How to Grow Mushroom (Ultimate Guide)

How to Grow Mushroom (Ultimate Guide)

How to Grow Mushroom


in this article, I’m going to show you How to Grow Mushroom

  • Kingdom – Fungi
  • A mushroom is a fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body
  • It is a small umbrella-like structure
  • Produced above ground on soil or its food source
  • Often have a stem, cap and gills or pores on the understanding of the cap
How to Grow Mushroom

Cap (pileus)

  • Fleshy shell
  • Spatula shaped


  • Short or long, lateral or central stalk called stapes


  • Long ridges and furrows
  • It bear the spores
  • Spores are smooth, cylindrical and germinate very easily grow on any kind of mycological media within 48 – 96 hours
  • Mushrooms are heterotrophs
  • Fungi depend on other organisms for food
  • Absorbing nutrients from the organic material in which they live

Life cycle of Mushroom

Vegetative growth

  • The living body of the fungus is mycelium made out of a tiny web of threads or filaments called hyphae

Reproductive growth

  • Under favourable conditions mycelia growth produce fruiting bodies
  • Reproduce  by spores

Mushroom life cycle

Importance of Growing Mushroom

  • Mushroom is a good cash crop
  • Rich in nutritions
  • Good source of dietary protein
  • Can prepare value-added food (canned mushroom, soup etc..)
  • Income generation
  • Cleaning the environment by recycling farm wastes
  • Less water requirements
  • Easy to cultivate
  • No pesticide application
  • Need low space

Nutrients of 100g of Mushroom

Carbohydrate, Calcium5.2g
Vitamin c30mg

Poison Mushrooms

Wild mushrooms – Some are edible many are poison

Identify poisonous mushrooms

  • Features useful for identifying poisonous mushroom
  • Presence of a ring (annulus) around the stem
  • Presence of the volva (cup) at the base of the stalk
  • Scales on the cap
  • Dark colour and fragrance
  • The result of eating a poisonous mushroom can be fever, illness or even death
  • Never pick or eat any mushrooms found in the wild

Cultivation of Mushrooms

How to Grow Mushroom

Environmental Factors affect the Mushroom Cultivation

  • Humidity
  • Temperature
  • Shade
  • Light
  • Aeration/ Ventilation


Good control of the humidity during cropping is very important. For all types of mushroom keep the humidity high by spraying water several times per day. This facilitates the better growth of fungus mycelium and enhance fructification.


Higher temperatures reduces the mycelium growth since fungus need low temperature. mushroom fructification can also be reduced to removal of water. Temperature  should not exceed 26 – 28  Celcius

Aeration/ Ventilation

The mushroom house needs ventilation openings that may also provide light. Mushrooms are very sensitive to insufficient aeration and a large circulation of air is required for the fruiting bodies. So it is very important to provide adequate amount of aeration, especially in the harvest room.

Commercially grown mushroom varieties

  • Button Mushroom
  • Oyster – American oyster, Abalone
  • Shitake

Oyster mushrooms are one of the most popular edible mushrooms. Oyster mushrooms are soft and have some chewy texture. Some say oyster mushrooms have a slight seafood aroma and taste


  • Preparation of growing media
  • Preparation of growing bags
  • Sterilization of the media (using media)
  • Spawn Inoculation
  • Incubation of the fungus inside the polypropylene bag
  • Transfer bag in the incubation room/darkroom and facilitate the incubation
  • Transfer bags to harvesting room and practice regular water spraying




How to Grow Mushroom
  • It is important to maintain separate areas for separate activities

Media preparation area

Dark room/Incubation/Germination area

Harvesting area

  • By using separate areas, disease spreading and pest attacks can be minimized. Doors of the rooms should be opened to the outside (minimize the pest entering due to removal of airflow to outside)
  • Clean open area is suitable for media preparation
  • It is important to maintain fine walls with light colour inside the germination and harvesting rooms to reduce pest distribution (mites)
  • Height of the house should be more than 13ft and suitable roofing  material should be used to control temperature increments
  • Pest repellent net should be used in harvesting room (2.5 height)


  • Light wood is preferable – rubber, Mango, Gliricidia, Cotton
  • If material is difficult to find obtain use hardwood : Light wood – 30% : 70% ratio
  • Should be well dried and free from other materials
  • Large particles should be removed well dried saw dust can be kept for 6 months in the poly sack bags

