Making an outdoor mushroom bed is a fun and rewarding project for those interested in growing their own mushrooms. The process may sound intimidating, but it’s actually quite easy. Choose the type of mushrooms you would like to grow. There are thousands of varieties to choose from, so make sure you do your research and select the type that best suits your needs.
Mushrooms thrive in shady environments with plenty of moisture and dampness. Avoid direct sunlight so look for areas near trees or other sources of shade. Mushrooms need the proper growing medium, known as the substrate. Then, small pieces of established mycelium, known as the spawn, should be added to the substrate.
Mushrooms need a moist environment to thrive, so make sure you keep your bed damp but not waterlogged. You can do this by wetting the substrate down and then adding a layer of mulch or straw on top of the bed. It can take several weeks for your mushrooms to start appearing, but once they do you should be able to harvest them for months to come. Check on the bed regularly and pick mushrooms when they are mature.
How Can I Make An Outdoor Mushroom Bed?
First, find a suitable location, set up the mushroom bed, prepare the growth medium, add your mushroom spawn, maintain the proper moisture, wait for mushrooms to develop, and harvest mushrooms when they are mature.
How To Make An Outdoor Mushroom Bed?
Step 1 – Create an outdoor mushroom bed in the desired area. This can be as simple as placing your mushroom bed directly on the ground or creating a raised bed.
Step 2 – Add a layer of the substrate to the bed. The substrate you use will depend on your desired mushroom variety.
Step 3 – Place your mushroom spawn into the substrate and cover it with a layer of mulch or straw. This will help retain moisture and keep the temperature constant.
Step 4 – Water your mushrooms regularly, as mushrooms need plenty of moisture to grow. If you are using a watering can or garden hose, be sure to water directly onto the base of the bed rather than onto the mushrooms themselves, as this can cause damage.
Step 5 – Continue to monitor your mushroom bed for signs of growth. Depending on the variety, mushrooms may take anywhere from a few days to several weeks before they are ready for harvest.
With these steps, you should be able to successfully create and maintain an outdoor mushroom bed. Remember to keep an eye on your mushrooms for any signs of disease or pests and harvest them as soon as they are ready to ensure the best flavor.
Advantages Of An Outdoor Mushroom Bed
An outdoor mushroom bed offers many advantages. First, it provides a natural environment for mushrooms to grow and can be easier to maintain compared to indoor growing methods. Outdoor beds are more resistant to disease and pests than indoor systems, as natural elements like wind and rain help to keep these problems in check.
Additionally, outdoor mushroom beds can produce a higher yield than indoor setups, as they can be as big as you desire. With all these advantages, an outdoor mushroom bed is worth considering for anyone who is looking to grow mushrooms.
Disadvantages Of An Outdoor Mushroom Bed
Although an outdoor mushroom bed offers many benefits, there are some potential drawbacks to consider.
One potential disadvantage is that the mushrooms may not thrive in your area’s climate, especially if they are not native to the region.
Outdoor mushroom beds can also attract pests such as squirrels and rodents. Mushrooms grown outdoors can be susceptible to mold, mildew, and disease if the environment is not ideal.
When growing mushrooms outside you are unable to control the environment like you would if you were going them inside. As such, contamination is going to be an issue when growing mushrooms outdoors. To reduce contamination risks, it is ideal to use a mushroom substrate that has been pasteurized or sterilized before inoculating it with mushroom spawn.
Overall, outdoor mushroom beds are a great way to grow mushrooms, especially when grown in tangent with indoor cultivation. With proper care, an outdoor mushroom bed can produce delicious mushrooms for years.
Can I Start An Outdoor Mushroom Bed From Spores?
While you could start an outdoor mushroom bed from spores, success rates would be lower and the overall growth process would be slower. This is why nearly everyone starts an outdoor mushroom bed with spawn, as the mycelium quickly transfers to the outdoor substrate and completely encompasses the growth medium in the shortest amount of time. If you only have spores available, it makes sense to start a small culture in a Mason jar or mushroom grow bag so you have mushroom spawn to start with.
Growing Oyster Mushrooms In An Outdoor Mushroom Bed
Growing oyster mushrooms in an outdoor mushroom bed are one of the most favorable options, as oyster mushrooms are a hardy mushroom species and can grow on straw alone.
You can make your outdoor garden bed as simple or complicated as you want. From just laying down the substrate and mushroom spawn on the ground to building a raised bed, the process is essentially the same.
Keeping An Outdoor Mushroom Bed Simple
After you set up a place for your mushroom bed, lay down some damp cardboard to provide a barrier between the soil and the substrate (optional). Then, fill the mushroom bed with pasteurized straw at Field Capacity, followed by a layer of mushroom spawn and another layer of pasteurized straw, and so forth. If you prefer, add coffee grounds to the substrate to increase the nutritional content. At the top, leave a layer of pasteurized straw to help retain moisture. If you are located in a dry climate, covering your mushroom bed with a sheet of transparent plastic can help hold in moisture.
Note that it is not entirely necessary to pasteurize straw for Oyster mushrooms grown outdoors, as they develop quickly and out-compete their competition. However, pasteurization is still a good practice.
If your mushroom bed receives sufficient rainfall it won’t need to be irrigated, but if there is no rainfall for a week, it should be irrigated on a weekly basis.
As soon as mushrooms begin to develop, be certain they are oyster mushrooms before eating them, as other mushrooms could sprout up in your outdoor patch.
To keep your mushroom bed producing mushrooms for years to come, simply add more substrate, in this case, straw, to the top of the pile, while constantly maintaining high moisture levels. During the winter months, the mycelium will go dormant, but start growing again when spring comes around.
How To Make An Outdoor Mushroom Bed
If you are looking for a specific species of mushroom, like oyster mushrooms, we can help you develop the mushroom spawn with one of our grow kits so you can inoculate your outdoor mushroom bed.