Mushroom Growing Kit: The Easy Way To Become a Shroom Farmer (2024)


Written by : Marina Maletic, Updated by: Eunice Rodriguez | Last Updated: March 11, 2024


Wanna become a shroom farmer? GreenCitizen offers a complete guide on how to grow mushrooms using a mushroom growing kit — including growing tips and reviews.

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When I started growing my own food, one of the things I was most apprehensive about was growing mushrooms.

How is it done? Where do I start? What growing conditions do they need?

As it turned out, I was fretting for nothing, and it’s all thanks to mushroom growing kits. They are beginner-friendly and don't require special skills or equipment.

I’m happy to report I was able to grow my own mushrooms on the first try with the help of a mushroom growing kit.

If you’re thinking about becoming a mushroom farmer, consider this the push you need. I’ll talk about mushroom growing kits and everything you should know about growing your own mushrooms. You’ll also find my selection of the best available mushroom kits.

5 Best Mushroom Growing Kits for A Beginner

1. Back to the Roots Organic Mushroom Growing Kit (Oyster)

With this mushroom growing kit, I was able to grow mushrooms all year round.

It’s extremely easy to use. Just open the box, place it near a window (in indirect sunlight), and spray daily. A mister is included in the packaging, which makes it extra convenient. You’ll also get organic plant-based soil already infused with mushroom spawn and a booklet with detailed instructions.

Pro tip: Hydration is very important for this kit, so remove the substrate from the bag and submerge it in clean cold water overnight. Pat it dry the next morning and return to the bag.

This kit will produce nice brown oyster mushrooms in about ten days if you hydrate the substrate regularly. Each crop gives three to four mushroom servings, and you can grow two crops.

Once the kit can’t grow any more mushrooms, you can crumble the substrate and use it to inoculate another substrate, such as coffee grounds, straw, and more. Don’t worry about intoxicants, as the kit is 100% organic and non-GMO.


  • Easy to use
  • Eco-friendly — Organic mushroom grow kit
  • Produces mushrooms in 7 to 10 days


  • Produces only up to 2 crops of mushrooms

2. Root Mushroom Farm - Shiitake Mushroom Growing Kit

This shiitake mushroom growing kit is intended to be used as soon as it arrives, but if you want to wait, you can put it in the fridge and grow mushrooms in a few days.

The package has everything you need to grow shiitake: one shiitake mushroom log, a humidity tent, a spray bottle, and a booklet with instructions. This makes it a perfect introduction to mushrooms. You’ll be able to learn how to grow them on your own at home, without any extra equipment needed.

Shiitake mushrooms have healing and medicinal value, which also makes them a perfect gift. It’s also an excellent teaching instrument. Children are often impatient for many experiments, so they’ll enjoy the instantaneous growth of shiitake mushrooms.

The log produces a substantial harvest, with some mushrooms the size of a hand. They taste delicious when cooked.


  • Mouth-watering taste
  • Starts producing mushrooms straight away
  • Excellent gift idea


  • Produces about 1.5 flush
  • Susceptible to mold

3. Backyard Morel Mushroom Growing Kit

This mushroom growing kit is intended for outdoor use instead of indoor, and it grows morels.

You can start using the kit any time your soil is workable, no matter the season. You can use this kit to create a sustainable, organic, morel mushroom garden.

The kit is made in California, the USA, and comes with instructions on how to produce your own spawn. It can be used straight away or stored for up to six months.

The manufacturer claims some customers have morel habitats as long as 25 years after they first established it by using the kit.

For best results, you should place the morels in different areas of your backyard, such as garden beds and wood chips. You can inoculate multiple sports with different conditions, such as soil type and moisture levels. In some cases, depending on the growing conditions, you’ll have to wait up to two years before you see a morel.


