There are more wood-loving edible mushrooms than you may imagine.
Despite the fact that white button mushrooms (as well as brown creminis and portobellos) are grown on manure compost, a number of edible varieties grow on wood.
On wood, shiitakes, oyster mushrooms, chanterelles, wine caps, chicken-of-the-woods, and several other delicious edible mushrooms thrive.
Wood-loving mushrooms are often easier to grow for novice mushroom gardeners (plus you don’t have to deal with manure!) Consequently, several kits and spawn sources are available.
You can grow a variety of mushrooms at home, from kits, including oyster mushrooms, shiitakes, lion’s mane mushrooms, and wine caps.
It may be difficult to produce optimal growing conditions, but oyster and wine cap mushrooms are the ideal first mushrooms to cultivate at home.
The following are nine edible mushrooms that grow on wood and are available in ready-to-grow kits for home gardeners.
Why Would I Grow Mushrooms At Home?
Why do we grow mushrooms? Some people seem to feel that mushroom growing is a difficult mystery.
Did you realize, however, that mushroom cultivation may be a fun and enlightening experience?
Regardless of the kind of mushroom you grow or the cultivation technique you pick, mushroom cultivation may improve your life in several ways. Need convincing?
Growing your food is very advantageous. If you like eating mushrooms, you are less reliant on restaurants, grocery stores, and infrastructure to get them.
Whether you live on a farm or in an urban condominium, it is always advantageous to be more self-reliant.
Mushroom kits, mushroom spawn, and logs all cost money. However, you might save a considerable amount of money over time.
After an initial investment, you can produce far more mushrooms than you could buy in a store.
Mushrooms grown at home are superior in many ways to those bought from a store.
They are often larger, more flavorful, and contain more nutrients since they have not been transported or preserved.
You may also produce them organically, so avoid exposure to commercial pesticides and fertilizers.
Do you have a number of splintered logs on your property? Think about cardboard. Looking for a purpose for your spent coffee grounds?
Mushrooms may be grown on any of these things and more, elevating domestic recycling to a new level.
You may even join the area of mycorestoration, which includes the use of fungi to rebuild damaged ecosystems.
How To Grow Mushrooms At Home
Why not produce your own mushrooms at home for a unique experience?
Our complete mushroom growing kits include step-by-step instructions and all the essential ingredients, making mushroom growth simpler than it may first seem.
Using logs or easy-grow kits, the following is a simple growing technique for mushrooms.
Mushrooms are almost fat- and calorie-free and rich with vitamins and minerals to help you maintain optimum physical condition.
In addition, they are a good protein source for vegans and vegetarians.
Although mushrooms may be discovered in the wild, it is safer to grow them than to forage for them.
You will know exactly which varieties you are ingesting, and you will enjoy watching the fruiting process.
How To Grow Mushrooms On Logs
On logs is one of the simplest ways to grow mushrooms.
In hardwood logs, wooden dowels impregnated with mushroom mycelium (mushroom spawn) produce several harvests year for around five years.
Although dowels are available year-round, the logs necessary for mushroom growing must be gathered during the dormant season from healthy trees (between leaf fall in autumn and early spring).
Plant the dowels in the log no later than six weeks after it has been cut to minimize fungal infection.
Store the dowels in the refrigerator or a cool, dark, well-ventilated room until you are ready to use them.
For mushroom culture, hardwood logs such as oak, beech, birch, hazel, and willow are preferred.
The apple, sycamore, and ash trees are not recommended.
Your log should have a diameter of 10 to 15 centimeters and a length of 50 centimeters to accommodate 10 to 15 dowels.
To prevent the logs from drying out before use, put them in the shade to shield them from direct sunlight and strong winds.
If you lack suitable wood for mushroom growing, you might contact local arborists, municipal parks departments, or forest managers.
Drill holes around 15cm (6 inches) apart throughout the length of the log. Each row must be separated by 7.50 centimeters (3 inches).
Insert a dowel and hammer them flat with the log’s surface.
Wax the inoculation holes, any damaged bark, and any cut branch ends, but not the log ends since some moisture must enter.
Place the logs in a wooded area with shade or enclose them in black polyethylene and bury them. You may even conceal them with evergreen shrubs.
Observe your logs for signs of significant cracking, and if you see any, soak them in water for two days to completely saturate the bark.
