Hydroponic Mushrooms

How to Grow Mushrooms Hydroponically

Examples of Hydroponic Mushrooms

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    Mushrooms can be grown hydroponically, in a very similar fashion to that used for conventional rooting plants.

    Mushrooms do not have roots but can still thrive in a soil-less hydroponic media. They actually mature and produce faster than either conventionally cultivated mushrooms or other standard hydroponic crops.

    Fungus, which is what a mushroom actually is - does not require expensive grow lights. They do not use photosynthesis to produce sugars or to fruit and they contain no chlorophyll. Fungus feeds on Organic material. Extremely modest amounts of light only trigger a the fungus to bloom into a mushroom.

    The basic organic material of a mushroom is "Chitin". Chitin branches off in all directions and becomes "hyphae" and a cluster of Hyphae is known as the Mycellium. The mycelium is the actual fungus from which the mushroom itself sprouts. The mushroom we harvest, its fruit basically, is the reproductive organ of the mycellium.

    Substrate - Growing Media - Nutrients

    The growing medium must contain the proper nutrients which will be your crops only form of energy. although mushrooms do not produce sugars or carbohydrates, they do need them for development. The best way I have found to provide nutrients is mixing in NON BLEACHED flour with a media of vermiculite and perlite. The vermiculite perlite should be roughly 50-50.

    Hydroponic Supplies

    The flour mixed with a little water and vermiculite is formed into small cakes. Your spores are mixed in with the flour / vermiculite and allowed to harden a tad before it is distributed across the upper surface of the substrate / media. Recently I have been using Almond Flour but brown rice flour works just as well.

    Other media that have proven successful for Hydroponic Mushrooms are Expanded Clay Aggregate [Clay Balls]. I've heard claims of using Coco Coir with vermiculite also, which sounds feasible.

    Hydroponic Set-Up

    Your mushroom hydroponics system should consist of a tank or tub filled with grow media, and an air pump with an air stone attachment which is necessary for aeration / oxygenation. Optional accessories which are helpful under some circumstances are a water heater, humidity gauge, light.

    The air stone or bubbler is placed at the tanks bottom and covered with your grow media before being submersed in water. The inoculated vermiculite cakes are placed on top. Air is pumped through the air stone to oxygenate the water. The water should be kept warm, which is why you might want to consider the optional heater.


    75 to 80 degrees F is best for germination, 80-85 degrees F with around 90% humidity is best for growth. If these conditions are not met, you may still get some mushrooms , but nowhere near the quantity or quality that woulda, coulda, and shoulda been under the best conditions.

    Minimal Light is required.

    Only when coaxing the mycellium to develop mushrooms should they receive 5 - 6 hours daily light - no more.

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