There’s a lot to learn when it comes to growing mushrooms at home.
Working out which mushrooms you want to grow. Diving into the science behind exactly how they grow. Planning out your mushroom growing set up. Choosing and sourcing your growing kit. Cooking and eating your homegrown fungi harvest.
And with “more than 200 genera of macrofungi that contain species of use to people,” there’s an endless variety of edible fungi to explore.
So just how long does it take to grow mushrooms? (Hint: It’s not as long as you think.)
Read on to find out more about growing times for shiitake, oyster, lion’s mane, and reishi mushrooms.
Take the Time to Make a Mushroom Growing Plan
Making mistakes when growing mushrooms can cost you time and money.
From failing to sterilize your equipment (and yourself) properly to choosing to start with a difficult-to-grow mushroom, you’re setting yourself up for failure if you don’t sit down and chart out all the steps.
Creating a plan is especially important for first-timers.
Are you growing mushrooms indoors or outdoors? What varieties of mushrooms are you going to grow? How much time can you spend tending your mushrooms? What equipment do you need to buy?
Asking yourself questions like these and noting down the answers in a calendar or journal will help you work out how much time your new hobby will need.
Give yourself enough time to develop a basic outline. Around two weeks to one month. Revise your plan from time to time as you move along your mushroom growing journey.
Sourcing Your Growing Equipment
The best start for amateurs wondering “How fast do mushrooms grow?” is to purchase a kit. You’ll be on your way to cultivating your very first harvest much faster than purchasing everything individually.
And just in case you discover mushroom cultivation isn’t for you, you won’t have shelled out big bucks on expensive equipment.
Inside a kit, you’ll receive all the materials you need: spores, growing medium, heating pad, instructions, and more. Kit providers recommend a dark, damp basement or cupboard as the ideal home cultivation space.
How long does it take to grow mushrooms indoors? Most species of mushrooms can be quickly grown indoors year-round.
If you want to grow outdoors, it’s essential to follow a growing calendar. Consult with your friendly mushroom growing kit provider for guidance on growing mushrooms outside.
How Long Does It Take to Grow Mushrooms?
According to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center, “most hobbyists or small-scale growers should begin by cultivating such easy-to-produce specialty mushrooms as shiitakes and oyster mushrooms.”
Originally from Asia, shiitake mushrooms are renowned for their pungent umami flavor and meaty texture. These are longer growing mushrooms than the also popular oysters, but they are worth the wait!
First, the mycelium needs to get established in the growing medium. This process takes about 12 to 18 months. Then the fruit (those juicy shiitakes) takes 7 to 10 days to pop up. After harvesting, rest your growing medium for over a month, water, and repeat.
Those looking to quickly satisfy their urge to foster a fungi family should look to the humble oyster. Perfect for soups and stir-fries, these fast-growing mushrooms take around one month to cultivate on a soft medium like sawdust, coffee grounds, wood chips, or straw.
In nature, oyster mushrooms grow on logs. If you want to grow oyster mushrooms on logs–either outside or inside–it will take longer. How long does it take for oyster mushrooms to grow? About half a year. And like other mushrooms, oysters like it warm. Around 70 degrees F. is best.
Do medicinal mushrooms take longer to grow?
Some edible mushrooms are grown for potential medicinal properties as well as their good taste. Two popular medicinal varieties commonly grown by beginners for their health benefits are lion’s mane and reishi.
Lion’s Mane Mushrooms
With their icicle-like coating, lion’s mane mushrooms are easy to recognize. They are said to taste a bit like shellfish. Health-wise, lion’s mane mushrooms are being studied for their brain-boosting abilities and possible benefits for those with diabetes.
Like many other mushrooms, lion’s mane is most at home on a wood-based substrate, like hardwood logs or sawdust. It’s best to inoculate your medium with the lion’s mane spores in spring. The fruit takes just three weeks to mature.
Societies in Asia and Europe have been singing the praises of reishi mushrooms for centuries. These mushrooms may be beneficial for reducing stress, boosting the immune system, and lowering blood pressure, among other things.
Reishi mushrooms are rare in the wild. These polypore (or shelf) mushrooms are fussy about which types of trees they make their home on. Because of this reishi mushrooms can be expensive to buy.
But luckily, using a kit to grow them at home is easy and affordable.
Once you have the bag in your kit open, spray it down with water and place it in a damp place away from direct sunlight. The humidity should be kept at 75 to 85 percent. You can harvest this precious fungus in around six months.
Make Time to Enjoy Your Mushrooms
You’ve grown a bunch of healthy, organic mushrooms at home. It’s time to start using them!
Prepare a gourmet mushroom meal or get a quick fungi health fix. The sky’s the limit on this one. Some popular ways to use homegrown mushrooms include:
Cooking With Mushrooms
Obviously. One of the easiest and most sensible ways to use your mushrooms is to add them to your food. Top pizza or pasta with a medley of mushroom varieties. Dehydrate thin varieties like oyster mushrooms to make healthy, portable snacks.
Browse wild mushroom recipes online to get an idea of the best way to use your fresh grown fungi.
Making Mushroom Tea
You’re not a fan of eating mushrooms but still want to access all those health-giving benefits.
Chop them, pop them in some boiling water, and you’ll have a hearty mushroom tea ready to drink in no time at all.
Change up the flavor by adding honey, licorice root, or other beneficial fruits and herbs.
Expanding Your Fungi Knowledge
If you want to learn more about mushrooms, get in touch with your local mushroom enthusiast society, or join a foraging group. Organizations like the North American Mycological Association are also a wealth of resources.
And be sure to check out the mymyco kits for growing mushrooms. They provide a lot of guidance on how long does it take to grow mushrooms in all their kits.