Vermont Garden Journal: Growing Mushrooms Indoors
The fungus is among us, and it tastes good! That's what you might be saying when you start growing mushrooms indoors in your home. Foraging for wild mushrooms is fun, especially if you go with an experienced veteran who can distinguish good from potentially bad fungi. You can also cultivate mushrooms in your garden and yard, but you have to wait months for fruit. To get a quick fix of the taste of wild mushrooms without all that hunting and waiting, grow them from kits indoors.
Years ago when I first started buying pre-packaged mushroom kits, the selection was limited and performance spotty. But mushroom growers have expanded the range of types you can grow and made them more fool proof. While you can still grow portabella and white button mushrooms in a box, other mushroom kits now include king stropharia, blue oyster, shiitake, reishi and lion's mane. Most are simple and only require adding some water and placing them in a 63F to 70F room. Other's require more detailed attention to temperature and moisture. Most mushroom kits shouldn't be frozen, so have them shipped to a location where they won't sit outside in winter.
Mushroom kits can fruit for various periods of time depending on the type. Oyster mushroom will fruit for a few weeks. King stropharia mushroom kits for a few months. Shiitake mushroom kits will fruit every 2 weeks for up to 4 months. After fruiting, some mushroom kits, such as oyster and king stropharia, can be used to create an outdoor mushroom bed. Mix the spent medium into the right kind of bedding material for that mushroom and they will continue to produce into summer and fall.
And now for this week's tip, check any over-wintered dahlia or canna lily bulbs in your basement. If some of the bulbs are getting soft, toss them out so they don't rot and infect the other bulbs. If they're shriveling, mist them to rehydrate the bulbs.
Next week on the Vermont Garden Journal, I'll be talking about some cool new vegetable varieties. Until then, I'll be seeing you in the garden.
Broadcast on Friday, January 16, 2015 at 5:57 p.m. and Sunday, January 18, 2015 at 9:35 a.m.
The Vermont Garden Journal with Charlie Nardozzi is made possible by Gardener's Supply, offering environmental solutions for gardens and landscapes. In Burlington, Williston and Gardeners.com.