Mkulima today, we answer a question from a farmer interested in mushroom farming. Here is the question  I am Stephen from Muranga County and I wish to venture into mushroom farming. With this request today we focus on mushroom farming guide and production for novice farmers.

In mushrooms, we plant spawns or seedlings and you can buy these from the Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organization, KALRO, or from any other reputable sources.

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mushroom farming guide

The biggest challenge in mushroom production is getting quality spawn or seedlings.

You will also need a good room where you will plant the mushroom seedlings because they are not growing in the open field.

The other must-have required items include

  • wheat
  • beans
  • millet or
  • rice straws

For the preparation of compost (substrate) on which the mushrooms are grown on.

Substrate preparation

The planting substrate is made by mixing

  • the straw with
  • molasses
  • cottonseed cake
  • urea

Ensure you first soak the straw in the water and then add the other items to the mixture. Afterward, ensure you sterilize the substrate in order to avoid pests and diseases. This will help you boost your production and earnings.

After compost preparation planting the spawns follow. This you can do by mixing the compost with the seedlings in sacks, which are then taken to the growing room or building.

The temperature around the bag should be maintained at 32 degrees. After a period of about 10-14 days, the spawns start to emerge.

When they are visible as small white grains, add some soil preferably from a forest in the sack where the plants are growing.

At this stage, humidity should be introduced by the use of a humidifier or a knapsack sprayer where possible.

Make sure you use clean water and spray the air and the floors of the growing room.

Humidity is the key to the success and growth of mushrooms.

Depending on the days the spawn takes to emerge. Mushrooms are ready for harvesting between 10-14 days and continue for a period of 1 to 1.5 months.

Make sure that you observe high standards of hygiene. For more tips, talk to one of the leading mushroom farmers Mr. Leonard Mukira, from Kiambu County.

Credit Carol Mutua, Egerton University / NMG

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