A Mushroom Grow Kit Beginner Guide - Mushroom Insider (2024)

Maybe you’re an experienced gardener looking for a new challenge? Or perhaps you’re a mushroom lover (like me) who doesn’t always have enough time to forage but also doesn’t completely trust the produce at your local store?

In either case – and indeed many more – growing mushrooms yourself is the answer.

And one of the easiest and quickest ways to get going is by using a mushroom grow kit.

What Are Mushroom Grow Kits?

When you get a mushroom kit, you’ll instantly have everything needed to start growing your own mushrooms.

All kits are mushroom species specific and are not interchangeable. If you buy a kit for morels and then decide you want to grow shiitakes instead, you’ll have to get a different one.

The vast majority of grow kits will include an inoculated substrate – the material mushrooms grow in – wrapped in a grow bag.

A substrate that has been inoculated simply means that it contains the mushroom spawn.

The substrate type will differ depending on the mushroom’s category and species. Morels, for example, like a mix of sand, potting soil, and organic material. Oysters will grow on just about anything, including straw, cardboard, and coffee grounds.

Popular mushroom grow kit options include oysters, morels, shiitakes, reishi, and lion’s mane.

If you’re a beginner, I recommend going with an oyster mushroom kit. Oysters are easy to grow in many conditions and quite forgiving. Starting with them will make cultivating more challenging species later that much easier.

How to Use a Mushroom Kit?

After you pick up a mushroom grow kit, your next steps will mostly depend on the type of kit you bought, which, in turn, is driven by the kind of mushroom you’ll be growing.

More often than not, step one will be to give your mushrooms access to much-needed oxygen. You do this by making a puncture in the grow bag that comes with the kit.

Next, you’ll want to make sure the mushroom fruits have adequate humidity as well as an indirect source of sunlight. The specifics may vary slightly between kit brands, but don’t worry – the instructions tell you exactly what to do.

As to how long it takes to see the fruits (or fungi) of your labor, that depends on the type of mushroom you’re growing. Oyster mushrooms can, for example, fruit in less than a week.

And when can you harvest your mushrooms? Again, that depends on the species. Here too the grow kit instructions will tell you everything you need to know.

Mushroom Grow Kit Types

As mentioned above, different mushrooms need different kits. So, the type of kit you need to buy will depend on what you’re trying to grow.

Since oysters are a popular choice for mushroom growing beginners – and the species I recommend you take on first – here are two of the best kits for growing oyster mushrooms I have come across.

Back to The Roots Mushroom Mini Farm

The Back to The Roots oyster mushroom kit contains a substrate wrapped fruit block and comes, of course, already inoculated. The get the growing process started, you only have to do two things:

  1. Make a small hole in the grow bag.
  2. Soak the grow bag for an hour or two to rehydrate the substrate.

Easy, right?

Ideally, you should then also place the whole thing in a humid environment to help your mushrooms grow. If you have a humidifier, putting the grow bag next to it will work great.

It will take between one and two weeks before you start seeing baby oyster mushroom heads – also known as “pins” – peek out.

When your mushrooms no longer double in size each day – yes, that’s how quickly they grow – they’re ready for harvesting.

Grow Your Own Oyster Mushroom Kit

The Grow Your Own brand sells many high-quality mushroom grow kits, including, of course, oysters.

Just like the Back to The Roots product, this kit is extremely easy to use and perfect for beginners. It too contains an already inoculated substrate which, in this case, is sawdust based.

The instructions ask you to make a six-inch hole in the grow bag and, for a week or so, leave it in a humid area. Make sure it’s never in direct sunlight too.

It won’t be long before the mushrooms begin to pin and, once they stop growing, can be harvested. Also nice and easy.

Final Thoughts

If you’re interested in growing your own mushrooms, mushroom kits are an excellent choice. They’re easily accessible, simple to use, and – most importantly – yield a ton of delicious, delicious mushrooms. If you haven’t tried one yet, it’s high time you do.

