Whether you’re cultivating delicious Shiitake mushrooms for a tasty meal, or you want to use specific kinds of rare mushrooms for their health benefits, the cultivation of mushrooms can be a fun and interesting process. Mushrooms are cultivated using a process called mushroom farming, which involves creating the optimal growing conditions for the specific type of mushroom being grown.
Different mushrooms require different substrates, or growing mediums. For example, button mushrooms grow best in composted horse manure, while oyster mushrooms grow best on straw or sawdust. To prevent contamination, substrates are often sterilized before being inoculated with mushroom spores or mycelium. This can be done using heat or chemical sterilization methods. The sterilization process is extremely crucial when growing laboratory grade mushrooms.
Once the substrate is sterilized, it is inoculated with mushroom spores or mycelium. The spores or mycelium grow into a network of thread-like structures called hyphae, which eventually form a solid mass known as the mushroom fruiting body.
Different mushrooms have varying requirements regarding temperature and humidity or optimal growth. For example, oyster mushrooms grow best at temperatures between 20-25°C and humidity levels between 85-90%. Some mushrooms will also need specific lighting and air conditions for optimal growth. For example, shiitake mushrooms require high carbon dioxide levels and low oxygen levels to induce fruiting.
The rule of thumb for growing mushrooms is to research and achieve the ideal, stable conditions that particular species of mushrooms is known to thrive in. Always buy reputable mushroom spores from a trusted vendor like Hidden Forest Mushroom Spores. Doing so will help you achieve remarkable results with everything from edible mushrooms to the psychedelic varieties.