Mushrooms in the country — myths and reality


How wonderful it is to leave the house in a shady garden, inhale the fragrant mixture of the smells of damp earth and fallen leaves.

Walk along the grassy carpet and gently spread the leaves with a long branch, slowly pick up a basket of delicious and, of course, edible mushrooms.

I don’t want to reassure you now, but this picture may well become a reality, provided that you have an adult garden or, rather, a park, with certain trees of the local flora. However, for some species, the lawn is quite suitable 🙂

There are many articles on the topic of growing mushrooms in the country, but they do not contain the main thing: verified and confirmed information.

The topic of mushroom growing is close to me and I have some experience, including negative ones.

The first mistake of a novice summer resident is the lack of understanding in what conditions the mycelium is born. Can they recreate a suitable habitat in their yard or cellar.

Each type of mushroom has its own conditions. They can be determined visually in the places of growth of certain species in natural conditions.

The second, perhaps the most common mistake is the desire to grow a particular species at all costs. Not all mushrooms, whose mycelium (mycelium) is so actively advertised for sale, you can actually grow even under the most favorable humidity and temperature conditions.

Therefore, I will start my story with how to realistically assess your capabilities, not to pay too much and not to waste time.

Biologists know the most about mushrooms. Therefore, it is a sin to ignore their timid and rare remarks about the excessive enthusiasm of summer residents.

All edible mushrooms are divided into those that grow on wood, live in humus and form mycorrhiza with the roots of certain tree species.


The easiest and safest way (I will explain a little later) is to grow litter and humus mushrooms in your own garden. If you choose a suitable place for them with a certain constant humidity and type of lighting, then you will probably get a positive result. But not immediately, after a year or even two. This time will be spent on the formation of the mycelium.

Litter fungi develop mycelium on litter, straw, or mulch. They are represented by purple rowing, ringworm, straw mushroom.

Humus mushrooms include champignon, puffball, meadow mushrooms, motley umbrella, dung beetle, morel. Their nutrient medium is a rich organic humus layer of the soil.

Romantics and lazy people (sorry, busy people) plant mycelium directly on the lawn or under the trees, taking into account the needs of the species and get a seasonal result. This is an extensive method of growing mushrooms.

Pragmatists prefer to get relatively stable yields in specially designated mushroom beds, which are a deep trench with a wooden cover.

The essence of the method is simple: at the bottom of the trench, the humidity is always higher than at the surface. Cover the hole with a lid to keep this moisture. In order to stimulate growth in the morning and late in the evening, the cover is removed. For the category of field mushrooms, the boards for shelter are knocked down with gaps to maintain a constant illumination regime.

Watering only with warm rainwater, preferably through a fine nozzle.

This is an intensive way to grow mushrooms. It can also be reproduced in the basement, cellar, if the room temperature coincides with the fruiting temperature of a particular species.

Grain mycelium sold in stores for growing on non-sterile substrate is not suitable, it only works on sterile indoor growing blocks. Therefore, in the garden it is better to use the proven old-fashioned method.

Fungal spore collection method, which has positive results for Internet users, is simple: the caps of adult mushrooms are soaked in a wooden bowl with rainwater, after a day they are kneaded with their hands, filtered. Drained water contains spores, it spills the landing sites.


The second category of mushrooms that summer residents successfully grow is wood-destroying, that’s right. They parasitize on wood and give yields sufficient for family consumption.

But only decks dug in a cellar where there are no wooden structural elements can be infected with spores. In the garden, decks of mushrooms can ruin (in the sense of «slowly destroy») the varietal trees that you have grown so diligently. After all, spores are carried by the wind over long distances.

You can buy the mycelium of such mushrooms without fear if the manufacturer has a good reputation. Spores infect oak sticks, and they are sold as seed. This is a very simple and affordable method.

  • A deck with bark, cut down no more than four months ago, is soaked for a day or three in water.
  • The next stage is the holes with a drill in a checkerboard pattern no closer than 15 cm from each other.
  • Sticks with spores are inserted into the holes (hands in rubber gloves) and clogged with pieces of moss. A plastic bag is put on top and sent for a month to a dark place with a temperature of about 20 °.
  • When the surface of the deck is covered with a white coating (mycelium), it is dropped one third into the ground in a calm, humid, shaded place. It is better if it is a damp but warm cellar or a pit with a wooden cover-shield.
  • After 6 months from the beginning of the process, you can harvest.


