Tuesday, 20 May 2014


To grow small, button mushrooms... I think they're button mushrooms? The sort you can buy in supermarkets, small, closed cap, pink gills inside.
  • Buy kit in Poundland - choose from Chestnut or White.
  • Follow instructions carefully - be especially careful not to over water the compost, a plant sprayer used to lightly mist it once a day is enough. 
  • Keep it in a cupboard, somewhere coolish, not too cold, not too warm, out of draughts, not near any direct heat, and definitely not too dry. 
  • Check it obsessively several times a day as if the mushrooms will appear by magic within minutes...
  • Around a week later you'll see white stuff appear up the sides and on the surface of the compost, it may have little nodules: 
  •  Keep checking, misting with water - but don't poke the nodules! They'll be getting bigger - turning into little baby mushrooms.
  • Pick first mushroom when really too small and eat anyway, after all, there'll be more soon, right? 
  • Go and get the other sort from Poundland, just because it's fun.
It's taken just under a month from setting the kit up to the first edible mushroom, and it looks like there are more coming. This first one came up and just grew really fast, and I couldn't wait.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

'Shroom update, and other growing news.

I have little, tiny, baby, barely visible but there... Mushrooms!
I know, you can barely see them, but those little white dots are actual tiny mushrooms, and more are appearing every day. I've never managed to grow mushrooms before, I'm quite excited. I'll keep you posted as they grow, and I'm considering getting a box of the chestnut ones next time I'm in Poundland, which may be slightly mental as I'm the only person here who eats them. But it's fun.
In other gardening news, we have pumpkins growing nicely after a slow start.
We've been using toilet roll inners as bottomless pots for carrot, beetroot, and parsnip. We've done that before and had good results. The seedlings in the pic below are, from the back, Carrot (purple haze), Beetroot (Perfect 3), and Parsnip (Tender & true). They're not ready to go up to the allotment yet, but are outside now, growing well.
We're off to the allotment this afternoon, with this lot to plant out, and armed with fork and hoe for weeding, and more spuds and onions to go in. We're putting half the courgettes up there today, and a few tomatoes, to see how they do. The broad beans need to move as their roots are now trying to escape the pots at the bottom. We also need to put some netting, or something, over the plants up at the allotment so they might survive long enough to produce something we can eat! We're repurposing an old trampoline enclosure. The mesh is tight enough to keep pests out, but should let rain and sun in. We're going to give it a go anyway.
The first French bean is just emerging, and we're hoping for more over the next few days. No peppers are up yet, but I seem to remember they take ages to germinate. And, we got given some cucumber plants. I've never had any success with cucumbers, but they're fun and it's always worth trying again. The cucumbers need to stay indoors, on a windowsill, in full sun for most of the day. They're doing well at the moment, looking strong, and we'll see how they do.
I'll take the camera with me this afternoon and update with allotment pics tomorrow, probably...
Enjoy the sun!