There’s More than One Way to Grow Mushrooms

September 10, 2009

“I am from Botswana and have developed interest in mushroom cultivation. So I would like you to help with where I can find the kit in South Africa and at what cost. I would be very happy if you can help me.”

That was the inquiry that I recently received from Samson in South Africa and it got me to thinking about growing mushrooms and the many ways that the task can be accomplished. I’ve posted a video about mushroom log inoculation, and wrote several articles on the subject including; Outdoor Mushroom Growing and Growing Mushrooms Indoors.

Cultivating Mushrooms on Straw in South Africa

But the following account that I received last month from Linus in Namibia demonstrates that the best way to go about growing mushrooms can vary greatly depending on your climate and the local resources…

Hi Kenny! Thank you very much for sharing the little knowledge I have with you. To answer on the comment raised about time of growing mushrooms…


Mushrooms can be grown throughout the year provided it is well maintained outdoors. Here one can use a black plastic sheet that can accumulate more heat and humidity during winter as on the picture attached. Hence, here in Namibia we are experiencing winter this time though it is coming to an end.

Growing mushrooms on logs sometimes doesn’t give a good flavour but it depends on the type of wood one is using. Here the customers don’t like that. I prefer to use rice straws, wheat straws, or wild grass that can be soaked in water to overnight or at least two to three days to ferment.


Then it has to be placed in a trench of one meter (width) by two meter (length). This should be a very thin layer at the first layer followed by the inoculated substrates and then another thin layer of fermented straws that will cover the spaces between.

Different varieties adapt to different temperatures otherwise, someone has to control the temperature. Hope you will get these tips useful and enjoy your mushrooms behind your house. Linus – Namibia


It’s Always Great to Have Options when Growing in the Garden

Mushroom kits and hardwood logs work well in my home and backyard garden, but they may not be the most ideal, economical, or resourceful method to use everywhere.

I purchase mushroom cultivation supplies from Fungi Perfecti, and I believe they sell and ship to other countries, but there may be other alternatives for you to explore just as the one shown here today.

It’s also great to learn different methods of doing things in case the need arises and in order to gain a better understanding of how the process works. I’m also always fascinated to see how others garden and grow things in other climates and foreign countries!

Many thanks to Linus for sharing his knowledge and expertise related to growing edible mushrooms with all of us here at the Veggie Gardening Tips website.

Other Related Vegetable Gardening Posts:

  • Just getting our first shiitake from 16 oak logs we inoculated last fall — we are thrilled!!!

  • Barbee

    Thank you, Linus, for sharing your expertese with us. I really appreciated that part about the “black plastic” to retain heat. That may also work to provide the much needed shade I lack in the Winter. (Due to leaf drop)

    Also, that was very interesting what you said about the growing media affecting flavor. I never even considered the possibility and your solution to adjust your media (to meet the demands of your customers) is genius.

    P.S.: Your ‘shrooms look wonderful and I’m sure you will prosper greatly in your business.

  • Oh wow! What a great post…and thanks for the link. I had been considering growing shitake mushroom but didn’t know where to begin. Those oyster mushrooms (or at least they look like oyster mushrooms, look amazing.

  • mushroom cultivation using the straw method is very resourceful. Infact India this method is practised very widely. mushroom cultivation has provided livelihood for many here indeed.

  • Elaine Fike

    Good Mornign Samson, there is a company in South Africa that supplies spores and educational material on mushrooms. Her webpage is and her name is Phyllis. I think that her cell number is 0829391616 ( use +27 in front of the number and leave out the 0 ).

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