- The Best 11 Mushroom Growing Kits by Type
- Oyster Mushroom Kits
- Growing Steps
- Mr Fothergill’s Oyster Mushroom Kit FAQ’s
- What’s in the mushroom block (substrate)?
- What is the white stuff?
- Do I have to plant the mushroom block (substrate) into soil?
- Is there any odour from the kit?
- How do we get the kit to form mushrooms?
- What do I do after I have tipped the water out?
- Is there anything else needed to make the mushrooms grow?
- What can I do whilst I wait for the mushrooms to appear?
- Do I keep misting once the mushrooms form?
- How long should we have to wait for mushrooms to grow?
- What is the fine powdery substance I can see forming around the kit?
- Is it possible to get more than one crop out of the kit?
- What do I do when I finish with the substrate?
- Growing Mushrooms at Home
- Edible Mushroom Grow Kits for Indoor Mushroom Growing
- You can fruit your own shiitake, blue oyster, and lion’s mane mushrooms at home with our edible mushroom grow kits
- We have three options of edible mushroom grow kits for you — shiitake, chestnut, blue oyster, and lion’s mane
- Lion’s mane edible mushroom grow kits are a tasty treat to grow
- Interested in one of our new edible mushroom grow kits? Chestnut is the new kid on the block!
- Blue oyster is the pearl of our edible mushroom grow kits
- Our mushroom grow kits are perfect gifts
- How to Grow Mushrooms at Home
- How Do Mushrooms Grow?
- Where to Grow Mushrooms
- Types of Mushrooms to Grow
- Process of Growing Mushrooms
- Growing Psilocybin Mushrooms
- Facts about Portobello mushrooms
- Here is how you can easily grow mushrooms in a greenhouse
- Top 12 FAQs About Growing Gourmet Mushrooms For Profit
The Best 11 Mushroom Growing Kits by Type
Enoki mushrooms (Flammulina velutipes), with their tiny caps and long, skinny stems, are excellent in soups and salads – and they’re easy to grow at home.
Mushroom Mojo Pro-Gro Enoki Kit
Pro-Gro kits from Mushroom Mojo are available via True Leaf Market. They include a sterilized sawdust block for growing that has already been inoculated with a strong commercial strain of enoki, a mister for watering, a humidity tent to help maintain the moisture of your crop, and detailed instructions.
Suited to drier climates, each kit will produce about 2 pounds of enokis ready for harvest about once a month over the course of a season.
2. Lion’s Mane
Another wonderful variety with a playful, unique appearance that has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine, it is now favored as a delicious seafood-flavored addition to meals (some say its taste is reminiscent of lobster or crab).
Lion’s mane (Hericium erinaceus) is an exciting type of edible fungus that you can grow at home, with clusters that can reach baseball size.
Also known as satyr’s beard, bearded tooth, hedgehog, or pom-pom mushrooms, this is not your standard button type. Not only does its flowing, icicle-like appearance attract the eye, it is also a very easy variety to propagate and maintain, and it’s rich in protein to boot.
Gallboys, a well known fungal spore retailer, offers an easy to use growing kit that comes complete with a wood chip growing medium, a bag of inoculated mycelium, a humidity tent to lock in moisture, and a comprehensive instruction booklet.
All you need to do is keep the growing medium moist. Within 2 weeks’ time, you will see gorgeous results, and your lion’s mane will be ready to harvest in 30-45 days.
Gallboys Lion’s Mane Mushroom Kit
Lion’s mane is known to reseed itself easily and often, dropping spores from its long tendrils regularly. If kept moist as directed, this kit may fruit three or more times without a problem.
After that, you may try swapping the growing medium for something else, like a log or more wood chips. If you do that, chances are you will be able to keep your lion’s mane growing indefinitely!
Kits are available from Gallboys via Amazon. These include growing substrate with hardy spores, a humidity tent, and instructions.
Mushroom Mojo Pro-Gro Lion’s Mane Kit
Another option is to purchase a Mojo Pro kit from Mushroom Mojo direct via True Leaf Market. They claim its sweet flavor is a great alternative for the fungi haters out there, and kids will love their shaggy appearance.
This kit includes a sterilized sawdust block that serves as the growing medium and that has already been colonized with lion’s mane spores, a humidity tent, a mister for watering, and growing instructions. It will produce about 1.5 pounds of bearded tooth for monthly harvests.
Not only are they beautiful to behold, with their pine cone shaped appearance that is reminiscent of a fairy house or some other magical place, morels make a delicious addition to so many recipes.
When picked at a young age, they are tender and can be cooked whole, stem and all. As they get larger and older, only the caps should be used, as the stems do get a bit woody over time.
Their flavor is hard to describe, but it does have a nutty and earthy taste and a meaty texture, which may easily replace animal protein in meals. And don’t forget that dehydrating is a great option for mushrooms if you procure a large harvest!
GMHP Gourmet Mushroom Products offers a wonderful kit that comes with everything you need to grow this delicious and abundant variety, and it’s available via Amazon.
The Morel Habitat Kit is meant for outdoor use, and it is designed to be grown directly in your soil – all you need is about four to five square feet of ground. If it’s located in an area that you can keep moist as directed, a small raised bed would be perfect for this.
This kit is wonderful because, unlike most of the others, it is meant to be grown as a perennial crop, and will continue to produce year after year if the appropriate conditions are provided. It includes a bag of hearty inoculated mushroom spawn, and a complete set of growing instructions.
GMHP Morel Habitat Kit
All you have to do is follow the directions, planting the spores in the soil as directed, and wait. Keep in mind that patience is key here – morels generally take about a year to establish themselves and colonize the soil.
After the first year, you can expect to yield pounds and pounds of delicious morels. And they will return year after year, as these will reseed themselves annually.
Because spores are planted directly into the soil, as long as you have the space available and the appropriate growing conditions are provided, your morel patch will quickly become a beautiful and productive part of the garden that you can enjoy for years to come.
4. Black Oyster
By far the most popular type available to grow from a convenient kit, oyster mushrooms are popular in Asian cuisine, and a huge variety of colors are available, with some associated variation in flavor and texture as well.
High Yielding Black Oyster Mushroom Kit
Black oysters have a bold flavor, especially in comparison to the white variety, and the flavor and color can be intensified even more if they’re exposed to a little sun as they grow.