  • You can have morel mushrooms for years to come
  • Once you have morels, you can use them to inoculate other areas
  • Creates multiple flushes


  • You’ll have to wait up to 2 years before you see results
  • Requires more work compared to an indoor kit

4. North Spore | Lion's Mane Oyster Mushroom Grow Kit

Lion’s mane is among the most popular mushrooms, and it’s used as a substitute for lobster, crabs, and other kinds of fish in recipes. It’s low in calories, has no fat, and has a high protein content, which makes them a chef favorite.

In this lion’s mane growing kit, you’ll get a block of substrate that’s already been populated with mycelium, a sprayer so you can water it, and a set of instructions on both growing and harvesting the crop.

It’s easy to use the kit. You should open it along the perforated line and get rid of the cardboard. Cut an X into the plastic with a knife or scissors. Use the sprayer that comes in the package with tap water and spray the plastic where you’ve cut it.

Lastly, place the kit in the humid part of your home, but not in direct sunlight.

A good place to store the kit is the kitchen counter that’s close to a sink, so the mycelium will have enough oxygen in the air. After two weeks, you should see mushroom pins, and after about 2 to 5 days, you’ll have mushrooms ready for harvest.


  • Mushrooms will be ready for harvest in 2 weeks
  • Produces tasty lion’s mane mushrooms
  • Lion’s mane has health benefits


  • Can grow mold
  • Some kits have a faulty spritzer nozzle

5. Root Mushroom Farm - Reishi Growing Kit

The final mushroom growing kit is for reishi mushrooms, specifically Antler Reishi. These are also known as lingzhi or chizhi and are found in tropical Asia. If you’re in the mood for some fresh reishi and don’t want to trek to Asia, this is your best solution.

Reishi can also be used as a medicinal mushroom, and it’s been used for this purpose for more than 200 years.

The kit contains a spray bottle and humidity tent, and it’s easy to take care of. You should keep the temperature between 65 to 80 degrees for fruiting.

A lot of mushrooms don’t have an attractive look, but that’s not the case with reishi. Apart from being used as food and for medicinal properties, reishi has an attractive and colorful look, and it’ll be a great addition to the decor in your home.

It yields a good amount, as long as you’re consistent with humidity.


  • Attractive looks
  • Yields a big amount of mushrooms
  • Comes with a humidity chamber provided


  • Slow growing mushroom — it takes up to three months to fully grow

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What Is A Mushroom Growing Kit?

A mushroom growing kit is a pre-prepared box or log seeded with mushroom spores, designed to simplify the mushroom cultivation process for you. Essentially, it's a "fruiting block" that's ready to grow mushrooms under the right conditions.

This fruiting block consists of substrates like hardwood sawdust and bran, which are already colonized by mushroom mycelium. The hard work of preparation is done; your task is to provide the right conditions for growth.

Mushroom grow kits are conveniently packed in grow bags and can be stored for a long time in a cool place or a fridge until you're ready.

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You have options ranging from shiitake to enoki, oyster, and lion’s mane mushrooms. But, not every mushroom is suited for kit growth. Oyster mushrooms, for instance, are particularly adaptable and don't require perfect conditions to thrive, making them a common choice in these kits. They grow quickly and don't need much maintenance.

Compared to traditional farming, a mushroom growing kit is far easier. There's no land preparation or substrate selection needed. Simply open the kit, ensure there's enough fresh air, light, and humidity, and start growing your mushrooms.

Understanding the Mushroom Life Cycle

This is how a mushroom life cycle works:

Spore Stage

Think of spores as mushroom seeds. Released from a mushroom cap's gills, these microscopic particles can travel far from their parent, laying the groundwork for new fungal growth.

Hyphae Stage

Once spores land on a suitable surface, they germinate and grow into hyphae. These are tiny fungal threads that eventually group together. It's essential to note that hyphae from genetically diverse spores merge to increase the chances of successful reproduction.

Mycelium Stage

When hyphae from different genetic backgrounds intersect, they form mycelium. This network acts like the roots of the mushroom, anchoring it to the substrate and absorbing nutrients. Mycelium is crucial for the next growth phase.

