By MEREDITH KIRTON
Mushrooms can be grown anywhere that is dark and where the temperature remains fairly constant, without experiencing any extremes of either hot or cold, and without being too wet or too dry. For this reason, many unused old railway tunnels are used for commercial production. It sounds more complicated that what it is, especially these days now that you can buy mushroom kits ready to go. Whilst you might not have a tunnel at home, many houses built on piers have the perfect environment for mushroom growing, or even down the south side of some houses where the sun rarely shines can be a good spot.
To start your mushroom kit off, you simply need to place the spawn layer down and then cover it over with the peat material provided. Water it well, but not so it’s sodden. Don’t let it dry out and place in a well ventilated, shaded spot. In 3 weeks or so you should have the first fruiting bodies of your fungus appear. These are the mushrooms which you pick. Use a sharp knife to cut them cleanly from the main fungal body, and you should continue to get a few subsequent flushes.
Once your mushrooms have finished cropping, you can dig the spent compost into your veggie patch…cauliflowers and cabbages love it. Grow mushrooms when humidity is fairly high but temperatures are not too hot. Autumn and winter is normally the ideal time. Kits available include Portabello, or Swiss Browns, Oyster Mushrooms and regular white caps, which grow if left into quite large field mushrooms with dark chocolate coloured gills.
Photography by SUE STUBBS | Blog designed by RED PEPPER GRAPHICS