Portobello mushrooms have been popular on menus in the restaurants throughout North America. The reason is that they are not only firm, succulent but also nutritious. In particular, they are beneficial for those who want to lose weight.
Having a large size and thick caps, portobello mushrooms are often minced well and spiced with marinade to replace ground beef in burgers for vegetarians. Besides, they are really delicious when grilled.
Only their unforgettable taste urged me to learn to how to grow portobello mushrooms. It was a very interesting gardening because planting these mushrooms was not complicated as I had thought. You can grow them both indoors and outdoors without taking care of them regularly.
An Overview of Portobello Mushrooms
1. What is a portobello mushroom?
A portobello mushroom also referred as portobella, is one of largest ones with its up-to-6 inch length. It has a smooth rounded, pale brown cap with a brown web-like gill on the bottom of the cap.
When being immature, it is called cremini, known as baby bella or baby portobello. The cremini mushroom has a browner color and firmer texture than the white button mushroom. Besides, due to the growing process resulting in moisture loss, the cremini mushroom is more watery than portobello one.
2. What are benefits of portobello mushrooms?
In addition to having a meaty texture and an appealing flavor, portobella mushrooms contain a variety of low-calorie nutrients, so they are a great alternative to meat in a lot of recipes. What is more, portobello mushrooms have several other benefits for your health below:
Thanks to phytochemicals, portobello mushrooms have anti-cancer properties. In other words, they are very useful in preventing cancerous growths and multiplying healthy cells, metabolizing lipids and improving the immune system.
According to many studies, portobello mushrooms contain L-ergothioneine (ERGO), which helps treat red blood cell disorders. Moreover, a unique antioxidant in these mushrooms also contributes to fighting against harmful effects on mitochondrial DNA and preventing from degenerative nerve diseases.
Portobello mushrooms are rich in vitamin B2 and B3, which help you relieve stress and boost your energy. Furthermore, combining with copper and selenium in the portobellos, it is beneficial to protecting against diseases related to eyes and blood shortage.
How to grow portobello mushrooms indoors
For those who consider gardening as a hobby, they favor indoor mushroom growing. Unlike other green plants, mushrooms do not contain chlorophyll. For this reason, they do not use the energy from the sun to produces food for themselves. For growing mushroom inside, the temperature plays an important role. You have to keep them between 18-21 degrees centigrade.
What you’ll need:
- Portobello spores
- A tray (preferably 8 inches in depth, 4 feet x 4 feet in length)
- Seasoned manure based Compost
- Peat moss
How to do:
- Take the tray to fill it up with six inches of compost.
- Sprinkle portobello spores over the compost in the tray and mix them together before pushing them down lightly.
- Leave the tray in a dark place until you see the white traces in tiny size start to appear.
- Add a layer of peat moss to the tray and use newspaper to cover it.
- Spray an adequate amount of water twice a day.
- After two weeks, get the newspaper out of the tray and check whether tiny white heads emerge. If they do not, continue covering the newspaper up and misting it for one week more.
- When the newspaper has been taken off, mist the bed of the tray once a day.
- Pick portobello mushrooms immediately once they grow bigger and get the size as your desire.
How to grow portobello mushrooms outdoors
It can be said that growing portobello mushrooms outdoors is more difficult than growing them indoors. You have to pay attention to temperature levels very often to make sure that daytime temperature is not higher than 21 degrees centigrade and not less than 10 degrees centigrade.
What you’ll need:
- Portobello spores
- Seasoned manure based compost
- Peat moss
How to do:
- Create a raised bed, made from wood, which measures 8 inches in depth and 4 feet x 4 feet in dimension.
- Fill the raised bed up with the five or six inches of seasoned manure based compost.
- Use a piece of cardboard and a black-colored plastic to cover it so that the bed can absorb the sun’s rays, which help it kill the bacteria. You should allow it to sit for two weeks.
- After two weeks, take off the plastic and the cardboard and then sprinkle portobello spores over the compost about one inch. Mix them together and tap down slightly. You continue to leave it for another two weeks.
- When this period has passed, you will see white things (mycelium) emerge from the surface of the compost. It means that your portobello spores are developing normally.
- At this stage, put a layer of damp peat moss over the compost and cover it with newspaper.
- For next 10 days, continue to spray enough water twice a day and remove newspaper after that.
- Finally, harvest portobello mushrooms when they get the size you like.
As you can see, two ways on how to grow portobello mushrooms introduced above are very simple and easy to apply at home. If you are a fan of traditional gardening, growing portobellos outside is an appropriate choice for you. Otherwise, as a beginner, you should start with growing the mushrooms inside because you can easily monitor temperature levels – one of the essential steps in this work.
Like other types of mushrooms, portobellos adapt for growing in the dark, moist environments. Therefore, the wintertime when weather conditions meet these requirements is ideal for growing mushrooms.
Following the given procedure correctly, you will always have fresh portobello mushrooms available with a diversity of recipes for your daily meals.