How to Develop Your Own Mushroom Garden: Outside & Inside Options

How to Develop Your Own Mushroom Garden: Outside & Inside Options

A mushroom garden is the perfect addition to any land and it is a great way to have a lot of your own fresh mushrooms at home

A mushroom garden can be created in a number of ways. Today I am sharing some tips for doing your own mushroom gardening, both inside and outside. If you are already a vegetable, fruit, or herb gardener, then a mushroom garden might be an ideal addition to the land you already have been working. If you have always wanted to garden at home but have a lot of shady areas that stop plants from getting enough light, then mushrooms might be your best option.

What to use in an outdoor mushroom garden

In the northeast, shiitakes, oysters, and wine cap mushrooms grow well. I recommend using logs or totems to grow shiitakes and oysters, and wine caps are great to grow among wood chips. If you already have a vegetable garden, then you can fill in the walkable pathways with wood chips that you inoculate with wine cap mycelium. If you already have the wood chips in place, then you can use sawdust spawn for the inoculation. While growing mushrooms outside it’s important to remember that mushrooms like moisture. Trying to grow mushrooms in areas of a lot of sun will lead to failed attempts. However, you may be able to grow mushrooms within your garden if the mushrooms would be shaded by the growing plants. Otherwise, as mentioned above, using the walkable paths is a good way to start. Interested in gardening and lawn care tips? Find them here.

Building a mushroom garden with inoculated logs

You’re in luck if your yard has a lot of shade because you can still grow a mushroom garden with the help of log cultivation practices. Or, you may have shaded garden areas that utilize logs to edge your garden beds. These logs could also be used for growing mushrooms.  To begin, you will need your logs and sawdust or plug spawn. You can read all about the process of inoculating logs in this article from our website. As the article mentions, it is important to use fresh relatively-fresh logs for inoculation. Old logs may already have its own fungus growing within it, making it harder for the cultivation of our mycelium. Once the mushroom logs are inoculated, they will be stored in a shaded area, preferably one that will resemble a natural setting. It is ideal when it is close to a watering source so they can be kept properly moist.

Creating a mushroom garden inside: 2 options for you

You can work on your inside mushroom gardening at any time, even when you’re looking outside and seeing snow covering the ground. The two methods we recommend here are using our growing kits or using plastic bags full of straw. We discuss both methods below. Our mushroom growing kits allow you to produce pounds of mushrooms through multiple flushes, all from the comfort of your own home or office. The process is simple. You start by ordering your mushroom growing kit from us. We have a variety of delicious gourmet mushrooms to try, including:
  • Pink oyster mushroom
  • Blue oyster mushroom
  • Yellow oyster mushroom
  • Shiitake mushroom
  • Chestnut mushroom
  • Lion’s mane mushroom

Once your kit arrives, place it in the area you want your indoor mushroom garden. Cut the bag open with an “X” so the mushrooms have an area to grow from. Mist the grow kit a couple times daily so it does not dry out. Keep doing this until the mushrooms begin to pin. You will be able to harvest once they get big enough. Be sure to try your skill at mushroom gardening both indoors and out. I’m sure you’ll love it either way.

Creating a mushroom garden with oyster mushrooms in straw

The oyster mushroom is an easy mushroom to grow, and it may go great in your mushroom garden, especially if you have some straw available. Here’s a look at the materials you will need to add a mushroom garden to your property with the help of straw:
  • Clean straw
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Water
  • Plastic bag (a plastic trash bag will do)
  • Plastic tubing
  • Oyster mushroom mycelium
You will be creating a fermentation with the straw. This method is sometimes referred to as the “stinky straw” method. It will get a little smelly at first, but rest assured, the smell will be temporary and it will dissipate within 30 minutes of completing this mushroom garden. Here are the steps to follow:
  1. Shred the straw. The ideal size range to use is 1” - 4” pieces. You can go about shredding the straw yourself with a machete, or by running it over with a lawn mower. Using a weed whacker with the straw in a 55-gallon barrel is another possibility as well.
  2. Once the straw is ready, you will pack it in the 5-gallon bucket.
  3. Fill the 5-gallon bucket with water so all of the straw is covered. You may need to place a heavy object on the straw to keep it submerged. A cinder block is a good option for doing this.
  4. Keep the straw submerged for 3-6 days.
  5. Remove the straw from the 5-gallon bucket, drain the water and place on a table.
  6. Take the straw and pack it into the plastic tubing. Layer oyster sawdust spawn every 3 to 4 inches. Pack as tightly as possible to eliminate air gaps.
  7. Poke holes into the tubing. If you are using a 3-foot piece of tubing, then you should poke 18 holes along the tube. Try to space the holes out evenly. If you have a longer or shorter piece of tubing, use six holes for every foot of tubing. Place the tubing into your plastic bag.
  8. Allow the mycelium to colonize the straw for 3-5 weeks. The bag can be kept in a dark place between 50-80 degrees F.
  9. Now it will be time to fruit the mushrooms. To do this, bring the mushrooms into the ideal environment of 65 degrees F. It should be out of direct sunlight but in a lighted area like a living room, with humidity around 85%. To achieve this, simply mist the exterior of the bag 2-3 times daily. Cut holes in the bag for the mushrooms to fruit from.
  10. The mushrooms will fruit out the holes of the bag within 10 days and as early as seven. Harvest once they reach maturity.
  11. Allow the bag to rest where it is for two weeks and begin misting again. The bag will fruit mushrooms 2-4 times before it is time to be composted.

What kind of mushroom garden have you grown? Share your story with us in the comments, and a pic if you’d like!

Article by Chris Sturk

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