Rice bran

Bran separated from white, red or parboiled rice can be used

Should remove all the large particles. Storage – well-dried rice bran can be kept 2 – 3 weeks to avoid pest attacks, dried neem leaves  can be added

Pulse power

  • As the nitrogen source
  • Can be used well ground green gram, soya or pulse mixture
  • CaCo3
  • For the pH maintaining of the media
  • As the calcium  source
  • MgSO4
  • As the magnesium source

1.Media preparation

Requirements  for (50 – 55 bags)

  • Sawdust – 20kg
  • Rice bran – 2kg
  • Caco3 – 400g
  • Pulse flour 200g
  • MgSO4 – 40g
  • Water
  • All the ingredients should be in well dried and clean condition
  • Necessary amounts of the ingredients should be correctly measured
  • Before starting, media preparation area should be well cleaned
  • Except MgSO4, other materials should spread evenly on the cleaned surface
  • Well mixing the media using a shovel
  • Dissolving MgSO4 in water
  • Application of water up to adequate level using a water can
  • Adequate amount of water should be applied this can be checked by observing the splitting of media ball

2.Preparation of polypropylene bags


  • 200 gage poly propylene – width 7”, height 14” well-sealed one side
  • PVC tubes, width 0.75”, height 0.5”
  • Cotton waste
  • Rubber bands
  • Keeping  space 4” from the top, prepared bags should be tightly filled with media
  • After correct filling, using a PVC tube and cotton waste, the bag should be closed
  • Further sealing using the rubber band  to ensure the sterilization

3.Media sterilization


  • Barrel (grease), with a lid which has a small hole for pressure releasing
  • Metal stand
  • Efficient hearth

Barrel with lid

Bags used to sterilized using water it is important to seal the lid tightly (pressure releasing Only through the small hole)

Metal Stand

Efficient hearth

  • Sawdust can be used as the fuel material for this hearth. It is very much important to facilitate air circulation for efficient  fuel burning
  • Arrangement of media bags inside the barrel for sterilization
  • Keep the metal stand inside the barrel
  • Put water into the barrel keeping
  • 1 – 1.5-inch space between the water layer and stand
  • Arrange the prepared media bags inside the barrel vertically (keeping little space between bags to ensure sterilization)
  • Bags should be sterilized 2 – 2.5 hours from the steam releasing time
  • Keep the metal stand inside the barrel  and put water
  • Correctly  arrange the bags inside the barrel
  • Keep the barrel on hearth and fuel-burning

Spawn Inoculation


  • Healthy mushroom spawns
  • Masks and hand gloves
  • Small scissor
  • Candles
  • Detergent
  • 4*4 paper pieces
  • Rubber bands

Healthy mushroom spawns

  • Free from fungi infections
  • Free from bacterial infections
  • Complete growth of mushroom fungus
  • Free of bad odour
  • Mushroom fungus used to grow on paddy or wheat seeds, which provides the substrate for fungal growth. Healthy American oyster mushroom spawns are in white colour

Spawns which are not suitable for Cultivation

  • Fungal infections
  • Black Fungus
  • Green Fungus

Bacterial infections

  • yellow colour, bad odour
  • Secretion due to bacterial attack

Spawn inoculation

  • Spawn inoculation should be performed in the darkroom
  • Hands should be well cleaned before entering the room (using a suitable detergent)
  • Mask and hand gloves should  be wear
  • Surface should be sterilized
  • Candles are lightened in 1.5 square feet
  • Area on the cleaned surface to minimize pathogen entering  to bags from air
  • Before taking the seeds out from the spawn bag, separate the seeds by gently rubbing the bag surface
  • Using suitable detergent clean one corner  of the spawn bag and make a small cut using a sterilized scissor
  • All these sterilization steps are followed to minimize the pathogen attacks

Incubation of Fungus

Inside the darkroom, it is facilitated for the further  growth of fungal mycelium

  • Darkness – 75%
  • Light – 25%
  • Temperature – 26 – 28 Celsius
  • Humidity- 85%

Harvesting room

After the complete fungal growth bags are transferred into harvesting room  to facilitate fructification/mushroom blooming

  • Darkness – 50%
  • R.Humidity – 85%
  • Temperature – 26 – 28 c
  • Good air circulation