High yielding kits that will produce multiple harvests are available from Direct Gardening. And if you’re less than successful, you can reach out to the company for a replacement kit any time within one year of purchase.
5. Gray Oyster
The gray oyster (Pleurotus oystreatus) is another popular variety, and kits to grow these at home are available from True Leaf Market. Each Pro-Gro kit from Mushroom Mojo includes a pre-inoculated sawdust growing substrate, mister bottle, humidity tent, and growing instructions.
Mushroom Mojo Pro-Gro Gray Oyster Kit
Fresh air and high humidity are required to grow this type successfully, and attempted growth in dry climates is not recommended.
6. Pearl Oyster
This beautiful and lush mushroom type has a velvety texture, and mild flavor.
If pearl oysters are more your thing, you’re in luck! Back to the Roots offers an organic kit that grows right out of its cardboard packaging. Simply open up the box, spray with water, and watch as your edible fungus grows and is ready to harvest in just ten days!
Back to the Roots Organic Mushroom Growing Kit
The package includes soil as a growing medium, pearl oyster fungal spawn that’s ready to be mixed into the soil, and a mister for simple watering. It even includes a package of organic tomato seeds to plant in your kit once it is finished growing and you are ready to compost it.
A crop of 1-2 servings from each of two harvests will provide you with delectable oyster mushrooms to enjoy. First and second crops are guaranteed, and many home growers have had success getting third, fourth, or even fifth harvests with this kit.
Back to the Roots Mushroom Mini Farm
The Back to the Roots Organic Mushroom Farm is available on Amazon. A mini farm is also available, and it will grow a yield of about 1-2 servings. This smaller kit does not include the bonus cherry tomato seeds. You can find the miniature version via Amazon or ACE Hardware.
Plus, if your spores don’t produce successfully, you can get in touch with Back to the Roots for a full replacement kit.
7. Pink Oyster
For an exotic appearance with a gorgeous hue, the pink oyster variety (Pleurotus djamor) is another fun option.
Forest Origins Organic Pink Oyster Mushroom Farm
Organic pink oyster growing kits are available from Forest Origins via Amazon. They come with everything you’ll need to grow your own crops indoors, including instructions and a convenient misting bottle.
Forest Origins offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee – if your mushrooms fail to grow, just get in touch for a full refund.
8. White Oyster
White oyster mushrooms produce large yields, and they have a pale color and mild flavor. A favorite in Asian cuisine, kits that will produce multiple harvests are available from Direct Gardening.
High Yielding White Oyster Mushroom Kit
Free replacements are available within one year of receipt of products from Direct Gardening if they do not live, with return of the original shipping label and a written request.
9. Yellow Oyster
More into the yellow variety? These vibrant mushrooms (Pleurotus citrinopileatus) have a brightly colored hue that makes a great accent or focal point in your indoor garden space – you can’t miss it!
Mushroom Mojo Pro-Gro Yellow Oyster Kit
A Pro-Gro kit from Mushroom Mojo is available via True Leaf Market. It includes everything you’ll need – a sterilized sawdust block that’s inoculated with a strong strain of mycelium that’s ready to grow, a spray bottle, humidity tent, and full instructions.
With this kit, you can expect to produce about 2 pounds of yellow oyster fungi ready for harvest over the course of 2-3 months. Keep in mind that this variety is not recommended for growth in dry climates, since it needs significant moisture to thrive.
Known for its medicinal properties related to immune health, this mushroom type has gained a lot of notoriety in recent years, and it is frequently consumed as a nutritional supplement.
Gallboys Reishi Mushroom Kit
Though we can’t vouch for these claims (do your research!) this type has been used historically in Japanese and Chinese traditional medicine, and its popularity when consumed as a tea or powdered supplement continues to this day. The red and brown fungus has a strong, distinctive flavor.
Growing kits from Gallboys are available via Amazon. These are perfect for indoor growing, but they can be used outdoors as well, given the right conditions.
Instructions, a humidity tent, and growing substrate with spores are included. You’ll need to provide your own mister bottle for watering.
If you want to grow this earthy and rich variety, 2funguys offers pre-inoculated 12-inch logs that are ready to grow.
Hand-cut logs ranging from 3-6 inches in diameter and about 4-7 pounds in total weight are pre-drilled, filled with spores, and sealed with cheese wax so they’re ready to go – all you need to do is select a shady location in your yard, place your log either on its side or upright, and follow the included instructions for watering.
12″ Shiitake Mushroom Log
With high yields, this type is recommended for first-time outdoor growers. And if a rest period is allowed between each fruiting period, you can expect multiple harvests. This kit is available online via Amazon.
If for some reason you are not completely satisfied with this kit, 2funguys offers a full refund or replacement.
Oyster Mushroom Kits
Mr Fothergills Oyster Mushroom Kits are super easy and super quick- harvest in just 7-10 days!
For a limited time, you can purchase your own Oyster Mushroom Kit via our website – Click here
Mr Fothergill’s Button Mushroom kits are seasonally available at selected Bunnings Warehouse stores, nationwide.
- Open the top of the box and fold down the flaps. Open the bag inside the box, cutting just below where the bag is sealed. Pour enough water in the bag to completely submerge the substrate block and leave to soak for 24 hours.
- Pour the water out and leave your kit in a well-lit location but out of direct sunlight. Ensure the contents remain moist and humid by spraying water on the surface daily. Drying of the surface will inhibit mushroom formation and growth.
- Mushrooms will start appearing within 7-10 days and double in size every day. Do not spray any more water when the mushrooms start to appear. When the growth has slowed down it’s time to pick them. You can store the mushrooms for a few days in a paper bag in the refrigerator. Re-soak the kit to grow a bonus crop of mushrooms. When your kit has finished producing you can use the compost in your garden.
Mr Fothergill’s Oyster Mushroom Kit FAQ’s
What’s in the mushroom block (substrate)?
The primary substrate ingredient is milled corn cobs, providing carbon and nitrogen for the mushrooms when they are growing.
What is the white stuff?
It is called mycelium and is similar to the root system of a plant. It provides the pathway for water and nutrition to travel to the mushroom. This mycelium should grow through the substrate to access the nutrition prior to the bag being opened.
Do I have to plant the mushroom block (substrate) into soil?
The substrate is ready to grow in the kit provided. No planting is necessary.
Is there any odour from the kit?
