Mushrooms are a flavorful and popular addition to many types of dishes, and they can even be enjoyed on their own! Growing mushrooms does take some patience and careful planning, but if you’d like to know how to grow mushrooms on a balcony, then the following guide will get you started.
Before Getting Started
Here’s some essential information that you need to know before growing mushrooms on your balcony.
- Climate: Mushrooms require moderate temperatures in order to grow. As a general rule, it needs to be fairly humid outside and they need temperatures that range from 55 to 70 degrees at the most. However, the temperatures should ideally stay between 55 and 65 degrees for best results. If you live in an area with very hot weather, mushrooms are not ideal for growing on the balcony.
- Sunlight: Mushrooms need to be placed in dark areas for most of the day. A few hours of indirect sunlight or a fluorescent lamp (if indoors) are best. But they require lots of darkness in order to thrive, so keep this in mind.
- Planter: Mushrooms can grow in just about any container. The primary thing you need to know is that the container needs to be at least 8 inches, but ideally 12 inches, deep.
- Indoors or Outdoors? Mushrooms can be grown indoors. It may be better to grow them indoors than on a balcony, because you can better control the temperature in an indoor space, whereas your mushrooms could become ruined by a sudden hot day if they are outdoors. If you are able to bring your mushrooms easily inside, however, then you can consider the balcony.
What You’ll Need
The following are some basic supplies you’ll need.
- Mushroom spores
- Container (8-12 inches deep)
- Compost (manure or other growing medium)
- Plastic wrap
Step by Step Instructions
The following are step by step instructions to get you started.
1. Prepare your container
Fill your container with soil and growing mediums, such as manure or compost. Mix well and fill the soil with warm water to make it damp. Keep container above 70 degrees for 2 days in a warm room.
2. Plant your mushroom spores
Plant your spores and keep the temperature of the container to about 70 degrees for at least three weeks. Once you see the spores germinate, you can bring the temperatures down to around 55 degrees. Add some more potting soil around the germinated spores.
3. Add plastic wrap
Now, add plastic wrap over the container; keep it loose to the mushrooms can access the oxygen. Spray your mushrooms occasionally with water, and bring them to indirect sunlight for 1-2 hours a day before returning them to a dark area.
Keep the following growing notes in mind when growing mushrooms on your balcony.
- Water: Spritz your mushrooms about 5 times twice a day, but ideally more often, whenever the soil surface looks dry.
- Growth: Mushrooms will take about 1-2 months to mature from spores to harvest-ready mature mushrooms.
- Maintenance: Mushrooms do not require much maintenance once you have the container prepped and ready for the spores. Make sure to check them often for dryness and do not leave the mushrooms in direct sunlight.