Whether you're interested in growing mushrooms as a culinary pursuit, gardening hobby, or science experiment, a mushroom grow kit makes the process easy and accessible. You can grow a range of species right on your kitchen counter, including oyster mushrooms, shiitakes, and lion's mane. Not only is it fun to watch them grow from little pinheads to full-sized fungi, but you also get fresh mushrooms to use in soup, pasta, pizza, and more.
In this article, we'll explain how mushroom grow kits work and show you our top 10 favorite kits. If you're not sure where to begin, we recommend reading our buying guide for some helpful tips. But if you just want to dive right in, Back to the Roots' Organic Mushroom Growing Kit is an excellent place to start. This kit is beginner-friendly and can yield your first harvest of oyster mushrooms in just 10 days!
While buying a mushroom grow kit is a virtually foolproof way to get mushrooms, it can be helpful to understand the mushroom growing cycle so that you can better evaluate different kits. When you purchase a mushroom grow kit, you get a substrate that has been inoculated with mushroom spawn (mycelium in a carrier) and is incubating.
During the incubation process, the mushroom mycelium starts to take over the substrate. The mycelium is what will produce the mushrooms and is sort of similar in function to a sourdough starter. It looks like a mat of soft, white threads.
When you receive your kit and cut open the plastic, you begin exposing the mycelium to air and water, which will then form mushrooms! After harvest, if the substrate still contains nutrients, the mycelium will usually continue to produce mushrooms until the nutrients are exhausted.
If you're new to growing mushrooms at home, many experts recommend starting with oyster mushrooms. However, if you're not a fan of oysters or want to try something else, the kits on our list provide you with everything you need to get started.
|Ideal temperature||Not provided|
|Substrate||Red alder, rye|
|Ideal temperature||Not provided|
|Ideal temperature||75-85°F (not lower than 65℉)|
Back to the Roots
Michigan Mushroom Company
Root Mushroom Farm
Bluff City Fungi
Willow Mountain Mushrooms
Sno Valley Mushrooms
QH Mushroom Farm
Organic Mushroom Growing Kit
Grow Your Own Mushrooms Kit
Grow Your Own Pink Oyster Mushrooms
Shiitake Mushroom Grow Kit
Golden Oyster Mushroom Growing Kit
Oyster Mushroom Kit
White Button Mushroom Growing Kit
Shiitake Mushroom Growing Kit
King Oyster Mushroom Grow Kit
Organic Red Reishi Mushroom Growing Kit
Grow Oyster Mushrooms Right in the Box
Meaty Lion's Mane Mushrooms for Any Diet
Oyster Mushrooms That are Pretty in Pink
A Simple Shiitake Growing Kit
The Kit That Keeps Giving
Mushrooms That are Ready to Burst out of the Bag
Grow Mushrooms from the Missouri Ozarks
Fresh Shiitakes in Just One Week
A Great Vegan Replacement for Scallops
Used in Traditional Eastern Medicine
|Mushroom||Oyster||Lion's mane||Pink oyster||Shiitake||Golden oyster||Oyster||Button||Shiitake||King oyster||Reishi|
|Substrate||Soil||Wood tri-blend||Sawdust||Sawdust||Not provided||Enriched sawdust||Not provided||Red alder, rye||Not provided||Sawdust|
|Ideal temperature||65-68°F||50-75°F||Not provided||60-70ºF||65-80°F||55-75°F||63-68°F||50-70°F||Not provided||75-85°F (not lower than 65℉)|
When choosing a mushroom grow kit, be sure to pick a mushroom that you enjoy eating since you'll likely have a lot of it! Personal preference aside, here are some important factors to consider.
Some mushrooms are easier to grow than others. If you’re just starting out, it’s a good idea to pick a more forgiving mushroom type so you can familiarize yourself with the process before attempting to grow more difficult mushrooms.
The number one recommended mushroom for beginners is the oyster mushroom. They come in many varieties, including pearl, blue, golden, pink, and king oysters.
