Learning how to grow enoki mushrooms or ‘winter mushrooms’ is a relatively easy task particularly because the materials needed to grow them at home are readily available. The winter or enoki mushroom is an unusual mushroom which prefers to grow at very low temperatures.
Enokis’ usually grow better in high CO2,as well as low light conditions, which force an unnatural elongated shape that is popular with consumers. Enoki mushrooms’ sawdust blocks can have staggering numbers of relatively small mushrooms, which make harvesting interesting!
How to Grow Enoki Mushrooms
The bottles are then sterilized, inoculated with the mushroom culture and placed in growing houses. When the substrate is fully colonized with mycelium, the bottles are moved to an area where a plastic collar is attached to the mouth of the bottle.
The purpose of the collar guides the forming mushrooms to grow straight up and also helps to control carbon dioxide. Enokis require a colder environment, 45 degrees, compared to growing temperatures of about 60 degrees, which other varieties require.
After about 90 days, the mushrooms can be harvested. The collars are removed, the Enokis plucked from the mouth of the bottle and usually packaged in shrink-wrapped bags. Since enokis only produce one set of fruiting bodies per crop,the remaining substrate is recycled.
Typical features of Home Grown Enoki’s
Enoki mushrooms, Flammulina velutipes, sprout white bodies with thin stems and traditional mushroom caps. Like other mushrooms species, including shiitakes and oysters, enokis are sometimes used medicinally, to treat liver infections and boost immune system responses. Some even believe that these tiny mushrooms can help reduce tumors. Growing these enokis at home requires careful application of warmth, cold and humidity at different times during the growth cycle.
Step by Step Instructions on How to Grow Enoki Mushrooms
- Clean and sterilize clear plastic bottles or cylinders, each measuring about 8 inches tall. Wash the bottles with antibacterial soap and rinse thoroughly with warm water to ensure that no residual soap remains.
- Mix aged hardwood sawdust or professional mushroom growth medium with enoki spawn. You can find the spawn, as well as growing mediums, at garden centers, nurseries or mushroom-specialty retailers. The spawn must be thoroughly mixed into the medium to encourage growth.
- Fill the plastic bottles with the inculcated growing medium. Store the bottles in an area with temperatures ranging between 72 and 77 degrees F and a relative humidity above 90 percent. Light exposure does not matter; the humidity and high temperature will encourage the spawn to grow.
- You should see thin strands of mycelium starting to spread throughout the bottle after two weeks of growth ; the mycelium strands are essentially the mushroom roots. Keep the enoki spawn in the warm, humid environment until the mycelium has completely covered the growing medium; this can take anywhere from two weeks to a month.
- Transport the bottles to a cool area, with temperatures ranging between 50 and 65 degrees F. Humidity can drop as low as is necessary in this cooler place. Again, sun exposure does not matter.
The sudden change in atmosphere will cause the mycelium to produce the characteristic mushroom bodies and these can be harvested within 60 days of initial production.