Can I Grow My Own Mushrooms?
You can grow edible mushrooms at home and it can be easy. In this article I will take you through the steps needed to grow your own mushrooms from spores or a kit. The Mushroom Growing Supplies List can be used to make sure you have everything on hand, whether that means mushroom growing kits or all the indoor growing supplies needed to start from scratch. Plus, you can print the mushroom growing supply list and keep it somewhere handy.
How Do You Grow Edible Mushrooms at Home?
There are two basic ways to grow mushrooms at home. You can start with sterile spores and nurture them into mushrooms (the fruiting body of the organism) or you can start with a mushroom growing log that has been inoculated with spores.
For easy mushroom growing, you may want to buy one of the many edible mushroom growing kits available. With a kit, you know the spores (like seeds, only for mushrooms) are sterile and that they are already in a good mushroom growing medium. The mushroom growing cycle has already begun, so you may get mushrooms sooner.
The mushroom supplies on our list will help you grow mushrooms from scratch, or from spores, as it is. If you are interested in starting a mushroom growing business or just want to grow mushrooms on a larger scale, this is the way to go. Or maybe you just like DIY projects.
Mushroom Growing Supplies List
Let’s start with the mushroom growing supplies list. Keep reading for instructions on mushroom growing at home from spores or with an at home mushroom growing kit. Here are the mushroom cultivation supplies you will need to get started and a description of each item.
|Why You Need It
|Home Mushroom Growing Kit
|You can either purchase a kit to grow shitake mushrooms, morel mushrooms, white button mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, chanterelle mushrooms or whatever shroom you want OR you can get the items below to create your own indoor mushroom growing kit.
|Spores or Mycelium
|Spores can be purchased on their own, in sawdust, or in a plug form. Read on about how to grow mushrooms to see what works best for you. We suggest starting with (relatively) easy Agaricus bisporus (white button mushrooms). You can also gather these from wild mushrooms (if you are absolutely certain of your identification skills) or ones you have grown.
|Canning Jars With Lids
|Sterilized canning jars work great, as do empty jam jars. If you are reusing jars, get new lids and rings or use a plastic lid. You can also use filter bags or filter boxes for mushroom cultivation in lieu of the jars.
|A mushroom growing system requires serious sterilization. Tyvek material or filter wool used in aquariums is used for making a filter in the glass jar.
|A pressure cooker is used to sterilize the spores and all of your mushroom growing equipment. You can get a new one on Amazon or find one in a thrift store or borrow one.
|Mushroom Growing Substrate
|You can use rye, straw, vermiculite, rice flour, etc, for growing home mushrooms. If you don’t buy it sterilized and ready to go, you will need to do the sterilizing yourself.
|Knife or Scalpel
|You’ll want something that can make delicate cuts to add to your mushroom growing equipment.
|It’s essential to maintain the right mushroom growing conditions and that means frequent spritzing if you aren’t in a super humid environment.
|Again, keeping your mushroom growing system and all its parts sterile is crucial. If you are not working in a special mushroom growing chamber (a glove box or Laminar flow hood) you need to disinfect the heck out of your work area.
|Mushrooms like certain growing temperatures. You can use a mushroom growing light (a grow light) to keep them warm if needed. A thermometer lets you know what your room temperature is and some, like this one, measure humidity.
|Latex or other hospital gloves help keep your tools and environment sterile.
|Tray, Mushroom Bag, or Log
|Depending on which type of mushrooms you plan to grow, you can “plant” them in mushroom growing trays, a bag with holes in the side, or a log with holes drilled into it.
|Plastic wrap is used to cover the trays to keep moisture in.
|Keep your spores warm until they grow their mycelia.
|Zippered Plastic Bags
|Plastic bags are used to store mushrooms after harvest.
You can download the list here: Mushroom Growing Supplies List
Mushroom Growing Kits For Sale
How do you spawn a mushroom at home? Home mushroom growing is easy if you start with a kit. The best mushroom growing kit will have everything you need: Mushroom spores or mycelium, growing substrate, a method for keeping the humidity at the right level, and mushroom growing kit instructions.
Starting with a kit is the best option for anyone who is looking for mushroom growing made easy. You still have to take care of them – not too wet, not too dry – but it starts you off on the right foot. When you buy a mushroom growing kit, it will include a mushroom growing book or instructions. If you want to get more in depth, we like the book, “The Essential Guide to Cultivating Mushrooms.”
We especially like giving these gifts as presents. If you are looking for an unusual gift for gardeners or a unique gift idea for family, this will fit the bill. I got my first mushroom log as a gift and thought it was such a great idea.
Mushroom kits also make great science fair projects for kids. One of the kits mentioned below even comes with curriculum and STEM materials.
For a mushroom growing kit, Amazon has a lot of selection. There are also smaller mushroom sellers that may sell a couple different species of mushrooms. You might even be able to find a friend with a starter kit to get you going.