It takes between six and eighteen months for the mushroom mycelium to colonize a log. It is possible to see the mycelium producing a V-shaped tip.
Once logs have been totally colonized, they may be moved to a warm, sheltered, moist area with dappled shade where they will begin to produce fruit.
Growing mushrooms in a forest is an excellent way to achieve these requirements.
As opposed to setting the logs flat on the ground, lean them against a wall, rock, or another log.
Each species is distinct and only bears fruit under ideal environmental conditions.
From the inoculated locations on the wood, white nodules will develop into mushrooms within a week.
During this time, humidity and moisture levels should be maintained, and the log should not be moved.
To collect mushrooms, grasp their bases and twist them away from the wood. Fruit will be produced by logs for up to four weeks.
The mycelium will regenerate and produce a second crop many months later. Logs have a four to six-year lifetime.
How To Grow Mushrooms From Spawn
With grain spawn and composted manure, mushrooms may be cultivated inside.
The same traditional method may be used to raise mushrooms outdoors, albeit you have no control over the weather or environmental conditions.
To produce mushrooms outdoors, sow the spawn on unused grass or near compost heaps between April and August.
Rich in organic content, the soil will provide the best results.
It is necessary to dig 25cm (10-inch) square areas of grass to a depth of 4cm and place them 60cm (24in) apart.
If the soil is deficient, loosen the soil under the grass squares with a garden fork and add more organic matter, such as well-rotted manure or garden compost.
The lack of chemical fertilizers prevents mushroom growth.
Spread the mushroom spawn thinly over the soil’s surface and gently mix to a depth of 1 centimeter.
Replace the grass squares firmly and keep the soil moist, but not soaked.
To produce mushrooms inside, a deep tray or box and a temperature of around 16 degrees Celsius are required (50F). The temperature should not fall below 10C or exceed 20C.
Fill a box with 25 cm of horse manure compost that has been properly prepared. You may get well-rotted manure from a garden center, or you can make it yourself.
Put your mushroom pots in a cellar, shed, or garden frame. They may be grown in darkness or light, but not in direct sunlight.
Keep in mind that mushrooms can only grow at a constant temperature of around 16C (50F).
Before covering with damp newspaper, tightly fill mushroom beds with prepared compost and distribute spawn on top, mixing it to a depth of two to four inches.
After three weeks, the white thread-like mycelium will colonize the compost.
At this point, remove the newspaper and cover the compost with a layer of casing made up of equal parts garden soil, peat, and lime.
Alternately, fifty percent peat-free compost and fifty percent chalk or lime may be used. Lime is essential because mushrooms like alkaline growing conditions.
Use a fine rose watering can or a mister to maintain a moist, but not wet, casing layer.
After applying the shell layer for three to five weeks, mushrooms will begin to develop.
Maintain a moist and humid atmosphere while the mushroom develops.
To gather mushrooms, you must twist the cap until it detaches from the compost. Approximately every 10 days, you should see a growth surge.
9 Edible Mushrooms That Grow On Wood
Now that you know how and why you would want to grow mushrooms at home, we break down the 9 best edible mushrooms that grow on wood, so you can give it a try!
One of the easiest to raise mushrooms; is a prolific grower with a modest flavor.
The oyster mushroom is the simplest wood-loving fungus to produce at home for novices.
It develops rapidly, is not very sensitive to temperature, can thrive inside or outdoors, can produce many flushes of harvestable mushrooms, and can consume almost any kind of woody plant material.
Some people can successfully grow oyster mushrooms on toilet paper rolls, cardboard, and even cotton clothing!
Mycelium (the white, root-like part that spreads throughout the growing medium) of oyster mushrooms develops so vigorously that it may sometimes compete with a minor mold infection.
White/gray, black, blue, and brown are the most prevalent tints among common strains.
The strength of the crown’s color fluctuations will depend on the amount of light they receive.
Ensure that the young mushrooms (pins) can grow in an environment with sufficient humidity and enough ventilation.
Oyster mushrooms are very sensitive to carbon dioxide and will produce fruiting bodies that are thin but edible in the absence of adequate ventilation.
Oyster mushroom cultivation is very tough to botch, especially when utilizing a kit.
