous to humans would be poisonous to dogs, too, but most commonly consumed edible mushrooms would be harmless. If you spot any toxic mushrooms in your yard, or mushrooms that you are unsure of, make sure you take them out ASAP to avoid getting poisoned.
Learn more: How to pasteurize mushroom substrate