Everything you need to know about mushroom cultivation

Mushrooms are highly prized mushrooms for their excellent flavor and versatility when making many healthy dishes. It is also loved for its high protein and mineral content.

The mushroom is a heterotrophic fungus, that is, it obtains its nutrients from the soil since it does not photosynthesize. As it does not have chlorophyll, it cannot photosynthesize. There are numerous species of mushrooms and many delicious dishes that can be prepared with them. Do you want to know how to grow mushrooms and what dishes you can make?

Varieties of mushrooms

natural mushrooms

His scientific name is Agaricus bisporus and comes from the division of the basidiomycetes. Besides, it also has other common names such as paris mushroom o portobello. There are varieties of this species, the most common are the Agaricus bisporus var. albiduswe also have Agaricus bisporus var. avellaneus and of Agaricus bisporus var. bisporus

The mushrooms were very useful during the world wars, since they need darkness to grow and precisely, in the shelters there was a lot of darkness. Its reproduction is relatively easy and due to its high mineral and protein content it became quite famous and widespread throughout the world.

Two main varieties of mushroom are distinguished. The first is the wildwhich is born by itself in nature. They are white in color and sometimes have scales in the central part of the hat. We can find them in the meadows where there is a certain level of darkness or shade, and they also need an abundance of organic matter in the form of manure. On the other hand, we have the cultivated mushroom, that presents the hat covered by brownish scales.

Thanks to the almost non-existent care that the mushroom requires and the small space it needs to reproduce, it is not a bad idea to carry out our own harvest of mushrooms in our home garden.

How does the mushroom reproduce?

Reproduction of mushrooms

The mushroom of Paris o Portobello It is a type of mushroom that reproduces through the mycelium. The mycelium is the nutrition mechanism of fungi which is made up of a set of filaments. The fertile part of the mushroom is the so-called hymenium. The hymenium is formed by plates that are located in the lower part of the hat. It contains spores by which, once cultivated, the new fungi will emerge.

When mushrooms are collected in the field, baskets with nets are used so that, as they are collected and walked on the roads, the adhering remains are released and the mycelium unfolds. In this way, the mycelium spreads again through the soil and it will be used for the production of later crops.

Mushroom cultivation

growing mushrooms at home

When we grow the mushroom we need to do it in dark places, such as caves, cellars, cellars, etc. Bags or drawers that have been built for this function can also be used. Appropriate measurements of the drawers can be half a meter wide, a quarter meter high and another quarter deep.

To use as a substrate for the mushrooms, we will use a mixture that we will place in the drawers and that we will arrange in layers. The substrate will be composed of:

  • The first layer to be placed at the bottom of the drawer to be will base on a third of straw. You can also serve wheat, barley, or oats.
  • A second layer that has another third of peat mixed with some sawdust. Peat is wet soil rich in organic matter.
  • The third layer is the one that covers the rest and is placed with well shredded manure. In this way, we can adapt the mushroom culture rich in organic matter and darkness so that it grows easily.

Once we have placed all the substrate in the drawers, we have to put the mycelium and crumble it on the layer of manure. The manure we use for mushrooms can also be horse manure. Once we have spread the mycelium, we cover everything with a little peat and water, avoiding excess moisture. We have to keep in mind that being in dark places, the evaporation rate of water is much lowerso we have to control the amount we water well. To control the amount we water well, it is much better to use a watering can and not spray.

I have already mentioned it several times, but it never hurts to remember it. Light kills mushrooms. If we want to grow them it has to be in a dark environment. We also have to use a place (as we have said before, a cellar, a basement, etc.) that has a minimum of humidity. The humidity should be around 80%. To control the levels of environmental humidity we can use a hygrometer. On the other hand, it is also necessary that the room or place where the mushrooms are grown has good ventilation. The temperature they must be at cannot exceed 30 degrees.

To collect the mushrooms we must wait about seven weeks after we grow it. They must be collected every three days and before the ring that the mushroom has next to the hat cracks. It must be taken into account that both to cultivate them and to collect them must be in the dark. When removing them, one turn of the screw must be performed and they are also stored in the dark.

Diseases and pests that attack mushrooms

mushrooms with diseases and pests

Mushrooms can also be attacked by certain pests and diseases. The most frequent are some mites, some nematodes and various insects. Among the most frequent pests we find the whitish spider that causes irregular cavities in the foot and hat.

We also have the plague of the blonde spider that is forming unfolds in the roots of the mushroom. These pests can be controlled with acaricides such as dicofol, tetradiphon, fenson, sulfotep, diazinon, etc.

The mosquitos They also form pests that spoil the mycelium of the fungus. They can cause cavities and tunnels in the foot and cap of mushrooms. In order to treat this, diazinon, malathion, lindane, chlorfenvinphos, etc. must be used. In addition to a good disinfection of the substrate.

As for the beetles, they can produce small holes on the hat. They must also be treated with lindane and malathion.

The most harmful pest that can attack mushrooms are nematodessince they completely destroy the mycelium of the fungus. To know that your mushroom crop is infested with nematodes, you can recognize them by looking at the manure that takes a reddish color and when you touch it it gives the sensation of touching a soapy paste. To eliminate this pest, the substrate must be sterilized together with the use of nematicides and the control of the environmental conditions of the crop.

Now we turn to talking about the diseases that affect mushrooms. The most serious of these is gout. It is a disease caused by bacteria Pseudomonas toolasi Planie. When the mushroom suffers from this type of disease, it presents yellow spots on the hat, sticky in appearance and in the form of droplets. To avoid this type of pests, the preparation of the manure and the substrate must be treated very well, since this is where this disease can occur due to poor ventilation or excessive watering. In order to combat it, you must water it with water in which you have dissolved 250 grams of chloride of lime per 100 liters.

This bacteria also causes an effect called mummification. This consists of a series of swellings of the foot of the fungus that form a premature opening of the hats. To avoid this, the same as before is recommended, with an exhaustive control of the land in which it is planted.

Also mushrooms can be attacked by fungi. The best known is the fungus Verticillium malthousei. To recognize it you only have to look the appearance of deformations in the mushroom and the appearance of a pinkish-white mold that causes rotting and a very unpleasant odor. We avoid the appearance of these fungi by not using previously used soil, disinfecting the soil with formaldehyde, steam, mixtures of zineb or mancozeb, with benomyl, iprodione, etc.

Main dishes with mushrooms

stuffed mushrooms

Speaking a bit about gastronomy, we can say that there are many delicious dishes made with mushrooms. Among them are cream of mushrooms, mushrooms with garlic, mushrooms in sauce, etc. In short, a series of famous and very tasty dishes that we can cook. If we grow our own mushroom garden at home, it will be much more satisfying than buying them at the supermarket.

One of the dishes very tasted by people are the stuffed mushrooms. It consists of using mushrooms, onion, cooked ham, cheese and dressing (salt, pepper, oil, etc.) and filling the mushrooms with the ingredients. To prepare the ingredients we make a small sauce with a little pepper, onion and the cooked ham. Once the sauce has been introduced into the mushrooms, they are baked for a while until cheese is au gratin.

As you can see, mushrooms are quite easy to both grow and cook and they come out quite delicious dishes. We just have to take into account some guidelines when growing and treating them. Enough darkness and humidity, not too much temperature, avoid pests and diseases always taking care of the place where they are planted and pick them seven weeks after growing them. Once we get our own mushrooms and cook them, it will be much more satisfying and delicious.

Everything you need to know about mushroom cultivation

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