Hyphal Knots Stage

With sufficient nutrition, the mycelium develops hyphal knots. These are the precursors to mushrooms, visible as tiny pinheads. They require time and more nutrients to grow.

The Fruitbody Stage

Pinheads expand and develop into mature mushrooms, known as the fruitbody. This is the stage most recognizable as mushrooms. Mature fruitbodies produce spores, and the cycle begins anew.

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Mushroom Cultivation Stages (WITHOUT A Mushroom Growing Kit)

If you’re cultivating mushrooms without a mushroom grow kit, you’ll follow the life cycle mushrooms go through when growing in the wild. However, there are a few key differences you want to make for optimal harvest.

Step 1: Start with the Spores

Embarking on mushroom cultivation begins with substrate preparation, your mushrooms' growing medium.

Choose a tray approximately 14x16 inches and 6 inches deep, made from wood, metal, or plastic, according to your preference.

Mix compost and manure in a suitable ratio (for example, 2:1) to enrich the substrate. Fill your tray with this mixture, leaving about an inch of space at the top. Then, carefully spread the spores over the substrate.

To prevent unwanted mold or fungi, perform this step in sterile conditions. Wash your hands thoroughly, and sterilize all equipment with alcohol or by boiling. This preparation ensures your mushrooms have the best environment to thrive, free from competitors.

Step 2: Keep the Soil Moist

Mushrooms thrive in humid conditions, requiring consistently moist substrates to grow healthily.

To achieve this, lightly mist the substrate twice daily, ideally in the morning and evening, using a spray bottle. This method helps maintain optimal humidity levels, generally between 80-95%, crucial for mushroom development.

Alternatively, covering the substrate with damp towels can also preserve moisture. Ensure these towels remain moist by re-wetting them as needed, depending on your indoor air conditions.

Step 3: Incubation Time

To ensure your mushrooms grow healthily, maintaining the soil temperature around 70 degrees Fahrenheit is key, especially during the initial three-week growth period. This temperature range is ideal for mycelium development, leading to successful mushroom cultivation.

Use a soil thermometer to regularly monitor the soil's temperature. To maintain this ideal temperature, you might place the tray in a warmer area of your home, where stable warmth can be assured without direct heat sources that could dry out the substrate.

Alternatively, consider investing in a seedling heat mat with adjustable temperature controls. Place it underneath the tray for consistent heat distribution. If using a heat mat, it's vital to check the temperature frequently to prevent overheating, which could damage the mycelium. Always follow safety instructions to reduce the risk of fire, particularly with electrical devices like heat mats.

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Pro Tip: Check the temperature occasionally, as a temperature that's too high can kill the spores.

Step 4: Time to Lower the Temperature

Once the mycelium fully colonizes the top of the soil, forming a white layer across the entire tray, it's time to adjust the environment for the next growth phase. This white layer is your signal to reduce the temperature to between 55 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit, which simulates the natural cooling period mushrooms experience before fruiting.

If you've been using a heating pad, remove it now to facilitate this temperature drop. Next, gently cover the mycelium with an inch of sterilized or organic potting soil. This mimics the natural covering mushrooms would find in the wild, encouraging the next stage of growth.

Within a few days of adjusting these conditions and maintaining consistent moisture, you should begin to see primordia, the tiny beginnings of mushroom fruit bodies. Keep in mind, the appearance of these tiny mushrooms varies in time, so patience and careful observation are key.

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Pro Tip: Unlike many other fruits and vegetables, you should grow mushrooms in winter because they like cooler temperatures.

Step 5: Harvest Time

The duration your mushrooms need to grow before harvest varies with the species you’re cultivating. Generally, it's best to harvest when the caps are fully open and no longer attached to the stems.

Harvest the mushrooms by using a sharp knife to cut the stem at its base. This method helps protect the mycelium and encourages future growth.

