Growing Mushrooms in Greenhouse – A Full Guide: Mushrooms are not typically grown in greenhouses, but there are some species that do quite well indoors. Some varieties of the Agaricus genus are very susceptible to spoiling before they reach maturity outdoors, but can be successfully cultivated under controlled conditions inside a greenhouse.
Cultivating mushrooms is relatively straightforward and follows many of the same principles as growing other types of vegetables. There is a bit more attention required in some areas than others, but overall it’s very easy and once you get started you won’t want to stop!
Mushrooms require only about half the amount of water needed by most plants and very little care once they are established. The great part about mushrooms is that there are literally dozens of varieties that will grow well indoors, so you’ll never be at a loss for whatever variety your heart desires.
Why Cultivate Mushrooms?
Mushrooms can be grown very cheaply and with very little maintenance. Once the initial setup is complete, mushrooms require almost nothing to keep them alive besides the occasional misting.
Mushrooms are also known for their health benefits, and many varieties (especially wild ones) are tasty and tasty. Mushrooms like shiitake can be used to make soup that will boost your immune system, calm the nervous system, reduce blood pressure and increase libido.
It’s very easy to see why mushrooms are one of the safest and easiest plants to cultivate indoors.
How do you start?
Mushrooms grow best in a dark environment, so this means that they need to be grown in an enclosed space where sunlight cannot penetrate. However, some light is required for growth, so you can keep them under lights every day if you want.
The simpler option is to build a greenhouse around your mushroom patch or grow room, which will allow for dark conditions while also trapping the heat produced by the lights just outside of the growing space. Light will still reach the mushrooms, but they will be safe from damage.
Steps to growing mushrooms in greenhouse
1. Get the right equipment
Mushrooms are fussy plants that require a specialized growing environment, so while it is technically possible to grow them in soil under sunlight, this method does not work consistently. If you are serious about cultivating your own mushrooms, your best option is to get the necessary equipment and supplies before starting. Mushroom Growing Kits are great because they already have all the equipment you need to start growing mushrooms indoors. If you plan on trying other varieties, however, then there are some basic supplies for cultivation.
- Pots – The container should be opaque so that it excludes light and traps heat. Clay pots work well if you want to make your own greenhouse, but they are quite heavy (which helps dampen heat).
- Growing substrate – There are two main types of growing substrate for mushrooms: sawdust and compost. Compost is the easiest to use because it has already gone through an initial growth cycle in which most of the weed seeds have been “boiled out” and it is partially broken down. Sawdust can also be used, but it will require a bit more work to get the substrate ready before planting.
- Polyfill – This is a very fine mesh fabric that can be purchased from any source of specialty fabrics or gardening supplies. Fill your pots with some growing medium or a mix of growing substrate and soil. The hole in the middle of the pot should be about 3 inches deep, so fill it to this point with whatever your medium is. Put a layer of polyfill over the top of the substrate to cover it completely.
- Water – Your substrate should be damp but not wet at all times, so you will need to mist it regularly until it is fully colonised by mushrooms. You can also spray some water on the polyfill covering the substrate to keep it looking nice and fresh looking.
- Labels – This might seem silly, but you will need something to label your pots. Mushrooms are grouped into strains that share their genetics with other mushrooms of the same strain. If you plan to cultivate your own mushrooms, this is important so that you can tell different types of mushrooms apart in case they cross-pollinate or turn into each other.
- A greenhouse – All of the above equipment needs to be placed in an environment where light cannot penetrate and warmth is trapped. This is what a greenhouse does. If you want to build your own, then it is fairly straightforward, especially if you already have experience with carpentry skills. However, building a greenhouse can take a lot of time and effort, so buying one from the stores would be a better option for most people.
2. Fill Your Pots With Substrate
You will need to break up the substrate into small pieces that can be easily placed into each pot. It is important not to press too deep because you might damage the polyfill layer from below. Leave a centimetre or two between your substrate and the top of the pot so that it does not spill over when you plant the mushrooms.
3. Plant The Mushrooms
After misting the substrate to keep it moist, you should plant your mushrooms. There are three main types of mushrooms: brown, white and shiitake (pictured above). Each one requires different growing conditions, so make sure to check if they need anything special before planting them.
Brown mushrooms require a medium to high moisture level and regular misting, so only water the substrate if it is very dry. They prefer a temperature range of 21-25 degrees Celsius which should be easy enough to provide with the greenhouse setup.
White mushrooms love a low moisture environment and require less watering. The temperature range for these mushrooms is 16-18 degrees Celsius, which is slightly lower than the brown strain.
Shiitake mushrooms are less sensitive to their environment so you can easily grow them alongside other species. Just keep the temperature range between 16-20 degrees Celsius and you should have healthy shiitakes in no time!
4. Water & Maintain Your Mushrooms
Water your mushrooms regularly to ensure that they stay moist. If it is brown mushroom, remember to water the substrate underneath as well so that you do not damage the polyfill. The white and shiitake strains will be fine even if you don’t water the soil at all because they tend to grow in drier conditions anyway.