Maintaining the media bags in the Harvesting Room

  • Low-temperature areas: fully opening of the bags
  • High-temperature areas: half opening of the bags
  • 7 – 10 days after opening, the first harvest can be obtained 3 days after bud appearing, it is necessary to pluck the mushrooms
  • In areas which have low or intermediate amount of temperatures, fully opening of the bag by cutting the round face
  • In dry areas half cut of the bag should be done to half opening
  • Application of water as a mist
  • Direct  application of water is not recommended (do not apply using a hose)
  • Water used to apply as a mist using hand sprayer of sprayer tank
  • To avoid dryness and maintain humidity, it is a must apply water on the ground surface also
  • To avoid pest attacks, neem leaf extract, garlic pulp or soap water can be mixed with water and applied on the cut surface

 Application of water mist with Neem 50g *1L of water

  • Neem seed powder 50g+teepol 50ml+water 1L
  • 20g of garlic+20ml neem oil+1L of water
  • When the opened surface becomes dry it is important to remove it using a blade and facilitate the water absorbance into the cultivating bag
  • One you harvested, remove all the dried buds and remained
  • Harvest obtaining
  • After opening of the bags, up to 2 – 2.5 months, 8 – 10 harvest plucking can be taken
  • It is important to harvest at the correct time and should maintain the hygienic condition (masks and hand gloves should worn )
  • Collection into clean plastic containers, cutting with clean scissors or knives
  • Masks wearing is important at harvesting time
  • Harvesting should be performed at morning time
  • Total mushroom bunch should be plucked from bottom to top

Packaging of Mushroom

  • Raw mushrooms used to pack in 200 gage, 7”-9” width, polypropylene bags
  • These packets can be kept 3 days in room temperature, 5 days in refrigerator condition
  • Supplier should take the legal authentication for mushroom supplication to the market
  • Constraints regarding mushroom cultivation
  • Not having accurate technology
  • Not usage accurate technology
  • Less of skills and poor attitudes
  • Problems in mushrooms cultivation
  • Diseases/infections
  • Pest attacks

Pests and Diseases

How to Grow Mushroom


Bacterial infections

This mainly occurs due to pseudomonas bacteria

Very easy to identify

Yellow colour secretion with unpleasant odour can be seen in growing bags and seed bags

This reduced the growth of mushroom fungus (Pleurotus ostreatus)


  • Remove all the infected bags
  • Add 1g of chlorine with 1l of water during the water spraying time
  • Spray this solution to walls and floor

Fungal infections

  • Black fungus
  • Green fungus

Easy  to identify

  • Spreading through air, pests and water
  • Reduces the growth of mushroom fungus
  • Should be identified and remove growing bags as soon as possible

Control of infections

  • Usage of well dried clean material
  • Sterilization up to optimum time
  • Usage of healthy seeds
  • Growing bags should well sealed and should not have not any spores
  • Protect growing bags from rats, squirrels and cockroaches within incubation period

Pest attack

Mushroom flies

  • Sciarid flies
  • Cecid flies
  • Phorid flies

Sciarid flies

  • In commercial mushroom houses, Sciarid flies larvae tunnel into the stalks of the mushrooms
  • Feeding damage can server in developing mycelium
  • Causing mushrooms to become brown and lathery
  • Severely reducing yields

Phorid flies

  • in general, maybe more numerous than sciarids
  • Phorid flies cause less mushroom

Cecid flies

  • Cecil  larvae feed on the outside of the stipe or at the junction of the stipe and gills
  • It results in direct  yield loss in a loss of the quantity of fresh or processed marketable product


  • Mites do not cause direct damage to cultivated mushrooms, but their presence loss in marketable yield
  • They are a nuisance to mushroom harvesters
  • They can contaminate uninfected areas with Trichoderma
  • Wet spot/Sour rot
  • Bacillus – heat resistant endospores
  • A dull grey to mucus-like brownish slime characterized


  • Soaking the grain at room temperature 12-24 hours prior sterilization
  • Most of the pests used to attract to the smell of mushrooms and media
  • These used lay eggs in growing bags and on mushroom buds
  • After hatching these eggs, larvae comes out and used to eat edges of mushrooms

Control of Pests

  • Usage of standard insect repellent net for cultivating room
  • Maintain mushroom house walls, roof and doors without holes
  • Keep clean both inside and near outside of the mushroom house
  • Close the doors of each part of mushroom houses
  • Harvest at morning time
  • After completing of harvesting remove all growing bags, apply a suitable pesticides of the walls surface and racks keep for a week to complete area sterilization
  • For a mushroom flies application of yellow trap and light trap are efficient

check out my other article:Cashew Cultivation (Complete Guide)

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