Mushroom the "mystical organism" that suddenly pops in the wild for a brief span of 5-6 days and vanishes! Is it actually possible to grow them?
Mushrooms are a healthy food option. However, they are among the hardest crops to grow. This is because of their atypical lifecycle. Therefore, to cultivate them, it is important to understand their lifecycle.
Therefore, to cultivate mushrooms, you will need to recreate this lifecycle.
The first stage is growing the mycelium. For this, a substrate such as logs/wood chips of a tree can be used. These substrates are rich in lignin and cellulose and serve as a good source of nutrition for the mycelium.
The "spawn" or mycelium is added to the treated substrate. When the spawn is placed on the substrate, the mycelium shoots out and grows through the substrate.
Spawn run is the rapid growth of the mycelium throughout the substrate. The spawn grows at a fast pace inhabiting the maximum space on the substrate. The spawn run stops either when the spawn runs out of nutrients or when it encounters a competitor for its resources. Spawn run comes to an end once the substrate is inhabited.
After the spawn run is complete there is a change in the growth pattern of the mycelium.
The mycelium now focuses on producing a fruiting body by utilizing the available resources.
The mycelium starts consuming the food available in the substrate.
It then creates new cells in its body by exuding metabolites into the food source and drawing up the sugars and carbon back into its body.
Once the process of inhabitation is complete, the substrate is ready to fruit mushrooms!
When the oxygen and humidity levels are high coupled with increased sunlight, baby mushrooms begin to sprout.
An important part of the fruiting of mushrooms is spore dispersal. Therefore, it is recommended that you grow the mushroom in a place where there is sufficient space for the spores to fly away with the wind.
The fruiting mushroom needs to be given rest so that it can recuperate. It is during this resting period that the mushroom consumes food so as to replenish itself for the next fruiting.
It is possible that despite following the entire procedure, you may not get the harvest you desire. Very often, bacteria or other fungi might grow. But do not be disheartened, you will surely be able to grow gourmet mushrooms one day!