Mushrooms are one of those essential foods that go great with everything. Whether cheesy mushrooms on a pizza or fresh sliced mushrooms in a salad, we eat mushrooms every day. You can find mushrooms at any grocery or farmer’s market. Then, with a few simple tools and patience, you can cultivate them yourself.
Besides this, there are many types of mushrooms you can grow to fit all your needs, from tasty shiitake mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, and magic mushrooms if that’s what takes your fancy. The question asked is, how long to grow mushrooms? There is a skill that experienced growers have with all mushrooms, and in our guide, you can learn all you need to see your efforts rewarded in a few weeks.
By the end, you’ll know what you need to do and how long mushrooms take to grow before enjoying them. The main thing is, whatever you grow, it will be much better than using a mushroom growing kit. (Read What Kind Of Mushrooms Grow In Mulch)
How Long Does It Take To Grow A Mushroom Kit?
Growing kits are a quick and effortless way to start gardening and learn about the fresh mushrooms being farmed. In 10-14 days, most kits can produce fresh, delicious mushrooms.
The mycelium has already fully colonized throughout the growing media, or mushroom substrate, in most mushroom growing kits, which shows they are ready to fruit.
This is especially useful for commercial mushroom growers who wish to try out new mushroom and strain varieties before investing in larger production runs.
However, it’s also ideal for home growers looking forward to their first harvest of edible gourmet mushrooms.
However, there are a couple of reasons why mushroom kits may not suit your mushroom growing needs.
You may not get the desired results unless you get a premium kit. For example, some mushroom spores may not be of the type that grows well from kits. Also, you may find you need to add the spawn to a suitable nutritious substrate for continued growth.
Also, you may be after a mushroom type that isn’t on offer, or you may not be sure of the quality of the mushrooms. Anyone wanting to grow psilocybin mushrooms would be better starting from scratch.
How To Grow Magic Mushrooms?
The hallucinogenic component psilocybin is found in magic mushrooms, and the substance influences serotonin receptors in the brain thus can induce what we know as a trip.
Psilocybin mushrooms have been in use for thousands of years, and specialists regard them as safe to consume. However, they are classified as a Schedule 1 substance under the Controlled Substances Act and are prohibited in many countries.
Although researchers are finding more about therapeutic uses for these mushrooms, the situation is changing.
Although mushrooms have been decriminalized in many of US cities, they are still challenging to get. It is because of this why mushroom growth for these has ballooned. While they are readily available in the wild, growing at home means you know they are safe for consumption.
Magic mushrooms grow naturally; however, for those without experience, it is easy to misidentify these mushrooms, which can be lethal. (Read Why Are My Cucumbers White)
Purchasing the spores may be the best option as these won’t be classed as controlled substances since they lack the active compound psilocybin.
However, it could still be illegal to grow such mushrooms in your area, so a bit of research may be worthwhile before you started gardening to grow mushrooms at home.
Grow Magic Mushrooms at Home
It’s relatively easy to grow magic mushrooms at home. It does, however, need a high level of sanitation and patience. You’ll also require a few equipment items, most of which are readily available.
Getting a spore syringe is the most difficult, and you must get this from a trusted vendor or find contaminated spores, mistaken strains, or just water.
Using a mushroom grow kit is one of the simplest ways to grow mushrooms, as quality ones will come with a spore syringe, substrate, grow bag, and possibly the mycelium. Add water, and you are good to go.
As we have seen, growing mushrooms from a kit have the disadvantage of not knowing what you’ll get.
Starting from scratch takes time and work, but the outcomes are more consistent. It also lowers the possibility of contamination. Rather than purchasing your grow kit, it is straightforward to make your own magic mushroom growing kit.
To make mushroom substrate:
- 2/3 cup of vermiculite per jar and some extra.
- 1/4 cup of drinking water per container.
- 1/4 cup of organic brown rice flour for each container.
Mushroom growing equipment:
- 12 cc spore syringe.
- 12 shoulderless 1/2-pint jars.
- Mixing bowl & strainer.
- Heavy-duty tin foil.
- Large pot and a tight-fitting lid.
- Micropore tape.
- 50–115L clear plastic storage box.
- Drill with ¼-inch bit.
- Hammer and small nail.
- Spray bottle.
- Rubbing alcohol & Disinfectant.
- Torch lighter.
- Air sanitizer and still-air box (optional.
- Latex gloves, surgical mask.
- Small towel.
Steps to grow magic mushrooms:
1. Prepare your jars
- Disinfect the hammer and nail before punching four regularly spaced holes around the lid’s circumference.
2. Prepare your substrate
- Combine 2/3 cup vermiculite and 1/4 cup water per container in a mixing bowl.
- Make sure the strainer is clean, then remove the excess water.
- Combine 1/4 cup brown rice flour per jar.
3. Fill and sterilize your jars
- Fill the jars with the loosely packed substrate to about a half-inch below the rims.
- Sterilize the exposed glass using rubbing alcohol before covering it with dry vermiculite.
- Cover with foil after tightening the jar lids.
- Make sure the openings aren’t allowing any water or condensation to enter the jar.
- Arrange the jars on top of the towel in the pan’s bottom.
- Fill the jars halfway with water and heat to a slow boil.
- If the pan boils dry, add more boiling water and steam for another 75–90 minutes.
- Keep the jars upright.
- Allow several hours or overnight to cool to room temperature.
