The Basics of Mushroom Farming

I have received several emails from people asking me how they can get mushroom seeds and I have been able to answer such questions but I know that it is not getting the seeds that matter but how you go about the cultivation.

I mean setting up your cropping house, how you arrange your colonized bags which I already talked about in my other articles and how to daily manage your farm to be able to harvest daily and how to market them. So I decided to write this article on the basics of mushroom farming without which you cannot succeed as a mushroom farmer. so feel free to read through and ask questions where necessary.

To start a mushroom farm, you need a waste – land, I say a waste – land because you don’t plant mushroom in the soil, so there is no need to ask if the soil is fertile or not. Mushrooms can only grow on wood so to produce mushroom in large quantity, you plant them in saw dust and this sawdust is put in bags (colonized).

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So what you need is a waste – land, you don’t even need fertilizer to make the sawdust fertile. You just need seed inoculated in the colonized bag containing the sawdust. Although if you buy the seed in colonized bags everything needed for the mushroom to grow has been done for you, you only need to arrange the colonized bags containing the seeds (spawn) horizontally or vertically.

You also need a structure to house your crops because the crops (mushrooms) are so delicate that they don’t need direct heat to survive. The structure will also need a plastic roof not aluminum, you don’t need blocks or concrete to build your cropping house, what you need is raffia or palm fronds which are by far cheaper than zinc or concrete.

You also need watering cans or sprinklers to water your crops daily.

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After preparing your cropping house, using raffia or palm fronds, and plastic roofing sheets for the roof, you prepare shelves like the one in the image below, here the colonized bags are placed vertically but you can also place them horizontally that is lying them instead of standing then as they are, in the image.

These are “the basics” of mushroom farming.

Basics of mushroom farming

Colonized bags vertically arranged in the cropping house.

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You also need watering cans or hose with sprinklers with which to water you crops daily.

Though mushroom cultivation is capital intensive, you cannot lose money if you do it right and that is why it is necessary to know the basics before you start. As a matter of fact it is important to have understanding of what you want to go into before you launch out. Mushroom cannot be planted like any other crop, so these are necessary steps to take in order to succeed in your business as a mushroom farmer.

Finally, before I end this article it is important to know that mushroom unlike other crops can be harvested daily after one month incubation period and has a ready market here in Nigeria and for foreign exchange.

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