June 24 - 30, 2018: Issue 365

DIY Mushrooms and Vege Kits: School Holidays Fun for Curious Kids

Need to cheer up a dull room in a cold Winter's day? Cyclamens are currently flowering in brilliant colours - above and below shows some examples photographed at Johnson Bros. Mitre 10 store at Mona Vale this week.
The winter School Holidays commence July 6th and many of us are already looking around for some great things to do for and with younger members of the family that will expand their horizons, and in this case, their tastebuds too. Stuffed mushrooms, mushrooms on toast, pasta with a mushroom sauce - what's not to like?!

Mushroom Kits are a great way to engage curious kids with where their food comes from. They're also great for elderly nature lovers who need an easy project, bored gardeners in the winter, or just anyone who loves mushrooms!

After your mushroom kit has fruited once, keep watering it per the directions. Most kits will have multiple flushes. Some will continue to grow mushrooms every few weeks for 2 months up to a year.

You may still get some use out of your kit after it stops producing. Just because the nutrients in the substrate have been used up doesn't mean that the mycelium isn't still alive. Throw it outside on a bale of straw, a bed on wood chips, or in the compost pile and you may have mushrooms in that spot this coming Spring!

There are some great advantages to using mushroom kits to grow your own mushrooms.

Minimal effort - There are no holes to drill in logs, nothing to pasteurise, no heavy lifting. Most mushroom kits just need a good location, water, and a little patience. 

Cost-effective - In the long run, the money you spend on a kit will probably be less than what the amount of mushrooms it produces would cost at the grocery store. Plus you won't get fresher than harvesting your own mushrooms!

Educational - Kits are a great way to teach kids about the fungal life cycle as they can watch mushrooms mature right before your eyes. How many home science projects will entertain, teach, spark your curiosity, and taste good?

Safe - Growing mushrooms from a reputable kit at home is safer than picking and identifying them in the wild. As many quality kits are certified organic, they're also safer than buying mushrooms from the grocery store. You could be saving yourself and your family exposure to pesticides and various chemicals.

They're also fun, rewarding, and produce delicious mushrooms!

Mushroom Kit FAQs
1.Where do I put my kit?
The ideal temperature is between 20oC to 25oC. A cupboard, garage, under a bed, wardrobe, under the stairs: somewhere that gets some fresh oxygen. It doesn't have to be in complete darkness.
2. My kit has not started to grow?
After you have put the casting/peat layer on top it will take 3 weeks before you see mushrooms coming through. This may even take longer if you are in a colder climate.
3. How much water should I give my kit?
The top of the kit should be damp like a wet sponge, but not dripping. Be careful not to overwater: you don’t want the mushroom compost underneath to get wet.
4. White stuff has started to grow through the top layer?
This is called mycelium, which shows your kit is healthy. You can break this up by using a fork to scratch the top of your kit, to a depth of 1cm. Then even out the surface of your kit with your hand. This usually happens when the kit is under watered, so increase your watering. (ref to FAQ 3)
5 I had my first crop them it stopped growing?
Please be patient and don't over water. We are dealing with a living organism: please be patient.
6 I have mushroom growing around the outside or over to one side. How do I get my kit to even out?
In time you will find the mushrooms will start grow in these other areas.
7. I have little flies around my kit?
These flys are attracted by the compost. Spread some olive oil with your finger around the lip of your kit: the flys will get stuck to this and die out.
8 How long will my kit last for?
Generally speaking the kit should produce for around 3 months.
9 What do I do with the compost when the kit is finished?
You can put the compost in your veggie garden or in your garden beds.
10 When should I pick my mushroom?
That is completely up to you, and what size mushrooms you like to eat. A mushroom will double in size in a 24 hour period. But just remember the bigger the mushroom, the less number you will have.
11 Is there something I can add to the compost to get more mushrooms?
No, the compost gets too mature to grow any more mushrooms.
12 When is it the best time to grow mushrooms?
Mushrooms can be grown all year round in the right environment.

