If you enjoy gardening, why not grow Portobello mushrooms in your backyard? Portobello mushrooms are one of the most popular ingredients used in many restaurants. You can sauté, grill or steam them.
I love eating mushrooms because of their flavor and high nutritional value. Since I always buy mushrooms every time I do my weekly grocery, my neighbor suggested that I should probably try growing it in my backyard. I did a little research and found out that Portobello mushrooms are actually easy to grow and decided to go for it.
In this tutorial, I‘ll teach you some steps on how to grow Portobello mushrooms successfully in your home.
Growing Mushrooms In Your Home
There are three ways to grow Portobello mushrooms in your home. You can do it outdoors, indoors or use a growing kit. The key is to utilize the right tools, technique and plant it under the right temperature and environment.
1. Check the Temperature
The first step to planting Portobello mushrooms is to set the right temperature. If you’re growing it outdoors, check the temperature and make sure it doesn’t go over 70 degrees Fahrenheit during day time and it shouldn’t go below 50 degrees Fahrenheit at night.
2. Prepare the Compost
Create a raised bed with a dimension of four feet long, four feet wide, and eight inches deep. Then fill the bed with compost and well-seasoned manure. Follow it up by covering the bed with a cardboard and a black plastic. This creates a solar radiation that helps sterilize the soil. Leave it for at least two weeks.
3. Plant Your Mushroom Spores
After two weeks, remove the cardboard and plastic covering. Scatter a one-inch layer of mushroom spores on the compost and gently mix the spores into the soil.
Let it sit for a few weeks until you notice a white film on the surface. The white film is a clear indication that your spores are indeed growing.
4. Apply a Moist Peat
Sprinkle a one-inch layer of moistened peat moss evenly on the surface of the compost. Place a newspaper over the peat moss and use a distilled water to spray it daily. Spray at least twice a day for 10 days.
Remove the newspaper after 10 days. Continue to spray the peat moss for another 10 days. Observe the soil and adjust the peat moss as needed.
Always monitor the temperature. Then you can start to harvest your Portobello mushrooms depending on the size of your preference.
1. Gather Your Materials
Use a tray, compost, peat moss, newspaper and mushroom spores.
Technically, you’ll follow the same process as the outdoor method. However, you’ll have to look for a tray that is four feet in length and width as well as eight inches deep.
2. Plant Your Spores
Fill the tray with six inches of compost, scatter the spores, and mix it gently with the compost and press the surface. Place the tray in a dark place and check until you notice the white film.
Apply a layer of damp peat moss over the compost and cover it with a newspaper. Spray it with distiller water for two weeks.
3. Check for Growth
After two weeks take out the newspaper and check if you see white heads developing in the compost. In case there are no white heads visible yet, put back the newspaper.
Continue to mist it every day for at least one more week. Then check again for any signs of development. By this time, you should be able to see the growth of the mushrooms.
Mushroom Growing Kits
Another way to grow your mushroom is using a growing kit. Technically, using a kit is the easiest way to grow Portobello mushrooms.
A mushroom growing kit is quite affordable and you can buy it less than $50. There are a lot of available kits online that range from low, medium, and high-end growers. A growing kit contains pre-inoculated media or you can also do the inoculation on your own. All you need to do is open your kit, mist your box, and leave it in a dark and cool area.
A low-end kit requires you to keep a certain moisture and temperature level during the entire incubation period to allow the mycelium to settle in the substrate. This procedure often develops between seven to ten days. Afterward, you need to keep your kit damp and dark.
Continue to spray the kit regularly. You can use a distilled or tap water but never use water with chlorine. If you prefer to use tap water, leave it overnight to allow the chlorine to evaporate from the water.
A kit can usually produce a mushroom in a few weeks. You can expect a harvest of at least two to three for every kit. A Portobello mushroom growing kit can produce a minimum of three pounds in three months. Not bad eh?
Different Growing Methods
If you want to grow your mushrooms with the least possible effort, a mushroom growing kit may just suit you best. This requires less time and energy compared to other growing techniques. However, some gardeners prefer doing it the traditional way.
If you like getting dirty and want a bit of a challenge, you should try planting mushrooms the old-fashioned way. You need to put in more time and effort to check the temperature and development regularly. The old school technique is actually a good way to learn and understand a mushroom’s growth process.
You can either do it outdoors or indoors if it’s more convenient for you. Some prefer doing it indoor because it allows them to control the temperature and environment. Indoor growing is actually more suitable for people who don’t have extra outdoor space.
Whichever method you choose, growing your own Portobello mushrooms is a great way to challenge yourself. It’s a fun and exciting learning process. Once you gather your first successful harvest, you’ll feel a sense of achievement and fulfillment.