You might experience a faint smell as the mycelium colonizes the substrate. There are enzymes at work helping the mycelium absorb the nutrients and this living process does give off a natural odour.
How do we get the kit to form mushrooms?
Once the mycelium has grown over the substrate (once the mushroom block is predominantly white) it is time to cut open the bag just below and along the seal to expose the substrate to air. Fill the bag with cold water until the substrate is submerged and leave to set for 24 hours. After 24 hours pour out all the water from the bag. (This rehydration and cold shock assist to shock the organism into fruiting- forming mushrooms)
What do I do after I have tipped the water out?
If there appears to be a “skin” on the top surface, scratch this skin with a fork to break the surface exposing the mycelium underneath.
Is there anything else needed to make the mushrooms grow?
A secondary requirement of forming Pleurotus mushrooms is light. After the rehydration and cold shock process, the kit should be exposed to room lighting for at least 6 hours per day (there is no maximum exposure). Do not expose the kit to direct sunlight as this will dry out the surface and impede mushroom formation.
What can I do whilst I wait for the mushrooms to appear?
Low humidity is detrimental to the formation of the mushrooms, so humidity should be kept relatively high. A misting bottle can be used to spray the surface of the kit and the inside of the bag 1 – 2 times per day to ensure humidity is maintained in the area that the mushrooms are going to form.
Do I keep misting once the mushrooms form?
It is unnecessary to continue misting the kit once mushrooms start growing on the surface of the substrate.
How long should we have to wait for mushrooms to grow?
Within 7 to 10 days after the rehydration and cold shock process, mushrooms should form and start growing. They will continue to grow in a cluster with the mushrooms achieving a size approximately 7 – 10 cm in diameter. At this stage, the mushrooms can be broken off and used as desired in a variety of cuisines.
What is the fine powdery substance I can see forming around the kit?
All mushrooms give off spores and Pleurotus mushrooms are no different. The plastic bag that houses the substrate will help contain the spores, but you may see a powdery coating around the kit. If you see this powdery substance it is mushroom spores. These can be cleaned down with a moist sponge.
Is it possible to get more than one crop out of the kit?
Yes, you can get a second crop out of the kit. Follow the rehydration and cold shock steps as explained before. Once the bag has been emptied after the 24-hour rehydration process, the substrate can be removed from the bag and placed on a plate. Follow the growing instructions as per the first crop and you will have a second crop of mushrooms appear after approximately 2 weeks, forming at different points around the substrate.
What do I do when I finish with the substrate?
The used substrate can be broken up and put into a compost bin or mixed into garden soil as a soil conditioner.
Growing Mushrooms at Home
Shop Mushroom Kits
Autumn is a lot of things. It’s a season of comfort and of more time spent around the kitchen and the glut of produce from the summer garden. It’s when jeans make a big comeback – with an even bigger tear down the crouch line than 6 months ago – along with your favourite sweater that’s been collecting moths in the wardrobe. Of course, it’s also another prime growing season in its own right, but perhaps the thing that really defines autumn for me is the arrival of wild mushrooms.
As the weather cools down and rains begin to fall, the mix is the trigger for wild fungi to start spawning. Being able to forage for mushrooms is the definitive sign that autumn has arrived. As a kid I would often head out on a Sunday to my dad’s work – a quarry on the outskirts of Fremantle – and we’d go exploring for field mushrooms. The feeling of the hunt still lingers in me. It was full of anticipation and excitement, and at the end of the adventure we’d return with a boot full of wild mushrooms, with a mistaken few cow dungs thrown in.
Collecting mushrooms costs nothing, but rewards you with plenty. It combines all the best elements of the season – primarily food and adventure – and in the end lays a gift of nature right in front of you, ready for the person who has the best timing. This is the time of year when you’re seldom alone in the pine fields, a great place to saffron milk caps and slippery jacks.
The popularity of mushrooming in the wild is spawning a home growing movement too. And for the home grower that is starved of sunlight and space, this is growing that doesn’t rely on traditional growing infrastructure or conditions. It is a great practice for those with limited space because many varieties can be grown indoors with minimal light. Furthermore varieties such as oyster and shiitake offer extraordinary value as they are very costly to buy, yet inexpensive and easy to grow.
At its heart, mushroom cultivation is about propagating a very small amount of mycelium – being the vegetative part of the fungus – into larger and larger vessels. Just like a sourdough starter, we start with a tiny amount of live culture and grow it. It is a process of continual dividing and colonising. Once we get to a large enough vessel, we stop dividing and allow the mycelium to colonise and consume the entire substrate. This triggers fruit production and we get to wow our friends with a tiny forest of mushrooms growing under the couch.
Different mushrooms have distinct environmental needs, but the progression is generally quite similar for all. Serious growers and those with a penchant for precision will choose to grow from the earliest possible stages, which requires a great duty of care, sterile conditions, and lots of patience. Newbies to the adventure are probably best to start further down the growing chain. But there’s no better way to find out what you’re up for than by trying. Here’s how to go about it…
Step1: Grow Mycelial Inoculant
The first stage of the journey begins with growing mycelial inoculant, which will take between 1 to 3 weeks. Add starter culture – which can be ordered online – to sterilised nutrient water or agar tray (gelatine-like food product). This must be kept in a dark, room temperature environment such as a linen cupboard or pantry. The mycelium will begin to grow through and colonise the substrate. Be aware that the risk of contamination during this stage is very high, so make sure to keep conditions as sterile as possible. If growth appears in any other colour than white, the sample should be discarded and you need to start again.
Step 2: Cultivate Grain Spawn
Now it’s time to cultivate grain spawn, a process requiring another couple of weeks. To do this divide and transfer the liquid mycelial inoculant or agar tray to a number of sterilised containers that have some grain in it; we like to use organic rye. Risk of contamination is again high, so be sure to work under sterile conditions and discard if any coloured growth appears. White mycelia will grow through the grains and colonise the jar to create “grain spawn.”
Jar should be periodically shaken (once about 25% has already been colonised) to break apart clumps and to stimulate further growth and colonisation.
Step 3: Preparing Fruiting Substrate
Once the mycelium has completely colonised the grain, it is time to prepare the final fruiting substrate. We use sugarcane mulch because we have access to a lot of it, but oyster mushrooms grow well on anything from pea straw, hardwood shavings, to coffee grounds. This is a great place for many people to start their mushroom production, as it doesn’t require completely sterile conditions. Grain spawn can be ordered online or sourced from a reputable mushroom supplier, so if growing mushrooms seems like something you’d like to try, we endeavour you to begin at this point.
