Growing medicinal mushrooms may seem complex and stressful, but this article will reveal the easiest do-it-yourself (DIY) procedures that will help you cultivate your Reishi mushrooms.
Reishi mushrooms in an enclosed space (greenhouse) is performed like the conventional way of growing this strain, producing it on logs.
Hence, the greenhouse activities are performed to mimic the natural way of mushroom growth, just that it will be carried out in an ample shaded space with warm, humid climates.
What do you need to do? Share the fully colonized fruit slab into thin layers and bury these thin layers into the garden soil and then install the greenhouse on it. The greenhouse will help maintain humidity which is the needed environment for fungi to grow faster. The rate of growth increases, which means Reshi mushrooms will be due for harvest in some weeks after cultivation.
WHAT IS REISHI?
Reishi mushroom is a potent therapeutic mushroom with tremendous health benefits that serve immune, adaptive, and allergic support for the body. This strain is also known as Ganoderma lucidum, among other names.
Reshi is a bitter glossy woody mushroom; this dissociates it from other culinary mushrooms like the Gourmet mushroom. This strain is dried and ground into powder, later as a tincture or tea.
Also, the scientific name Gano-derma, which means shiny skin, is evident in its identity because Reishi's appearance is red and polished in the skin, which makes it more lovely.
The greenhouse method will work perfectly well for this species because it grows faster and better in hot, humid weather.
THE NATURAL METHOD OF CULTIVATION
Reishi mushroom cultivation is carried out by inoculating oak logs with Reishi Mycelium. This is followed by burying a thin portion of them into the soil; after that, it takes nine months before the inoculated fungi become fully colonized.
The first step in the Reishi greenhouse is making fruiting slabs. How? Gather hydrated wheat bran or hardwood sawdust that is sterilized, then inoculate the slab with Reishi Mycelium.
This fungus penetrates faster than other mushrooms; the slabs become fully colonized within 7days. After this, antlers (pins) began to grow gradually.
If you don't have the fruiting slab, all you need to do is purchase a pre-made, fully colonized fruiting slab online. A random online search for "mushroom grower's kit" will help you get that done.
PLANTING THE REISHI
This process is simple; you don't need to do much; transfer the fully colonized fruiting slab out of the bag and place it on the soil to continue growing.
The soil found in the greenhouse is a mixture of peat moss and regular garden soil, which helps maintain the moisture; this soil isn't compulsorily required to grow Reishi mushrooms. All needed to produce a Reishi mushroom is all in the fruiting slab. Tho, some nutritional value is found in the soil, which can still be helpful to the growth of the fungi.
After planting the Reishi mushroom, there is a need for constant watery, and a covering must also be made to prevent evaporation, direct sunlight, and stop the wind from drying up the fruits. This is why a greenhouse is helpful and practical. It will help protect the slabs from direct sunlight, increasing evaporation and drying up the fruits.
However, building a greenhouse requires making a wire fence covered by a white plastic sheet, opened on both ends. This white plastic sheet allows the penetration of some light rays, which is beneficial for fungi growth. Hence, the greenhouse prevents direct sunlight and wind that can obstruct the development of mushrooms.
GROWING THE REISHI
Some germinating pins will dry after transferring the slabs from the bag to the soil. There is a need to continuously wet the slabs with water to avoid moisture dryness further. Don't forget that moisture is essential for growing this fungus (Reishi mushroom). By doing so, the pins begin to germinate again.
However, to achieve continuous wetting, you don't need sophisticated equipment; all you need at most is a bottle or knapsack sprayer or a watery can. With any of those mentioned above, you will accomplish your goal, which is to make sure the slabs do not lack moisture.
It is essential to do this in the early stage of Reishi's growth - when the pins are just forming, it needs more water to keep up. After 7days, there will be pins sprouting from the slabs, which look like candy corn, which then turn into a beautiful flattened body known as conks. The conks are glossy woody bodies.
Generally, the growth process of Reishi is slow compared to other mushrooms like Oysters, which can double their growth within 2days, but Reishi takes time to grow. Its growth is slow and steady.
Although keeping eyes on its growth might be tiring at first, noticing the whitish stains at the edge of the conk encourages you to grow the mushrooms.
HARVESTING AND DRYING
Reishi mushrooms should be ready for harvest after 7weeks of planting. If all procedures are duly followed with no exemptions, the mushroom should be harvested between the 6th-7th week.
Although, you can decide to let the mushroom grow a bit longer before harvest. Yes, but you must be observant because at week 6 - 7week, the mushroom's spores will be dropping, which indicates an end to its life span. The other way to know about their maturation is that the mushroom edges will start depleting bit by bit.
More so, harvesting this mushroom (Reishi) is simple because this process does not require sophisticated tools. A sharp steak knife or a saw is okay. Since Reishi is woody, the best way to harvest it is to get a serrated blade to help see off the fruits without affecting the slabs.
The whole procedure ends at harvesting; it's then followed by other processes like drying, slicing, grounding, and packaging into powder, tea, or tinctures. You can also take another route without drying it; you can cut a fresh Reishi and steam it for hours to make a Reishi tea.
The Reishi mushroom is one strain you will want to cultivate for its many health benefits, and the beauty of this strain can make you consider planting it in your backyard.
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