4. Prepare spore syringe and inject
- Heat the syringe’s needle with the lighter until it is red hot.
- Allow cooling completely before wiping with rubbing alcohol and don’t touch it with your fingers.
- Pull the plunger back slightly and shake.
- Remove the foil off a jar and push the syringe into the hole as far as necessary to inject spores.
- Inject roughly 14 ccs of the spore solution with the needle against the jar’s side.
- Repeat for each hole, wiping the syringe’s needle clean with alcohol in between.
- It would help if you used micropore tape to cover the holes.
- Continue with the remaining jars.
Wear latex gloves and a surgical mask to reduce the danger of contamination, especially if you have to assemble your syringe. (Read Is Mushroom Compost Good For Tomatoes)
- Place the jars in a clean, well-ventilated area where they will not be disturbed.
- Keep out of direct sunlight and at room temperatures of 70–80 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The mushroom growth time of the white mycelium should be 7–14 days.
- At least half of the jars should develop successful colonies or ‘cakes’ after three to four weeks. When you reach this stage, wait another week to strengthen your mycelium.
Should any jars appear contaminated, carefully dispose of them. To save further contamination, do this outside without removing the lids and placing them in sealable bags.
6. Prepare your fruiting chamber
- Drill 1/4-inch holes two inches apart throughout the plastic storage container, including the base and lid.
- To facilitate airflow underneath the box, place it on four stable objects.
- To keep the moisture in, cover with a towel.
7. Add perlite and make your cakes
- Put the perlite in your trainer, then run it under cold water to soak it.
- Allow draining entirely before spreading over the chamber’s base.
- Repeat the process until the base is covered with a 4–5-inch layer of perlite.
- Carefully remove the substrate cakes from the jars without damaging them.
- Remove any loose vermiculite by rinsing the cakes under cold water.
- Place the cakes inside a cooking pot filled with lukewarm water.
- To keep them under the water’s surface, use another pot or a plate.
- Allow 24 hours for the cakes to rehydrate at room temperature.
- Take the cakes out of the water and place them on a disinfected surface.
- Roll the cakes in dry vermiculite in the mixing bowl to coat them.
8. Transfer your cakes for fruiting
- Place the cakes on foil squares large enough to keep them from touching the perlite in the fruiting chamber.
- Spray them with the spray bottle and adequately space them.
- Before shutting the lid, give it a good fan.
- Four times a day, mist the chamber but don’t soak the cakes in water.
- Improve air circulation by fanning with the lid around half a dozen times a day.
- You can use lights on a 12-hour cycle, yet ambient lighting during the day is sufficient.
- Keep a close eye out for mushroom growth.
You may ask, how long does it take to grow magic mushrooms (Psilocybe Cubensis) with all this? It will vary according to the variety and conditions, although the cubensis strain is the easiest to cultivate for beginners compared to Penis Envy strains.
Monitor your mycelium cakes, and you should see white bumps appear, which then sprout into ‘pins.’
You can be ready to harvest in 5–12 days when you reach this stage. Pick before the veil breaks and reveal the gills.
Is It Difficult To Grow Mushrooms?
How long do mushrooms take to grow? Foremost, it depends on the mushroom varieties for how long it takes to grow from mushroom cultivation to fresh mushrooms. Aside from this, some mushrooms prefer cooler temperatures compared to others.
While oyster mushrooms can be grown in 20 days, it can take up to ten years to determine if truffles will bear fruit.
The substrate (growing media) you use and whether you start with spores, spawn, or a mushroom growing kit makes a difference.
Spores Vs. Spawn
Spawn has several advantages over mushroom spores, including the ability to be duplicated, whereas each spore is genetically unique. This allows individuals to learn about a mushroom’s characteristics before growing different mushrooms.
Growing medium matters
Mushrooms absorb everything they grow on; thus, a nutritional substrate is essential. Logs, sawdust, coffee grounds, straw, and even toilet paper are all possibilities:
Mushrooms, on the surface, appear to grow quicker in soft or pelleted substrates. In these substrates, oyster mushrooms, for example, take only 3 to 5 weeks to grow:
- “Masters mix” (sawdust and soybean hulls.
- Toilet paper.
In contrast, growing mushrooms on logs take at least six months.
Use a wet substrate
You must maintain your substrate wet since fungus requires water, and you’ll discover mushrooms are 70–90 percent water.
Before adding spawn, sterilize or pasteurize your substrate to give the mycelium a fighting chance against wild organisms.
For most typically grown mushrooms on compost or similar substrates at home. It takes about 1-2 months to cultivate mushrooms from spores to fully mature mushrooms (oyster mushrooms, button mushrooms, and others).
In 1-2 months, magic (Psilocybe) mushrooms grow from spores to adult mushrooms.
It takes 5 to 3 weeks to inoculate the substrate with mycelium, and fruiting takes 7 to 2 weeks once the substrate is ready.
Mushrooms grown on logs (such as shiitake mushrooms) take 1-2 years to inoculate before they can be harvested. For the next 3-5 years, logs can produce a few harvests per year.
Making your own substrate is easier than it sounds. While growing kits come with a substrate, it is easy to make your own using straw and cardboard or the above methods.
Mushrooms thrive in humid environments, and the easiest method to provide them with one is to place them in a plastic bag. Tenting your mushrooms with a plastic bag will help them develop quicker but poke a few holes in the bag’s edge so they can breathe.