To get your substrate ready for the colonised grain, you need to pasteurise it first. This is essentially submerging in it in hot water – at a temperature between 60 – 77 degrees – for about an hour and a half. For this process we put our sugar cane mulch in a pillow case and submerge it in a esky filled with hot water. The esky is large enough to hold the volume that’s in the pillow case and is well insulated so the water doesn’t cool too quickly. A brick is used to weigh it down, and top up with hot water to keep the temperature in the range.
Once the mulch is pasteurised, sterilise the environment you’re working in – this includes your hands, table, utensils etc – and lay the mulch on a table to cool. Then add a good handful of gypsum and a cup of grain spawn for approximately 20L of mulch. When adding the grain spawn make sure to break up larger clumps so it’s even throughout.
Now gently pack and press down into sterilised plastic buckets to which you have previously drilled some holes and covered in paper tape. You need approximately 2-6 x 20mm holes for a 10L bucket. This is from where the mushrooms will form.
Step 5: Incubation
Place buckets in a dark location. This is now the incubation phase, and will take anywhere between 2-8 weeks to get to fruiting. Like in the previous stages, white mycelium will slowly overtake the mulch, forming little knots of tissue. Once the mycelium has fully colonised the substrate it will begin to enter the fruiting stage and the real show begins – hooray! Move the buckets to a warm, humid place with plenty of fresh air. The bathroom, laundry room, and under the couch are all good for this.
Step 6: Fruiting
This is what you get when you buy a mushroom kit – it is essentially mycelium that has fully colonised the substrate. With light and air, fruit production begins in earnest and you can remove paper tape from holes and allow growth to push out of the bucket.
Mushroom caps will progress from downturned to upturned. The best time to harvest is while they are flat, which usually occurs between 5-8 days after caps appear. Harvest mushrooms at their base with a sharp knife. Most varieties will fruit multiple times, but each batch will yield less than the one before.
Once the flushes of mushrooms are worth less than the space they occupy, it’s time to compost the spent substrate and move onto the next lot. The great thing about mushroom growing at home is that they are always in season. This is really one for the small space city grower.
Edible Mushroom Grow Kits for Indoor Mushroom Growing
You can fruit your own shiitake, blue oyster, and lion’s mane mushrooms at home with our edible mushroom grow kits
Our edible mushroom grow kits bring the joy of growing mushrooms to your home in the simplest way possible.
Interested in growing mushrooms for the first time but feel unsure or intimidated by the process? There not much room (or mush-room) for worry with our mushroom grow kits. We make the entire process of growing your own mushrooms easy, and you can do it from the comfort of your own home.
We have three options of edible mushroom grow kits for you — shiitake, chestnut, blue oyster, and lion’s mane
Here’s the lowdown on our available mushroom grow kits.
First, let’s take a look at the shiitake mushroom kits. The shiitake mushroom grow kit allows you to produce two pounds of shiitakes over the course of two months throughout multiple flushes, taking place about two weeks apart.
These shiitake mushroom grow kits are made from high-quality ingredients including hardwood sawdust and our contaminant-free shiitake mycelium. Like all of our mushroom grow kits, the shiitake grow kit comes ready to fruit.
Shiitake mushrooms are native to Japan, Korea, and China. Shiitake is a Japanese word. The translation of this word is simply a mushroom growing on the shii tree: “take” meaning mushroom and “shii” being a kind of evergreen tree that grows in Japan and Korea. Shiitakes are the gateway mushroom into the field of specialty mushrooms.
Lion’s mane edible mushroom grow kits are a tasty treat to grow
Lion’s mane are one of the favorite gourmet mushrooms of fungi lovers. Not only can the taste resembles a seafood delicacy like lobster or shrimp, but this mushroom is also quite nutritious, as nearly a fifth of it is protein.
This strangely shaped and delicious mushroom is welcome to the dinner plate of any mushroom lover. With a lobster like taste this mushroom is fantastic sautéed with some butter and lemon juice or used for faux crabcakes. Lion’s mane is very sponge like and soaks up the flavors it is cooked with. Lion’s mane has cascading spines and can bruise easily, be sure to get it when it has been handled minimally and travelled a short distance. The mushrooms starts out pink without any of the spines that are seen at maturity. As it grows the spines lengthen and point straight out and then start to cascade down to the ground.
Interestingly enough, lion’s mane may help support nerve regeneration and a study has also shown the use of lion’s mane helps improve mild cognitive impairment.
This grow kit will also produce two pounds of mushrooms throughout two months. We recommend sautéing these mushrooms until a slight, crispy brown on the edges. It goes great with some olive oil, butter, or lemon juice.
If you’ve never tried a lion’s mane mushroom then this may be the best grow kit to start with!
Interested in one of our new edible mushroom grow kits? Chestnut is the new kid on the block!
Chestnuts are growing in popularity in the specialty mushroom field. This is a nutty mushroom that grows in clusters, and the caps can be dry to slightly slimy. If they are, keep in mind that this is totally normal and it probably does not mean the mushroom has gone bad. The entire cap and stem can be used, with the stem being diced into smaller pieces. The strong flavor of this mushroom lend it well to being used in rice dishes and stir fries, giving the meal a stronger umami and nutty flavor and texture. Chestnuts have a beautiful chestnut brown coloring and can have slightly ornamented caps and stems. The baby mushrooms have spikes that stick out from the cap of the mushroom.
Like the others, our chestnut mushroom growing kit should produce up to two pounds of fresh mushrooms.
Blue oyster is the pearl of our edible mushroom grow kits
As the name suggests, the blue oyster mushroom is shaped like an oyster shell. It can have a briny flavor when cooked, and the lush velvety texture is loved by many fungiphiles.
This mushroom is sweeter and has a more subtle taste than shiitake. The caps are the most desirable part and the stems should be chopped finely. Where the stems come together at the base of the mushrooms should be discarded. Oyster mushrooms are amazing with fried eggs, omelettes, or in pasta dishes. Pink and yellow oyster mushrooms have a much shorter shelf life, be sure to use these within four days of purchasing them. If you are interested in growing mushrooms oysters are a great one to start as they grow on a wide range of materials and grow very quickly.
