13 Best Mushroom Grow Kits: Your Easy Buying Guide (Updated!)

Mushrooms are having a moment in the food world. They’re low in calories, fat-free, and overflowing with vitamins and antioxidants. Plus, they can benefit your mental health. Mushrooms also happen to taste incredible when included in dozens of recipes and there are literally millions of varieties.

You can find mushrooms at the grocery store but where’s the fun in that? And foraging for fungus in the forest can be overrated (and perhaps dangerous). Be a do-it-yourselfer instead!

With a few tools and the right growing conditions, you can develop your own designer colony at home. With one of these mushroom grow kits, you’ll be well on your way to raising your own savory morsels that will drive your umami taste buds wild.

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How do you use a mushroom grow kit? 

Mushroom growing kits make it incredibly easy to make delicious fresh fungus. Growing mushrooms is a lot easier than you might think, especially when using a kit. Like backyard gardens with tomatoes and carrots, mushrooms of many different varieties can be grown and harvested at your very own home just like any other vegetable. 

Mushrooms have a noticeable advantage in that not only can they grow (obviously) outside but they can thrive indoors as well, even in a small apartment. They require very little space and only a modicum of care to create a delicious harvest in very little time. 

Growing mushrooms inside can be at any time of the year so once the rototiller and lawn mower has been put away for the year, you can still exercise that green thumb a bit. Think of the salad and pizza fixings you could grow this winter with a hydroponic garden and a mushroom grow kit!

Mushrooms are the result of a parent organism called mycelium. In the wild, mycelium is a network of cells similar to a root system of a plant and mushrooms result as its fruit.

Mycelium is a vast network of cells working together to dissolve dead plant material and grow. It can grow quite large and in fact, the largest organism on the planet is thought to be a mycelium mat that covered a 2,400-acre plot of land in eastern Oregon.

Different species of mycelium and the resulting mushrooms enjoy specific materials, or substrates, to consume. Some like hardwoods, some like softwoods, some may even grow in substances like coffee grounds. The mushrooms you wish to grow will require its own respective substrate to grow efficiently.

Mushroom growing kits will arrive at your house ready for immediate use. They consist of a packed substrate, typically pressed sawdust, that’s been inoculated with mushroom spawn. Spawn is any substance that has mycelium growing on it.

This all comes packed in a plastic bag. Most kits only require a spray bottle filled with water, a rubber band, and a clean, sharp knife. 

How long does a mushroom grow kit take?

Mushroom grow kits come with substrate already inoculated and incubated which is an ingenious way for any beginning grower to get started. All of the hassle and potential fungus competition is already taken care of. All you have to do is start growing them as soon as the kit arrives. 

Kits make growing mushrooms ridiculously easy: simply open the box and cut a hole in the bag. Mist some water on the plastic bag each day and approximately a week later, voilà! You’ll begin to see little mushrooms peek out. After around two weeks the mushrooms should be fully grown and ready to enjoy. Keep in mind each kit will have its own specific directions.

There are many different mushroom growing kits available however the most common is oyster mushrooms. They’re aggressive and will grow on just about anything. They’re very easy for a new mushroom farmer to handle. 

Button mushrooms are what you probably are already familiar with. Depending on how long you wish to wait, you can actually enjoy three different types of mushrooms from the same kit: button mushrooms eventually turn into crimini then after a little longer, portobello mushrooms. 

How much does a mushroom grow kit yield?

It really depends on which mushroom variety you choose to grow. Oyster mushrooms provide many, many servings per kit and can be an excellent substitute for pulled pork in vegan recipes. Morels, maybe the tastiest mushrooms around, only grow outside but once established in the soil, will provide many pounds each year and will come back annually. Lion’s Mane mushrooms will provide around a pound and a half each month and have been shown to offer some amazing health benefits.

Once your mushroom grow kit produces the first batch, keep watering it per the kit directions. Most kits will have multiple yields, or flushes. Some will grow mushrooms every few weeks anywhere from a couple of months on up to a year.  

Eventually, the mycelium in the kit will completely use up the nutrients in the substrate and will go dormant. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s no longer alive. If you’re feeling adventurous, place what’s left of the kit in a compost pile, a bale of straw, or wood chips. You may find more mushrooms there next spring.

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