However, when you begin to harvest mushrooms, you will see that mature oyster mushrooms produce an abundance of spores.
Take care not to inhale mushroom spores, especially while producing many oyster mushroom kits in the same room.
King Oyster Mushroom
Each succulent bite of a meaty mushroom with a mushroom-like taste.
The king oyster is a relative of the common oyster, sharing the latter’s robust, meaty stalk and comparatively thin cap.
The flavor is comparable to that of the tree oyster, but the texture is hard, making it perfect for grilling or frying big portions.
Despite being native to the Mediterranean, king oyster mushrooms naturally bloom in the autumn and can endure chilly temperatures.
The most difficult aspect of raising king oysters is getting your kit block to develop mushrooms.
Growing pins (young mushrooms) requires low temperatures.
Due to the temperature sensitivity of the king oyster, gardeners prefer to cultivate them throughout the autumn and winter, either outdoors or in a garage, to enhance fruiting.
In addition, you may place your king oyster block in front of an air conditioning unit or refrigerate it for several days.
However, proficient home gardeners should use an old refrigerator, mini-fridge, or even a freezer with an external temperature controller set to 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius).
The temperature may increase by a few degrees with the advent of tiny mushrooms.
Golden Oyster Mushroom
Bright yellow mushroom clusters that have a nutty taste when cooked.
If you are unable to cultivate cool-weather mushrooms, the golden oyster is a heat-loving species that is unique from other oyster mushrooms.
Golden oysters love standard room conditions and will develop fast when the temperature approaches 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius).
However, the overall yield seems to be lower than that of the more common tree oyster.
Although some individuals like eating raw or undercooked mushrooms, golden oysters may be rather harsh if not properly prepared.
Once cooked, they have a distinct, almost cashew-like nuttiness. Note that as they cook, the vivid yellow hue disappears.
In addition to its distinct flavor, people like cultivating golden oysters for their brilliant yellow color.
The intensity of this golden hue depends on the amount of available light.
Mushrooms are grown outside in the sun or inside with a full-spectrum grow lamp that will have a golden hue and be bright.
Pink Oyster Mushroom
A prodigious, brilliantly pink mushroom that may or may not be edible.
Another oyster mushroom that thrives in warm circumstances, the pink oyster has a delicate, seafood-like flavor.
The texture of pink oyster mushrooms is determined by their size, with smaller mushrooms having a more delicate feel and bigger mushrooms having a more meaty and chewy texture.
As aesthetically pleasing as this mushroom may seem, its flavor is either enjoyed or loathed.
Others are repelled by the inconsistent texture and mild fishy taste. However, it is reasonably simple to care for and not too particular about its growing conditions.
Pink oyster mushrooms are best harvested shortly after the cap has opened.
Furthermore, they have a very limited shelf life, perishable in less than a week; thus, keep your harvest in a vented bag in the refrigerator for no more than a few days before cooking.
Similar to golden oysters, pink oysters produced in situations with an abundance of light are more brilliantly pink.
The king of umami is characterized by meaty mushrooms with tremendous flavor.
Shiitake mushrooms have rapidly gained popularity in conventional grocery stores for a good cause.
They are a meatier, savory alternative to the white and brown mushrooms often supplied. Additionally, they are easier to produce at home.
The majority of kits include sawdust, grains, or a combination thereof, as well as nutritional additives such as soy or rice hulls.
Typically, the first harvest from these shiitake kits happens within a few weeks.
If you are prepared to wait longer between harvests, though, shiitakes may also be grown easily in logs.
Log culture is placing microscopic shiitake-inoculated wooden plugs into hardwood logs and letting the fungus spread spontaneously throughout the log, giving modest but consistent harvests over years.
Getting shiitake mushrooms to fruit may be hard, but amateurs should have little trouble with it.
Wine Cap Mushroom
The mushroom that is easiest to raise outside, yields enormous, succulent mushrooms with a robust flavor profile.
Wine cap mushrooms are the only mushrooms that seem to thrive outdoors, and they are also very easy to produce, requiring almost little care after they are planted in your yard.
Huge, meaty mushrooms that seem to have caps stained with crimson wine. They have subtle red wine flavors when cooked.
As long as the atmosphere is not too hot and dry, wine cap mushrooms may flourish in almost any garden.
