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How Do You Start A Mushroom Growing Kit?

Mushrooms: you either love them or hate them.

If you’re a mushroom lover, there’s a good chance you’re spending more money than you need to feed your habit.

how to start a mushroom growing kit

Yes, mushrooms aren’t ‘break the bank’ expensive, but if you grow your own, you could save yourself plenty of cash in the long term.

It’s not all about the savings, either.

Growing your own mushrooms is a rewarding hobby that yields great results, so if you need a new passion… look no further!

Unfortunately, figuring out how to start can be a tricky one. This is why mushroom growing kits are becoming such a popular choice for amateur growers who want results but don’t have the time to start from scratch.

So if you want to get started with your own kit, we’ll show you the ropes and let you in on a few tips and tricks to set you up for success.

Are Mushroom Growing Kits Worth It?

Not all mushroom growing kits are created equal. However, if you can find a high-quality kit that yields excellent results, then they’re worth every cent.

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Here’s why:

1.) Cost-Effective

Mushroom growing kits are currently booming in popularity. One of the biggest reasons for their success is how cost-effective they are.

Though they may seem to be a pricey initial investment, a growing kit will save you cash further down the line if you’re a mushroom lover.

A quality mushroom growing kit can produce large yields. Compared to the cost of buying mushrooms in your local store, investing in a mushroom growing kit is usually cheaper.

If there’s no such thing as too many mushrooms for you, investing in a kit is the way to go.

2.) Learn Cultivation

If you’ve never grown mushrooms before, figuring out where to start can be overwhelming.

Starting your journey with a good-quality mushroom kit will help you learn the ins and outs of cultivation without having to do too much of the heavy lifting yourself.

In other words, the growing process is broken down into manageable, bite-sized (literally) chunks, so you’ll find it much easier to get to grips with growing on your own!

homegrown shiitake and oyster mushroom

3.) Multiple Harvests

If you clean out your kit correctly and work to prevent contamination, it’s possible to get more than one harvest from your grow kit.

This might be a challenge for beginners, but with a little practice, it’s easy to do. This is also another reason why a quality grow kit can be so cost-effective - emphasis on the quality!

4.) Health for the Whole Family

Culinary and medicinal mushrooms like oyster mushrooms and lion’s mane mushrooms are not only delicious but also loaded with beneficial compounds that help to fight off a range of illnesses and keep your system firing on all cylinders.

Having a constant supply means you and your family can load up on the medicinal benefits of these fungi powerhouses and get quality doses of key vitamins, minerals and nutrients such as protein, iron, calcium, magnesium, selenium and vitamins B1, B2, B5, B6 and B7.

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Do Mushroom Grow Kits Regrow?

As we’ve mentioned, many mushroom kits can produce multiple harvests. However, this will depend largely on how you handle and care for your kit.

The directions vary from manufacturer to manufacturer - however, generally speaking - if you want to produce more than one harvest, we recommend following the steps below:

  • Your grow kit will generally come sealed to prevent mushrooms from growing out of the box before their time! When cutting away the seal and opening the ‘grow window’ - do so carefully as to not cut into the mycelium underneath
  • For your first grow run - mist the mycelium daily and keep the box out of direct sunlight. The ideal temperature for most mushroom grow boxes is 18 - 24 degrees celsius so try and find a spot that allows you to keep it in this range.
  • Once you’ve harvested your first ‘flush’, let your grow box rest for a week or so before beginning this process again. If all goes well you should get another harvest (possibly more), however, this grow run will likely take longer.

Remember: growing cycles can take between three to six weeks depending on the mushroom, so have some patience - it can take a while to see results!

This is a great video walkthrough of how to get your mushroom box growing and when you need to harvest!

Once you've got the hang of growing mushrooms from a kit, you can also try growing mushrooms in your garden - straight from a log.

Where Is The Best Place To Grow A Mushroom Kit?

Mushrooms can be grown in both dark and light conditions, but direct sunlight should be avoided.

Most mushroom species also do best under stable and consistent temperatures of around 18 to 24 degrees Celcius.

While each kit may have its own advice and standards to follow, the required growing conditions for most mushroom kits tend to be pretty consistent.

Most mushrooms will fruit faster at warmer temperatures and slower at cooler temperatures.

So if you want quicker results, place your kit in the warmest room of your house. If you live in a warm climate, placing your kit on a windowsill can work - again, just be sure to avoid direct sunlight.

buy the best mushroom grow kits

While warmer temperatures are desirable, freezing temperatures should be avoided. Although cooler temperatures may not kill off all varieties, many mushrooms experience ‘stunted growth’ in cold conditions and many are more likely to die in cold temperatures.

To ensure you grow your mushrooms in the right conditions, follow some of the tips and tricks below:

  • Choose a room that you can manage to keep at a stable temperature that’s ideal for growing mushrooms (e.g. 18 - 24 degrees celsius). Ideal fruiting ranges for each mushroom variety may vary, so consult your unique growing kit for more advice.
  • Although temperature fluctuations should be avoided, short periods of change between four degrees can be tolerated.
  • You don’t need to keep your mushrooms in the dark, but direct sunlight should be avoided as this can dry out and overheat your kit.
  • Choose a location where your mushrooms can be exposed to ambient light. However, the amount of light your mushrooms receive will not affect their taste.
  • Ensure you’re protecting your kit from insects. For this reason, it’s best to use your kit in an indoor rather than an outdoor location.

Once you’ve picked the perfect spot for your mushroom kit, ensure to keep the casing moist.

You should be aiming to mist or spray your kit at least once a day and avoid letting it completely dry out. Once your mushrooms become dry, it’s hard to remoisten them, so keep on top of the maintenance!

How Much Do You Get From A Mushroom Grow Kit?

