As part of the homegrown and organic trends, growing your own mushrooms has become a niche industry. Is it really safe to add these to your garden or greenhouse, however, or should you leave it to the professionals?

When it comes to home-grown veggies, mushrooms are quite a finicky choice. They need very specific levels of damp and heat to thrive, and it’s not always easy to provide this at home. Not to mention that the circumstances they favour – warm, damp environments in rich soils – are also those favoured by bacteria and bugs. Achieving the balance of safe, clean yet favourable circumstances can be difficult at home.

Add to this their spore-producing habits

It’s not uncommon for growers to develop allergies to these over repeated exposure, so it’s not ideal to grow your mushrooms inside the house or areas you spend a lot of time in. Professional growers tend to use masks, and so should you.

There can also be a stigma associated with home-grown mushrooms, as many people use this as a front for growing psychedelic varieties, so be prepared for a few odd looks if you give it a try.

Lastly, it’s critical that any home-grower knows the source of their mushrooms and trusts them. Some mushroom varieties can be poisonous!

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While some home growers enjoy the challenge of raising their own culinary mushrooms, they’re certainly not for the first-time grower. For now, you may be better off snagging a packet at the grocery store instead.