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Mushroom Farming: How to Plant and Multiply Mushrooms at Home or in Business

Mushroom farming has been gaining popularity in recent years due to the increasing demand for fresh and organic produce. With their unique taste and health benefits, mushrooms have become a staple in many households and restaurants. Whether you are looking to start a small-scale mushroom farm at home or considering it as a business venture, it is essential to understand the basics of mushroom cultivation.

Mushroom cultivation is a beneficial activity that does not require a lot of care and attention. In addition, many are unaware that mushrooms are classified as part of the group of nutritious vegetables.

Mushrooms and their needs:

Mushrooms are a group of plants classified as fungi. However, this type of plant is different because mushrooms do not have chlorophyll bodies, green pigments that help plants produce their own food needed for growth.

Since fungi, including mushrooms, need help to have their own food, they need to have cellulose and water to grow. Usually, cellulose is obtained from decaying or organic matter, such as plants and even animal waste, which is rich in nitrogen and carbon.

Nitrogen and carbon are the two main elements needed for mushrooms to grow and develop. The mushroom forms spores, which serve as the seeds of the mushroom. The spores grow and develop into mushrooms.

Spores are small, powdery particles similar to dust and fall off from under the mushroom's cap and carried away by the wind. When the spores land on a suitable environment, like a decaying banana stem, wet hay, etc., it will grow and develop into mycelium, at first, like a mold. If the environment is conducive to spore growth, mushrooms will grow.

The mycelium is comparable to a plant's leaves because it is responsible for producing food for the mushroom to grow. When the mushroom grows on top of the mycelium, a new generation of spores will form, and from this, a new series of mushrooms will emerge. This process continues, and that is the life cycle of mushrooms.

Health Benefits:

  • Mushrooms contain protein ranging from 20% to 50% of fresh weight. 
  • Compared to meat, fish, or eggs, mushrooms have lower protein content but are equivalent to corn and carabao milk.
  • Mushrooms have higher Vitamin A content than cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, bananas, and apples.
  • Mushrooms are also rich in ascorbic acid.
  • They contain minerals such as potassium and calcium, as well as Vitamins B, C, and D.
  • All mushrooms are cholesterol-free and low in calories, making them ideal for older people, those who are overweight, those with respiratory problems due to air pollution, and those with skin diseases.

In this business, there are products that are considered farm-byproducts or come from industries that usually only cause pollution to the environment, but can be used in mushroom cultivation such as straw, banana tree trunks, corn stalks and leaves, bagasse from sugarcane, coir dust, and sawdust.

Types of mushrooms suitable for the Philippines and beneficial for cultivation:

Paddy Straw Mushroom / Kabuteng Dayami (Volvariella volvacea).

Spawning materials:

Rice straw is the main and best spawning material for growing mushrooms. However, alternatives like water lilies or banana leaves and shredded parts of abaca stalks can also be used.


  1. Use long, clean, and dry rice straw.
  2. Avoid using rotten or old rice straw.
  3. Before packing the rice straw, make sure that the ends are properly arranged.
  4. The packing should be around 60cm to 80cm in diameter.
  5. Cut the packed straw into 1.5 to 2 feet in length.
  6. Soak the packed straw in water for three hours and avoid soaking for more than 10 hours. Only the right amount of water should be absorbed by the straw.
  7. Each corner of the seedbed should be supported by four bamboo poles or sticks. Make sure each pole is 2 feet wide.
  8. Arrange the packed straw horizontally on the foundation.
  9. Water the straw but stop once the water starts to flow on the bed.


  1. Place the seeds four inches away from the edge of the bed, between the straws. Make sure that the distance between the seedlings is also four inches. Do not plant in the middle of the bed.
  2. Place the second layer of straw crosswise with the first layer. Water and flatten.
  3. Add layers, as in the previous steps, until the bed is full and the seedlings are planted properly.
  4. The mushroom bed is made up of six layers of straw, and each layer or step is planted with mushrooms.

Taking care of the mushrooms that have grown:

  1. Four or five days after planting, the beds can be watered. This should be done every other day. Follow the recommended watering method during the summer, but wait for the mushrooms to sprout during the rainy season.
  2. The growth of the mushrooms can be damaged when the straw is too wet or too dry. To avoid excessive moisture on the bed, water only the sides. Stop watering when the seeds begin to sprout.
  3. When the mushrooms are in the middle of growing, watering should be resumed.


After two to three weeks, the seedlings will begin to grow. When harvesting, make sure to include the stem of the mushroom when pulling it out of the bed. Do not harvest the mushrooms that are still growing to avoid damaging the growth. The mushroom is more delicious when it is still young.

Oyster Mushroom / Kabuteng Pamaypay (Pleurotus sajor-caju)

Oyster Mushroom / Kabuteng Pamaypay is a type of mushroom grown in "fruiting bags" using primarily a mixture of 70% straw and 30% sawdust. The following are the materials and steps in preparing the fruiting bags


    For  Spawn bags containing mushroom spawn ready to fruit
    • Sawdust or Wood shavings
    • Rice Straw
    • PVC pipe (#1) cut into small circles with a thickness of 1cm
    • Rubber bands
    • Cotton
    • Polypropylene Bag or PP Bag (Heat resistant plastic) 6x12
    • Cut pieces of paper 2.5 x 2.5 inches
    • Streamer drum
    • Newspaper
    • Alcohol lamp
    • Improvised spatula
    • 70% isopropyl alcohol
    •  Denatured alcohol
    For fruiting
    • Rope
    • Hooks for hanging
    • Mist sprayer

