psychedelic mushrooms for sale kits have actually had a fair amount of bad press in recent times with many critics claiming that they provide very poor value for money when comparing the yields of the mushroom kits with the actual price of the mushrooms in the shops. I find this a very unfair comparison and feel that it is wrong to simply compare the two with the amount of mushrooms that they produce.
You can buy mushroom growing kits for only a few different species of mushroom – you can get button mushroom grow kits and you can get oyster mushroom grow kits. These two are the most common and can be purchased at most garden centres and usually on garden centre websites. However you can also grow other varieties from more specialist websites, allowing you to grow your own mushrooms like Shiitake, Portobello and more. These kits usually cost around £5 to £10 and will probably provide you with around £5 worth of mushrooms (if grown in the best possible environment, and depending on the variety as some mushrooms cost more then others in the shops).
I don’t understand why people moan when it costs more to buy a mushroom growing kit then it does to buy the mushrooms themselves. Most of the supermarket mushrooms are grown massively in bulk and are usually grown in other countries and imported across, where it is so much cheaper for them to grow them. Then theres the fact that in a kit you get a box and get the substrate (compost or straw) as well as a small bag of spawn. When you buy mushrooms from a shop you aren’t left over with excellent compost for your garden (mushroom compost is one of the most expensive and nutritious forms of compost as the mushrooms break down and recycle many nutrients present in the substrate). And then there’s the fact that you are growing mushrooms yourself – surely the excitement and fun factor are worth paying for too.
In my opinion mushroom growing kits are an excellent way of growing your own mushrooms and even if sometimes they don’t offer amazing value for money when compared to the shop price you will learn so much from doing it yourself and will probably take great pride in growing and then eating your own mushrooms. Maybe even once you’ve learned a little more about cultivating mushrooms you could cut out the middleman and find your own substrate (straw, newspaper, manure) and buy or make your own mushroom spawn. This is where you can get real value for money too, growing hundreds of pounds worth of mushroom from literally a couple of pounds investment.
Not many people realize that it is actually very easy to grow mushrooms yourself at home, instead opting to spend their money at their local supermarket on mushroom species cheaply imported from foreign countries where they are grown in bulk. The shop variety do not have much of a shelf life and the mushrooms don’t really like to be packed in plastic so by learning to grow mushrooms at home not only are you going to have fresher longer-lasting mushrooms but they will also most likely taste stronger and more mushroomey as the shop varieties tend to have a more watered-down flavor.
Another advantage of growing mushrooms yourself is that you aren’t limited to the variety displayed in the shops – which usually consists of button mushrooms, Shiitake, Oyster and Portobello. Although Oyster mushrooms are seen to be the easiest type of mushroom to cultivate, you may wish to try and grow something that most shops wont ever sell. The Lions Mane mushroom is a little harder to grow and yet has a taste which is very similar to that of lobster, and it is very expensive to purchase from specialist retailers.
To be able to grow your own mushrooms first you will need to decide on a variety. There are hundreds of edible mushrooms that can be grown either inside your house or outside, most growers settle for the oyster mushroom to begin with due to the simplicity of growing it (Oyster, or Pleutorus Ostreateus has very vigorous growth and so is very likely to grow given the right conditions).
Once you have decided on a type of mushroom to grow you will need to find the specific growing requirements, as all fungus have their own different growing parameters. With the Oyster mushroom you can use either a wood-based substrate (paper, cardboard etc) or you can grow it on straw. These are the most common substrates to use as they provide the best yields.
The next thing you will need is the mushroom spawn. It is easiest if you purchase your spawn from a shop – which is probably easiest done online as most garden centers only sell complete mushroom growing kits, whereas the spawn on its own is a little more specialist. There are many websites that sell spawn and it will only cost you a few pounds for a bag which will provide you with lots of mushrooms (it is also far better value to grow your own mushrooms then to purchase them from a store).
With the oyster mushrooms you need to pasteurize the straw or paper-based product, which kills off many of the bacteria present, giving the mushroom spawn a head-start when it comes to growing. You can do this by submerging the straw/paper in some hot water, keeping it at around 60 degrees C for about 1 hour. When this has done, drain the substrate and allow it to cool before loading it into a see-through plastic bag. Put a handful of straw/paper into the bag and then sprinkle spawn on top, and continue this until the bag is full. Tie the bag with a metal-tie and then pierce holes over the bag which will allow air to help the mycelium grow and will allow mushrooms to grow later, Leave it in a warm room for about 2 weeks until the bag completely colonizes (turns white, from the mycelium growing). An airing cupboard or boiler room is an ideal place).
When the bag is fully colonized it will be ready to fruit – mushrooms should start appearing within a few days. To help it to fruit you need to move the bag to a cooler, damper area where humidity levels are about 90% or higher. Oyster mushrooms like to be in quite cool conditions so it is probably best to place them outside. They will start to form (pin) from the holes that were poked in the bag previously, due to the mushrooms liking the air provided. When this happens, carefully cut the bag and peel it back a little, allowing the mushrooms the air and space required to grow to large sizes. When the Oyster mushrooms look a good size and just before the caps unfurl to release their spores, gently pull and twist them at their stems to harvest them. Cut the end part of the stem with a knife and they will be ready to eat!