If you love cooking with and eating mushrooms, you’re not alone. Mushrooms are very popular and used for all kinds of culinary delights. However, they can be expensive. You could pick them in the wild, but if you don’t know what you’re doing, this can be a risky endeavor since there are many toxic and poisonous varieties. Like herbs and other vegetables, the good news is that mushrooms can be grown safely at home using the best mushroom growing kits on the market!
Table of Contents
- What are Mushroom Growing Kits?
- Pros of Mushroom Growing Kits
- Cons of Mushroom Growing Kits
- Types of Edible Mushrooms
- Best Mushroom Growing Kits
- Final Thoughts on Top Mushroom Growing Kits
What are Mushroom Growing Kits?
A mushroom growing kit comes ready with everything you need to start growing your own mushrooms. These kits are pretty basic and come with the mushroom mycelium on a substrate, waiting for you to create the right conditions so the fungi can grow. You can even grow these on your home kitchen counter.
I know what you’re thinking. What the heck is mycelium?! What is substrate?! Well, you’re about to find out.
Simply put, mycelium is the vegetative part of a fungus (the part that grows), and substrates are what they grow on.
There are several types of substrates, including pasteurized straw, a log or piece of wood, a block of sterilized sawdust, and wood chips. Sometimes loose sawdust is used to introduce mushroom spawn to other substrates.
Mycelium is alive; therefore, it is important to buy fresh kits and use them reasonably quickly upon arrival. Without the proper care and appropriate starting conditions, they will die. Make sure you plan ahead and buy your kit when you know you’ll be around to get everything set up, so you don’t waste your hard-earned money.
If you cannot use your kit right away, you can probably wait up to 3 to 4 weeks before using if you store it properly, at the right temperature and conditions.
The way you get going with your mushroom growing kit and how you must prepare it will depend on the type of mushroom you want to grow and the substrate, growing medium your kit comes with. Additionally, some kits may not come with the substrate, requiring you to furnish your own. A quick read of the product description will quickly inform you if the kit comes with everything you need to get underway or if you’ll need to come up with anything else.
Depending on your kit and type of mushroom, you’ll likely harvest 2-5 mushroom crops (also called flushes) with likely high yields. Additionally, once your kit has run its course and you throw it in the compost pile, you may still get some more!
Cost for a Mushroom Growing Kit
The best mushroom growing kits cost between $10-$30. There is no need to spend more. They can be purchased online, through mushroom growers, home and garden stores, feed stores, cooking stores, and natural food stores.
Pros of Mushroom Growing Kits
- They are easy to get going and require minimal maintenance, other than frequent watering.
- While the initial cost may be more than buying mushrooms in the store, this will ultimately be cheaper in the long run since you’ll get several flushes of mushrooms.
- They are safer than picking mushrooms in the wild since you know exactly what type you are getting and don’t have to worry about whether or not they are poisonous.
- Many are certified organic, which is not always the case for the mushrooms you buy in the grocery store. Often, you don’t know if store-bought mushrooms have been treated with pesticides.
- They require minimal space and are great for growing mushrooms indoors.
- They are fun, educational, and you can watch them grow right before your eyes!
Cons of Mushroom Growing Kits
- Mushroom growing kits will not give you large enough quantities to grow them commercially, but they should provide you with plenty for personal use.
- The initial expense may cost a little more than what you’d pay for mushrooms in the store, but once they start producing, this cost quickly balances out.
- There is always a chance you could end up with a kit of poor quality. It could contain old mycelium, so make sure to do some research. We suggest buying one of the best mushroom growing kits listed below!
- Never place your mushroom grow kit in direct sunlight. A semi shady spot is the easiest way.
Types of Edible Mushrooms
While there are many types of edible mushrooms, several are pretty popular for growing using an edible mushroom growing kit. Some you’ve likely heard of or eaten before include crimini, Portobello, oyster, chanterelle, porcini, morel, shiitake, blue oyster, pink oyster mushrooms, white button mushrooms, but there are so many more mushrooms and mushroom types!
Best Mushroom Growing Kits
Different mushrooms will require different growing methods, so all of our choices below come with great step by step instructions. Because growing mushrooms with kits are pretty straightforward, these are also some of the best mushroom growing kits for beginners.
Best Organic Mushroom Kit
Back to the Roots Organic Mushroom Grow Kit is one of the most popular, and it’s also an excellent indoor mushroom growing kit. Along with being the best organic, it’s the best oyster mushroom growing kit you’ll likely find. It comes in two varieties, regular oyster mushrooms and rose oyster mushrooms.
Back to the Roots guarantees their kits will grow and stands behind their products 100%. If your kit doesn’t grow, they’ll send you a replacement.
This kit is super easy to use. Follow the instructions, place near indirect light, mist with water twice per day, and soon you’ll have oyster mushrooms. Keep in mind they do not grow overnight. It can take around 7-14 days to see your first mushrooms.
