Wine cap mushrooms are one of the easiest types of mushrooms to produce in a greenhouse. The spawn can be developed on a base of wood shavings and soil, which makes them much simpler for the newbie growers. It does not really require a bunch of fancy stuff to get started. What you need is a lot of patience, eagerness and a genuine desire.
More details about wine cap mushrooms
The wine cap mushroom, also known as the garden giant, burgundy mushroom, or the mighty Godzilla Mushroom is an agaric mushroom that is native to North America and Europe (agaric mushroom: fungus with a fruiting body that has a cap differentiated from the stalk with gills on its underside). Although it is now present in Australia and New Zealand as well. It can attain a height of 8in (20cm) with wide spore-printed caps having diameters measuring up to 10in (25cm). The name originates from the red wine color of its cap when it reaches its preferred size for consuming. They can grow as huge as portobello mushrooms and they have similarities in taste and texture to white button mushrooms.
Health benefits of wine cap mushrooms
Wine caps can also promote healthy skin, prevent chilblains or pernio, hangnails, and blisters. Like other mushroom varieties, they are loaded with vitamin D, protein, and fiber. They include 17 amino acids, including the eight fundamental amino acids that people require for survival. They are said to be helpful for your healthy heart strength and metabolism.
How to grow wine cap mushrooms in a greenhouse
Like we said above, these mushrooms are easy to grow in a greenhouse. Here are some details on planting, watering, potential pests, etc.
How to plant them
- Start by making a layer of hardwood mulch measuring between one to two inches thick
- Add a layer of fresh wood chips or straw, but not hay as it is usually rich and composts immediately, then sprinkle mushroom spores on this layer
- Add other layers of hardwood chips, straw and sprinkle some more spores over this layers as well
- Alternatively, you can use a mixture of fresh wood chips and compost in the ratio of 1:1
- Make a layer using this mixture then apply mushroom spores over the layer before adding a 2-inch layer of compost
- Ensure you spread the mushroom spores as evenly as possible
- Use about 12 ounces of mushroom spores for every six square feet of planting surface
- Water the layers generously ensuring that the layers are always moist
- Wine cap mushrooms grow well in temperatures ranging between 50°F to 55°F, so set the temperatures inside your greenhouse accordingly
Tips & tricks
Wine cap mushrooms grown in a greenhouse will be ready to harvest about four weeks after spawning. You should allow them to open their caps and spread spores because this will give rise to fresh mushrooms without the need to buy more spores.
They are wine-colored, turning yellowish brown when they start to mature. If you want superior flavor, however, harvest them just before they start turning yellowish brown.
Your greenhouse must be well-ventilated to stop the buildup of carbon dioxide.
Typical or potential pests
Whatever the type of mushrooms you plant, assume that there is always a culprit. Stay on the lookout for problematic snails and slugs. Leave cabbage or lettuce leaves to tempt the pests off.
Scuttle flies and dark-winged gnats may be a difficulty. These two pests lay eggs in the compost and their maggots can damage the mushrooms. Do not use fungicide near mushroom patches.
Essentials for growing wine cap mushrooms in a greenhouse
Wine cap mushrooms require relatively less water compared to other mushroom species or varieties. You should apply between 4.5 to 6.5 inches of water every two days.
Water abundantly by keeping it regularly moistened after the first total sprinkle but do not overfill. Unnecessary watering can drown the mycelium. You may use drip irrigation systems below the rows on new beds to allow a moderate drip. Let them trickle before sundown for about an hour.
Wine cap mushrooms prefer a combination of hardwood mulch and straw. They enhance the vitality of your soil and not even choosy when it comes to their substrate. A substrate is the covering from which plants lives, develops, or receives its nutrition. However, they also thrive on composts substrates.
While mushrooms generally require little light because they lack chlorophyll, wine cap mushrooms tolerate and actually do better in well-lit environments. However, ensure that your greenhouse is dark during spawning. A dark, damp environment is ideal for producing mushrooms.
Harvest wine cap mushrooms about four weeks after spawning or when they start turning yellowish brown by picking them from the growing substrate.
After several weeks, a white layer of fungus will rise on top of your compost. This is the mycelium. It is the foundation and the colony of maturing mushrooms. Finally, mushroom stalks will emerge and open up caps. It is best to pick them when they are young roughly the size of a half-dollar coin. You can chop them loose, snap or twist them off. When there are no more mushrooms to pick, add an extra light layer of fresh wood shavings.