If you are growing inside... Yes, these mushrooms grow any time of year and everywhere in NZ. In nature, mushrooms grow in spring and autumn conditions, due to rain but still warm weather, driving up humidity. Inside our home, we generally simulate spring-like temperatures, so the mushrooms respond, as long as humidity is managed.
However, there are a few things to know.
- The Greys and Shiitake tolerate temp's being a little chilly. Ideally 16-24 degrees, but will tolerate the low teens.
- The Pinks' are more shorts and t-shirt temps, so a little fussier during the depths of winter. 18-26 degrees.
- All will respond well to a sharp change in temp ( a cold shock). This can sometimes be used to initiate pinning. This tip is covered in 'things not going as expected.
- Places like central Otago and many locations on the East Coast may have naturally dry air, so special attention may be required to manage humidity. This is covered in the tip in Humidity and Misting for mushrooms.
Mushroom growing tips by season
Sping and Autumn: Generally this is the best time of year. In some cases, for people living in an ideal location, not much care is required at all. Often, frequent rain plus warmer steps provide good humidity, plus overnight lows provide adequate temperature variation (in a not so well insulated house at least).
Summer: Is generally good, especially after rain. However during periods of "good weather," they may go dormant as they are waiting for a temperature fluctuation. This may be more of a problem in well-insulated homes. Also, air conditioning is designed to remove humidity. This will dry mushrooms out and "stall" them. Also be mindful of drafts from open windows as the air may be dry.
Winter: Most of NZ has relatively mild winters (more similar to spring and autumn in northern latitudes of Europe, North America and Asia. So, mushrooms can grow very well. However, heat pumps and other forms of heating will dry the air. So, 'stalling' is more common. Dormancy can also happen, especially if the house is well insulated and you are able to maintain a fairly constant temperature.