Growing mushrooms at home can be a fun and rewarding hobby, but it can also be frustrating and difficult to manage when your environment isn’t up to par. Having a consistent mushroom grow, whether for hobby or business, requires more than just throwing some spores into a container and hoping for the best. To successfully cultivate mushrooms, you need to create the right environment for them to thrive. In this blog post, well explore why the correct environment is so crucial for growing mushrooms and the specific factors you need to consider when setting up your mushroom-growing operation.
Chapter 1. The Importance of Temperature
One of the most critical factors in growing mushrooms is temperature. Different types of mushrooms have different temperature preferences, but most require a relatively stable and specific temperature range to grow properly. If the temperature is too low or too high, your mushroom may grow slowly, produce low yields or even worse not grow at all! For example, oyster mushrooms typically grow best between 55- and 65-degrees Fahrenheit, while shiitake mushrooms prefer temperatures between 75- and 85-degrees Fahrenheit. It is essential to research the specific temperature requirements for the mushroom species you plan to grow and ensure that your growing environment stays within that range.
Chapter 2. The Importance of Humidity
Another critical factor in growing mushrooms is humidity. Most mushroom species prefer a humid environment, with a relative humidity of at least 80%. If the air is too dry, the mushrooms may not develop properly. If the environment is too humid, you may experience problems with mold, soggy and “droopy” like mushroom yields and other fungal growth. To maintain the right level of humidity, its vital to use a humidifier, mist your mushrooms regularly, or use the “hoodie-tek” method to keep your mushrooms humid. If you want to take another step in the right direction, purchase a humidity meter to have a better understanding of whether you need to increase or decrease the humidity for your mushroom growing environment.
Chapter 3. The Importance of Light
Mushrooms don’t require much light to grow, but they do need some. Most mushroom species prefer indirect light, which means you shouldn’t place your growing container or bad in direct sunlight or under direct grow lights. Keep in mind that indoor lights may increase the temperature of your environment which may lead to excess drying of your substrate. Instead, find a spot that receives natural light but is shaded from direct sunlight, or use artificial light sources such as LED lights that you can set on a timer. This will allow your mushrooms to develop a “cycle” or day and night.
Chapter 4. The Importance of Ventilation
Finally, its essential to ensure that your growing environment has proper ventilation. Mushrooms produce lots of carbon dioxide as they grow, and if the air in your growing space becomes stagnant, it can lead to all sorts of problems. Too much Carbon Dioxide as the pins grow result in “legging” as the developing fruit pushes higher in the air to search for oxygen, not to mention you’ll also have arising issues with mold. Purchasing a CO2 meter to detect the levels of Carbon Dioxide in your mushroom growing environment and adding fans to blow the stale air and bring in fresh air is essential!
For more information on the effects of excess Carbon Dioxide, check out the article published by Edmund B. Lambert in the Washington Journal of Agriculture Research, title “Effect of Excess Carbon Dioxide on Growing Mushrooms”.
In summary, growing mushrooms at home is an amazing hobby and can lead to a new business venture, if don’t properly and safely. Temperature, humidity, light and ventilation are all critical factors that one must consider so take the time to educate yourself in what is needed to produce the strongest and most consistent yield so that this journey can be an abundance of joy and success!