The best mushroom growing kits to buy in the UK right now (2024)

Unlike plants that get their energy from the Sun for photosynthesis, fungi are heterotropic. This means they get their energy from, and are influenced by, a separate organism. In the case of fungi, this is typically decomposing dead or decaying organic material, like fallen leaves, organic-rich soil, and wet cellulose materials (e.g., wood).

Growing your own mushrooms at home is great fun, and you’ll find yourself becoming enthralled with the lifecycle of a mushroom. They are brilliant STEM learning tools, and an ideal way to grow your own food if you don’t have a garden.

Mushroom growing kits come in all shapes and sizes, and require very little in the way of additional tools, equipment, or skill. It’s surprisingly easy to grow your own mushrooms at home, and it’s fascinating to watch them grow – which they do relatively quickly.

There are a wide range of different types of mushrooms and substrates to choose from, so you can opt to grow your indoor mushrooms on a log, sprouting out of a (compostable) cardboard box or under a dome, but our favourites are the table-top foragers kit; grow, pick, eat. Yum.

What is a mushroom growing kit?

Mushroom growing kits are exactly what you might expect. Typically, they’re comprised of some kind of mushroom substrate and pre-planted mushroom mycelium (roots). Mushroom substrate allows the mycelium to grow and establish itself, providing the fungus with the energy, nutrients, and moisture needed to grow and fruit into the parts we want.

The kits themselves are often presented as a box, block, or bag, that you cut into (to create an opening where the mushrooms can grow) and water/soak. For a lot of the kits out there, this is all you’ll need to do, as the earlier parts of the process (sterilisation, inoculation, and incubation) will have been pre-prepared.

If you’re new to growing mushrooms, look for the ones that are ready to fruit (it should say on the box), and we’ve rounded up some of our favourites below.

5 of the best mushroom growing kits

Pink Oyster Mushroom Growing Kit

The best mushroom growing kits to buy in the UK right now (1)

Pink oyster mushrooms are very similar to oyster mushrooms (below), but aside from the colour difference (although the pink colour will fade during cooking), they tend to lean towards a more chewy and ‘meaty’ taste. These mushrooms take a little longer to grow than the white oyster mushrooms, but you can expect to be munching on your own crop after about three to four weeks.

But what we really like about this product, is that the company, Urban Farm-It, will send you out a new kit if you don’t see any growth within six to eight weeks. Because let’s face it, we’ve all had a few duds in our veggie patches.

White Elm Mushroom Growing Kit

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This is another kit from Urban Farm-It, this time growing While Elm mushrooms; gourmet white mushrooms with delicate caps that can easily be added to any dish. They have a strong woody flavour, and are great in soups or a stir fry.

The company operates in a slightly different way to others, in that you can’t grow them straight out of the box. Because mushroom spawn (essentially, seeds) need special care, Urban Farm-It give you a code instead. Then, when you’re really ready to start growing, you need to scan the code and they will send you your mushroom spawn (at no extra charge).

It’s a bit more of a faff than with other mushroom growing kits, but the payoff is a fresh spawn, collected directly from the mother culture as little as 24 hours previously. Once you have your spawn, it’s up to you to complete the incubation process for the mycelium to develop before it can fruit.

Merryhill ready-to-grow white mushrooms

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If you’re after quick and easy, then you might like to look at the Merryhill white mushroom kit. All you need to do is remove the lids and roll the liner down. Make sure the topsoil bag is upright, then pour in some water and let it soak for a few minutes. Add this to the compost, spread evenly, and wait for the magic to happen.

The mycelium will appear as white mould on the surface – this will be one of the first things you notice ­– and your crop will be ready to munch in 16-24 days. Merryhill Mushrooms are a small family-run business, and each kit is hand planted to ensure quality is top notch. And, each kit has a shelf life of several weeks, so it’s okay if life gets in the way.

GroCycle Oyster Mushroom Growing Kit

The best mushroom growing kits to buy in the UK right now (4)

One of the easiest types of mushroom to get started with are oyster mushrooms. They grow exceptionally fast (ready to eat in around two weeks), and you should even be able to see some small fruits appearing in the first day or two. The Devon-based company, GroCycle, have started the process off for us in this kit, using organic straw with oyster mushroom spawn which has been incubated under “ideal conditions”.