Our blue oyster mushroom grow kit will provide one-and-a-half to two pounds of mushrooms over three months.
Our mushroom grow kits are perfect gifts
Whether you want to start your own indoor mushroom garden, or you want to supply your loved ones with a great growing gift, an edible mushroom grow kit is the perfect way to start.
Once the grow kit finishes its flushes, you can use it to inoculate your compost, paper waste, or coffee grounds. This way our gourmet mushroom grow kits are easy all the way through — from start to finish — and provide an interesting and interactive experience for growing your own mushrooms at home.
Buy your edible mushrooms grow kits today!
How to Grow Mushrooms at Home
There’s no need to be in the dark about growing mushrooms. These tasty chameleons of the food world are extremely healthy—they are fat-free, low in calories, and filled with vitamins, antioxidants, and other nutrients. The main keys to growing mushrooms at home are establishing the right growing conditions and acquiring or making mushroom spawn, which is the material used to propagate mushrooms. Keep reading to discover everything there is to know about growing mushrooms at home.
Related: Healthful Attributes of Mushrooms
How Do Mushrooms Grow?
Mushrooms grow from spores—not seeds—that are so tiny you can’t see individual spores with the naked eye.
Because the spores don’t contain chlorophyll to begin germinating (as seeds do), they rely on substances such as sawdust, grain, wooden plugs, straw, wood chips, or liquid for nourishment. A blend of the spores and these nutrients is called spawn. Spawn performs a bit like the starter needed to make sourdough bread.
The spawn supports the growth of mushrooms’ tiny, white, threadlike roots, called mycelium. The mycelium grows first, before anything that resembles a mushroom pushes through the growing medium.
The spawn itself could grow mushrooms, but you’ll get a lot better mushroom harvest when the spawn is applied to a substrate, or growing medium. Depending on the mushroom type, the substrate might be straw, cardboard, logs, wood chips, or compost with a blend of materials such as straw, corncobs, cotton and cocoa seed hulls, gypsum, and nitrogen supplements.
Where to Grow Mushrooms
Mushrooms prefer dark, cool, moist, and humid growing environments. When growing mushrooms at home, a basement is often ideal, but a spot under the sink may be all you need.
Test the proposed location by checking the temperature. Most mushrooms grow best in temperatures between 55 and 60 degrees F, away from drying, direct heat and drafts. Enoki mushrooms prefer cooler temperatures, about 45 degrees F. Many basements are too warm in the summer to grow mushrooms, so you might want to consider growing mushrooms as a winter project.
Mushrooms can tolerate some light, but the spot you choose should stay relatively dark or in low light.
Some mushroom types grow outdoors in prepared ground or logs, a process that takes much longer (six months to three years) than in controlled environments inside.
Types of Mushrooms to Grow
There are many kinds of mushrooms. One of the beauties of growing your own instead of wild-harvesting them is that you can be sure you’re not picking a poisonous mushroom.
These are the most common mushrooms grown at home:
Each type has specific growing needs. For example, white button mushrooms need to be grown on composted manure, shiitakes on wood or hardwood sawdust, and oyster mushrooms on straw.
Process of Growing Mushrooms
If you are growing mushrooms indoors, there are a couple of options for materials that you can use to assist in planting.
You can buy mushroom kits already packed with a growing medium that’s inoculated with mushroom spawn. Buying a kit is a good way to begin your knowledge of mushroom growing. If you start without a kit, the type of mushroom you choose to grow determines the substrate you grow the mushrooms on. It is important to research each mushroom’s needs.
Button mushrooms are among the easiest types to grow. Follow Kansas State University’s directions to learn how to grow button mushrooms.
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Fill Trays With Compost
Use 14×16-inch trays about 6 inches deep that resemble seed flats. Fill the trays with the mushroom compost material and inoculate with spawn.
Use a Heating Pad
Use a heating pad to raise the soil temperature to around 70 degrees F for about three weeks or until you see the mycelium—the tiny, threadlike roots. At this point, drop the temperature to 55 to 60 degrees F. Cover the spawn with an inch or so of potting soil.
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Keep Soil Moist
Keep the soil moist by spritzing it with water and covering it with a damp cloth, making sure that you keep spritzing the cloth as it dries.
Button mushrooms should appear within three to four weeks. Harvest them when the caps open and the stalk can be cut with a sharp knife from the stem. Avoid pulling up the mushrooms, or you risk damage to surrounding fungi that are still developing. Harvesting every day should result in a continuous crop for about six months.
Related: How to Clean and Store Mushrooms
- By BH&G Garden Editors
Growing Psilocybin Mushrooms
The basic PF Tek method is pretty straightforward: Prepare your substrate of brown rice flour, vermiculite, and water, and divide it between sterile glass jars. Introduce spores and wait for the mycelium to develop. This is the network of filaments that will underpin your mushroom growth. After 4-5 weeks, transfer your colonized substrates, or “cakes”, to a fruiting chamber and wait for your mushrooms to grow.
NOTE: Always ensure good hygiene before starting: spray an air sanitizer, thoroughly disinfect your equipment and surfaces, take a shower, brush your teeth, wear clean clothes, etc. You don’t need a lot of space, but your environment should be as sterile as possible. Opportunistic bacteria and molds can proliferate in conditions for cultivating shrooms, so it’s crucial to minimize the risk.
STEP 1: PREPARATION
1) Prepare jars:
- With the hammer and nail (which should be wiped with alcohol to disinfect) punch four holes down through each of the lids, evenly spaced around their circumferences.
2) Prepare substrate:
- For each jar, thoroughly combine ⅔ cup vermiculite and ¼ cup water in the mixing bowl. Drain excess water using the disinfected strainer.
- Add ¼ cup brown rice flour per half-pint jar to the bowl and combine with the moist vermiculite.
3) Fill jars:
- Being careful not to pack too tightly, fill the jars to within a half-inch of the rims.
- Sterilize this top half-inch with rubbing alcohol
- Top off your jars with a layer of dry vermiculite to insulate the substrate from contaminants.
4) Steam sterilize:
- Tightly screw on the lids and cover the jars with tin foil. Secure the edges of the foil around the sides of the jars to prevent water and condensation getting through the holes.
- Place the small towel (or paper towels) into the large cooking pot and arrange the jars on top, ensuring they don’t touch the base.