Follow these 3 easy steps.
Keep kit out of direct sunlight. A wardrobe, garage of laundry is a good spot.
Step 1. Open the box. If the compost looks brown, close the kit and leave it for a week. Once the compost is frosty white continue to Step 2.
Step 2. Open the plastic and evenly spread the casing over the compost, leaving it loose and fluffy. Leave the kit open.
Step 3. Every 2-3 days mist with water. After two to three weeks mushrooms will begin to form. Twist each mushroom out, removing any remaining stump. Fill in holes with surrounding peatmoss.

Kids Growing Vegetable Kits
If your youngsters don't like mushrooms there are Kids Growing Kits available too.
These are a n easy self growing kit for kids.  Simply empty potting mix provided into wax box, sow seeds into potting mix, water and put in a sunny position.  Fertilise with liquid fertiliser after seeds have started to grow.

Also available - worm kits to make your garden beds even healthier!

With the Tax Time Tool Blitz sale running until July 1st, this is a great opportunity for all those who want to find out more about how to grow mushrooms to head into the JBH Mitre 10 Mona Vale store and pick up a kit and maybe find something to put away for dad for Father's Day or get something to make that outdoor area great on fresh sunny Winter days.

Green Life Garden Centre at Johnson Brothers Mona Vale

Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 New Store
73 Bassett Street
Mona Vale - Online Store: Jbhmv.Com.Au

Products advice is available from the trained friendly staff at Narrabeen, Mona Vale and Avalon Johnson Brothers Mitre 10. 

Click on logo to visit Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 website

Johnson Bros Mitre 10 - Avalon            (02) 9918 3315

Johnson Bros Mitre 10 - Mona Vale     (02) 9999 3340

JBH Timber & Building Supplies          (02) 9999 0333

JBH Fencing & Landscape Supplies    (02) 9970 6333

www.johnsonbros.com.au Online store: jbhmv.com.au

All information and tips in this publication are of a general nature only and neither Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 or Pittwater Online News does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information and tips in this publication. This publication is not intended to be a substitute for expert advice. Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 advises you to always consult an experienced and qualified person when undertaking jobs of this kind (including consulting a qualified tradesperson such as an electrician or plumber where relevant expert services are required). 

You should also consider any safety precautions that may be necessary when undertaking the work described in this publication (including wearing any necessary safety equipment such as safety glasses, goggles or ear protectors or hard hats). The information and tips in this publication are provided on the basis that Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 and Pittwater Online News excludes all liability for any loss or damage which is suffered or incurred (including, but not limited to, indirect and consequential loss or damage and whether or not such loss or damage could have been foreseen) for any personal injury or damage to property whatsoever resulting from the use of the information and tips in this publication. 

Pittwater Online News and Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 also advises there may be laws, regulations or by-laws with which you must comply when undertaking the work described in this publication. You should obtain all necessary permissions and permits from council and/or any other relevant statutory body or authority before carrying out any work. Major projects published in this publication always list these and/orlinks to where you may research what your own project requires to meet regulations.

Previous DIY Pages:

