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Mushroom cultivation can sometimes be a long and arduous process, but thanks to the detailed instructions we have prepared, you can successfully grow any species without much difficulty. Check out the most complete list of all types of mushrooms that thrive in our area. Find out when is the ideal time to plant them, how to prepare the soil, how and how often to water and supplement them, and many more helpful tips.
Mushrooms for cultivation
- Enoki – (Lat. Flammulina velutipes) is an edible mushroom from the family Physalacriaceae. It was named because of its velvety appearance and because it mostly grows on stumps. Because it grows in winter, it is also called winter stump in some countries.
- Oyster Mushroom – (Lat. Pleurotus ostreatus) is an edible mushroom from the Polyporaceae family. It is a very common mushroom. It grows bushy, in nature on stumps (mostly beech and wild chestnut) and in live deciduous trees, in late fall and winter, respectively, from August to November. It is successfully grown on straw.
- Shaggy mane – (lat. Coprinus comatus) is an edible mushroom from the agaric family. It grows in various places: along meadows, forest edges, and forest paths, but also in gardens, orchards, vineyards, composts, and humus soils. In meadows, it usually grows in low grass, humid soils rich in humus, and in forests at the edges that abound in natural compost from decaying twigs and leaves.
- Lingzhi mushroom (Reishi) – (Lat. Ganoderma lucidum) is a medicinal fungus from the family Ganodermaceae. In nature, it grows on the stumps of deciduous and coniferous trees, and somewhere it can be found rooting various types of trees outside the forest. Lingzhi mushroom on living trees lives as a parasite, destroying them, while inanimate trees decompose. It mainly grows on oak, but it can grow on other species of deciduous trees as well.
- Cyclocybe aegerita – also called Agrocybe cylindracea, Agrocybe aegerita or Pholiota aegerita is an edible fungus from the Cyclocybe family. There are several other scientific names for this fungus, namely: Pholiota cylindracea, Pholiota leochroma, Agaricus cylindraceus, and Togaria cylindracea. You may also know it as poplar mushroom, chestnut mushroom, or velvet pioppini. It grows near apple trees and poplar trees.
- Wood ear – (Lat. Auricularia auricula judae) is an edible and medicinal forest mushroom. It is also known as the elder bang because it grows on deciduous trees, the most common being the elder tree. It belongs to the family Auriculariaceae, and in English, it is called a wood ear and Jew’s ear. The scientific name comes from the Latin word auricula, which means ear or ear shell.
- Lion’s mane – (Lat. Hericium Erinaceus) is an edible and medicinal mushroom belonging to the tooth fungus group. It is better known as the lion’s mane because she looks exactly like her. Although unusual in appearance, it is a very tasty mushroom that can be an ingredient in a variety of delicious dishes. In addition to its good taste, it has been discovered over the last twenty years that it has numerous medicinal properties. In Europe, Lion’s mane is a rare fungus but is naturally distributed in Japan, China, and North America.
- Common mushroom – (Lat. Agaricus bisporus) is one of the most commonly and widely consumed mushrooms in the world. They are recognizable by their semi-circular hats, which can be white, white-gray, or light brown. Their meat is firm, with a pleasant smell and a mild aroma, so they can be added to various dishes and prepared in different ways. In nature, they grow where their mycelium falls, while in controlled cultivation, the mycelium must be planted in the desired location.
- Shiitake – (lat. Lentinus edodes) is an edible fungus from the family Marasmiceae. It is naturally widespread in Japan and China. It has been cultivated in Asia for two thousand years, and its cultivation is well represented in the rest of the world. It grows naturally in groups on decaying deciduous trees and can be found almost year-round. The shiitake mushroom meat is tough and hard. It is white and has a faint but pleasant odor.
