MushBarn Learning Center

Garden Kit "Mushroom Block" How-to

by stephanie manara on Dec 21, 2021

Garden Kit "Mushroom Block" How-to

What do I need to get started?

This Kit Contains: Virtual Instructions & one Mushroom Mycelia Fruiting Block 

Supplies Needed: Spray Bottle & Distilled or Spring Water

Best Temps for Growing: 65 - 70°F but they can tolerate a range of 50-75°F 

Time Until first Harvest: Apprx. 6-12 weeks depending on time of year

Yield Potential: 1-3 lbs (small kit), 2-6lbs (large kit) over the few week course of a couple flushes (mushroom fruitings)

Anything I need to keep in mind?

Things to Consider: Mushrooms release spores as they reach maturity, so be mindful not to inhale these spores or get them on nice furniture. Our oyster mushroom and lions mane mushroom varieties all produce white spores, and you can put paper down underneath the kit to catch most of them unless in a drafty area. Ideally the mushrooms are harvested before producing their main spore load.

Cooking: Enjoy your mushrooms in a simply olive oil salt and pepper sauté for 10 minutes on the stove. There are countless incredible recipes for fresh mushrooms online if you want to take it a step further!

What garden grow kits does MushBarn have?

Garden Giant Mushrooms

Pearl Oyster Mushrooms This seasonal product is available from September 1- June 1, avoiding the heat of July and August. This is necessary to ensure cooler temperatures during shipping, and our mushrooms grow best in these cooler months.

What should I know about garden giants?

"Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect." Chief Seattle, 1954

For you and the planet!

Garden Giants are a thrill to cultivate. Stropharia rugoso-annulata, commonly known as the wine cap mushroom, "garden giant", or king stropharia, gets its name from the massive edible mushrooms it produces. They are a facultative mycorrhizal and can grow 22 cm tall, with a burgundy convex-flattening cap up to 32 cm across. 

They are a vigorous mushroom that teach us about finding balance- with water, air, and environmental organisms, by harnessing the intelligence of fungi. Vibrant food for you and your community. These mushrooms are edible, delicious, and a choice source of vegan protein. They are the easiest mushrooms to grow and bees love them! The flesh is white and hardy with a tall stem, noticeable annulus, and pale gills that eventually darken to brown-purple. Flavor is best when they're younger; mild flavor that fades with age.

For you soil!

  • The ultimate Companion 2 Plants! 

  • Compare to compost tea

  • Plant + protein powerhouses - releases plant growth hormones & natural Co2 for the plants around it

  • Produces acanthocytes, tiny spines that pierce and kill predatory nematodes.

  • Uses up to 70% less irrigation; mycelium water retention and root-distribution capability (increased field capacity)

  • Unlocks phosphorus & nitrogen + trace minerals from soil aggregates 

  • Helps suppress root pathogens & facilitate plant-to-plant communication Keep it amended + hydrated, and the Garden Giant mycelium will perennialize and grow season after season!

Ok, I’m ready, how do I inoculate my garden with mycelium?

  1. Choose a shady spot in your garden that receives plenty of water (ideally overhead sprinkler, rain, or natural humidity. You can supplement the humidity with garden shade cloth if gardening in a dryer climate).

  2. If unplanted, loosen the soil and put down a combination of wood chips, straw, and cardboard, creating a berm for the mycelium to colonize.

  3. For one 10 pound block, we suggest a 10x10' area to see mushrooms this season (or 1 mushroom block to two yards of soil).

  4. Break up the mushroom block by massaging it until the bag is broken up and easy to pour over your space

  5. Carefully and evenly pour the mycelium over the garden space

  6. Cover with soil, straw, and wood chips and keep it consistently hydrated

  7. Plant your shady crops or cover crops on top of this layer of “mushroom mulch”

  8. After 3 weeks, start checking every few days for pinheads (baby mushrooms)

  9. Make sure the mushrooms have access to plenty of humidity while forming (24-72hours)

  10. Keep your mushrooms hydrated while they being pinning / forming primordia (sprouting). 

  11. Harvest the Stropharia rugoso-annulata mushrooms once the caps are open wide! Cover exposed mycelium with soil wood chips cardboard or any local cereal straw. Expected yields are 10-20 lbs per sq yard, per flush of mushrooms, depending on the available moisture and nutrients present in the garden bed Mushrooms may Take up to a month or more to form depending on the time of year, and available moisture and nutrients.

  12. They grow up so fast! Email us if you have questions;

Other Info:

Yes, you can companion plant and cover crop your garden giant mushroom patch! Anywhere you have inoculated your soil is a wonderful place to plant with the three sisters (garden giants most favorite companion) 

Yes, you can contihue spreading the spores by taking a handful of colonized mushroom soil and expanding it to new 

areas of your garden! Just be sure never to expand more than 10% of its mass in one fruiting cycle, and cover any exposed mycelium back up with hydrated soil.

After all of the environmental & biological scares we've seen at the planetary level these past seasons, we've learned that incorporating a localized food system into our communities is crucial. Growing mushrooms is the missing link to do this with zero-waste. We have Garden Giant mycelium available in single 10lb bags or in bulk: order online, & email for bulk pre-order inquiries! 

The extensive mycorrhizal networks in our soils are what allow plants to gain access to the nutrients awaiting. Want to learn more about growing mushrooms? Sign up for our newsletter to get on the list for upcoming workshops at the barn.