This kit is good for two flushes, although some people have been able to get more. Once it has exhausted itself, you can crumble the substrate and use it to inoculate a new substrate of your choice, such as coffee grounds, straw, sawdust, or another type of your choosing.
Best Shiitake Mushroom Growing Kit
Reasonably priced, the 2funguys Shiitake Plug Spawn Starter Kit is an excellent option for growing shiitake mushrooms. This kit is for outdoor use and requires logs you furnish yourself, but everything else you need is included. The easy-to-follow instructions make growing your own shiitakes a breeze.
Packaged nicely, the company also backs its product and provides excellent service. If you have trouble, they are there to help. People rave about what a great gift this kit makes. Just make sure you refrigerate it upon arrival and not wrap it and leave it under the Christmas tree, which some people have done!
Best Portobello Mushroom Growing Kit
The Willow Mountain Mushrooms Portabella Mushroom Growing Kit includes detailed instructions and everything you need to grow Portobello mushrooms. These kits are shipped fresh weekly, straight from the family-owned Missouri mushroom farm they come from.
These mushrooms grow quite fast (around three weeks) and yield an abundant amount. You will get about 3-4 flushes from this kit, so you will be picking mushrooms for several months. You’ll find these homegrown mushrooms taste much better than store-bought.
There are two downsides to this mushroom kit. You will need a humidity tent, plastic bag, or grow bag to grow these mushrooms, which it does not come with. Additionally, shipping is an extra $18, but it is worth it for months of fresh portobellos. Remember, even with the additional shipping, the amount you end up growing will make it more cost-effective than store-bought in the long run.
Best Morel Mushroom Growing Kit
Morels are considered one of the most delectable mushrooms there are. Morel mushrooms are one of the most sought after. They can also be quite elusive if you choose to look for them yourself. A fun fact about morels is they often grow proliferous in a fire scar the spring after the fire. People flock to these areas to gather these mushrooms, often to sell commercially. They are worth quite a bit of money, and it’s a lucrative business. If you don’t want to worry about competing with other people, a morel mushroom growing kit may be the way to go!
Morels will need to be grown outside rather than indoors. The Mushroom Man LLC, Morel Mushroom Kit is a great option. You will need 4′ x 4′ of outdoor space for these. Morels can be hard to grow. Therefore, the entire habitat description and how to grow these mushrooms come with your kit. The humorous instructions add to the whole experience. This kit is a favorite best morel mushroom kit.
This kit is very reasonably priced considering what morels cost to buy in the grocery store or how hard they can be to find. Morels are spelled with an “e” and not an “a” ( Moral ).
The downside to growing morels is they won’t grow right away, and it could take several months or until the following year before you see results. However, if you’ve ever had the experience of tasting morels, you know it will be worth it! One word of warning: you should cook morels because eating them raw can cause stomach cramps.
Best Blue Oyster Mushroom Growing Kit
Blue Oyster Mushrooms are another crowd favorite mushrooms. With Organic Blue Oyster Mushroom Growing Kits, you could see your first mushroom crop harvest in as little as 2 weeks or between 7-14 days. Grow these Blue Oysters indoors. A humidity tent is included. All you need to add is water. Distilled water is preferred. Buy a gallon of distilled water and a spray bottle to help keep these mushrooms hydrated and growing strong.
Best Lion’s Mane Mushroom Kits
This lions mane mushroom kit contains everything you need to grow mushrooms in a box. The kit includes a lion’s mane log or mushroom log, detailed instructions, spray bottle and a humidity tent. The instructions on how to grow lions mane mushrooms provide you with step by step detail.
Lion’s Mane Mushrooms are an edible mushroom that are easily identified and have a profound and pleasant flavor and smell. Lions mane mushrooms also have medicinal properties.
Final Thoughts on Top Mushroom Growing Kits
Use one of the best mushroom growing kits on the market, and you’re sure to have success in your mushroom growing endeavors!
Growing your own mushrooms is simple and easy, and you may choose to do it for various reasons. As food, mushrooms are low in calories and high in vitamins, making them an excellent addition to a home-cooked meal or tossed in a salad. Delicious mushrooms can have huge health benefits.
Perhaps you want to grow mushrooms because you wish to save money. While the upfront cost of mushroom growing kits is more than you’ll spend on a batch from the store, ultimately, the amount you’ll typically get from each kit will make this option far more cost-effective.
Plus, you’ll know precisely where your mushrooms came from and that they weren’t grown using any harmful pesticides.
Since growing mushrooms is a bit like a science experiment, perhaps you just want to try it out as a fun and educational activity to do with your kids (or yourself!). Even if this is your first try at growing mushrooms, grab the best mushroom growing kit for beginners and see how easy it is to grow and harvest your own mushrooms. Pearl oyster mushrooms, white oyster mushrooms, Reishi mushrooms,
Whatever your reasons for wanting to give it a go, try out one of these kits and see what kind of success you have. As you’re diving into that plate of spaghetti made with your homegrown mushrooms, you’ll be glad you did!