- Wine Cap Stropharia – (lat. Stropharia rugosoannulata) commonly known as the garden giant, burgundy mushroom, or king Stropharia (Japanese: saketsubatake), is an edible mushroom from the Strophariaceae family. It is very popular in Western Europe, especially in Germany, because it tastes like a radish. In nature, straw is most commonly found from mid-spring to late autumn on well-fertilized arable land where grain residues are found.
- Morel – The true morels belongs to the rare, highly prized edible spring mushrooms from the Morchellaceae family. The young fruiting bodies of this fungus are formed by a thick knot of hyphae, and with enough nutrients and humidity, they very quickly become compact, gray with slightly lighter edges. It has an egg-shaped to a spherical shape, is pale yellow or cream, and is fused to the stem. The white or pale yellow stalk is hollow and has a bulb-shaped base.
- Parasol mushroom – (lat. Macrolepiota procera) e is a species of fungus from the mushroom family (Agaricaceae). It is one of the larger mushrooms and is non-toxic so it has become part of the human diet. It is quite appreciated for its excellent quality and is growing all over Europe. It can be found in light deciduous and mixed forests, shrubs, grasslands, forest edges, and pathways. It grows in summer and the fall, namely from July to November, in groups or individually.
- Truffle – are a genus of fungi from the family Tuberaceae. These are economically very important mushrooms. They look like potatoes and have a very strong and specific smell. They generally grow from the size of a cherry to the size of an apple. Some also call this mushroom a black queen, a diamond of the kitchen, a fairy apple, a black pearl, a fragrant lump, and a gem of poor countries. While other fungi release spores when they reach maturity, truffles, with their intense odor, attract mammals and insects that consume spores, and later they pass through their digestive tract so that truffles spread to other areas. Because they grow underground, it is difficult to find and harvest them, so specially trained dogs are used to locate them.
- Hen-of-the-wood – (Lat. Grifola frondosa) is a quality edible and medicinal mushroom from the Meipilaceae family. In nature, it grows on birch, elm, or oak during summer and fall. It is a saprophytic fungus and usually appears on the lower part of rotting or already dead tree trunks, as well as on stumps. It is widespread in Europe, Asia, and North America, and in addition to the trees already mentioned, can grow along with beech, maple, chestnut, and linden trees. It can appear in the same places for several years. On hard deciduous trees, and sometimes on conifers, it acts as a parasite and causes them to rot.
Because of their specialty, mushrooms do not belong to any group. They are on their own. Organisms without chlorophylls made up of one or more cells. Given that they do not have chloroplasts, we count them as heterotrophic organisms. It is an organism that consumes the necessary carbohydrates from organic matter for life.
They are also saprophytes because they feed on organic matter that remains behind the dead. Without the presence of fungi, organic substances of plant origin would not be able to decompose in nature. It is thought that without mushrooms, forests would be suffocated in waste. Fungi also belong to the group of parasites because they attack other plants, humans, and animals, but also fungi. They can absorb food from living or non-living organic matter through a network of thin hyphae.
The popularity of mushrooms has been around since the beginning of the 20th century when they are highly sought after because of their valuable nutritional properties. They contain almost all essential and non-essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, and a small amount of fat.
Mushrooms can live in community with other species, both of which benefit. Specifically, they retain water in the mycelium used by plants that, through the roots, take in organic matter from the water and are needed for the growth of fungi.
They can reproduce sexually and asexually, or by budding and spores. However, the simplest way is vegetative, that is, by separating the mycelium.
There are various types of fungi, and in addition to edible and poisonous ones, some are used for medicinal, hallucinogenic and psychoactive purposes. It is estimated that there are more than a million and a half species of fungi in the world, and only half of them are scientifically described.
Mushroom Cultivation & Tips
Fungi can be grown in greenhouses and even in woods. However, the outside also brings more risks because the conditions cannot be affected as much as indoors.
To grow edible mushrooms, it is necessary to provide a finished and unvaccinated substrate and to satisfy the conditions of heat, humidity, and light. It is necessary to have space where mushrooms are grown regularly to be ventilated and harvested every two to three months.
