I Tried Growing a Shiitake Mushroom Kit—Here’s What Happened

Updated: Jan. 19, 2023

Want a fun, easy way to grow fresh organic mushrooms that are safe to eat? Check out our review of a shiitake mushroom growing kit.

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shiitake mushroom growing kitVia Merchant
Each kit comes with a mushroom log, vented humidity bag and a spray bottle.

Mushroom logs and mushroom kits have taken root as a favorite gardening activity for amateur and professional gardeners and cooks alike. A mushroom growing kit offers an enjoyable, uncomplicated, and affordable way to grow a variety of edible mushrooms (shiitakes, golden oysters, blue oysters, lion’s mane) in low light and with little hassle. Interested in hopping on this edible garden trend yourself? Here’s my review of a shiitake mushroom growing kit. Read on for a first hand account on growing fresh shiitake.

P.S. If you’re wondering why mushrooms grow in your lawn and garden, here’s what you can do.

Why Did You Try a Shiitake Mushroom Growing Kit?

Back to the Roots sent me their new shiitake mushroom growing kit to test out. I didn’t have any previous experience with growing mushrooms, but I am an experienced vegetable gardener. I enjoy the benefits of growing my own food (and eating it!) and growing mushrooms was no exception.

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What Did the Shiitake Mushroom Growing Kit Look Like on Arrival?

mushroom growing kitCourtesy Lori Vanover
Unboxing the organic shiitake mushroom growing kit

The mushroom kit was delivered in good shape. Directions on the box said to open it up and start growing mushrooms right away, but I think I kept it sealed up for a day or two. A brown and white colored log was packaged a long cardboard box with a clear plastic bag and a small spray bottle. There was no unpleasant odor or messy soil.

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Where Did You Grow Your Shiitake Mushroom Kit? 

Img 3415Courtesy Lori Vanover
Soaking the mushroom log in a 5-gallon bucket filled with water

Following the directions, I soaked the log in water inside a 5-gallon plastic hardware bucket overnight (I had to flip it over halfway through because the whole log wouldn’t fit in the bucket). I placed a heavy wooden cutting board on top of the bucket to keep the log from floating up above the water level. After it finished soaking, I slipped the log into the included plastic bag and placed it on a metal baking sheet on top of my kitchen island. The vented bag helps maintain a high humidity level high so the log won’t dry out. 

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What Was the Mushroom Growing Process Like?

Img 3455Courtesy Lori Vanover
Spray the log daily with water and mushrooms will grow quickly

Ridiculously easy! You basically spray it and forget it. Mushroom growing kits are really low maintenance, which is part of their appeal. 

I followed the instructions to spray the log with water twice a day. However, we left town for the weekend so I missed a couple of days. When I came home, much to my surprise, the log was already covered in mushrooms. From my experience with this kit, you might see mushrooms pinning in just a few days. I admit that I expected the process to take a lot longer.

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How Did You Take Care of the Shiitake Mushroom Kit?

Img 3461Courtesy Lori Vanover
Freshly harvested shiitake mushrooms

At this point I removed the bag but kept spraying the log to let the mushrooms grow larger. A couple of days later, I picked enough for dinner and cooked them right away that night.

Then I waited a few more days before picking the remaining mushrooms for another recipe. Unfortunately they didn’t grow much larger and started to look dry and wilty. I’m guessing that the log dried out too much in my house due to low humidity. My advice is to not wait too long to enjoy your mushrooms like I did.

Things I wish I knew: After I finished harvesting all of the shiitake mushrooms that grew, I wasn’t sure what to do with the log. It wasn’t clear to me if I could rehydrate the log and start the process over again. 

Any Additional Tools or Supplies Needed to Take Care of the Mushroom Kit?

Everything you need is included inside the box, other than a container to soak the log in. I also recommend a baking tray or sheet pan to protect your furniture.

Would You Buy Another Shiitake Mushroom Growing Kit?

Img 3462Courtesy Lori Vanover
The best part is cooking and eating your shiitake mushrooms

Yes! I really enjoy growing my own herbs and food when possible because it tastes the best and it was a fun family project. I start my own seeds every year, including tomatoes and jalapenos.

Additional Shiitake Mushroom Log Reviews

I’m not only one who loves this mushroom log. The Organic Shiitake Mushroom Kit has 4.2 out of five stars on Amazon. Here’s what other verified Amazon purchasers thought.

Frequent Buyer, “Kit sat for a couple days before opening, then sprouted (‘pinned’) almost immediately, a week later logs are fully covered!
Having done shiitake before and waiting a month or more, this was a pleasant surprise. Have not eaten yet, but expect them to be good. Tomorrow stir fry!!”

Amazon customer, “Stupid easy! Opened, soaked for 12 hours, placed in provided bag, and 2 days later we came to find this. I got this for my wife for Christmas since she’s considering growing as a hobby, and this experience really fun and easy to dip your toes into it. It was late to arrive (around 10 days stuck in shipping) during the colder winter months and they still seemed to thrive in our basement. Haven’t eaten them yet but definitely recommend for growth alone.”

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