Mushroom Growing Kit Reviews
When you buy a mushroom growing kit, you need to consider two things:
- What type of mushroom do you want to grow?
- Do you want the easiest mushroom to grow or are you up for some gardening? Oyster and button mushrooms require the least misting, while pink oyster mushrooms and shiitake take more frequent spraying.
The best mushroom growing kit fits those two parameters. Here’s a look at some of our favorites.
All of these mushroom kits come with a guarantee to replace the kit or refund your money if the mushrooms don’t grow. Each kit will give you at least two flushes (mushroom blooms for harvesting). The enclosed instructions tell you how to do this. Each is a mushroom growing kit with spores or mycelium and shouldn’t require you (or your gift recipient) to buy anything else.
|Days to Harvest
|Back To The Roots Organic Mushroom Growing Kit
|Everything you need: Organic mushroom box with substrate and mycelium, spray bottle, Mushroom Discovery Book & STEM curriculum online.
|Root Mushroom Farm Shiitake Mushroom Growing Kit
|Everything you need: organic shiitake mushroom log with substrate and mycelium, a humidity tent, a spray bottle and a detailed instructions.
|Pink Oyster Mushroom Farm
|Everything you need: organic mushroom bag with substrate and mycelium, a spray bottle and a detailed instructions.
|Reishi Edible Mushroom Kit
|Chemical-free mushroom bag with substrate and mycelium, humidity tent, instructions
|White Button Mushroom Growing Kit
|Mushroom box with substrate and mycelium, instructions. Only available September – April.
|Morel Mushroom Growing Kits
|Morel spores in sawdust. Unlike the other kits, morels grow best outside. Mix the spores/sawdust with water and Karo syrup and water it in a shady area with sandy soil.
|Possibly a few years!
Gourmet Mushroom Growing Kit Tips
- Follow the instructions carefully
- Start your mushroom kit right away, or put it in the refrigerator for a couple days if you must, but don’t let it sit around and go to mold or let the mycelium dry out and die.
- Increase number of times per day that you mist if you live in a dry area
- Don’t give up – if you see a green mold growing or mushrooms don’t “pin” right away, keep on taking care of your mushroom kit, it will often flush anyway.
How To Grow Mushrooms Without a Kit
or How Do You Spawn a Mushroom at Home?
Now that you have a list of materials required for mushroom cultivation and you have determined that you don’t want to use an indoor mushroom growing kit, let’s talk about how to make your own mushroom growing house.
Mushroom Growing Methods
- Have all the items on the mushroom growing supply list clean and ready.
- Sterilize your items in the pressure cooker –mushroom growing substrate, glass jars, and filter material.
- Sterilize your growing trays with a bleach/water mixture and fill with your sterilized mushroom substrate. OR Put the substrate in jars and inoculate there. Once the mycelium grows, move them to a tray, bag, or log.
- If the substrate isn’t moist from the pressure cooker soaking, wet it with distilled water or rainwater.
- Inoculate the substrate with the spores you ordered or collected. Make sure the substrate isn’t hot (right out of the pressure cooker) or it will kill your spores.
- Cover with plastic wrap and poke holes with a toothpick to allow airflow, but still retain moisture.
- 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.
- Keep the mushrooms in a dark, cool area. You can buy a grow box and not use the light, keep them in a basement, or even place them in a pantry or cupboard. Spritz them with water a few times to a day to keep the substrate damp.
- Once you can see the mycelium, remove the heating pad and keep the mushrooms at 55 to 60 degrees F. Continue spraying with water to keep your substrate moist. At this point you may cover the spawn with an inch or so of potting soil, but it isn’t really necessary for most mushrooms.
Mushroom Growing Tips
- Mushrooms don’t need or like light (they don’t photosynthesize like plants). Keep them in the dark at least until they pin. (Pinning is when you see the first little fruiting bodies or mushrooms.)
- Mushrooms do like stable temperatures. Keep them where they won’t get too hot or cold – 50-60 degrees F is perfect for most fungi.
- Keep them moist (I am sorry I keep using that word!). Mushrooms don’t like to dry out.
- Harvest your mushrooms when the caps open and they reach the appropriate size for their species. It is better to cut the stalk with a knife then pull them out of the substrate as you want to preserve their mycelium so they can produce more mushrooms.
- Inoculate your substrate with spores intermittently so you have a constant supply of fresh, edible mushrooms.
How Long Does it Take To Grow Edible Mushrooms?
How long it takes for a mushroom to go from spore to mushroom depends on the species and growing conditions.
Most mushroom spores will take at least a week to grow mycelium. Once that occurs, you can expect the fruiting bodies, or mushrooms, to flush in about eight weeks. Mushrooms like morels, could take a few years!
What Conditions Are Needed For a Mushroom To Grow?
As mentioned in the mushroom growing tips above, mushrooms like a dark, dank environment. Keep it cool (50-60 degrees F), dark, damp, and draft-free for the best mushroom growing conditions.