Below is a list of the best mushroom growing kits that I recommend for the home cultivator. These kits are fun, relatively inexpensive, and easy to use. I've had a lot of success with these mushroom kits, and I hope you do too!
Remember to read the directions carefully and watch your humidity levels. I think a lot of the failures with mushroom kits in general can be chalked up to either keeping the kit too wet or too dry.
Whether you're interested in growing shiitake mushrooms for food or reishi for medicinal purposes, these mushroom growing kits are a fun and educational way to get started. They make a great gift, and an even better conversation piece!
So. Much. Fun.
Oyster mushrooms are a delicious edible that can lower cholesterol and stimulate the immune system. They're also one of the easiest mushrooms to grow, making oyster mushroom cultivation a great family activity from beginner to advanced.
This kit from Back to the Roots uses an organic substrate, produces multiple delicious crops, and is ridiculously easy to use. This is probably the easiest kit out there for oyster mushroom cultivation. Simply open the box, mist, and wait!
I see this kit is hit or miss for some folks, and I believe the packaging (mushrooms in 10 days) is slightly misleading. I've had great results with this fun and simple kit, just remember to mist on schedule and be patient. It may take a little longer than ten days for mushrooms to appear.
Back to the Roots is also an organic, responsive company that guarantees their kits and frequently donates them to schools. They also include a mister, instructions, and tomato seeds for you to grow once the kit has been used and composted. At only $20, this is one of the best deals for oyster mushroom kits available.
Another fabulous oyster mushroom growing kit, this time phoenix oysters from the Imaginary Farmer.
The kit comes with sawdust pellets, a bag, and growing instructions. After you receive it, you send in a voucher to get the spawn (the material inoculated with mycelium, the organism that eventually creates the mushrooms). From there you mix it all together, add some coffee grounds and water, and wait for your delicious mushrooms.
This oyster mushroom growing kit requires a little more work than the Back to the Roots one, but I think it's worth it. It produces lots of delicious mushrooms, and the company itself is friendly and cares about shipping. Putting the kit together is a fun science experiment, one that can give both kids and adults a better understanding of the mushroom life cycle.
There are advantages in having to send in for the spawn. Because it's shipped as you need it, the spawn is much more "fresh" and viable, meaning your kit is more reliable and likely to grow mushrooms. It also allows you to give the kit as a gift without having to worry as much about using it quickly.
Oyster mushroom cultivation is a lot of fun and this is a reliable product. I love this one!
Growing morel mushrooms is not quite as simple as watering a pre-made box indoors. But if you have an outdoor space and some patience, the results are well worth it.
This morel mushroom kit from Gourmet Mushroom Products contains the spawn and instructions you need to get started. Simply "plant" the spawn in an outdoor garden according to the instructions, and wait!
Since morels cannot be easily cultivated indoors, this kit isn't for those desiring instant gratification. It'll take time for the mushrooms to appear, sometimes up to two seasons. It also works best in areas with a definite transition from winter to spring.
That said, this kit really does work. You may have to wait a while, but this is one of the most reliable methods out there for the home cultivator to grow morel mushrooms. Just make sure you read the instructions carefully!
Shiitake mushrooms are touted for both their delicious taste and health benefits, and this shiitake mushroom growing kit is a steady producer of delicious mushrooms.
Fungi Perfecti is a company founded by noted mycologist Paul Stamets, so their products are usually excellent. This kit is a block of sawdust and woodchips inoculated with shiitake spawn. It's certified organic, easy to use, and sprouts a few pounds of mushrooms over a 12 - 16 week period if you follow this instructions.
Once you harvest, you can use them in all sorts of cooking projects, or dry them for later. I've had a lot of success with this fun product. You can read my full review of the Fungi Perfecti shiitake kit here.
Another great kit from Fungi Perfecti, this time for healthy and delicious lion's mane mushrooms. Lion's mane is an edible medicinal mushroom that supports the brain and nervous system.
