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Growing mushrooms

Inspired by Milkwood Permaculture and GreenChange we’ve embarked on our first edible mushroom growing adventure. With all this wet weather we’ve been having, it seemed like the perfect time to get fungus flourishing! We couldn’t resist the novelty of growing King Stropharia giant mushrooms that can get up to 30cm in diameter and so we ordered a bucket of spawn from Before we knew it, we had an exciting delivery from the postie – one very big bucket filled with wood chips, giant mushroom spawn (sealed in the plastic bag) and an instruction sheet.

So we took our bucket of mushroom-making magic down to a shady, out of the way spot on the mulch path at the back of our food forest garden. We’re hoping the mushies will eventually spread all through this mulched area, and started by clearing two 25cm by 25cm patches in the path for them.

We then added half a litre of water to the mulch supplied in the bucket and mixed it around...

Placed half the moistened mulch at the bottom of the patches...

Opened the packet of spawn and spread it out...

Covered our mushroom babes over with the rest of the mulch...

Then gave them a good watering and staked them out so we remember where they are!

So hopefully in 4 to 12 months we’ll have some giant mushies popping up, and producing for several years! Have you had any experience growing mushies before?

Reader Comments (11)

Yes we buy mushroom compost by the bag load and its absolutely riddled with spores which come to life in the moist conditions here in Tasmania. Great for a free feed and the compost itself adds to the liveliness of the soil when its spent.
March 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdeb
That is so cool! I am looking forward to seeing your first harvest! I used a few bags if mushroom compost that I bought from bunnings as mulch around the garden, and lots of brown capped mushrooms appear in place after it rains. It stands to reason that they must be edible but I haven't quite been game enough to try. As much as I believe in wild harvesting and self sufficiency, ect, the old stigma of mushrooms that aren't store bought are most likely poisonous still lingers with me. Though I did once chew one and spit it out and it tasted mushroomy!
Have you read "Sepp Holzer's Permaculture"? He has a fantastic method of growing mushrooms, he inoculates a log with the desired fungus and keeps it in moist/humid shady place (he put them by a pond) buried a third of the length into the ground. That way they also can draw in surface water as well as grow in the soil around the log. But your way seems pretty cool too!
March 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFeargal
Yes the mushroom compost bags are another good choice for gardeners as your get mushies as well as a soil building product for the garden!

Havent read Sepps Holzer's book yet - will add it to the book list :) but we'd like to try out 'innoculate log' method' at some stage. We have lots of mulch paths at our place and so we really wanted to find a suitable edible mushroom that will take advantage of the mulch as it breaks down.... we will see :)
March 4, 2012 | Registered CommenterHappyEarth
I'm interested to see how this goes! I had a lot of shaggy inkcaps coming up in the wood mulch under our fruit trees, which were good eating. I also want to try growing mushrooms in coffee grounds, since it's relatively easy to get loads of grounds from cafes etc.
March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDarren (Green Change)
Do you recommend using the commercially available spent mushroom compost on the garden and if so, on what plants and when.
Thank you
April 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermary
Hi Marry, A lot of people use mushroom compost on their garden with good results. We have added some mushroom compost to a compost once and all the worms died so iWe are reluctant to use it. Also, Id imagine they use lots chemicals in the mushroom compost which we dont want to add to the vegie patch. Hope this helps :)
April 6, 2012 | Registered CommenterHappyEarth
Ohh this looks great and has inspired me to try this out. I am going to put my order in for the bucket once my pay comes through! Mushrooming is so much good fun but to be able to do it in my own backyard. Thanks for the inspiration guys.
April 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermeg
You have inspired me, I just bought a bucket of giant mushrooms! Sounds promising. I have never heard of these mushrooms before and now am giving it a go! Please let us know when your patches start producing.
May 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDory
I bought one of those giant mushrooms last week. Cooked up sensational. Will be interested in giving them a grow.
July 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmamoor timber
Hi Happy Earthlings. It's been two and a half years. How did the giant mushrooms go?
October 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDon
Hi, how did they go????
November 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMike

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