Mushrooms have a high yield and can thrive in small spaces, making them one of the simplest and most profitable crops for beginning gardeners.
Some mushroom species are easier to grow than others.
In this article, we will look at some of the easiest mushrooms to grow at home.
But first, why these mushrooms are easy to grow:
1. No spore prints required - the kits come with spores.
2. Ease of purchase and availability - any major supplier carries them.
3. They grow easily and don't require a lot of time and effort.
4. All of these mushrooms have large yields.
5. They require little expertise.
1. Shiitake (Lentinula Edodes):
Shiitake mushrooms can be grown both indoors and outdoors.
The simplest method of growing shiitake mushrooms is buying pre-inoculated logs that are ready to grow, then selecting a shady location in your yard, placing your log either on its side or upright, and following the included instructions for watering.
This type of mushroom is recommended for first-time outdoor growers.
Another advantage is it gives high yields. just allow a rest period in between each fruiting period and you can look forward to multiple harvests.
If growing indoors they produce all year round. Outdoor logs produce the best bounty in the Summer-Autumn months.
Shiitake mushrooms usually take about six months to produce their first crop of mushrooms though the second flush is generally more bountiful.
Health Benefits of Shiitake Mushrooms
Shiitake mushrooms have been utilized over centuries because of their health advantages:
-High source of Vitamin D
-High in Iron, Calcium, and Copper
-Promotes Healthy Aging/Anti-Oxidant Properties
-Potential immune-boosting benefits
-Contains anti-inflammatory beta-glucans
2. Oyster Mushrooms (Pleurotus Species):
There are many types of oysters, including white oysters, king oysters, and vividly colored pink oysters, blue oysters, and golden oysters.
Oyster mushrooms are easy to cultivate, requiring no spore print if you can get hold of spawn.
Oyster mushrooms are the easiest mushrooms to grow you can use different types of substrates, including coffee grounds, sawdust, cardboard, manure which are easy to source.
They can be grown indoors or outdoors. Indoor oyster mushroom kits are very easy to use and maintain whereas outdoor beds are more labor-intensive to set up but have higher yields. An indoor kit usually comes with everything you need, materials, and instructions.
The Oyster mushroom grows faster than other mushroom types. Oyster mushrooms also grow quickly with most strains producing mushrooms within two weeks of spawning.
They grow all year round especially if grown indoors.
They're high in vitamin B12
Health Benefits of Oyster Mushrooms
- High in Vitamin B12 and selenium, as well as other antioxidants.
- Iron, Calcium, and Potassium
- Boosts Immunity/Anti-inflammatories/antioxidants
3. Lion's Mane (Hericium Erinaceus):
Lion's Mane is a delicious edible mushroom that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine.
Its popularity has increased in recent years due to it being an adaptogen often used to boost cognitive abilities.
This type of mushroom grows best on hardwood, such as oak or maple logs.
Lion's mane mushroom grow best outdoors. It gives a very high yield and reseeds itself making it able to give edible fruit bodies for up to 30 years if taken care of properly.
Health Benefits of Lion's Mane Mushrooms
- Increases cognitive ability. High in Vitamin B12 which promotes Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) to improve brain health.
- Promotes gut health
- Reduces "bad" cholesterol levels
- Anti-Cancer ingredients
- Decreases inflammation
4. White Button Mushrooms (Agaricus Bisporus):
Grow kits are very easy to use and maintain whereas outdoor beds are more labour-intensive to set up but have higher yields.
The mushroom grows all year round especially if grown indoors.
The white button mushroom growing kits can be purchased at major retailers, and they're the easiest to grow out of the soil.
This is another mushroom that can be grown indoors or outdoors. Outdoor cultivation will provide much larger yields than indoor.
White Button Mushrooms produce fruit bodies quickly and are ideal for commercial farmers.
The mushroom grows all year round especially if grown indoors.
Health Benefits of White Button Mushrooms
- They're high in Vitamin D and selenium, as well as other antioxidants.
- Contains high levels of potassium which helps the heart function properly
- May reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, contain cancer-fighting substances that inhibit aromatase activity.
- Can help control blood pressure levels
- High in fibre to promote gut health and also helps in indigestion
- Boost immune system function
- Potential anti-inflammatory benefits.
5. Wine Cap Mushrooms (Stropharia rugosoannulata):
Also known as Garden Giant or King Stropharia,
Wine cap grows very quickly and you can harvest in just three to six weeks, sometimes even less, and require low maintenance.
They can be grown indoors or outdoors, with higher yields if grown outside in cooler climates during Autumn/Springtime when the weather is most ideal for growth.
Wine cap mushrooms w grow on different substrate materials, including wood chips, sawdust, straw, and leaf litter, all of which are easy to source.
Health Benefits of Wine Cap Mushrooms:
- Contains antioxidants like copper and selenium.
- Can help lower cholesterol levels and prevent atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
- Contains ergothioneine, the antioxidant primarily responsible for the mushroom's anti-cancer benefits.
- Good source of Vitamin B12 (proven to fight Alzheimer's disease).
- Helps maintain balance in the nervous system and brain function.
- Can help relieve muscle spasms.
- May reduce inflammation of stomach lining. Helps speed recovery after intense workouts.
- Reduces inflammation in the body, which helps with conditions like arthritis.
So - which are the easiest mushrooms to grow at home?
All of the above-listed mushrooms are easy to grow and can be cultivated in a wide variety of places, alongside different materials and substrates.
They provide high yields and last for years if taken care of properly.
They've all been used to treat various ailments and health conditions in traditional Chinese medicine practices over the years.
If we were pushed to pick one - I'd say the Oyster mushroom (Grey Oyster) is the easiest for beginners.
Have you grown any of the above mushrooms at home?
Which one is your favourite and why?
Let us know in the comments section below!