- Add tap water to a level halfway up the sides of the jars and bring to a slow boil, ensuring the jars remain upright.
- Place the tight-fitting lid on the pot and leave to steam for 75-90 minutes. If the pot runs dry, replenish with hot tap water.
NOTE: Some growers prefer to use a pressure cooker set for 60 minutes at 15 PSI.
5) Allow to cool:
- After steaming, leave the foil-covered jars in the pot for several hours or overnight. They need to be at room temperature before the next step.
STEP 2: INOCULATION
1) Sanitize and prepare syringe:
- Use a lighter to heat the length of your syringe’s needle until it glows red hot. Allow it to cool and wipe it with alcohol, taking care not to touch it with your hands.
- Pull back the plunger a little and shake the syringe to evenly distribute the magic mushroom spores.
NOTE: If your spore syringe and needle require assembly before use, be extremely careful to avoid contamination in the process. Sterilized latex gloves and a surgical mask can help, but the surest way is to assemble the syringe inside a disinfected still air or glove box.
2) Inject spores:
- Remove the foil from the first of your jars and insert the syringe as far as it will go through one of the holes.
- With the needle touching the side of the jar, inject approximately ¼ cc of the spore solution (or slightly less if using a 10 cc syringe across 12 jars).
- Repeat for the other three holes, wiping the needle with alcohol between each.
- Cover the holes with micropore tape and set the jar aside, leaving the foil off.
- Repeat the inoculation process for the remaining jars, sterilizing your needle with the lighter and then alcohol between each.
STEP 3: COLONIZATION
1) Wait for the mycelium:
- Place your inoculated jars somewhere clean and out of the way. Avoid direct sunlight and temperatures outside 70-80 °F (room temperature).
- White, fluffy-looking mycelium should start to appear between seven and 14 days, spreading outward from the inoculation sites.
NOTE: Watch out for any signs of contamination, including strange colors and smells, and dispose of any suspect jars immediately. Do this outside in a secure bag without unscrewing the lids. If you’re unsure about whether a jar is contaminated, always err on the side of caution—even if the substrate is otherwise healthily colonized—as some contaminants are deadly for humans.
- After three to four weeks, if all goes well, you should have at least six successfully colonized jars. Leave for another seven days to allow the mycelium to strengthen its hold on the substrate.
STEP 4: PREPARING THE GROW CHAMBER
1) Make a shot gun fruiting chamber:
- Take your plastic storage container and drill ¼-inch holes roughly two inches apart all over the sides, base, and lid. To avoid cracking, drill your holes from the inside out into a block of wood.
- Set the box over four stable objects, arranged at the corners to allow air to flow underneath. You may also want to cover the surface under the box to protect it from moisture leakage.
NOTE: The shot gun fruiting chamber is far from the best design, but it’s quick and easy to build and does the job well for beginners. Later, you may want to try out alternatives.
2) Add perlite:
- Place your perlite into a strainer and run it under the cold tap to soak.
- Allow it to drain until there are no drips left, then spread it over the base of your grow chamber.
- Repeat for a layer of perlite roughly 4-5 inches deep.
STEP 5: FRUITING
1) “Birth” the colonized substrates (or “cakes”):
- Open your jars and remove the dry vermiculite layer from each, taking care not to damage your substrates, or “cakes”, in the process.
- Upend each jar and tap down onto a disinfected surface to release the cakes intact.
2) Dunk the cakes:
- Rinse the cakes one at a time under a cold tap to remove any loose vermiculite, again taking care not to damage them.
- Fill your cooking pot, or another large container, with tepid water and place your cakes inside. Submerge them just beneath the surface with another pot or similar heavy item.
- Leave the pot at room temperature for up to 24 hours for the cakes to rehydrate.
3) Roll the cakes:
- Remove the cakes from the water and place them on a disinfected surface.
- Fill your mixing bowl with dry vermiculite.
- Roll your cakes one by one to fully coat them in vermiculite. This will help to keep in the moisture.
4) Transfer to grow chamber:
- Cut a tin foil square for each of your cakes, large enough for them to sit on without touching the perlite.
- Space these evenly inside the grow chamber.
- Place your cakes on top and gently mist the chamber with the spray bottle.
- Fan with the lid before closing.
5) Optimize and monitor coniditions:
- Mist the chamber around four times a day to keep the humidity up, taking care not to soak your cakes with water.
- Fan with the lid up to six times a day, especially after misting, to increase airflow.
NOTE: Some growers use fluorescent lighting set on a 12-hour cycle, but indirect or ambient lighting during the day is fine. Mycelium only needs a little light to determine where the open air is and where to put forth mushrooms.
STEP 6: HARVESTING
1) Watch for fruits:
- Your mushrooms, or fruits, will appear as tiny white bumps before sprouting into “pins.” After 5-12 days, they’ll be ready to harvest.
2) Pick your fruits:
- When ready, cut your mushrooms close to the cake to remove. Don’t wait for them to reach the end of their growth, as they’ll begin to lose potency as they mature.
NOTE: The best time to harvest mushrooms is right before the veil breaks. At this stage, they’ll have light, conical-shaped caps and covered gills.
Mushrooms are the rule benders of garden-to-table eating and a perfect compliment to indoor gardening. Call it apartment therapy, not enough space for a garden therapy or simply mushroom obsession therapy. Grow them any time of year under your sink; in a cool, forgotten corner of your house; or in your garage or basement. They’re really pretty amazing. 1. because they grow in places you wouldn’t otherwise use for gardening (expanding your growing horizons) and 2. because they’re simple to grow. Just add water to a bit of medium (sawdust, straw, coffee grounds, soil, crazy manure combo, etc.) containing the spawn of the mushroom of your dreams, wait a few weeks and presto, mushrooms. Ready to eat.
Mushroom kits are the place to start. You quickly learn which varieties you prefer and vice versa. Your particular indoor climate may be better suited to some than others. I suggest trying your top 3 favorites and go from there. If you get hooked branch out from store bought kits and design your own mini mushroom farm perfect for you.
Most mushrooms like to grow in cool, moist (or humid), low light conditions. Optimal temperatures range from 55 to 60 degrees but some mushrooms like Enoki prefer temperatures closer to 45 degrees, making it an excellent winter selection.
Consider growing Oyster, Crimini, White Button, Shiitake, Portobello, Enoki, Maitake and other mushrooms. Check out what Territorial Seed Company has to offer.
