How do I grow mushrooms

Instructions: Grow mushrooms in your own garden and in the basement

Every autumn lovers of mushrooms and Co. go looking for mushrooms through the forests - but cultivation is also possible at home. Experts clarify which substrate and which types of mushrooms are suitable for cultivation.

"Mushrooms are healthier than most people think," says Ulrich Groos, mushroom cultivation advisor at the Hessen State Agriculture Office in Kassel. "They are high in protein, fiber, rare vitamins and minerals, but at the same time are low in calories."

Growing mushrooms is child's play

With all these advantages, it is a little surprising that edible mushrooms are rarely grown in home gardens. Because if you follow a few basic rules, some types of mushrooms are child's play to cultivate.

"Mushrooms love moisture and a cool, shady spot," says Peter Marseille, ambassador of the Association of German Mushroom and Cultivated Mushroom Growers in Leichlingen. "Otherwise they are relatively undemanding." From the perspective of the experts, the following are particularly suitable:

  • Mushrooms (agaricus)
  • Oyster mushrooms (pleurotus) such as chestnut, oyster, lime or king oyster mushrooms
  • Hedgehog goatee (Hericium erinaceus)
  • Giant deer (Stropharia rugosoannulata)
  • Smoky-leaved sulfur head (Hypholoma capnoides).

Sawdust is suitable as a substrate for growing mushrooms

They grow on sawdust, straw, coffee grounds, wood or tree stumps - and not only in the garden, but also on the balcony, the windowsill and even in the garage.

Even if mushrooms multiply through spores, Marseille recommends a brood of mushrooms for cultivation: cereal grains that are colonized with the root-like mycelia of the mushrooms. With this the materials are "inoculated" by adding them to watered straw or sawdust, for example. The mycelium can then develop and spread over a longer period of time in a humid climate.

If you want to cultivate edible mushrooms on sawdust, you should first steam the material after extensive soaking, recommends Marseille. "63.8 degrees Celsius is the magic number at which bacteria and spores die from unwanted fungi that have already spread in the wood."

Drought and heat are deadly to mushrooms

After draining, the sawdust is placed in a plastic bag, the seedlings are added and the bag is tightly closed in a shady, sheltered and well-tempered place. "Mushrooms don't like the sun at all because they dry out too quickly," says Marseille. Drought and heat are deadly. "At temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius, the mycelium usually dies."

Like many mushrooms, mushrooms do not need light, which is why they even grow in the basement. "The location should be away from the sun and heating and free from wind or drafts," advises the expert Marseille. Otherwise the substrate will dry out too quickly, because mushrooms like it moist.

Instead of a watering can, however, Marseille recommends an atomizer to keep the substrate evenly moist. "The vessels shouldn't be placed in the boiler room either, because there is usually too little oxygen there," he adds.

Mushrooms are not a vegetable

Apart from the lack of need of many types of mushrooms for brightness, the cultivation works almost like the usual vegetable growing. But mushrooms are not a vegetable.

It is true that they are commonly referred to as that - especially because it makes sense from a culinary point of view. But the assignment is not botanically correct. "In addition to animals and plants, fungi form their own realm within multicellular living beings," explains Kullmann. The main difference: mushrooms do not photosynthesize, they live on organic substances.

Harvest fresh mushrooms all year round

Depending on the material, it takes a different amount of time for the mycelium to spread. For a culture on straw and sawdust, the experts assume three months, for a culture on wood trunks it can take a good six months. Then the plastic sheets can be removed and the fruiting body will develop.

Depending on the variety, it is ripe in three weeks and can easily be broken off by hand. "If you take good care of the mushroom, you can harvest it all year round," says Marseille.

It is also possible to spend the winter outdoors. However, the fruiting body should then be removed so that the fungi can retreat into the planting material.

Not all varieties are suitable for growing mushrooms in the garden

Not all types of mushrooms are suitable for growing in the garden. Mushrooms that live in symbiosis, such as chanterelles, chestnuts, boletus and other boletus need a living host with whom they can enter into a reciprocal functional relationship, explains BUND expert Wehner.

It is true that the roots of young trees could now be inoculated with the mycelium of a corresponding type of fungus. However, the fruiting bodies take a few years to develop; if at all - there is no guarantee of success.

more on the subject

  • Subjects:
  • Garden,
  • Gardening,
  • Vegetables,
  • Mushrooms,
  • Mushrooms,
  • Plants,
  • Chanterelles,
  • Heat,
  • Temperature,
  • Garage,
  • Balcony,
  • Agriculture