With regular harvesting, your mushroom crop can potentially produce for up to six months, as this process stimulates continuous spore release. When production eventually slows, introducing more spawn can kickstart a new growth cycle.

Keep in mind, freshly harvested mushrooms have a limited shelf life. To maximize freshness, store them in a cool, ventilated area and plan to use them within a few days. If you notice a significant decline in production, it may be time to refresh your substrate and add new spawn, following the specific needs of the mushroom variety you're growing.

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Pro Tip: Don’t pull the mushrooms because you’ll damage the surrounding growth.

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For optimal growth, mushrooms require humid conditions and a stable temperature around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Surprisingly, your home contains various microclimates; some warmer spots are often found closer to the ceiling. Utilize a thermometer to explore these microclimates, identifying the ideal location for your mushroom kit or tray.

Initially, position your setup in an area where the temperature hovers close to 70 degrees. As your mushrooms approach the fruiting stage, transition them to a cooler spot with temperatures between 55 to 60 degrees. This can be achieved by moving the mushrooms to a naturally cooler part of your home or adjusting the temperature of their current location.

To maintain the necessary humidity, regularly mist your mushrooms or cover them with a damp cloth. This simulates the moist environment mushrooms thrive in. If you're using heating or cooling devices to manage temperature, always follow safety guidelines to prevent any risks.

By implementing these tips, you'll create an environment conducive to mushroom growth, mimicking the natural conditions they prefer. Whether adjusting your home's microclimates or using tools to regulate temperature and humidity, these strategies will help you cultivate healthy, fruitful mushrooms.

Sunlight and Placement

One of the joys of growing mushrooms is their minimal space requirements and low need for sunlight, compared to many plants and vegetables. This flexibility allows you to explore various nooks for cultivation, from a quiet cabinet corner to the consistent coolness of your basem*nt or garage.

Mushrooms lack chlorophyll, making sunlight unnecessary for their energy production. However, a few hours of dim light each day can guide their growth direction and support the fruiting process. This can be as simple as indirect sunlight or the ambient light from a room. It's essential, though, to shield your mushrooms from direct sunlight, which can inhibit their development.

When selecting a spot for your mushroom kit, consider not just light but also the environment's temperature and humidity. Ensure that the location, even if it's as unconventional as a drawer, is occasionally opened to promote air circulation, a key factor in healthy mushroom growth. By balancing these elements, you'll create an optimal setting for your mushrooms to thrive, regardless of their unconventional home.

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Pro Tip: You can use a fluorescent lamp if you place mushrooms in a dark place, such as a cabinet or a drawer.

Watering Tips

Ensuring your mushrooms receive the right amount of water is key—they should never be overwatered. Overly wet conditions can hinder growth, as mushrooms are sensitive to excessive moisture. To prevent this, observe the soil closely; avoid watering until the surface appears dry and powdery to touch.

A creative solution for maintaining ideal humidity around your mushrooms is to cover their tray or box with burlap. This technique strikes a balance, trapping moisture while promoting necessary air flow. When using burlap, ensure it is damp but not soaking, and it should not directly compress the mushrooms—allow some space for air circulation.

When it comes time to water, patience is your ally. Use room-temperature water to avoid shocking the mycelium, and let tap water sit out beforehand to reduce chlorine content—a substance mushrooms dislike. A gentle misting technique is often preferable to pouring water directly, as it minimizes the risk of over-saturation.

By following these tips and being mindful of your mushrooms' environment, you'll create a nurturing space that supports their growth without the pitfalls of overwatering or excessive chlorine exposure.

Pest & Disease Control

Growing mushrooms indoors attracts a number of crop-damaging pests, such as:

  • Cecid Fly — Multiplies rapidly and is rarely seen. Feeds on stipe, gills, and mycelium of mature mushrooms.
  • Phorid Fly — Feeds on mycelium. Transmit fungal and bacterial diseases.
  • Sciarid Fly— Is the most pervasive and voracious eater of mycelium and compost. It causes mushrooms to become brown and leathery.
  • Nematodas — Their presence means there’s a problem in sanitation processes.
  • Other pests such as beetles, spider mites, and larvae.