These Oyster mushrooms were delicious but my next plan is to inoculate parts of the garden with Shaggy Manes and stick to White Button mushrooms indoors. At least for now. One batch of White Button spawn can produce enough mushrooms for daily harvesting for up to 6 months! I don’t know why this sounds like magic.
Here’s what you do:
- Choose the mushrooms you’d like to grow (the type you’d most like to eat). Start with a DIY kit or purchase mushroom spawn (not spores) at your nursery or seed company.
- Prep your growing environment. White Button’s like to grow in composted manure but Shiitake’s like sawdust and Oyster mushrooms like straw.
- Sterilize your growing medium. Dampen your composted manure, straw or sawdust and cook in a microwave for 2 minutes. Manure can be sterilized in a conventional oven. Bake at 180 to 200 degrees for 30 minutes. Be prepared to sterilize in batches.
- Mix the spawn and growing medium in a shallow pan like a baking dish and place on a heating pad, warming it to 70 degrees. Place your pan in a dark environment and continue to heat at 70 degrees for 3 weeks.
- After 3 weeks move your pan to a cool, dark environment. 55 degrees is optimal. Cover the growing medium with a thin layer of soil and moisten by spraying it with water. Thoroughly dampen and continue to keep it evenly moist.
- In another 3 weeks you should start to see the buds of mushrooms. Keep them moist and harvest when caps start to separate from their stems. Cut free with a sharp knife, being careful not to disturb the surrounding area — more mushrooms will grow.
- Wash and eat or store in your fridge for up to a week.
Portobello, Portabella, or Baby Bella. You may be wondering what is the difference? They may have varying names in different areas, but they are just the same. Below its caps, it has its unique gills that seem like webs. They are oversized crimini that have attained full maturity. It is considered to be one of the biggest species of mushrooms because it can develop up to six inches. Grab the opportunity to know how easy it is to grow this mushroom right in your greenhouse.
It is a lot easier to produce mushrooms nowadays than it ever has been. It is simple. You are in control and best of all, this is so much fun. Home gardeners can now have access to almost every need from greenhouses down to your handy dandy kit.
This superfood is extremely rich in Vitamin B, antioxidants, fiber, and phosphorus. It is oftentimes used as a substitute for ground beef for an appetizing low-calorie vegetarian burger and a yummy grilled one.
Portobello mushroom essence is another option if you are looking to defeat free radicals and even the horrifying cancer cells.
Facts about Portobello mushrooms
Mushrooms are not really like other traditional plants. They do not originate from seeds, but rather of very tiny spores. Their spores and certain specific nutrients synthesize into what is described as a mushroom spawn. They are accountable for the growth of mycelium which is the mushroom’s little, threadlike roots. A healthy case will bear your first mushroom in your greenhouse three weeks after you begin. It will last for two more months.
Gardeners introduced mushroom after the Civil War. They started growing in North America by operating in dark areas under greenhouse benches. They are native to the grasslands in North America and Europe. The market for Portobello mushrooms is expanding these times and are trendy nowadays. There is no doubt that they are popular with a lot of customers.
Mushroom farming is also treated as a waste-recycling project. Mushroom farms help the environment by utilizing several tons of mulch hay, straw-bedded horse compost, and chicken manure. These are deemed agricultural waste products and may never have a place if it were not for mushroom production.
Here is how you can easily grow mushrooms in a greenhouse
- Start by setting up growing trays inside the greenhouse. These trays should be eight inches deep and between six to eight inches long.
- Fill the trays with about six inches of compost, peat moss, and mushroom spores.
- Cover the trays with newspaper to keep it moist and dark until the whitish mycelium appears on the surface of the compost.
- When you spot the mycelium, add about two inches of damp peat moss over the existing substrate and then cover this with a fresh layer of newspaper.
- After about two weeks, remove the layer of the newspaper once the little white heads start emerging from the compost.
Portobello mushrooms thrive in nutrient-rich compost. The ideal substrate to use is straw mixed with horse manure.
Preparing the compost substrate
You will need 45 pounds of well-rotted fertilizer for a 100g spawn. The recommended high-grade compost for your mushrooms is horse manure which is readily collected from stables. Prepare your compost pile in an open shelter or shielded by some kind of wrapping. A tough polythene layer will do. Be sure that your compost is free from worms, or invertebrates, which will consume the spawn. The compost will be clean if composting temperatures are attained.
Be sure it is well soaked. Fork into a pile and press down tightly. In a few hours, the temperature in the center of the stock should increase and become hot. Shift the heap every two days for two to three weeks by forking the external cooler compost into the middle and moisten every time. Your compost is set when it has displayed a dark brown color and has a sugary smell, it should be quite moist to be able to pinch out a few droplets of water.
Tips and tricks
Portobello mushrooms take about a week to mature from the moment the little head emerges from compost. Do not rush to harvest, though.
If you are new to raising Portobello mushroom, the simplest thing to prepare them is to purchase your own handy kit. This is ideal for beginners. It arrives with an entire set of the stuff you need and expects the almost minor struggle to produce them. All you need to do is open the case and continuously moisten them.
Common growing obstacles
You should watch out for dark-winged fungus, gnats, scuttle, or phorid flies, which may lay eggs on the compost. The larvae that hatch from these eggs damage mushrooms during all their stages of growth. Eliminate any organic debris. Practice good sanitation habits.
Pseudomonas bacteria is a problem too. They reproduce in standing water or wherever there is moisture. It creates grayish brown sores on the mushroom cap in which the slimy liquid accumulates. Prevent stagnant air sacs by having a good airflow.
Check out our ventilation collection to provide your Portobello mushrooms a great airflow!
Portobello mushrooms require a lot of water. So ensure you water the trays between five to seven inches every two days. However, you have to ensure the substrate is merely damp and not wet. Prepare the proper kind of water. Chlorine water is not suitable for mushrooms.
Water regularly during the cropping season. It is wasted throughout evaporation and transpiration. The mushroom takes up water toward its cells. It is restored after watering the casing sheet. The rise in the weight of the mushroom from pinning to growing is linked to the active uptake of water from the casing and fertilizer.