It's hard to find good lion's mane kits, and most of the time they're grown on logs. This one is a simple bag that comes with instructions. Simple place the bag over the block of spawn, put it out of direct sunlight, and mist according to the instructions.
I found this kit to reliably produce mushrooms. They don't fruit in huge batches, but it does create beautiful bumpy globes with icicle-like teeth hanging off them. Lion's mane is one of the most unique-looking mushrooms, so this kit is extra fun and captivating for all ages.
Once you grow them, you can use them in a variety of dishes. They have a lobster-like flavor that's easy to work into meals. Be sure to read the instructions and be patient, and this kit will sprout lion's mane for a long time. (I've had really good luck with Fungi Perfecti products).
Reishi mushrooms are reputed to have many health stimulating properties, and this kit is a fun and easy way to grow them. Beware though, unlike other mushroom growing kits, this might take a while to produce and doesn't create huge flushes. Another product that requires a little patience. ;)
This reishi mushroom kit is an inoculated piece of compressed sawdust and woodchips that comes with a plastic tent and instructions. Simply place in a warm, dark environment and mist according to the directions. Some people get mushrooms right away, others have to wait a while. (I had to wait about a few months).
One of the complaints of this kit is that it doesn't produce very many mushrooms. However, you really don't need that many. Reishi is a tough, woody mushroom that needs to be made into a tea or a tincture for the health benefits. It's not directly edible.
If you're looking to start supplementing with reishi and don't want to wait, it might be better to buy some dried mushrooms or supplements. Part of the appeal of this kit is the fun of watching them grow and the science experiment aspect. But if that's what you're looking for, I'd recommend this one.
Known as the hen of the woods, maitake mushrooms are a popular medicinal with powerful health benefits.
This maitake mushrooom kit is another sawdust/woodchip block that comes in a bag. It's another easy one too, just follow the instructions (included) and mist twice a day. Mushrooms should appear within the month. When it's finally exhausted, transfer outside into a garden bed and it may produce more.
Maitake are edible, and you can use your harvest in many different dishes. This is a fun, easy, and inexpensive science project with great medicinal benefits.See customer reviews on Amazon
White button mushrooms might not be very sexy and exciting for some, but they are delicious and fun to grow. And this button mushroom growing kit from Windowbox makes it really easy.
This kit is simply a bag full of inoculated substrate set inside a cardboard box. Open the box and follow the instructions, and you should get white buttons within two weeks. It'll keep flushing every two weeks until the nutrients are used up.
Another nice thing about this product is that Windowbox is a good company to work with. If you have a problem, contact them and they'll contact you back with either advice or a replacement.
Fun, easy to use, and produces lots of edible mushrooms. A good choice for science projects, the beginning cultivator, or anyone that loves white buttons.
Portabella mushrooms are thick, meaty edibles that taste delicious. They're a great meat substitute, and growing them is fast and easy.
This kit from Windowbox is similar to the white button one in that it's a bag of inoculated substrate set in a box. Simply open and follow the instructions and you should have mushrooms within two weeks. The first few crops are huge!
A big complaint with these kits is that they're more expensive than buying the same amount of mushrooms at the grocery store. For common commerical mushrooms like white buttons and portabellas, it's true that you can probably buy more at a store for cheaper than the cost of this kit. Thus, these products are really for those who want a fun, educational, and easy experiment. They make great gifts for kids and mushroom lovers.
Enokitake are yummy edible mushrooms that fruit in huge batches. They're not as well known as some other edible mushrooms, making this kit a great conversation piece in addition to a fun experiment.
This kit is an inoculated wood and sawdust block that fruits in the refrigerator. Beware that the block is large, so you need some fridge space to make it work. That said, the actual growing process is relatively quick and super easy, and the mushrooms are delicious.
This organic enokitake kit is fun and delicious. Since these mushrooms are hard to find in regular grocery stores, this kit is a great experiment if you want to try a new kind of mushroom. Just make sure you have a large or roomy fridge!
Remember that most mushroom growing kits require time and patience. Be sure to read the instructions carefully.