How Do I Grow Mushrooms with No Kit?

Miss Chen
12-04
Many people are under the impression that the only easy way to grow mushrooms is with a kit, but this is not true. All a kit really provides is sterile substrate, usually a log, and mushroom spawn. Many garden supply stores and nurseries supply mushroom spawn, and you can collect and sterilize your own substrate. Growing mushrooms without a kit may be a bit more time-consuming, but the end result is worth the extra effort.

Step 1

Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil over high heat on your stove. Place the wheat straw into the pot and push it below the water, using a large spoon or spatula. Bring the water back to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and cover the pot.

Step 2

Allow the straw to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pot and burning. Remove a few pieces of straw and allow them to cool so you can check how tender they are. They should be a fairly soft consistency, not unlike well-cooked pasta. If the straw is still hard, continue simmering until it reaches the desired consistency.

Step 3

Place the colander in your sink and pour the straw and water into it to drain the straw. Allow the straw to cool to room temperature. While the straw is cooling, roll out a 1- to 2-foot length of plastic wrap on your table.

Step 4

Spread an even layer of straw over the plastic wrap once it reaches room temperature. Sprinkle the mushroom spawn over the prepared straw and press the entire thing together to form a tightly rolled log. Wrap the plastic wrap around the log.

Step 5

Place the wrapped log of straw in a warm, dark place. Make three to five slits across the top of the log. Do not water the log until you see a white substance form on the straw. Once this appears, water sparingly every other day or as necessary to keep the straw moist. Depending on the species you're growing, you should have mushrooms in one to two months.
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