In addition, since mycelium grows behind layers of insulating mulch, it may flourish in northern temperate climates.
Choose a somewhat shady area of your garden that has been heavily mulched, preferably with wood chips, and place the Stropharia spawn between two mulch layers.
Water well and keep the soil moist until the wine caps have formed.
If you refresh your bed’s mulch yearly, wine cap mushrooms will persist for many years.
Lion’s Mane Mushroom
An unusual white mushroom with a flavor and texture reminiscent of crab or lobster.
The lion’s mane is one of the most visually remarkable wood-dwelling fungi. If you have heard of it before, it is likely because of its health benefits.
The mushroom expands like a giant puffball with “teeth” like pom poms (which is another name it goes by).
The lion’s teeth, like the rest of its mane, are soft. Lion’s mane has a mild, delicate mushroom taste with crab or lobster overtones.
Even when chopped and cooked, it comes apart similarly to crabmeat. Try the lion’s mane if you dislike strong mushroom flavors.
Although not as fussy as king oysters, lion’s mane requires cool temps for fruiting. You can grow a lion’s mane effectively at room temperature.
The most common problem that people have while growing lion’s mane is getting enough fresh air to encourage the full growth of the dangling “teeth” while retaining sufficient humidity so the mushroom grows to its fullest size.
This is pretty challenging with just a grow tent.
A “shotgun fruiting chamber” (SGFC) is a large tub with holes for ventilation and a layer of moist perlite to maintain high humidity.
Freshcap Mushrooms provides straightforward instructions for building an SGFC.
However, even if your lion’s mane looks like cauliflower, it is still edible and will taste the same.
Mushrooms with an exceptional flavor and a huge production.
If you’re lucky enough to discover them in your local grocery store (they may be labeled as shimeji or clamshell mushrooms), beech mushrooms are an extremely rare delicacy.
Beech mushrooms have a firm texture and a flavor that is slightly sweet and nutty when cooked. Their hats may be either brown or white.
These mushrooms are exceedingly easy to raise from kits and grow in big, prolific clusters.
Nonetheless, since their mycelium grows more slowly, growing from spawn may be more difficult.
As beech mushrooms grow in enormous clusters, the whole cluster may be picked.
You may cut them at the base and twist off the mushroom cluster with a knife.
Since it will take longer for the mycelium to colonize if you are growing from spawn, you must take extra care to completely sterilize or pasteurize your growth medium if you are growing from spawn.
If your beech mushrooms have a bitter or astringent taste, they have not been cooked enough.
Long, slender, white pearl mushrooms with a distinctly crisp texture that may be eaten raw, lightly cooked or fully cooked.
Enoki mushrooms are a unique, adaptive fungus that may be grown at home, although not by amateurs.
They are eaten mostly for their texture, which is crunchy when raw, and al dente when cooked, like al dente pasta.
The advantage of wild enoki mushrooms is that they do not resemble their supermarket counterparts.
In nature, they have a more robust, natural appearance and are mostly red, brown, and orange.
However, because of how they are cultivated in mushroom farms (see guidelines below), they have long, thin stems and are almost white.
The usage of Enoki mushrooms is not restricted to soups. They may be put raw in salads or stir-fried.
The late, renowned Italian chef Antonio Carluccio was a mushroom fanatic, and he advised eating prosciutto-wrapped enoki mushrooms with lemon and olive oil.
If you like your enoki mushrooms cooked, you may make a delectable treat by wrapping them in bacon.
You may begin fruiting using the same techniques as for king oyster mushrooms.
To produce white enoki mushrooms, they must be cultivated in the dark, which prevents them from acquiring color.
To create enoki mushrooms with long, noodle-like stems and tiny caps, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere must be increased.
To enhance CO2 levels, expert enoki mushroom cultivators produce a greenhouse effect by placing a plastic cover or cone over the growing medium (typically large bottles filled with sawdust and nutrients).
This is feasible because mushrooms, like mammals, inhale oxygen and expel carbon dioxide, and carbon dioxide is heavier than oxygen.
A great film from an enoki mushroom farm demonstrates this. Be aware of the shields around the bottle tops.
We hope this article has inspired you to attempt mushroom cultivation at home.
Fresh harvests of cultivated mushrooms are a fantastic method to increase the nutritional content of family meals.
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