Mushrooms do not have chlorophyll. It means that they do not receive any nutrients and strength from the sun. During spawning, the greenhouse area needs to be as dark as possible. The area should be sheltered from direct light. Portobellos want total darkness because any amount of light causes them to grow dark brown caps. However, they require dim light when they start forming heads. During this stage, light from a fluorescent lamp or indirect sunlight would be sufficient. Greenhouse kits that can offer this kind of lighting are ideal.
You can also dim a section underneath your benches by using shade cloth. Check out greenhouse and garden shade clothes here!
Preferred greenhouse temperature
Mushrooms thrive best at a balanced temperature of approximately 60°F. They don’t grow well under 60°F or over 68°F. Use a thermometer to achieve the right and steady temperature. Starting your mushroom to a colder temperature and clean air is a huge help for their maturity.
Harvest Portobello mushrooms when the heads attain a diameter of about four and six inches. Pull by rotating the cap till the mushroom comes off. Do not hurt the little ones nearby. Discard broken and defective stems. Load the chambers with a casing.
Savor your organically produced mushrooms!
Top 12 FAQs About Growing Gourmet Mushrooms For Profit
Gourmet mushrooms, such as oyster and shiitake, are one of the best cash crops for small growers. Although they are traditionally grown on logs outdoors, and still are in many areas, now both can be grown indoors in bags, using straw or sawdust instead of logs. Here are a few answers to new grower’s questions about this productive growing method:
1. Why grow gourmet mushrooms? Two good reasons. First, by growing indoors, the temperature, humidity and light can be controlled to give the mushrooms exactly what they need, when they need it. This means much larger harvests, and more profits than from log-grown mushrooms. Second, by controlling the growing conditions, up to six crops per year can be produced in the same space, for more income and steady cash flow.
2. Can I grow mushrooms in my area? Because you can grow both oyster and shiitake mushrooms indoors, the outside climate doesn’t affect them. If you have a suitable space, such as a shed, garage, barn, greenhouse or even a basement or spare room that is not being used, you can grow gourmet mushrooms.
3. What are the best mushrooms to grow? Because both oyster and shiitake mushrooms are proven sellers in the marketplace and consumers know and love them, new growers should stick to those two. There are other exotic mushrooms that can be grown, often for medicinal use, but they require more skill to grow and knowledge of the markets to find buyers.
4. How are gourmet mushrooms propagated? Mushrooms are a member of the fungi family, which includes yeasts used to make beer and wine, and molds used to make penicillin and flavor cheese. Rather than producing seeds like many plants, mushrooms produce spores. The spores are collected and grown on rye grain until the grain is “colonized” or taken over by the growing mushroom plant. Called “spawn,” the colonized grain is used to inoculate a “substrate,” typically wheat straw or hardwood sawdust. Once the substrate is inoculated, the growing mushroom spreads, and produces fruit, which we call mushrooms. It’s an amazing process to see!
5. Can I make money as a part-time mushroom grower? Because it’s possible to produce a large quantity of mushrooms in a small space, this is a perfect “cash crop” for anyone who does not have the land for a conventional crop such as flowers or herbs. Once the inoculated mushroom substrate is packed in the plastic grow bags, it takes just a few minutes a day to check your crop. Around half of the small gourmet mushroom growers have a day job, grow other crops in addition to mushrooms, or are retired and don’t want to work full time.
6. Can I grow oyster or shiitake mushrooms in compost? Yes you could, but there can be problems and low yields. That’s why most small commercial growers now only grow indoors in a sterilized substrate, such as straw or sawdust, so there is no contamination from other wild mushroom spores. Of course, when the mushrooms have almost finished their fruiting and the straw or sawdust is added to a compost pile, there will be more “flushes” of mushrooms to pick, but by then the yield is very low.
7. When are mushrooms harvested? Both oyster and shiitake mushrooms are commercially grown indoors, where the temperature and humidity can be carefully controlled to encourage rapid growth in the “fruiting” room. The mushrooms appear in “flushes,” and the first flush is the largest. That’s the time for the first harvest. There can be several more flushes, but the quantity of harvestable mushrooms is much smaller, so many growers just harvest the first flush.
8. Where can gourmet mushrooms be sold? Both oyster and shiitake mushrooms are best when fresh-picked, so most are sold to local customers. After the mushrooms are harvested, they are delivered to local chefs, food co-ops, grocery stores and directly to consumers at the farmer’s market. Because gourmet mushrooms do not ship well, most are sold fresh to local buyers. This is great for small mushroom growers, as they don’t have to compete with big out-of-state suppliers.
9. What value-added products can be made from gourmet mushrooms? A few of the most popular products include mushroom jerky for vegetarians, pickled mushrooms, mushroom seasonings, dehydrated mushrooms and mushroom growing kits.
10. Do gourmet mushrooms have special nutritional value? Studies have shown that both oyster and shiitake mushrooms pack a strong nutritional and even medicinal punch. For example, antioxidant properties that protect cells in the body, high levels of zinc, potassium, calcium, vitamin C, niacin, and vitamins B1 and B2. Scientific studies have found the shiitake mushroom can provide antiviral, cholesterol-lowering and cardiovascular support, in addition to boosting the immune system in a way that may have cancer-preventing properties.
11. How much money can a gourmet mushroom business make? Because the crop cycle is short – six weeks to harvest is typical – growers can make a good and steady income in a small space. Using an indoor bag system,most growers are producing 25 pounds per square foot of growing area every year. Let’s do the math: You have a small backyard shed – only 12’ by 12’ – that can be used to grow mushrooms. That’s 144 square feet, which could yield 3600 pounds of oyster or shiitake mushrooms in a year. You sell half of your crop at the current retail price of $12 per pound and half at the wholesale price of $6 per pound. Your total income is just over $32,000. Now that’s a productive shed!
12. How much does it cost to start a gourmet mushroom business? Since growing mushrooms does not require a lot of expensive equipment, especially if you start small, the startup costs can be quite affordable, as low as a few hundred dollars. For example, the new LED fluorescent lights are just right for a fruiting room, and their cost has dropped by 80% in the last few years. Plus, the operating costs for LED lights is tiny, so even your electric bill can be affordable.
When gourmet mushrooms are grown indoors, it opens up a whole new world of possibilities, as growers can be located in a city or in a small town or rural area. Since the growing is done indoors, the weather outside is not an issue, so you can get started anytime. To discover more about starting your own small-space mushroom “farm,” read Growing Gourmet Mushrooms For Profit.