How Much Do You Get From A Mushroom Grow Kit

After three to six weeks of setting up your kit, you can start to harvest your first mushrooms. On average, two harvests can produce anywhere between 150g to 300g of mushroom (with some lucky cultivators even reporting up to 7 harvests from the Life Cykel Oyster Mushroom Growing Kit!)

Remember though, results may vary depending on how well you take care of your kit, the type of mushroom you are growing and the type of growing conditions you work with.

So, follow the instructions above to ensure you’re getting the most from your mushroom growing kit.

How Do You Take Care Of A Mushroom Kit?

To get the best results from your mushroom box, you’ll need to choose a location with the right temperature and light exposure to get the best results.

Maintenance is also just as essential as selecting the correct location.

Setting up your kit in the right way is one thing, but to produce the yields that keep you consistently supplied with fresh mushrooms, you need to keep on top of maintenance.

So, how do you take care of a mushroom kit?

Most mushroom kits come as a sealed block or tray. To get started, you’ll need to open the seal and give it a good water soaking to get going. That’s literally it.

Thankfully, the maintenance side of things isn’t too difficult, either. What’s most important is that you prevent your mushrooms from drying out.

So, you’ll need to water your block once or twice a day. We’d recommend using a misting bottle to get good coverage and keep your mushrooms moist.

As long as you set up your kit correctly and remember to water it, you’ll start to see your first mushrooms appear within a week - usually less!

You’ll just need to monitor your growing conditions and make sure your mushrooms aren’t exposed to any harsh changes in temperature or light.

This is what makes mushroom growing kits so popular - it really has never been easier to grow them at home!

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Do Mushroom Kits Need Sunlight?

Mushrooms are truly unique.

Unlike other plants, mushrooms don’t contain chlorophyll, the pigment that creates the plant's green colour and allows them to create their own food via photosynthesis.

Because mushrooms lack chlorophyll, they don’t need sunlight to grow.

However, this doesn’t mean you should be growing your mushrooms in complete darkness.

In fact, mushrooms need a degree of light to successfully produce fruit bodies. However, they only need a few hours a day to guarantee successful fruiting.

If you’re growing your mushroom kit indoors, using a fluorescent lamp or indirect sunlight should be sufficient enough.

Remember: mushrooms often grow in wooded and shaded areas, with access to filtered light in the wild.

We’re not asking you to recreate a forest in your own home, but it is possible to mimic conditions such as light exposure without too much work.

how to grow mushrooms

Why Won’t My Mushroom Kit Grow?

Picture this: you’ve recently discovered that mushroom kits are the easy, fool-proof option for beginner growers.

You set up your kit, choose your conditions and wait for a yield… only to get absolutely nothing.

Why won’t your mushroom kit grow?

There are a few reasons why your mushroom kit might not be growing. These reasons include:

  • Insufficient Moisture: Do NOT let your mushrooms dry out. If you’ve missed a few days of watering (or you haven’t been soaking them densely enough), your mushrooms will fail to grow.
  • Not Enough Air: Mushrooms need oxygen to grow, so keep a fresh flow of air in your environment to keep them healthy and thriving.
  • Not Clean Enough: If you’ve introduced a foreign organism into your mushroom kit, this could kill your project or compromise growth. It’s easier to do this than you might think - simply not washing your hands before handling the kit can be enough to sabotage your growth.
  • Too Much Moisture: Not enough moisture can wreak havoc with your growth, but too much can also do the same! Balance is key. Avoid drowning your mushrooms to compensate for lack of watering. Aim to keep them consistently moist.
  • Bad Spawn: Sometimes, it’s not you. You may simply have invested in some bad spawn that was always destined to fail. It sucks, but it happens. To avoid this, make sure you’re buying your mushroom kit from a reputable, well-reviewed company. Also, avoid buying your kit from a remote location. If your kit has to travel far to reach you, this could affect your spawn.
  • Too Much Sunlight: Remember, too much sunlight can be detrimental to your mushrooms. You may have inadvertently stunted their growth if you’ve been exposing them to direct sunlight. Instead, keep your mushrooms in ambient lighting for best results.
  • Too Cold: Mushrooms want those nice warm and stable temperature ranges we’ve talked about. Don’t let them drop below this range for too long or they may not come out!

What Is The Best Mushroom Kit To Buy?

We’ve tried a tonne of different brands over the years and have found that Life Cykel produces the most reliable growing kits on the market - without question.

The mycelium is strong and usually gives us 3 to 4 harvests (when maintained properly) of huge and healthy mushrooms.

They offer both oyster mushroom and lion’s mane mushroom grow kits that are super simple to get going and absolutely delicious

Add to that - their kits save thousands of tonnes of coffee waste from landfill each year, contributing to their concept of a ‘green economy’, and they have an excellent operating ethos and transparent testing process throughout their entire business.

Finally - they offer a ‘grow guarantee, meaning that if your box doesn’t produce anything, they’ll send you a brand new one! Life Cykel for the win.

buy life cykel mushroom growing kits
life cykel oyster mushroom growing kit

The Bottom Line

Mushroom growing kits are the perfect way to get bulk mushrooms into your life whilst having fun and saving money along the way!

They’re low maintenance, easy to set up, and almost guaranteed to yield results.

So - there’s no better time to get started with your own mushroom growing kit and see the results for yourself!

Darcy Ogdon-Nolan

Holding a Bachelor Of Science (Hons.) combined with close to a decade now in the health food and wellness industry, I believe I'm uniquely positioned to provide a depth of knowledge and first-hand experience on emerging health products, trends and ideas! From greens powders and medicinal mushrooms through to protein powders and workout nutrition - I'm particularly interested in what modern science can uncover about what human cultures have been using to treat ailments for millennia!

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