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Mushrooms and Me


Having tried growing mushrooms a few years ago with a “complete Mushroom Kit” and having a little bit of success with it (but not enough compared to the £18 expense of the kit!), I tried some of the “Mushroom Kit” from a couple of the £1 shops, but had no success at all, although that was probably a case of “you get what you pay for”.
Still enthusiastic about the possibility of growing my own, I decided to gather as much information as I could on the best ways to grow them. So I decided to experiment a little bit and see what happened without spending too much money. I still had the now dusty polystyrene box from the original and expensive “kit” and so decided to put that to some use. I bought a bag of compressed straw (for rabbit hutches etc) for £1-45p and went on eBay to check for Mushroom spawn, and finally decided to purchase some Elm Mushroom spawn for £3-15p inc postage and packing. Once the spawn had arrived I soaked enough straw to half fill the box with boiling water overnight. The next day I squeezed the water from the straw and placed it in the box, I then sprinkled the spawn (which had been in the fridge since it had arrived) evenly over the straw. I placed the box in a black refuse bag and punctured some holes in the bag to allow some air to circulate and kept it in my bedroom. After 2 weeks the spawn had colonised resulting in a white covering of the straw, I then took it out of the bag and kept lightly spraying it with water a couple of times a day. A week later I placed it in my greenhouse as advised in the growing instructions (I have a small paraffin heater in there which keeps the temperature above freezing) and after approximately 3 weeks I had my first three Gourmet mushrooms to harvest.
My cousin Janet and her husband Michael (who helped me build my greenhouse) became my first human Guinea Pigs and thankfully have survived to tell me how nice the mushrooms were! Hopefully some more mushrooms will appear in the near future, and then I’ll need to decide if the project has been worthwhile in terms of cost and effort and if so what the next variety will be to experiment with.

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Well done Greenhouse Paul on your new challenge and good luck on more.

31 Jan, 2014


Yes well done from me also, if you decide it was cost effective then may be we can expect more from you on growing mushrooms :-D thank you for your blog :-) added to my favourites!

31 Jan, 2014


I always thought people grew them under the bed !

31 Jan, 2014


Congratulations on getting them to grow.
I tried them once and had a good crop myself :o) I grew them in the cupboard under the stairs :o)

31 Jan, 2014


Oh well done, I've never attempted growing them myself and not sure whether I dare eat them if I did, bit of a coward really, lol...

31 Jan, 2014


Well done, but you deserve it after all that effort. I tried once too, with a kit that was a present, but nothing appeared at all.

31 Jan, 2014


Now there's a challenge I'm interested in Paul. Like yourself I've tried the expensive kits, with little results. I've saved your Blog to favourites and I'm going to give it ia where can I get a polystyrene box from?...

1 Feb, 2014


Thanks for the kind comments and interest. I found out why many of the kits from discount shops and supermarkets don't work is that the spawn has dried out while in the store. As I'm not sure if you can advertise company sites on GOY, I won't say where I got mine from but it was on eBay, and if you purchase the spawn from there (cost between 99p and £2-99p plus P&P) you receive growing details and a link to their website which is very informative. They advise on the different ways to grow the spawn using straw, sawdust and even old telephone directories!

2 Feb, 2014

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