Care Of Button Mushrooms: Learn About Growing White Button Mushrooms
How To Grow White Button Mushroom From Store Bought?
The following are some facts about white button mushrooms which will help you to decide whether it’s worth spending money for a white button mushroom kit or not.
White button mushrooms are considered to be one of the most poisonous mushrooms. They contain toxins called psilocybin and psilocin which cause hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia.
They have been known to kill people.
There is no antidote for these toxins. If you eat them, your body may experience severe symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramps. These symptoms could lead to death within 24 hours if left untreated.
If you’re going to try this method of growing button mushrooms at home then make sure that you follow all the instructions carefully so that nothing goes wrong!
If you find yourself in a situation where you may have ingested these mushrooms by mistake then it is best that you seek immediate medical attention.
The symptoms mentioned above will most likely clear up on their own but you will still need to have your stomach pumped to remove the toxins from your body.
Do NOT try home remedies such as coffee, black pepper, or soda to help induce vomiting. These can make the situation much worse and cause more damage.
Also, do NOT try to grow these mushrooms.
Spores from the Psilocybe Tampanensis mushroom can be easily acquired on the black market and are often used for recreation.
I hope that you have found this post useful and that it has helped you make an informed decision about whether or not to buy a white button mushroom growing kit.
How To Grow White Button Mushrooms From Store Bought?
This is a very easy process. You DO NOT need a kit, and I can promise you that.
What you do need is store bought (and thoroughly cleaned) white button mushrooms. I recommend using at least two jars, or plastic bags (sterilized in boiling water just to be safe).
You also need two bowls. In one, you mix 1 cup of rye flour with just enough water to form a thick paste (you may need more water if the flour is very dense). In the other, mix 1 cup of whole wheat flower with just enough water to form a thick paste.
Cover the bottom of your container with a thin layer of the paste made from the rye flour.
Then, take the stem of your mushroom and dip it into the paste made from the whole wheat flour. Next, cover it with the paste made from the rye flour.
Place the mushroom you just ‘made’ into the container. Do this until you have used up all of your jars or plastic bags (sterilized in boiling water just to be safe).
Leave the containers (with the mushrooms in them) in a cool, dry place for 2-3 weeks.
After 2-3 weeks you should start seeing signs of life in the mushrooms as the ‘shrooms start growing out of the jars and the tops of the ‘shrooms become visible. You can now harvest and eat them. I find that these grow much quicker than when they are grown outside of their jars so be sure to harvest them before they get too big (and possibly overflow their containers).
These should last for about a week in the fridge. Enjoy!
The reason why these mushrooms grow so quickly is because of the nutrients in the rye and whole wheat flours. The main ingredient (to which they are named) is only a minor part of the recipe.
This process can also be used with store-bought mushrooms (the larger, adult types). Just make sure that you clean them properly before dipping them in the paste.
Mushroom Growing Supplies
If you want to start growing mushrooms at home then you will need to invest in some basic supplies. Don’t worry, these aren’t expensive and you probably already have some of these around your house.
These are the supplies that you will need:
A clean, unused bucket (or similar container).
A bag of wheat flour.
A bag of dolomite lime.
A sharpie marker.
You will also need a clean, well-lit place to grow your mushrooms. It is recommended to use a bucket rather than a cardboard box since the substrate (below) needs to be kept slightly moist at all times and a bucket can be left upturned (to provide better airflow).
Mushroom Substrate Recipe
As I said in the above paragraphs, you will need 1 bag of wheat flour and 1 bag of dolomite lime. These bags should be emptied into your bucket (or other container). You should then stir the two ingredients until you get a uniform, light brown color. That’s it for the substrate!
If you are using a bucket to grow your mushrooms then leave the substrate heaped up in one side of the container. If you are using a cardboard box then you will need to make a few holes in the bottom of it to ensure that moisture can drain out of it. Place this on top of a tray or plastic container to catch drips. It is best to have the tray/container resting on a table/chairs so that you don’t make a mess.
The substrate can be as deep as 12in (30cm) but no less than 4in (10cm). It is very important that you DO NOT PICK OR CHANGE THE SUBSTRATE IN ANY WAY WHEN IT IS IN THE BUCKET/BOX. This is because the substrate needs to be ‘worked onto’ in order to create the ideal growing medium for your mushrooms. The dolomite lime and wheat flour need to be mixed well so that the mycelium network can spread through it evenly (in other words, it creates a healthy growing environment for your mushrooms).
This is not necessary when using a cardboard box because you will be mixing the contents yourself.