When handling mushrooms, it is important to keep the tools and hands clean, and if you are planning to grow mushrooms on a tree, make sure it is healthy, without decay or signs of disease.
In addition to edible mushrooms, medicinal mushrooms such as Reishi, Shiitake, Cordyceps, and others are also in demand, and their price is even three times higher than Common Mushrooms and Oyster Mushrooms.
– Bring mushrooms to your garden and orchard
The natural habitat of mushrooms is forest and to grow mushrooms, we must have a garden or orchard that we do not treat with chemical preparations and do not fertilize with mineral fertilizers. Also, mushrooms can be grown in specially selected and prepared places enriched with organic matter. Fungi are propagated by mycelium or spores and this is exactly the opportunity we can use to grow mushrooms.
Common Mushrooms are the most commonly consumed and bought mushrooms, and it is these buying mushrooms that we can use to start growing Common Mushrooms in our garden or orchard.
Mushrooms in nature grow in symbiosis with woody plant species. Use trees and fruit trees to grow mushrooms. When choosing a mushroom growing site, choose well-developed trees or prepare the ground for mushroom growth yourself.
– The soil should be rich in organic matter
Keep away from traffic and other sources of poison. The place should be clear, dry, protected from strong winds and rich in organic matter. Fungi do not like fully sunburnt places, choose a spot under a tree with a well-developed canopy or set up a shading net.
The easiest way is to use shopping Common Mushrooms. Very often you will find specimens of mushrooms in the package that have some little compost and mycelium on the bottom of the handle. Instead of throwing such waste in the trash bin after pruning, use it. When buying, choose as fresh mushrooms as possible because of the ability to regenerate mycelium from the rest of the mushroom.
– Bury the remains under the canopy
Bury the collected pieces as quickly as possible under the tree canopy. Lay the pieces of the handle with the rest of the mycelium individually, no deeper than 4 inches, cover with a layer of earth and dry leaves. Keep the pieces up to 6 inches apart. Pour with water that should not be cold. This process is time-consuming and takes a lot of patience. The advantage of this process is simplicity.
Fungi do not like fully sunburnt places, choose a spot under a tree with a well-developed canopy or set up a shading net.
Alternatively, you can dig special trenches 12 inches deep and 16 inches wide and fill them with prepared material. The length of the trench is optional and depends on the space available. Put gravel at the bottom of the trench, pieces of bricks, pieces of shattered ceramic jars to serve as a drainage layer to drain excess water.
If we dig trenches during the fall, we can fill them with straw, dry grass, tiny twigs, leaves and cover them with a layer of earth. A trench-like this is ready to be sown during the spring.
Another way is to dig a trench in the spring and fill it with a ready-made mixture of straw, manure, a little lime, beech sawdust. The straw must be disinfected in hot water before being placed. We can also use dedicated mushroom substrates as a mushroom growing substrate. In this case, to speed up the process, we can perform mycelium seeding with inoculation material purchased from specialized manufacturers, or we can collect spores of the fungus ourselves and produce our mycelium seed material.
– After a few days, the mycelium expands
The success of the whole process depends on external conditions. The best place to grow mushrooms is to cover them with a layer of dried leaves. Under optimal conditions, after five days we can notice that the mycelium is expanding, and we can see that when we gently remove the leaves and soil. After 20 days, the mycelium will spread in the soil or prepared mixture.
The success of mushroom cultivation in the garden will be influenced by many parameters, the most significant being temperature and humidity. Mushrooms do not like high temperatures and temperature changes. Temperatures of 64 to 77 °F are optimal for their growth. They don’t like excess moisture, but they do like moderate humidity.
It should be noted that fungi derived from purpose-purchased mycelium will be more fertile.
You can read more about how to grow mushrooms commercially in our article.
So, don’t wait anymore, start your mushroom cultivation today.