A Mushroom Grow Kit Beginner Guide - Mushroom Insider (2024)


Are mushroom grow kits worth it? ›

Should You Try a Kit? If you have any interest in growing mushrooms at all, and you aren't ready to do it from scratch, then most definitely yes- you should try a kit! It will give you an idea of how mushrooms grow, and what requirements they need in order to fruit properly.

What is the easiest mushroom kit to grow? ›

Oyster mushrooms are by far the easiest and most reliable mushrooms to grow. For beginners we recommend our Mist & Grow Oyster mushroom grow kits. Simply cut an X in one side of the bag, cover with a humidity tent, and mist a few times daily. Within 7-10 days a cluster of baby mushrooms will appear!

How many times can you use a mushroom grow kit? ›

Expect to grow: 2-3 harvests of mushrooms / 150g - 300g

The first flush will always be the biggest. We've had some customers grow up to 4 flushes of mushrooms from our kits but on average you'll get 2 harvests. Once the kit has run out of nutrients and water it will be "spent" and won't produce any more mushrooms.

How to get the most out of a mushroom grow kit? ›

Give your block some fresh air
  1. Take the mushroom block out of the box (and recycle the box!)
  2. Leave the block in the plastic bag.
  3. Place the block cut side up in a shady area where it will receive rainfall.
  4. Check on the block periodically, especially after rain or humid days.

Can mushroom grow kits go bad? ›

Most mushroom kits will store for 3-6 months in the fridge if necessary. To store your kit, keep it in the fridge. This puts the mycelium into hibernation and will prevent it escaping the box early. Don't keep it somewhere it could exceed 30 degrees Celsius.

Where is the best place to put a mushroom grow kit? ›

Your Mushroom Grow Kit will do best in a warm place with indirect sunlight. Place your grow kit with the box opening facing away from a window that doesn't get too much sun.

What is the most valuable mushroom to grow at home? ›

Some easier to cultivate and sell but high value mushrooms are maitake, lion's mane, and depending where you are shiitakes. The mushrooms that are the most profitable tend to be mushrooms going for the supplement or health field rather than culinary.

Do mushroom grow kits regrow? ›

Yes, you can most definitely reuse mushroom grow kits! Mushroom grow kits are generally designed to give you more than one harvest depending on the species of mushroom inside your growing kit. There is enough water nutrition available in the substrate to give you multiple harvests over a period of 2-10 weeks.

How often should I water my mushroom kit? ›

Humidity is a key factor for successful mushroom growth. Spray the area around your kit with a few pumps of water whenever you have a chance, at least 2-3 times a day.

Can you reuse mushroom soil? ›

Appropriate Uses of Spent Substrate. There are many appropriate uses for spent mushroom substrate. Spent mushroom substrate is excellent to spread on top of newly seeded lawns. The material provides cover against birds eating the seeds and will hold the water in the soil while the seeds germinate.

How do I keep my mushroom grow kit humid? ›

Perlite Rock

This method involves placing a layer of perlite at the bottom of the mushroom growing container and adding water to the perlite to create a humid environment. Perlite is a very practical method that is easy to set up and can provide consistent humidity levels.

Is a mushroom farm a good investment? ›

Mushroom farming can be lucrative. Like all business activities, mushroom farming does require some financial investment. However, when it is done correctly, mushroom farming can produce returns that make the initial investment more than worth it.

Do mushroom grow bags work? ›

Some mushroom cultivators like to use mushroom grow bags because this method of growing offers several benefits, including: Mushroom grow bags are generally pretty easy to keep sterile, especially if they're equipped with a filter patch (more on this in a moment) Mushroom grow bags can help growers to conserve space.

Should mushroom kits be kept in dark? ›

Your mushroom kit does not need to be kept in the dark, but under no circ*mstance should you allow direct sun light to shine into your mushroom kit. The sunlight can dry out, overheat, and even kill your kit.

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