I sometimes wonder if growing mushrooms would still happen if they didn’t have a growing season. If the mushrooms you wanted grew year-round, would you still want to grow them yourself? For me, I think the answer is a resounding yes because like anything else, people do it for the fun.
The days of needing to grow food out of necessity are long behind us. Our society has mostly done away with people needing to rely on their own crops in order to feed their families. I say mostly because the practice continues in many other countries around the world.
With the birth of supermarkets, we were treated to a virtually endless supply of foods. Aisles and aisles of fresh produce, meats, and processed goods greet us every few miles, with some supermarkets the size of warehouses.
But none of them will ever replace the appeal of growing your own produce from a tiny spore or seed. There’s just something about the magic that happens when you plant your first specimen, then watch it come to life.
Sometimes, Mother Nature makes things interesting by refusing to play ball unless you replicate the conditions needed for certain specimens to thrive. That is just another stepping stone for those undeterred by such challenges. Will you?
Things to Consider When Growing Mushrooms
Tip #1: Mushroom Seasons
Regardless of which mushrooms you choose to grow; they will all fall under the rules of what nature has set for them. This includes what time of the year they grow. Weather conditions need to meet certain criteria before some will show their happy faces at all and unless you know which grow when, things may not turn out the way you hope.
The simplest way to classify when certain mushrooms grow is to pop them into each of the four seasons. Most will feature in one of them more than others and this is something you can take as gospel. Here are but a few mushroom varieties to give you a guiding start.
Oyster (through until Fall)
Turkey Tails (through to Winter)
Chicken of the Woods
Some Polypore Species
The mushrooms above are ones successfully grown by many people. They make for a wonderful hobby and if you put in the work, you will enjoy some fantastic examples of mushrooms.
A good point to make is that the list above is also relevant to the climate of where you live. Many climatic conditions exist just in the continental United States.
The list above is based on average climates and may differ slightly if you live in a colder or warmer region of the country. The best thing to do is monitor the weather conditions and work out just when the likely growing season may start.
Tip #2: Mushroom Substrate
Besides mushroom growing season, another deciding factor that determines what mushrooms will grow for you is the substrate you use for the mushroom spores to start their journey. 3 different substrates predominantly feature and each type determines which mushroom spores grow on them.
I thought a table might be a little easier to show you the options but bear in mind that none of these are must-dos. You’ll still choose whichever style and mushroom suit your own situation. The below table is just more of a guide to get you started.
Oyster Mushroom Varieties
Clustered Wood Mushrooms
Many of the mushrooms above grow on all 3 options. It’s just that some grow better on others, while others don’t do as well on the rest. If still in doubt, try a little more research, because along with climate, substrates will also affect the resulting fruit.
If you find the choices a little overwhelming, there’s another option that may be more suitable for you, especially if just starting out. Mushroom growing kits are incredibly easy and versatile and already have everything you need inside them.
All it takes is a read of the instructions and then to follow each step in the process. For more information on mushroom growing kits, check out this article here.
Tip #3: Inside or Outside
The final thing I need to run through is the choice of exactly where you want to grow your mushrooms. And that is because this will directly affect your options and growing times. I already mentioned growing seasons above and if you decide to order yourself a nice morel growing kit to grow outside, be aware that they won’t grow until the Spring.
If you choose to grow your mushroom spores outside, read back over the table above and find the mushroom you want to grow. Then see which season they grow in and compare that to where you are today.
Bear in mind that many mushrooms take time to adapt to their new home. Most will take time to settle, lay their foundations, and prepare for their birth. This may take weeks, months, or even more than a year.
If you prefer to grow your mushroom spores inside, then you have a slight upper hand when it comes to Mother Nature. That is because you can manipulate the environment of the mushroom spore and make them feel right at home.
But that doesn’t mean you can have morel mushrooms growing year-round. Although that would be pretty special. It just means you have a bit of an advantage and may be able to grow some pretty decent mushroom samples.
Growing mushrooms is an excellent past time. Both adults and children alike enjoy the exciting prospect of growing these amazing organisms. While your first effort may not always be successful, never give up trying. Sometimes it may just take an extra try. But when you succeed, get ready for a whole new level of satisfaction.