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Vermont Garden Journal: Growing Mushrooms

H. Krisp
Wikimedia Commons
Wine cap mushrooms or Stropharia are an easy mushroom to cultivate in your garden. They have a mild flavor and their caps can grow quite large.

Edible mushrooms are available in more places than just your local grocery store's produce section. Mushrooms can be locally found by foraging in your area or cultivated in your garden. 

An easy mushroom to cultivate is the native wine cap or Stropharia mushroom. They have a mild flavor, are easy to recognize and hard to confuse with harmful species. Stropharia are visually similar to Portabello mushrooms and the caps can grow to be rather large.

Stropharia grow well in a raised bed in the shade. To plant them, fill the raised bed with wood chips, add Stropharia spawn, water and then leave them alone. The mushrooms need very little attention, and will produce until the cold weather. Once spring arrives, they should start growing again without any issue. To maintain growth add new wood chips to the raised bed on occasion. 

Now for this week’s garden tip: Reduce you spring garden work by cutting back perennial flowers to about 4 inches off the ground, remove the foliage (especially if it was diseased), weed, add compost and mulch.

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