The most difficult to grow is the category of mushrooms that form mycorrhiza with tree roots. But they are also the most valuable for a mushroom lover. Mycorrhiza (literally mushroom root) — this is when the mycelium penetrates the root system of a tree and feeds on it with valuable elements (carbon) without destroying the wood.

NUANCE… Mycorrhiza forms in acidic soil.

Mycorrhizal forest mushrooms include porcini mushrooms, chanterelles, boletus, boletus, boletus, saffron mushrooms, volnushki.

Here you should not be tempted to buy mycelium. Botanists say that there simply cannot be grain mycelium of mycorrhiza-forming fungi, and they have no idea what biologically dried is. Dry mycelium cannot be viable a priori. Only spore reproduction is possible here. Who knows, maybe there are spores in bags of soil — I have not found a positive experience on the Internet.

A more realistic way to grow such mushrooms is to collect the seed yourself.

Option 1:

  • caps of old mushrooms are soaked in plastic or wooden dishes with rainwater,
  • after a day, the mass is kneaded with hands and filtered,
  • «Mushroom water» with spores is poured over an area of ​​organic litter under a tree of the same species (this is important!), under which the collected mushrooms grew.

Option 2:

  • caps of ripe mushrooms are broken and laid out under a tree of the same species where they were collected,
  • after 4-5 days they are harvested, and the place of «sowing» is kept in a moist state.

Option 3:

  • the tubular layer of an adult mushroom is separated and cut into pieces 2×2 cm, laid out on paper and dried in a dry place for an hour and a half, periodically turning over with a wooden spatula,
  • after they are laid out near the tree under the top layer of bedding (2-3 pieces),
  • maintain moisture exclusively by spraying (we imitate soil moistening in a forest where rain does not directly fall on the ground).

The big difficulty is to choose the right landing site. I repeat, but the desired result can be obtained under a tree of the same species that grew in the mushroom picking place with the same soil composition.

The presence of a wet shade in the entire warm period of the year is also required. And of course, the acid-base balance of the soil (where without it).

An acidic environment is created by mixing high-moor peat and humus, plus shelter from coniferous leaf litter collected in the forest.

But if you want to get a stable positive result, pick up a bag of litter and a bag of soil under a forest tree.

At the site, the ground from under the roots is carefully raked out to a depth of about 30 cm and first filled with peat (no more than 10 cm), then with nutrient soil, planting material is scattered (spilled), covered with a small layer of soil and a thick layer of mulch from the litter. Mycelium develops at a depth of 5-15 cm.

White mushrooms are divided into several categories according to the places of growth. You do not need to know the exact name of each species.

It is enough to identify the tree under which it was plucked, and at the same time to fix the growth conditions: the age of the tree, the degree of shade, lighting and openness to the winds.

White mushrooms can be found under pines, spruces, oaks, aspens, birches, in thickets of heather and juniper. Moreover, close enough to the trunks, up to direct contact with it.

I read that the white fungus forms mycorrhiza with mature trees aged 15-25 years. And here is the lie. Last year I found a mushroom place in the young growth of densely planted pines and aspens. The place is very quiet, moderately lit, moderately humid.

The fruiting body of the white fungus begins to grow at a temperature of +10° to +20°. In our area it is the second half of May, September, sometimes October.

The chanterelles that I collected grew in a mixed forest under pine trees. Moreover, these pretty mushrooms chose places among the moss (which means wet), but sufficiently lit (near the side of the forest road, where the crowns of pines open, on the forest edge, in places with large distances between trees).

Chanterelle forms mycorrhiza with pine, beech, oak, rarely spruce. Those collected by me personally grew further than 3 meters from the trunk.

Butterflies grow exclusively in coniferous young growth. One tree is not enough for this, they must form an array. The age of 10-15 years is the most suitable. Planting material is sown in a slightly shaded place.

Butterflies form mycorrhiza predominantly with pine. The fruiting body is actively allowed to grow at a temperature of about + 15 °. In the mushroom places known to me, butterflies were found both directly under the tree and at a sufficient distance — about 5-6 m.

Also, the following types of mycorrhizal fungi include:

  • mushrooms form mycorrhiza with pine,
  • volnushki and milk mushrooms — with birch, grow in nature in mixed forests,
  • boletus and boletus — with birch, aspen and some deciduous,
  • truffle (do not be surprised, it grows with us too) forms mycorrhiza with poplar, birch, linden, mountain ash, hawthorn,
  • Polish mushroom grows on sandy soils next to coniferous trees,

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