The porcini mushroom ( also known as penny bun, boletus edulis) is a real delicacy, the taste of which can be second only to the truffle, the king of the underground. Thick, fleshy, with a pronounced aroma of raw wood, boletus can be a worthy decoration for any feast. The situation is aggravated only by the high cost of the product and its limited availability because not all of its connoisseurs live near pine forests, where this mushroom variety grows. You can grow porcini at home or in a greenhouse for personal use and for business.
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Can you grow porcini mushrooms at home?
Fresh porcini mushrooms are a rare guest even in the largest supermarkets. Of course, you can always get hold of a bunch of dry forest gifts, however, in this case, they will invariably lose some of their taste and useful properties, and the price for such a pleasure will be considerable. Today, an increasing number of fans are trying their hand at home growing this variety.
And although this is not an easy task, the gradual improvement of mushroom cultivation skills allows you to constantly increase yields. Moreover, some successful farmers, after increasing the volume of home production, begin to supply their products to the market, turning an unusual hobby into a profitable business, especially since this is facilitated by small capital investment.
So what is needed for growing porcini at home? Of course, special conditions will be as close as possible to the natural environment for the growth of mushrooms. And given the fact that mushrooms are found mainly in coniferous and mixed forests, then they need:
- scattered light;
- high level of humidity;
- nutrient medium in the form of a substrate consisting of several components;
- high-quality ventilation that prevents the development of stagnant processes and the spread of pathogenic bacteria.
How to grow porcini at home for beginners?
How can forest conditions be created in a private house or apartment? In fact, this is doable if you strictly follow a few simple rules, as well as carry out all the necessary preparatory work, which involves the complex disinfection of the premises with chlorine-containing agents and smoke bombs, installation of racks, and the preparation of containers suitable for growing.
Selection of porcini mushroom mycelium
After all the preparatory procedures are completed, you should take care of the selection of mycelium-planting material, which is germinated fungal spores that are necessary for the formation of mycelium. Currently, there are two options for the preparation of raw materials:
- The first is to purchase ready-made mycelium, which can be found in almost any online store that sells goods for the garden. So, it is enough just to soak the dry grains from the bag in the solution prepared according to the recipe indicated in the instructions and plant them in the prepared substrate, although in this case it is far from always possible to wait for seedlings.
- The second option is more reliable, assuming self-preparation of mycelium, for which you will have to get hold of adult healthy specimens of mushrooms. The process of obtaining a seed itself is not difficult, meaning the grinding of mushroom caps, in the lamellar layer of which spores are contained.
The resulting paste is mixed with a homemade solution consisting of water, potassium permanganate, and granulated sugar.
Interesting! Such a sweet environment is a nutrient mixture that promotes the germination of spores with the subsequent formation of planting material.
Porcini Substrate preparation
Ordinary land is not suitable for growing mushrooms, because they are accustomed to sandy and clay soils, covered with forest litter, which provides high-quality aeration. Of course, you can look for such a mixture in finished form, but it is better to cook it yourself.
As a basis, it is recommended to use well-loosened sandy or loamy soil, to which sand and river clay are added in a total volume not exceeding a quarter of the entire mass of the substrate, dry herbs, and leaves, pre-crushed bark, and branches of coniferous trees, as well as a little lichen or moss -sphagnum.
These components are best collected in the forest – the native environment of the fungus, but if this is not possible, then you can buy a ready-made soil mixture for epiphytes, which contains such natural growth stimulants as vermiculite and perlite.
Before planting, the prepared soil must be disinfected by holding it for several minutes in a well-heated oven and leaving it outdoors for a two-week period. By the time of planting, the substrate will become too dry, so it will be necessary to ensure its high-quality moisturizing.
planting porcini mushroom mycelium substrate in containers
The prepared soil should be laid out in planting containers in several layers, trying to ensure that the total height is about 35 cm. The uppermost of these layers is lightly tamped, which is an important condition for the full growth of the mycelium.
Advice! Do not forget about such a component as expanded clay drainage laid on the bottom, which prevents moisture stagnation.
As practice shows, mushrooms do not like heat, but at first they still need warmth, therefore, until their shoots appear (usually it takes up to 10 days), the room should be at least +20 degrees Celsius. And after a few days, the temperature is lowered to + 16-17 degrees, using this mode on an ongoing basis.
All this time, you need to maintain the humidity of the soil and air, practicing regular spraying and arranging containers with water.
harvesting porcini Mushroom
If everything was done correctly, then there is every chance to see the first ripened fruits after 3-3.5 weeks. Keeping such mushrooms in the substrate does not make sense any longer, so they need to be harvested to allow the mycelium to form the next colony. They need to be cut as well as in the forest, carefully cutting the leg with a sharp knife, and sprinkling the cut with a fresh disinfected substrate to prevent pathogenic bacteria from entering the mycelium.
Perhaps the first harvests will not be very plentiful, but if you continue to care, then after a few months it will be possible to collect up to 25 kg of selected mushrooms from only 1 square meter.
Note! It should be remembered that the life of the mycelium is not endless, therefore, for every 3-5 years of cultivation, the entire procedure has to be repeated anew.
How to grow porcini mushrooms in a greenhouse all year round?
An equally popular production method is a greenhouse, as it allows you to get more abundant crops in an environment that is as close to natural as possible. The greenhouse method is also good because it does not require artificial maintenance of a high level of humidity, which will be enough under the film anyway.
But such beds will need to be ventilated regularly, otherwise, putrefactive processes may develop. In addition, the room should be sufficiently warm and light, so for the winter period, in the absence of a connected heating system, heaters and fluorescent lamps may be needed.
Cultivation of porcini mushrooms as a business
Today, more and more people are practicing breeding mushrooms at home, not only for their own needs but also for additional income. If, however, stream production is established, then it is possible to reach a fundamentally new level by starting to grow delicacy mushrooms in large volumes and supplying them to markets, shops, and restaurants.
Ways to grow porcini mushrooms
Usually, home growing involves the use of racks with long square planters that can be placed in the kitchen, a heated porch, or even on an insulated balcony. Mushrooms do not grow in basements, as there is little light and too cold for this variety.
If you switch to an industrial scale of production, you will have to rent a heated warehouse or equip a room for greenhouses on a subsidiary plot (important for owners of private houses). Even a brick shed or a summer kitchen will do, as long as they are heated, spacious, and have many windows.
Necessary equipment and premises
The most important component for the maintenance of a mushroom farm is the air conditioning system. And if to support mini-production it is enough just to ventilate the premises twice a day, then to serve large areas, you will have to equip full-fledged ventilation.
Since in the natural environment this species grows only in the warm season, when the daylight hours reach its maximum, artificial cultivation will also have to provide similar conditions.
Powerful LED daylight fixtures are a good solution, although they will only need to be used on cloudy days and in winter, extending daylight hours to 7-8 hours.
Profitability of production
In order for the funds spent to fully justify themselves in the near future, it is recommended to expand production gradually. In this case, investments in equipment and maintenance of mycelium will not be so tangible, especially if the harvests are as plentiful as possible.
It is worth noting that the cost of arranging and maintaining a small mycelium pays for itself after the second harvest, while it can take about 6 months to make a profit from investing in a large farm.
You can always find sales markets for mushrooms, as this tasty, healthy, dietary product is always in price. And even if you hang an advertising sign near the house, there is a high probability that in the future there will be no end to buyers.
So you learned step by step how to grow porcini mushrooms at home for daily use or also for business purposes.