Mushroom growing kits make it easy to have lots of beautiful and delicious mushrooms with minimal effort. They're fun for beginners just learning how to grow mushrooms and seasoned cultivators alike.
A kit is simply mushroom mycelium growing on some sort of material, called a substrate. When you purchase a mushroom kit, most of the hard work of growing the mycelium and preparing the substrate has been done for you. For many people, having to do less work to grow mushrooms far outweighs the cost of the kit.
Mushroom kits can come with different substrates. Some examples are:
Read on to learn more about mushroom growing kits including how they work, advantages and disadvantages, and where to buy them. They're a great gift for curious kids, elderly nature lovers who need an easy project, bored gardeners in the winter, or just anyone who loves mushrooms!
Most mushroom growing kits are like a low-maintenance boyfriend or girlfriend. All they really need is fresh air, water, a decent location, and a little patience. ;)
As the kit already has growing mycelium, all you need to do is create the right conditions for it to produce mushrooms. This usually involves exposing the kit to a cold temperature for a day, and then keeping it watered.
The cold simulates fall temperatures, encouraging the mycelium to create mushrooms as a method of reproduction before winter.
Keep in mind that the mycelium is alive and won't survive if left in a box without air or water. Mushroom growing kits do have a definite shelf life, so use it as soon as you can after it arrives.
Here's roughly what to expect to do with various substrates. The instructions that come with your kit will go into more detail.
After your mushroom kit has fruited once, keep watering it per the directions. Most kits will have multiple flushes. Some will continue to grow mushrooms every few weeks for 2 months up to a year.
You may still get some use out of your kit after it stops producing. Just because the nutrients in the substrate have been used up doesn't mean that the mycelium isn't still alive. Throw it outside on a bale of straw, a bed on wood chips, or in a compost pile. You may have mushrooms in that spot next spring!
There are advantages to using mushroom kits to grow your own mushrooms.
They're also fun, rewarding, and produce delicious mushrooms!
Of course, it's not always fungal fun and games. Here are some possible problems with mushroom kits:
Don't let these factors turn you off! I've done the research for you, so read on for my recommendation on where to buy.
You may find mushroom kits at the following places:
I always encourage supporting local businesses, so call or visit any of these places to see what they have.
If local stores don't carry them, or if the quality seems poor, the prices too high, and the selection isn't great then it's time to turn to the Internet.
There are lots of places on the Internet to buy supplies to grow mushrooms, some better than others. If you're going to buy a mushroom growing kit, I highly recommend searching through all the various mushroom kits on Amazon. The Back to the Roots kit (right) is a great place to start. This company gets good reviews and seem very dedicated to their product.
Another great company for kits is Fungi Perfecti. They're known for their selection, good prices, and excellent customer service. I like their mushroom supplies for the following reasons:
And most importantly.....
Their kits work. They produce multiple crops of healthy mushrooms. I've tried a few different ones now and I've always been satisfied with the results.
So if you're looking for growing kits, I suggest giving them a try. Whatever you choose, read through the reviews on Amazon first. But take them with a grain of salt, many times people simply don't give kits enough water and patience.
Growing your own mushrooms is a great way to get some delicious food, learn about nature, and have fun. So whether you're learning how to grow mushrooms or if you just want an easy project, give mushroom growing kits a try!