Reishi mushrooms have multiple health benefits. Traditionally, they were used in China for medicinal purposes and are still sold today for similar use. The mushrooms can be put in both tea and soup. Reishi mushrooms were used to improve overall health and longevity in Asia and was originally referred to as the mushroom of immortality. These mushrooms grow on old trees in Asia, but learning how to grow reishi mushrooms at home can be a benefit.
While it is possible to grow reishi mushrooms outside, many people prefer to grow them inside. Mushrooms require constant humidity and moisture and will not thrive in a dry climate. If living in a humid area, growing them outside is possible and will result in less work for the grower. However, it is important to notice dry spells and ensure that the mushrooms have a constant supply of water.
If living in a dry part of the country, growing the mushrooms inside is usually the best option. While growing them indoors does cause more work, it will result in the best results and the highest yield. Climate and temperature are usually the deciding factors when considering whether to grow the mushrooms indoors or outdoors. Remember that they can be grown indoors year-round while it may not be possible to grow them outside during the summer and winter months.
When deciding how to start growing reishi mushrooms, there are several options available. While some ardent gardeners may prefer to do most of the work on their own, there are also growing kits available. Growing kits can be a little expensive and limit the space and number of mushrooms grown at a time, first-time mushroom growers should probably go with a kit, especially if they are not familiar with gardening at all. Experienced gardeners and anyone who has had experience with mushrooms may want to make their own garden.
If growing the mushrooms at home, gardeners should start by getting the reishi mushroom spawn and a hardwood log. After drilling holes in the log, the mushroom spawn will be put in the holes and sealed with a light film of beeswax. It’s best to keep the log covered with plastic and keep the humidity high. Usually the reishi mushrooms will grow within a few months but may take up to a year.
Reishi mushrooms are most commonly grown in a hardwood. Softer woods like pine are not recommended, but oak, walnut, or other common hardwoods are good choices. Most farmers prefer to grow reishi mushrooms in logs that have been aged and partially broken down by bugs. If woods are nearby, try to find fallen logs, chop them into smaller pieces and use these to grow the mushrooms. Using green wood from a tree that has recently fallen is much harder for the mushrooms and will not yield the best results. While the log should not be completely decayed, a few months of aging can make a large difference.
Another tip when growing reishi mushrooms is that the basement is the preferred space. While this may not be practical when growing large amounts, dark spaces are usually the best areas for the mushrooms. Growing experts recommend putting them in a dark space under a florescent light. The mushrooms should be sprayed throughout the day with a light mist of water. In a large-scale production, automated sprinkler systems can be set up.
There is no optimal time to grow reishi mushrooms indoors as long as they are kept in a moist environment under 70 degrees. Beginning gardeners may have the best results in the spring and fall months if growing outdoors. The first mushrooms will be ready to be harvested in about two months. The mushrooms will begin to show a light brown dust on the surface. This means that they have matured and can be harvested for medical use. In a typical temperature controlled environment, all of the mushrooms will mature within six months.
Growing reishi mushrooms takes diligence and attention to detail, but is fairly simple. When starting off, begin with a few smaller batches to find methods that are practical. Large scale productions can be successful as long as the temperature and humidity are closely watched. These two factors are the key to growing reishi mushrooms successfully.