Once the substrate has been added to the bucket/box then you need to poke several holes in the top of it so that moisture can drain out. These holes need to be about 1-2in (2-5cm) in diameter and evenly spaced. You can use a fork, knife, skewer or pen to poke the holes. Make sure that the holes are not so big that pieces of substrate fall through them onto the tray below.
The tray underneath simply catches any drips so make sure that it is either resting on a table/desk or hanging off the side of it (held up with something like a bent coat hanger).
You need to poke these holes no more than 1in (2cm) away from the edge of the substrate. The reason for this is because you will need to place the mushroom ‘spawn’ (seeds) around the outer edges of the bucket/box.
Once the holes have been poked then you need to place the mushroom ‘spawn’ inside. The ‘spawn’ is simply a small piece of mycelium (mushroom ‘fungus’) that has been taken from a mature mushroom. This is what will grow into new mushrooms.
You can buy mushroom spawn online or at your local hardware store, garden centre or sometimes even a supermarket. If you buy it online then ordering more than 1 pack is usually cheaper since the companies make more money on the substrate than the spawn and it is the substrate that takes a long time to grow.
As for how many mushrooms you can grow from one pack of spawn, it really just depends on the strain and how well you take care of your growing environment (light, humidity, temperature).
The more mushroom spawn you add to the substrate, the more mushrooms you will get back. However, adding too much spawn can actually reduce your crop yield because it drains the substrate of nutrients. It is therefore a balancing act and one that takes a bit of time to master.
You need to place the spawn on the edges of the container because this is where mycelium grows first (it can also grow from the top and bottom but it grows fastest from the edges). In addition to adding the spawn you will need to place a block of fresh (not dry) cow dung in the center. The mycelium will grow from this and send tendrils outwards.
Once the spawn has been added you are ready to cover it with the substrate. Place a good amount of substrate over the spawn so that it is at least 2in (5cm) deep over it. Make sure that the top of the substrate is flat with the rest of the container.
After around one month your spawn will start to grow little white hairs (mycelium). This is a good indication that it is ready to be placed into your terrarium.
Once you have transferred it to the terrarium you should leave it alone to grow. Place the container in a warm place (around 70-80F or 21-27C) and make sure that the air can freely circulate around it. Fruiting (when the mushrooms appear) should occur within 2 months and continue for up to 3 months.
You can expect to get at least a harvest once every 2 weeks or so. Each time you should harvest, you should also remove any mushrooms that have started to rot (they go black in colour). If you see any that have gone bad then it is a sign that your environment may not be suitable. Check the temperature, humidity and aeration levels, and adjust if necessary.
It is also important to keep an eye on the non-synthetic substrates such as the cow dung. If there are any flies or other insects crawling around inside the terrarium then they may be laying eggs in the substrate. This is unsanitary and can lead to infestations of maggots. If you spot this then it is best to get rid of the substrate and replace it with new stuff.
If you want to be thrifty you can keep using the same substrate (after all maggots are small and don’t affect the yield) but if you are like me, then you will be a little more hygiene conscious and dispose of it.
You should also dispose of any old spawn that has been lying around for more than a year. This is because mushrooms tend to only have a ‘shelf-life’ of one year. After one year the mycelium weakens and won’t grow up to be strong healthy mushrooms.
If you have had a good harvest then it is also a good idea to keep some of the biggest mushroom stumps for next years spawn rather than always using the dried commercially available kind.
Once your mushrooms have fruited the last time you should remove them and place fresh sawdust in the container.
Within a week you should start to see new primordia appearing and within two months you should have a second flush.
If you want to keep the terrarium going for another year then after the second flush you need to remove as much of the old spawn as possible (over half) and replace with fresh. Then remove any of the substrate that shows signs of insect infestation. Keep the terrarium going in this manner for as long as you like.
Sources & references used in this article:
Vitamin B12 Is the Active Corrinoid Produced in Cultivated White Button Mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus) by SR Koyyalamudi, SC Jeong, KY Cho… – Journal of agricultural …, 2009 – ACS Publications
Increase of vitamin D2 by UV-B exposure during the growth phase of white button mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) by HL Kristensen, E Rosenqvist… – Food & nutrition …, 2012 – Taylor & Francis
Effect of UV-B Exposure on the Concentration of Vitamin D2 in Sliced Shiitake Mushroom (Lentinus edodes) and White Button Mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) by JA Ko, BH Lee, JS Lee, HJ Park – Journal of agricultural and food …, 2008 – ACS Publications