Decking Timbers  Caring For Your Deck Decking Finishes  Privacy Screens I Privacy Screens II  Privacy Screening Hardwoods  Autumn Paths and Lawns  Insulation Batts Plasterboard  Ventilation - Edmond's Ecofan Blackboards for Children and Home Spring Lawn Care  Shade Sails & Watering  Basic DIY Tools DIY Tools - Power Drills Recycle Your Trampoline into An Air Bed  How to Build Your Own Backyard Cricket Pitch Christmas Lights Displays around House and Garden Summer Mildew - Refresh, Renew How to Fix Things That Drip and Bump in the Night Time To Plant Winter Vegetables in  a Raised Garden Beds Layout Organsing Your Tool Shed  Make Your Own Weathervane Installing A Garden Watering System  Decking Oils  How To Make Garden Compost  How To Winter proof Your Lawn  How to create Shabby Chic effect on Timber Furniture How to Build Your Own Raised Garden Bed  Growing Your Own Winter Vegies  Winter Heating Guide Prepare Your Yard For Winter Eradicating Noxious Weeds From Your Yard How to Fix Furniture Finishes Part I  How to Repair Scratches, Dings, and Dents of Furniture Surfaces - Part II Winter Draughts Fix  Classic Wooden Tool Carrier Spring Garden Checklist Part I  Install Your Own Skylight  Retaining Walls for Saving Soil and New Spring Garden Beds  Summer Salad Garden  Native Plant Garden for A Fairy Arbour Renewing Short Flight of Exterior Stairs Deck Maintenance DIY Summer Tasks You Can Do In Time to Get to the Beach  Garden Ponds for Attracting Birdlife, Dragonflies and for the Soothing Sounds of Water  Salt Air: Maintenance and Protection Creating an Outdoor Dining Arbour, Gazebo or Patio - Part I Creating an Outdor Dining Arbour, Gazebo or Patio Part II  Autumn Garden Tasks  Autumn DIY Jobs: Waterproof Your Home Checklist  Dealing With Dampness Inside the Home  Fixing Your Fence  Repairing and Replacing Damaged Decking boards  DIY Toy Box and Snow Globes: School Holidays Fun - Winter 2015  DIY Wooden Toy Cars and Perfect Painted Flowerpots: School Holiday Fun - Winter 2015  Shoring Up an Under House Earth Bank – Installing a Basic Retaining Wall  DIY One Shelf Sideboard  Early Spring 2015 Garden Care Salad Garden For Children  Keeping Your Garden and Home Cool in Hot Weather  Classic Beach Garden and Camping Chairs 3 Portable Versions Anyone Can Make DIY Outdoor Furniture Mark I: Park Benches for Your Garden Make Your Own Scooter or Skateboard: Summer 2016 Fun  How to Install a Solid Core Door and Door Furniture Summer Garden Jobs: Pruning A Hedge  How to Make A Swing Chair - With A Frame for Garden Setting  Garden Jobs for March to Make A Beautiful and Healthy Spring  Keeping Outdoor Nooks Warm During Cooler Months  Children’s Step Stool with Storage  Stop Winter Rain Lawn Loss and Soil Erosion on Slopes  DIY Garden Shed: Part 1 of 4 - Base  DIY Garden Shed: Part 2 - Framing Walls  DIY Garden Shed: Part 2b - Gable Roof Framing  Garden Shed Part 3: Roof Installation  DIY Garden Shed: Weather- boards - Door And Window Installation And Paint Finish DIY Coffee Table With Chessboard Inlay  Spring Gardening: Feeding Your Soil And Plants - What Works For Each Plant  DIY Sandstone Flagging Parking Area - Platform  DIY Pre-Summer Checklist For A Safe Home   Summer Spruce Up: Interior Paint Tips and Three easy steps to rejuvenate your timber deck The Perfect BBQ Garden Setting DIY Water Wise Garden   DIY Side Gates  DIY Storm Preparation And Home Protection  One To Two Day DIY Weekend Spruce Ups  Vegepods For Autumn Planting + Easy To Make Lego Table Or Student Desk That Can Be Dismantled + Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 Online Store   Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 Great New Mona Vale Store: Still In Bassett Street - number 73  Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 New Mona Vale Store: The Greenlife Garden Centre  Go Outside And Play: Creating Garden Spaces To Connect Children With Nature DIY Plasterboard Repair DIY Dolls House Or Garage Or Boatshed  DIY Child's Waggon - or use as a large planter mover DIY Bathroom Refresh: Zing For Spring  Tips for Growing a Native Garden FireCrunch, Australian Developed Fire-proof, Sustainable, Durable and Reliable Building Board Now Available at Johnson Bros. at Mona Vale and Narrabeen School Holidays DIY Ideas for Children: Little Vegetables Garden, Swing, Windchimes Bushfire Season Preparation 2017: Home and Outdoor Areas  Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 Trade Centre at Mona Vale + Issue No 1 of Mitre 10’s inSITE Magazine for Tradies and Handymen  Preparing Al Fresco Areas for Christmas Get-Togethers and Summer Visitors  Summer De-bug; 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