Lion’s Mane is one of the most popular types of mushrooms. They’re mostly grown for their edibility. Apart from its edible feature, the lion’s mane mushroom also have some medicinal value.
In this article, we will extensively discuss the various lions mane mushroom growth stages and how to care for the plant to ensure a successful harvest.
Let’s get started!
What is Lions Mane Mushroom?
Lion’s Mane Mushroom, also known as Hericium Erinaceus, is a variety of mushrooms whose habitat is on hard decaying wood such as oak. It was first discovered in east Asia.
Lion’s mane is grown for so many purposes, one of them being for food because of its flavors and high protein nature. In some places, it is grown for medicinal purposes. We will now look into how easy or hard it is to grow the lion’s mane mushroom.
See Also: Cabbage Growth Stages
Lions Mane Mushroom Growth Stages
Stage 1: Mycelium colonization stage
This is the first growth stage of lion’s mane mushroom. In this stage, it is when the mycelium, which is the part of your mushroom seed that develops to the mushroom plant starts to colonize its habitat.
By colonization, we mean that this stage is the stage that the mycelium of your lion’s mane mushroom starts to spread all over the substrate you planted it on.
Stage 2: Development stage
This is the second and final stage of lion’s mane mushroom. In this stage, you will notice a phenomenal increase in size, this increase in size comes as a result of the intake of nutrients by your lion’s mane mushroom.
After about 3 to 5 days, you will start noticing something like a leaf forming on the body of your lion’s mane mushroom.
When you see this, it signifies that your lion’s mane mushroom is in its final stage of growth which is the development stage. At the end of 7 days, the lion’s mane mushroom is ready to be harvested.
Is Lions Mane Mushroom Easy To Grow?
Lion’s Mane is easy to grow for those with prior knowledge of mushroom growth. If you don’t have prior knowledge of this, you will likely find it challenging to grow the lion’s mane mushroom.
If you’re a beginner with no knowledge of what or how to grow the lion’s mane mushroom, we suggest you start by growing other mushroom varieties such as the oyster mushroom, to gain the knowledge that will help you grow the lion’s mane mushroom.
How Long Does It Take To Grow Lions Mane Mushroom?
The time it takes to grow the lion’s mane mushroom depends on where you planted it. If you plan on a log, it will take a very long time for it to grow, but the benefit is that when it grows, you can keep harvesting from the same log for a long period.
Aside from this, you can equally inoculate your lion’s mane mushroom. This method grows extremely fast that in 14 days, your lion’s mane mushroom is ready to be harvested.
The inoculation method of growing the lion’s mane mushroom requires you to sow it in a bag. The mycelium, which is the first part of the mushroom, spreads all over the substrate.
Immediately after the mycelium finishes its colonization process. The next thing is that it starts forming branches, and within a short time, your lion’s mane mushroom is ready to be harvested.
How To Grow Lions Mane Mushroom
There are 5 to 6 steps to grow lions mane mushrooms, which we will discuss below:
1. Get the necessary materials
This is where you gather all the needed supplies and different equipment that is essential for the growth of the mushroom.
Some of the pieces of equipment and materials are;
- Lion’s Mane spawn
- Hardwood pellets
- Oat and wheat bran
- Buckets or growing bags
- Measuring cups
- A scale
- A bowl
- And a pressure cooker
One of the problems most people encounter when it comes to growing lions mane mushrooms is where to buy wood chips that are essential for the growth of lion’s mane mushroom. You can easily get these from landscaping companies for free, hire them or purchase them at a low cost.
But if none of these methods is convenient for you, an easy and alternative approach is to use wood pellets instead of wood chips.
In growing lion’s mane mushroom, make sure you get the hardwood pellets as lion’s mane mushroom does not grow effectively on softwoods
2. Prepare the substrate
After you’ve got everything you need ready, the next thing is to prepare the substrate. The substrate acts as a growing place for your mushroom since they’re saprophytic.
The purpose of a substrate is to provide a well-hydrated and nutrient-sufficient source for the growth of the mycelium, which will develop into a lion’s mane mushroom
To prepare a substrate you need
- A substantial amount of hardwood pellets
- One and a quarter cups of bran
- Six cups of water
To prepare the substrate, all you need to do is to combine the pellet and water in the bucket and leave it in the water for at least 39 minutes. This is to enable the pellets to break and become sawdust.
If you want to speed up this particular process, you can use hot water, as it helps break the pellets faster. However, for this substrate to be beneficial to your lion’s mane mushroom, you should ensure it has the right amount of water content.
You can test the amount of water in your substrate by squeezing the substrate with your hands, if lots of water comes out, then it is too wet, but if no water comes out and the substrate doesn’t stick to your hands, it means it is too dry.
The best thing is for it to stick to your hands without producing any drop of water
Furthermore, place the mixtures into a bag and remove as much air as possible because the mycelium is anaerobic.
After this, keep the substrate in a cool environment for at least 7 hours before you can then move on to the next step.
3. Add the spawn the the substrate
This is known as the inoculation stage, this is the process of adding the lion’s mane mushroom spawn to the prepared substrate.
Clean all surfaces and the environment. We advise you to wear hand gloves before starting. Then add the lion’s mane spawn to the substrate and mix them effectively.
4. Incubate the substrate
The next thing to do is to incubate the substrate, and you do this by placing the substrate in a dark and warm area and leaving it for some time.
Within a short time of fewer than 14 days, your lion’s mane will grow and spread out completely. When you observe this, it shows that your lion’s mane has attained maturity
5. Place the substrate in a fruiting condition
After you’re through with the colonization process, the next thing to do is to place the substrate in a fruiting condition to enable it to blossom.
The fruiting condition may involve cutting small holes to enable air to pass through and enter the bag. When the mushroom starts growing, it needs sufficient air for effective growth and development.
After about 2 to 5 days of doing this, you will start seeing (primordia) that is forming on your substrate, this is the beginning of the blooming stage of your mushrooms, and in 7 to 14 days, your lion’s mane mushroom is ready for harvest.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is lion’s mane mushroom beneficial?
The answer is yes, the lion’s mane mushroom is very beneficial to individuals. It can help to reduce pain and also serves as food for people around the world because of its high proteinaceous nature.
How Long Does It Take For Lion’s Mane Mushrooms to reach maturity?
On average, it takes about 7 to 14 days from the day you planted it for it to reach maturity. This is dependent on where you planted the lion’s mane mushroom. If you planted it on a log, it would take a longer time, if you inoculate it, it will grow faster.
Does Lion’s Mane Mushroom have side effects?
Lion’s mane mushroom does not have side effects. Its protein is natural, which is one of the building block elements in the human body.