    Preparation of Substrate and Making Fruiting Bags
    • Soak the hay in clean water.
    • Remove and rinse to remove odor.
    • Squeeze well until no water drips.
    • Weigh 7 kilos of squeezed hay and 3 kilos of sawdust.
    • Mix the hay and sawdust well.
    • Pack the mixed substrate tightly in a PP bag (6x12) and put 750 grams in each bag.
    • Put a PVC ring on the plastic and fold the PP bag out and tie it with a rubber band to create a neck for the fruiting bag.
    • Pack with cotton or cotton and cover with cut PP bag and tie with a rubber band.
    • After making the fruiting bags, they can be arranged upright in an improvised steamer or steel drum. Place paper beside the drum. Add the right amount of water.
    • Steam for 6-8 hours with continuous fire to kill the microbes.
    • After steaming, let it cool before removing from the drum and arrange in a clean place.
    • Once the sterilized fruiting bags have cooled down, they can be inoculated with Oyster Mushroom Grain Spawn. An improvised spatula, alcohol lamp, and denatured alcohol are required.
    • Separate the grain spawn using the improvised spatula. Each fruiting bag lasts for 3-4 months. Remove the plastic cover and cotton from the mouth of the PVC, inoculate with the spawn, put new cotton, cover with cut paper, and tie with a rubber band.
    • Arrange the harvested fruiting bags in a clean place, they can be hung or filed. Fruiting will start on days 27-35 after planting. Water the fruiting bags 2-3 times a day or more depending on the weather. Avoid getting the growing mushrooms wet.
    • When harvesting Oyster Mushroom, there is no need to use sharp objects. Harvest the whole bunch using your hands. Hold the mushroom stalk and slowly twist it until it is removed. Do not leave any part of the mushroom on the bag because it will rot and damage the fruiting bags. Within 7-15 days, new mushrooms will grow.
    • Each fruiting bag lasts for 3-4 months and can be harvested 3-4 times per fruiting bag. A fruiting bag weighing 750 grams can produce 200-250 grams of mushrooms.

    Procedure for fruiting:

    1. Find a humid place inside the house, such as the bathroom, kitchen, or basement. It is important that the place is not directly exposed to sunlight.
    2. Hang the spawn bags using the hooks tied to the ends of the rope.
    3. Let it hang for 1-2 days. This is called the acclimatization stage to allow the mushroom spawn to recover from stress or shock due to transportation.
    4. After that, cut the ends of the plastic bag. Use a mist sprayer to water both ends that are open. Keep it moist.
    5. After 3-5 days, the Fan Mushrooms will start to grow. Keep it moist. When the cap of the mushroom reaches its full size, harvest it.
    6. Cut off the area where the mushroom grew and keep the spawn bags moist.
    7. After five days, new mushrooms will start to grow.

    Additional Information:

    • Mushrooms grow in moist areas and the temperature should be between 25°C to 30°C.
    • 125 grams of mushrooms can be harvested from a 500-gram spawn bag.
    • Harvest all the mushrooms, big and small, at the same time since the small ones will not grow anymore.
    • To rejuvenate the remaining spawn in the bag, remove the old and weak spawn by cutting off the area where the first generation of mushrooms grew.

    Taingang Daga (Auricularia polythrica)

    Preparation of the tree trunk to be used as mushroom cultivation substrate:

    1. Coconut, lawaan, ipil-ipil, tangili or kakawate tree trunks can be used. Cut the tree trunk to 1 and a half meters in length and dry it thoroughly.
    2. Drill holes in a spiral or circular pattern around the entire trunk, with a depth of 2 inches and a width of 1/2 to 1 inch.
    3. Soak the trunk in water for 72 hours or three days.

    Method of seeding the holes:

    1. Remove the tree trunk from the water and start seeding or burying the
    2. spawn in the holes. Press the spawn down to the bottom of the hole.
    3. Cover the hole with a small piece of wood and make sure it fits or fits into
    4. the mouth of the hole.
    5. Rub paraffin wax on the hole to completely seal it.
    6. If more than one tree trunk is used, arrange them in a cross shape,
    7. alternating from the bottom of the cross.

    Proper care:

    1. Water the tree trunks three times a week, especially during the hot season. If it's rainy season, no need to water.
    2. Rotate the tree trunks every two weeks to grow mushrooms on the entire trunk.
    3. After two months, rearrange the tree trunks.
    4. Lean them at an angle of 25 degrees against the bamboo hole.
    5. The bamboo poles should be arranged like a trellis.
    6. The arrangement of the tree trunks should be staggered, similar to the fingers of the left hand placed between the fingers of the right hand.
    7. The appropriate humidity for propagating Ear Mushrooms is 75%-85%. It is not beneficial for this type of mushroom to have excessively decayed tree trunks.


    1. After three months, the ear of corn will start to appear.
    2. Harvest each ear of corn individually, including the stalk and root.
    3. Leave the ears of corn to dry in the sun for one day before storing them in plastic bags.


    The mushroom market in our country is strong, such as in supermarkets, restaurants, hotels, food exhibits, and pizza, soup, and spaghetti producers. Mushrooms can also be processed into salads, pickles, dried and made into instant seasonings or seasoning powders for cooking. They can also be made into mushroom patties for mushroom burgers, mushroom siomai, and mushroom lumpia.

    The mushroom market is also big in Belgium. However, in our country, the supply of mushrooms in the market is still lacking, and only a few are selling and supplying.

    Reminders in Growing Mushrooms:

    • Growing mushrooms does not require a large area, unlike planting vegetables. It can be done even in a small backyard or under the house.
    • It does not require a large capital investment. The only requirement is to buy spawn, such as in the case of growing Volvariella mushrooms.
    • Determine your budget for the project. Make sure the chosen project is suitable for the location.

    Additional Information:

    • While still in the mycelium stage, mushrooms do not require light but they need oxygen to grow. Light is needed once the mushrooms start to emerge and grow.

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