The Best Mushroom Growing Kits and Logs
No garden? No light? No problem! These mushroom logs and mushroom growing kits let you grow edible mushrooms in almost any conditions.
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Mushroom Growing Kit 101
Have you ever thought about growing mushrooms? We have! A few years ago, mushroom growing kits exploded onto the market, and now people can’t get enough! Here’s how to get in on the “shroom boom” trend.
A mushroom growing kit offers an enjoyable, uncomplicated way to grow your own food. These kits typically include a box or a log already seeded with spores. Keep the kit moist and at a constant temperature to see quick results with fun, edible varieties.
Small space and low light? No problem. Low maintenance mushrooms don’t mind. Shiitakes, golden oysters, blue oysters, lion’s mane…the list of edible mushrooms goes on and on. Here are the best mushroom logs and mushroom growing kits to get you started.
Why Grow a Mushroom Kit?
“People are used to watching a plant sprout from seed and grow, but they rarely pay attention to the fungus life cycle,” says Matt McInnis, cofounder of North Spore, a mushroom supply company based in Maine. “Mushrooms grow in niche environments that other food plants don’t tend to tolerate.” Start with one of the many mushroom growing kits available on the market today. “These kits focus on species of mushrooms that aren’t finicky and will grow in most environments,” Matt says.
Mushrooms’ fast growth rate means your crop is ready to harvest much sooner than with tomatoes or beans. Plus, they’re a great source of protein and nutrients, as well as easy to grow right at home.
Many of the beginner kits use oyster varieties. The kits usually include a log or sawdust block that is pre-colonized with mycelium (the mushroom’s root system) and mushroom spawn, which remain dormant until you open the container and provide water and indirect light.
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Mushroom Growing Kit Care
Spray the growing kit with water a couple of times a day, and keep it in a humid area that’s out of direct sunlight—near your kitchen sink can be ideal.
Contrary to popular thought, mushrooms don’t grow in complete darkness, but bright sun does cause them to dry out. Within a week or so, you’ll see small “pins” begin to form, aka baby mushrooms. A couple of days after that, your mushrooms will be ready to harvest!
Want to skip the kit? You’ll need a bucket, a sterile growing substrate and mushroom spawn. Follow the growing directions for your specific variety, and the fungi will be ready to eat in no time. “Mushrooms want to grow,” Matt says. “All you need to do is pay a little attention to their environment.”
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The Best Types of Mushrooms to Grow and Harvest
Along with the popular oyster varieties, indoor growers can also try lion’s mane, shiitake, wine cap and button mushrooms. When you’re ready for more of a challenge, take on reishi, maitake or morels. These often require some advanced techniques and equipment, such as specially designed fruiting chambers known as “Martha tents,” and they may take a little longer to yield a harvest.
Whether you invest in a kit or try your luck from scratch, growing mushrooms indoors is a rewarding pastime. As Matt points out, “They’re the missing link in our food system, and they’re finally getting the attention they deserve.”
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Backyard Mushroom Morel Growing Kit
The Morel Habitat Kit is meant for outdoor use. It’s designed to be grown directly in soil, and you need about four to five square feet of ground (like a small raised bed). Morels are a perennial crop and will continue to produce fungi year after year if the appropriate conditions are provided. You can get started anytime the soil is workable, which depends on your climate and plant zone (psst—here’s how to find your first and last frost dates). The kit includes a bag of inoculated California mushroom spawn and a set of growing instructions.
Oyster Mushroom Log Kit
These oyster mushroom log kits are handmade in Georgia and pretty enough to compete with houseplants. Each log is made from recently felled aspen and poplar trees, and planted with organic oyster mushroom spores inside. All you have to do is soak the mushroom log and keep it in a damp, cool, dark place. In between seven and 12 months, you’ll be in fresh mushroom heaven. Re-soak and harvest every six weeks for up to three years. Prefer shittake mushrooms? The same company has shittake mushroom log kits.
Lion’s Mane Mushroom Growing Kit
Looking to branch out? Lion’s mane mushrooms may look unusual but they’re completely edible, and have a mild seafood flavor. They absorb flavors (and liquid) like a sponge, which makes them versatile in cooking. And, you gotta see one! They look like a mane of lush white hair growing out of a log. These mushroom grow kits can take a few weeks to mature, but some gardeners have reported faster results. Curious about edible flowers? Discover the flowers that you can eat.
Mushroom Growing Kit Trio
For mushroom lovers who want to grow more than one variety of fungi at a time, this 3-pack mushroom growing kit is the best choice. The trio includes white oyster, pink oyster and brown oyster mushrooms. You can begin to harvest mushrooms within two weeks! Yum!
Black Oyster Mushroom Grow Kit
Oyster mushrooms are one of the most popular mushroom varieties to grow from a kit. This black oyster mushroom kit lets you grow mushrooms right on the kitchen counter. These kits are small, hand-crafted batches from a family farm in the Cascade Foothills of Western Washington. Your harvest should total between one two pounds of fresh mushrooms. Delicious!
Pink Oyster Mushroom Grow Kit
Pink oyster mushrooms look gorgeous in a salad, as well as growing in the living room. Get pink mushrooms in this mushroom kit. It comes with everything you need to grow mushrooms indoors, including a misting bottle and a box fully colonized with mushroom mycelium. Want to grow flowers and veggies next spring? We found seed starter kits and supplies to jump-start your garden.
Chicken of the Woods Mushroom Plugs
Try chicken of the woods mushrooms for a fresh, fun twist on meatless meals. They’re also super colorful! The plugs need to be hammered into logs and grown outdoors, so this is not a good choice if you don’t have a yard.
Back to the Roots Organic Mushroom Growing Kit
This mushroom kit is organic and non-gmo—and you can grow it straight from its cardboard package. To grow pearl oyster mushrooms, simply open the box and spray with water. You should expect to have edible mushrooms in about 10 days. Each crop produces three to four servings of mushrooms, and each box can grow up two crops.
Shiitake Mushroom Log
For the gardener that has it all, give them a unique project. This shiitake mushroom log is already seeded with spores. Just soak the log in water and wait for the mushrooms to appear. Enjoy your mushroom harvest for up to three years. Psst—we found gardening subscription boxes you’ll love to unbox.
Golden Oyster Mushroom Grow Kit
Get ready to feast—golden oyster mushrooms are delicious to eat! Spritz the box twice daily with water and you’ll start seeing “baby mushrooms” within two weeks. You can start to harvest and enjoy them a few days later. Each kit includes instructions and tips for growing and cooking your mushrooms. Interested in trying an AeroGarden? Here’s our editor’s AeroGarden review.