Top of The Crops - Mushroom

Growing Mushrooms in a Polytunnel

A polytunnel may be customised to make the perfect environment for mushroom growing. If you wish to create a large scale or commercial mushroom growing venture then creating a dark polytunnel rather than purchasing an expensive garden building or shed could be the answer. Most polytunnels, however, will be too sunny, bright and dry for mushrooms to thrive with conventional covers, so a special cover that restricts light should be used. Mushrooms are best grown in a sheltered location – ideally a darker, damper corner of the garden, perhaps beneath a tree. Mushrooms can also be grown indoors in a dark spot, or in a garage or shed.

Inoculation Requirements

There are a number of different methods from growing mushrooms in the UK. The simplest is perhaps to create a mushroom patch, or mulch bed, into which you add mushroom spores or, for ease for beginners, dowels that have been inoculated with mushroom mycellium. Stropharia is one type of mushroom that can be grown in this way. Once you have inoculated the mulch, wood chip, bark, cardboard or straw of your mushroom patch, you should get fruits for a few years before you need to add new material and re-inoculate.

Another way to grow mushrooms is on a book or in a bag of mulch materials which can be kept in any damp and dark place. Putting a plastic covered book that has been soaked and spawned into the fridge will encourage it to fruit. Oyster mushrooms are one type that can be grown using this sort of method.

Another option is to inoculate logs with mushroom mycellium. You can either buy a hardwood log that has already been inoculated or you can do it yourself by drilling holes and inserting dowels that are covered with mushroom mycellium. It is important that fresh logs are used so that no other fungi has been able to colonise the log already. It is best not to use logs cut in spring in which the sap is rising. Once the mycellium has colonised the logs and they are mature, the logs can be plunged into freezing cold water up to four times a year for a couple of days, which will encourage fruiting. Oyster and shiitake mushrooms are examples of types that are grown in this way.

Harvesting Mushrooms

One of the good things about growing your own mushrooms in controlled conditions is that you can be sure that you will not eat the wrong sort of mushroom. Whether in your own garden or out foraging, it is important not to eat any mushrooms that you re not 100% sure that you have identified correctly. Inexperienced foragers should never eat mushrooms without checking with someone with more field experience.

< Back

Swipe to scroll through tabs

About First Tunnels

We’re a close-knit bunch of skilled professionals who take an enormous pride in the quality and versatility of our products, But we’re enthusiasts too - we use our own products, and that means we’ve introduced lots of improvements and innovations over the years…based on first-hand everyday practical experience. We work hand-in hand with top growing experts. We even have our own allotment for some seriously hands-on gardening, often accompanied by communal summer and winter barbecues because all work and no play would be very dull!

Polytunnel Community

Reviewed by you, Followed by you, Liked by you and listened to by us. We have a strong online polytunnel community, 35k Facebook Fans, 10k Twitter Followers and over 3m YouTube Views. Our community of dedicated, passionate Polytunnel gardening friends, love to share their sowing tips, growing hints and harvesting secrets with each other. But more importantly for you, as a customer or a potential customer, you can post your comments in all their glory or gory details. Come and join the Polytunnel family.

Construction Help & Advice

Our six man construction team has a wealth of polytunnel construction knowledge and are more than happy to share tips and advice with any of our customers. Many of the team have been quite literally 'hands on' developing the First Tunnels vast array of construction videos and in depth instruction guides. Our construction team are available to answer your questions and help in whatever way they can. Simply call 01282 601253 on week days between 9am-5pm...PLUS weekend cover on 07801 601253, between 9am-5pm.

Frequently Asked Questions

We are proud of our products and the time that we have put in to making sure that all our products are first class. We understand that purchasing a polytunnel is a considerable investment, and whilst we have lots of help and advice on this site, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and blog pages many people like to compare and contrast before they commit their hard earned cash to buying. To this end we have compiled a list of the most common questions and provide 10 top reasons why First Tunnels Polytunnels is the top choice.

Getting Growing

Part of the fun of owning a polytunnel is picking the brains of people who really know how to make the most of the real growing potential. So we're making it easy for you...with some of the best brains in the business! This site now includes features, produced exclusively for First Tunnels by Andy McKee and Mark Gatter - best-selling authors of 'How to grow food in your Polytunnel' and 'The Polytunnel Handbook'. We also have videos from BBC’s Gardeners’ Question Time presenter, Paul Peacock. We also have a host of growing guides from Sam Youd, presenter & judge for the Royal Horticultural Society & Tatton Park Head Gardener.

Other Useful Stuff

What better way to learn about company dependability, product quality and customer service than to hear it straight from other consumers? By giving customers the opportunity to share their First Tunnels shopping experience, we believe this is the best reflection of our companies’ product and service. To help reinforce credibility, popularity and reputation, we have subscribed to not one, not two...but THREE independent review companies. We value all feedback, good, bad or ugly and hope to build a long lasting relationship with our customer, through our high quality products and friendly service, to ensure they do not hesitate to order again and again with First Tunnels in the future.