It is essential to understand a mushrooms growth cycle. You will need this knowledge in order to gain the necessary understanding in order to cultivate your mushrooms. When most people think about mushrooms, they are only aware of the stems and caps that pop up. Not many people realize all of what goes into creating mushrooms. That’s why we wanted to go over what are the stages of mushroom growth.
This includes the intricate web of mycelium, which is usually far larger than what you can see on the surface of a mushroom. Mycelium is a cell network similar to the root system of plants. Except that mycelium is actually more similar to the plant, while mushrooms are simply its fruits.
Mycelium has only one purpose, and that is to preserve the species it is in. It does so by growing mushrooms, producing spores, and reproducing.
Mushroom Lifecyle In The Wild
In nature, the mushroom lifecycle ends one way, but begins the other, all at once. It starts all when the ripe mushroom drops its spores.
Spores are essentially the mushrooms equivalent to seeds to plants. Spores drop into the soil and are mixed in with other compatible spores. This starts a mycelium growth in progress. Mycelium may either be one single organism, or multiple different organisms working together in colonies.
After mycelium has had time to grow, it will begin producing phallus. These are little thorns which eventually will grow into mushrooms. But before they do, they pass through another stage called primates, which are more like miniature, infant mushrooms. Eventually, primordia grows to a full-sized mushroom, which then ripens, drops its spores, and then the whole cycle starts all over again.
What Are The Most Popular Types of Mushrooms To Grow
There are many different types of mushrooms out there, and there are a lot of different options out there when it comes to growing edible mushrooms yourself. One huge advantage to growing your own mushrooms rather than picking them in the wild is you can make sure that you are not cooking up toxic mushrooms.
1) Oyster Mushrooms
These are perhaps the mushrooms that beginners will most commonly grow. Oyster mushrooms are consumed in the west in smaller amounts compared to button mushrooms, but are quite popular in Asian countries as a daily staple for food preparation. They have an appearance you might not have seen in mushrooms before. That is because they grow in the wild along the sides of trees, and as such, have large, flat caps that are either barely perforated with a stalk or do not.
2) Portobello /Button / Cremini Mushrooms
If you have only ever eaten one kind of mushroom in your entire life, we can pretty much guarantee that it is this. These mushrooms are all really all of one species. The only difference is the amount of time that is allowed for them to grow before they are harvested.
When these mushrooms first emerge from their mycelium, they begin life as buttons. As they grow slightly larger, they turn a brownish colour, becoming what is typically classified in stores as a cremini. Finally, they grow up completely to be portobello mushrooms.
These are large, brown mushrooms with dark undersides, that are usually cut up or grilled whole. They have a harder, meatier texture.
3) Shiitake Mushrooms
Shiitake mushrooms are smokey, earthy, and similar in texture to Portobello mushrooms. In addition to being tasty, they also provide some health benefits, including compounds that may help reduce cholesterol. In stores, shiitake mushrooms are usually sold dried. But eating them fresh is an absolute delight. Shiitake mushrooms are typically grown outside, in a tree stump.
Enoki mushrooms are extremely tiny, and have very long stalks. They grow together in dense clumps. If not for their tiny caps, they look almost like spaghetti!.
Enoki are super compact, so you can plant them without a lot of room. They are usually grown in pots.
Maitake mushrooms are another type that is delicious as well as having some powerful health and nutrition benefits. Do not let this mushrooms moniker, hen-of-the-woods, fool you. The name comes from its appearance, which people claim is like ruffled hens feathers, not from its flavor. Maitake has a very robust, earthy flavor, and you will want to taste a few of these before investing the time in growing them.
More On How To Grow Mushrooms
Each and every species of mushroom has its specific needs for growth. Shiitakes may grow on hardwood slash or on tree stumps. White button mushrooms and Portobello mushrooms must be grown on composted manure. Oyster mushrooms will grow on many different substrates including straw, sawdust, coco coir, or even cardboard or coffee grounds!.
Growing Mushrooms Indoors At Home
There are several ways that you can grow mushrooms in your home. It is a super-convenient way of growing food, as well as being incredibly fast.
If this is the first time you have grown mushrooms, then you might want to get yourself a mushroom growing kit. Mushroom kits come with their substrates already inoculated and incubated, so you are ready to begin growing them once you receive them. All you need to do is open up your package and poke a hole through your bag, then mist or spray some water over your set every day.
After a week or so, you should begin to see small mushrooms emerging. And two weeks from now, they should be fully grown and ready for you to pick and enjoy.
Starting from a starter kit is a great way to get started in your mushroom knowledge and understand the lifecycle a mushroom goes through. It allows you to skip over the most complicated parts of the mushroom growing process, so that you can avoid problems with mold or contamination. The kits offer a foolproof method for you to achieve the first successful grow of mushrooms.