Growing mushrooms can be a fulfilling activity. However, it’s different from traditional gardening, so you’ll want to choose the appropriate space, tools, and precautions to guarantee your success.
Is it safe to grow mushrooms indoors? The answer is yes; there are no safety risks involved with growing your own mushrooms inside your home as long as you are careful. Growing indoor mushrooms requires proper ventilation, an appropriate location, and wearing a mask when in contact with the plant. Because edible mushrooms are not toxic, health risks are eliminated by taking proper precautions.
It’s easy to succeed, but you’re going to want to arm yourself with all of the crucial facts to yield the best tasting, most satisfying mushrooms, all while paying a lot less than you’re used to at the register.
Growing Mushrooms at Home – Is It Safe?
Growing indoor mushrooms is safe but requires learning the rules for your safety and your plant.
Mushrooms come with numerous health benefits, and growing your own can yield even better quality products than what you’ll find at the store. They’re fat-free and low on calories. Nutrients and benefits include lowering your cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure, boosting your immune system, losing weight, and even helping you fight cancer.
Mushrooms are rich in vitamins and antioxidants and are excellent for your brain health.
Can You Get Sick From Growing Mushrooms?
You can get sick from growing mushrooms at home, but this is easily avoided by taking proper precautions.
Mushrooms are fungi grown from spores. It’s possible to inhale high concentrations of fungal spores when growing mushrooms, aggravating asthma and allergies, and potentially causing fungal sinusitis and hypersensitivity pneumonitis.
Prolonged exposure without protection and ventilation can lead to more serious conditions like kidney failure and lung disease.
What Mushrooms Are Safe to Grow Indoors?
There are numerous safe mushrooms to grow indoors, but some are easier than others. Mushroom planting mediums include straw, sawdust, hardwood, coffee grounds, and well-composted manure.
Oyster, button, and brown cap mushrooms are considered the easiest to grow, while wine caps, chanterelles, shiitake, maitake, and white buttons are also suitable for beginners. Enoki mushrooms are good but require cooler temperatures than others.
Cremini mushrooms, or brown caps, are the same as button mushrooms that are allowed to grow for a longer duration, while even longer grows will produce the beloved portobello.
Possible Risks When Growing Mushrooms Indoors
Consider the dangers listed below when growing mushrooms indoors. Planning for the growing conditions will give reliable results without worrying about health risks.
Picking a Bad Location
Finding the right location means choosing a dark room with temperature and humidity control. Choose a space you rarely frequent, and clean your hands and tools, always wearing a mask in their proximity.
Mistakenly Using Poisonous Mushrooms
A person’s mushroom hobby often begins by seeking them in the wild. Growing your own mushrooms is a smart way to avoid the most significant risk: falsely identifying toxic wild mushrooms, often appearing nearly identical to edible ones.
The same risks that can affect your health can also harm your mushrooms. It’s a battle of contaminations from airborne spores vs. your hands, breath, and tools used. Working in a sterile environment dramatically improves safety.
Which Mushrooms Should Not Be Grown Indoors?
Avoid trying to grow mushrooms like morels that require more challenging conditions. The lion’s mane mushroom will only fruit once a year, while the maitake mushroom is hard to grow and takes as long as two years to fruit.
Where to Buy Mushroom Growing Kits
Here’s a list of places that will help you get started on your mushroom growing journey:
- Amazon provides competitive prices for growing kits with a wide variety of features. Be sure to check verified customer ratings to choose the best seller and kit.
- Fungially is an excellent resource that provides a lot of options for bulk orders if you get more serious about your hobby.
- Northspore has competitive prices and provides excellent beginner resources like articles and videos.
- Gmushrooms has a wide range of kits and prices while offering wisdom for best practices and success.
Tips & Precautions for Growing Mushrooms Indoors Safely
Keep it simple. Use growing kits and follow their instructions literally. Choose a basement or under-sink space that is dark, cool, and humid.
Common Questions About Growing Mushrooms Indoors
Use these frequently asked questions as a guide to help guarantee a safe and smooth growing experience.
Can you grow mushrooms in your bedroom?
Yes, you can grow mushrooms in your bedroom, but it’s not recommended due to airborne spores. A basement is likely the most optimal place for success and safety. Choose a cool, damp, dark place away from your common living area.
Is it bad to breathe in mushroom spores?
Spores are in the air we breathe, no matter how cautious we are. Breathing in normal levels of spores is something we all face, but your home-grown mushrooms can cause irritation and illness for those with allergies. Follow safety guides to avoid generating airborne spores where you spend most of your time.
Is mushroom mold toxic?
Both mold and mushrooms originate from fungus, but when people think of black mold, they’re generally referring to Stachybotrys, which produces mycotoxins that become dangerous when inhaled or ingested.
Fortunately, the black mold that may produce mushrooms is less toxic than Stachybotrys, and none of the indoor mushrooms you grow create black mold. Even though they’re not poisonous, you’ll want to wear a mask when checking on your growth.
Does one moldy mushroom ruin the rest?
Proper temperature and moisture will help keep your growth healthy, but the truth is, mushrooms are a type of mol. Edible mushrooms are a healthy form of mold unless they become contaminated.
If your mushrooms start developing black, green, and bluish spots, they are contaminated and should be discarded. If you’re observant, you’ll notice this before it has spread to your entire grow, in which case simply discard samples where this appears and adjust your growing environment to prevent further contamination.
There are numerous reasons to grow your own indoor mushrooms at home. It’s a fun learning challenge. It’s a popular hobby with homesteaders and a great way to encourage your kids to discover nature.
Growing kits are helpful, and despite a small initial investment, you’ll save on long-term costs compared to retail, and you’re likely to enjoy superior tasting mushrooms with more nutrients.