A foundational step in combating these pests is thorough sanitation and the pasteurization of your growing substrate. Pasteurizing your substrate by heating it to 140 degrees Fahrenheit for about four hours can kill off harmful organisms without depleting the nutrients needed by your mushrooms. This process is crucial, whether you're using traditional soil or other materials like sawdust or straw.

Regular cleaning and sterilizing of your cultivation area and equipment also play vital roles in maintaining a pest-free environment. For pests that might still pose a problem after these preventative measures, exploring additional strategies like biological control or physical barriers can provide further protection.

Always prioritize safety when handling substrates at high temperatures to avoid any risk of injury or damage. By implementing these comprehensive pest management practices, you can significantly reduce the risk of pests and ensure a healthy mushroom crop.


When it comes to fertilizing your mushrooms, less is more. Mushrooms primarily thrive on the nutrients within their substrate, especially in controlled environments like home growing kits. For those cultivating mushrooms in outdoor settings or in homemade substrates, ensuring the substrate is rich in organic matter from the start is key. A well-prepared mix of hay, straw, and manure can provide the necessary nutrients for mushroom growth.

If you're exploring additional nutritional support, proceed with caution. Unlike traditional plants, mushrooms are sensitive to changes in their environment, including nutrient levels. Any supplemental feeding should be extremely diluted and applied sparingly to avoid disrupting the delicate balance mushrooms need to thrive.

Remember, the best approach is to start with a nutrient-rich substrate, minimizing the need for any external fertilization. This method ensures your mushrooms have everything they need from the beginning, promoting healthy growth without the risks associated with over-fertilization.

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Pro Tip: Don’t use too much to not disturb the mushroom growth. Repeat the process for 2 to 3 weeks until you need mycelium.

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How Are Mushroom Growing Kits Better for Newbies?

Mushroom growing kits are an ideal starting point for novices, offering a straightforward path to successful cultivation. The appeal lies in their simplicity: kits require minimal equipment and space, allowing you to embark on your mushroom-growing journey with ease, even in your living room.

Oyster mushrooms are among the most common kits due to their resilience and ease of growth, but varieties like lion's mane are also available, catering to diverse tastes and interests.

Upon arrival, your kit includes a pre-colonized fruiting block, simplifying the initial setup. This block is key to the high success rate of mushroom cultivation with kits, as it removes the complexity of starting from spores. Your primary task is to make an incision in the covering plastic and provide occasional misting, paying attention to placement for optimal growth conditions.

These kits not only demystify the process but also offer a tangible, delicious reward for your efforts. With proper care, including maintaining humidity and avoiding direct sunlight, you may even enjoy multiple harvests from a single kit. The thrill of watching your mushrooms sprout and tasting your very own harvest is an experience that often sparks a lasting passion for mushroom cultivation.

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You Too Can Become a Mushroom Farmer with a Mushroom Growing Kit

Mushrooms have a mouth-watering taste and are an excellent source of dietary fiber, protein, vitamins, and other healthy nutrients. Not only that, but they have health benefits, such as decreasing the risk of obesity and heart disease.

There’s no reason why you, too, can’t enjoy all the mushroom benefits with a mushroom growing kit. It’s extremely easy to use, it requires minimum involvement on your part, and you’ll have multiple mushroom harvests. It’s also a fantastic and original Christmas gift idea.

Get familiar with the mushroom life cycle and the cultivation process, and for a plentiful mushroom flush, apply all the tips and tricks I’ve outlined above.

Happy mushrooming!

Marina Maletic

Marina is passionate about sustainability and works to help ensure our planet stays as our home for a long time. She takes part in environmental conservation by recycling and not buying single-use plastic. When not writing, she can be found with her nose stuck in a book or trying out new baking recipes.

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