When and How to Pick Your Mushrooms

By on November 02, 2016

Shiitake mushrooms waiting to get picked

Growing mushrooms at home is a great family project and fall is a good time to start a kit indoors. Whether you choose the classic white button, the tasty portabella or try a more exotic tasting mushroom like the Blue Oyster, all are fast and easy to grow indoors. Watch our video where Tricia grows two mushroom kits and goes step-by-step in the process.

When Are Mushrooms Ready to Pick?

When to pick your mushroom will depend on the type of mushroom but one thing that you should always do is cook your homegrown mushrooms. Their nutritional value is unlocked when you cook the mushroom and the taste is greatly enhanced.

White Button and Portabella - ready to harvest when the thin veil that covers the gills under the cap just begin to tear open. To pick the mushroom, simply rotate them a complete turn and pull up, being careful not to disturb the neighboring mushrooms. You should not cut the mushroom off in the kit, this leaves the stem in the growing medium and can lead to rotting.

Crimini (baby Portabella) - harvested at a smaller size than the mature Portabella. The veil is still tight around the cap. To harvest rotate them and pull up, being careful to not leave the stem in place.

Shiitake - Best to harvest when the caps are still slightly curling down. When the mushroom is ready to pick the veil will have separated from the cap.

Lion’s Mane -  at about two weeks of starting the kit you should see small pinkish-white primordial balls where you slit the bag. The mushrooms will mature in about a week. A good indicator of an ideal stage to harvest is when the “spines” of the mushroom body elongates. Grasp the cluster and twist or take a sharp knife and cut it right at the base.

Oyster - when they are a full size or have stopped growing, simply rotate and pull up on the mushroom.

For more detailed information on growing mushrooms and all the benefits of mushrooms in our world, check out the two books written by the mushroom expert, Paul Stamets, Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World and Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms.

Grow some fresh and tasty mushrooms at home, and grow organic for life!

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