How to grow mushrooms at home

Fungi are organisms that differ from plants by not having roots, leaves or stems. Not a kingdom apart from the vegetable and the animal. They are made up of filaments of cells that come together in fascicles.

They also do not have chlorophyll, therefore they feed on organic matter from the outside. Also, they do not necessarily require light to grow.

Champignon is a type of edible fungus. The part of the mushroom that is most incorporated into meals is the body, made up of the skin and the cap, while the other part (mycelium) remains in the substrate. This part is white, because microscopic gas bubbles are trapped between its strands, which, when they reflect light, produce a white hue.

Like all fungi, the mushroom grows from spores, which are cells with the same function as seeds. When they find the right conditions, they germinate and produce structures called hyphae. These branch out and form the mycelium, which is a mass of those hyphae that produces the fruiting bodies, which would be like the fruits of a tree.

The mushroom is, in this sense, the “fruit” of a fungus that in its natural state is not visible at first sight.

Growing them at home is simpler than it seems and, being one of the foods that you can eat once and always grow back, their production can continue until there are no more nutrients available from the substrate. In this note you will learn step by step how to do it.

Necessary materials

– An expanded polystyrene box that, due to the type of material, will help contain the material and the right temperature. Plus, it won’t rot, mildew, or decompose.

– Straw

– Compost (you can make homemade compost)

– Water

– Mulch to cover it

– Mycelium in grain (in this case, of the Agaricus Bisporus variety, name of the Paris mushroom)

– Lid to cover the box


1. Mix the straw together with the compost. Moisten a little while you do it.

Note: it is advisable to boil the straw before using it to prevent it from germinating or being contaminated with other fungi that live in it.

You can also add a little coffee to the mix, as some argue that it could nourish and promote the growth and development of mushrooms.

2. Put the mixture in the box. The more substrate you put in, the more nutrients the mushrooms will have to feed on.

3. Sprinkle the grain mycelium and cover with a finger of moistened mulch. Spray with water.

4. Cover the box with the lid to keep out light for 5-8 days. Keep the box moist until you see a whitish hair on the substrate, a sign that the mycelium has colonized the surface. Be careful not to over water.

5. Next, prepare another lid for the box, tall enough to allow the mushrooms to grow, and with a central hole that will act as a window for a little light to enter the crop (always indirectly). To avoid losing moisture or heat, cover it with transparent film.

6. Keep the box with a humidity degree of 80%.

Note: to prevent the mushrooms from getting too wet, you can water the inside of the lid instead of directly on the mushrooms. When the drops have evaporated, you will know that you should water again.

7. The first mature production can be obtained after 20 days, when the hat reaches a diameter of between 5 and 8 cm.

8. Harvest them when the gills under the cap are pink. To collect them, slightly twist the body until it detaches from the substrate.

If the whole process has been carried out correctly, you will be able to have a weekly harvest. So you can add your own organic mushrooms to all your meals. You can try the mushroom and cheese tart with a yamani rice base, the scrambled eggs with quinoa with spinach and mushrooms, or the hummus bites with mushrooms and olives.

Tips to keep in mind when growing mushrooms

– Use a nutritious compost. This is very important, since it is from it that the mushrooms obtain their nutritional substances.

– Make sure the space where you place them has good ventilation.

– The ideal temperature is between 22 and 27 ºC. If it exceeds 35ºC, its development stops.

– Most of the moisture comes from the water in the ground, so don’t let it ever dry out completely.

– Take care of the hygiene of the hands and work utensils during the cultivation to avoid contamination that prevents the fungus from developing.

– Water with a diffuser to avoid excesses.

– You can grow them in the urban garden on the terrace or balcony, but their ideal place is a garage or dark room.