Each type has slightly different preferences when it comes to temperature and moisture, but in general, they’re aggressive growers that can grow on just about any substrate, or growing surface.
They tend to require less attention than other varieties and they're also quick to fruit; the fastest growing oyster mushroom kits can take less than a week!
Of course, oyster mushrooms aren’t the only option! Shiitakes are a popular mushroom for their meaty texture and are fairly easy to grow. In nature, they grow outdoors on logs, but can also be cultivated on straw or sawdust. They tend to be less sensitive to temperature and humidity fluctuations than other mushrooms.
Lion’s mane is a unique-looking mushroom that's edible and used in Eastern medicine. It fruits reliably and can produce multiple batches of large mushrooms. Button mushrooms, like the ones commonly seen at the grocery store, can also be grown fairly easily, both indoors and outdoors.
If you have the basics down, try your hand at growing a different variety. Reishi, or lingzhi, mushrooms are traditionally used in Eastern medicine and can take one of two forms depending on light, temperature, humidity, and carbon dioxide levels. They typically produce a single batch.
Maitake mushrooms have a nutty flavor and crunchy texture and can be grown outdoors on logs or indoors on sawdust. They’re more sensitive to their environment and require attentive care and plenty of time for the best results.
Some mushrooms, like chanterelles and morels, can only be grown outdoors. These types of mushrooms form symbiotic relationships with the roots of other plants, exchanging nutrients and minerals.
If you’re interested in cultivating chanterelles or morels, know that it can be a difficult undertaking that may take years to yield mushrooms. But once you see results it can be very rewarding!
Generally, mushrooms need humidity, airflow, and a steady temperature to thrive. Some prefer indirect light while others like total darkness. Most mushrooms can be grown both indoors or outdoors, but the environment is easier to control indoors.
If you do want to grow your mushrooms outside, look for a spot that doesn’t get too much direct sunlight. Also, research the mushroom’s preferred humidity, temperature, and season to make sure it will work with your climate.
For indoor growers, find a spot in your home where you can have some control over the temperature and humidity. Some kits do well in basements, closets, or cabinets, while others can be placed on your kitchen counter.
You can also consider placing your grow kit inside a container with holes or under a plastic tent to help trap moisture. Just make sure that there’s still room for air to flow.
Just like plants, different mushrooms prefer different environments. Some thrive in temperatures as low as 55 degrees Fahrenheit, while others do better around 75. Some need constant humidity, while others can withstand drier periods.
Once you know where your kit will go, you can assess your ability to control the temperature and humidity of the space. Then, take a look at the product descriptions and manufacturer recommendations to ensure you get a kit that will thrive.
The substrate is what the mushrooms grow on. It provides their nutrition as well as a place for them to grow. Substrates are typically a natural, fibrous material and can include straw, corn cobs, sawdust, newspaper, wood pellets, logs, and even kitty litter.
With mushroom growing kits, you don’t need to worry about which substrate to use, since it will be provided for you. Logs and compressed sawdust are both common and can come in cube or cylinder shapes that sit horizontally or vertically. They'll all work; the concern here is mainly aesthetic.
The substrate is typically enclosed in a plastic bag to keep it sterilized, which is important for growth. Some kits come contained in a box, while others come with just the bag. The kit will instruct you to slice an opening in the bag or box and the mushrooms will grow from there.
Whether you have a whole backyard or just some extra space on your kitchen counter, growing your own food is a rewarding experience that can strengthen your bond with Mother Nature. Check out some more of our favorite gardening products below.
If you've never tried growing your own mushrooms before, there's no better time than now! Growing mushrooms from a kit is a low-maintenance and rewarding project that both kids and adults can enjoy. Mushrooms grow fairly quickly, so there's something new to see every day. And at the end, you get a bounty of fresh, tasty 'shrooms!
When choosing a kit, consider your experience level and choose a mushroom species to match. Think about where you'll put it; kits can be used in a basement, cabinet, on your kitchen counter, or even in your garden. And check the mushrooms' preferred growing conditions, like temperature, light, and humidity, to make sure they'll thrive.
Author: Melissa Jong
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