All that’s left for us to do is the fun part: cut a hole in the bag, spray with water (every day) and your delicious oyster mushrooms grow. This is one of the highest-rated mushroom growing kits on Amazon, and it’s sustainably produced, too.

Shiitake Mushroom Log

The best mushroom growing kits to buy in the UK right now (5)

If you’re after more of a challenge, but still wanting good results, then you might like to try this shiitake mushroom log growing kit. Shiitake mushrooms are tan or dark brown in colour, with a velvety texture and earthy taste. They’re great for adding a savoury flavour to vegetable stock, and drying them out concentrates the flavour.

You’ll need to source your own log (ideally hardwood), and unlike the other kits featured in this list, this one is designed for outdoor growing.

When sourcing your log, you ideally want one that was felled from a healthy tree two to six weeks prior, so that any natural fungicides have had time to wear off. Ash, beech, birch, oak and poplar are good types to look for (not from a coniferous tree), and it will need to be around 25cm wide and 1m long. After that, you’ll need to drill into your log (drill bit is provided in the kit), insert the dowels, seal the holes with wax, then find a nice spot for your log. A warm, sheltered location away from direct sunlight and wind is ideal.

It takes much longer for this kit to sprout; you’ll need to allow around 6-12 months for the mycelium to colonise the log. Once colonised, however, the log will sprout mushrooms by itself, and you could be looking at around eight years’ worth of crops from this kit.

Where to buy mushroom growing kits

Perhaps unsurprisingly, one of the best places to buy mushroom growing kits are places like Amazon and Etsy. But if you’re worried about the Christmas strikes hampering your delivery, it’s a good idea to try local garden centres, craft shops and even Christmas fairs. But if you’re keen to give a kit as a gift, and find yourself at the mercy of the strikes, why not make a DIY IOU with your own mushroom drawing?

Read more:

  • Mushroom magic: 5 ways fungus-based technology will change the world
  • Blue denim, the death of the dinosaurs, and 8 other things you didn't know fungi played a role in
  • How most life on Earth is dependent on fungi – including you
The best mushroom growing kits to buy in the UK right now (2024)


Which mushroom growing kit is best? ›

North Spore Mushroom Grow Kit

This easy-to-use mushroom growing kit is ideal for growing your own gourmet mushrooms at home. The kit contains a sawdust block colonized with productive Lion's Mane mushrooms. Lion's Mane mushrooms are often associated with a lobster or crab flavor when cooked with great health benefits.

What is the easiest and most profitable mushroom to grow? ›

And although growers are devising ways to cultivate fussier mushroom species, their unique requirements and the extra time, energy and labor required to grow them increases production costs. The best mushrooms for small-scale production are profitable, easy-to-grow species like oysters and lion's mane mushrooms.

Are mushroom kits worth the money? ›

If you can find a high quality kit, then yes- absolutely. There are loads of different branded mushroom kits available, and lots of different species of mushrooms you can grow… so it's worth it to do a little bit of research before diving in.

What is the best tasting mushroom you can grow at home? ›

Some of the best edible mushrooms to grow at home include: white caps, brown caps, Portobello, Shiitake, Morels, Oyster mushrooms, Pearl Oyster mushrooms, Enoki, Maitake, Lion's Mane, Wine caps, and Chanterelles.

Which is the best quality mushroom? ›

Some of the mushrooms considered best for human health include chaga, lion's mane, reishi, turkey tail, shiitake, cordyceps and maitake. Often considered vegetables, mushrooms are neither plants nor animals.

Where is the best place to grow a mushroom kit? ›

Place your grow kit in your kitchen, out of direct sunlight. This will allow you to check on them and remember to mist your grow kit regularly to keep humidity high. Don't place your grow kit where it is breezy as wind will dry it out. Don't place your grow kit in an enclosed space, mushrooms need good ventilation.

What mushroom makes the most money? ›

If you're looking for the most profitable mushroom to farm, you're likely considering Shiitake mushrooms. These sell at around $12 per pound, making them the most profitable type of mushroom to farm, especially when considering the demand. However, you might also consider growing gourmet Oyster mushrooms.

What is the most sold mushroom in the world? ›

White Button Mushrooms

These are the most common type of mushrooms that are the youngest of the Agaricus Bisporus variety, which also includes creminis and portobello. White button mushrooms are the most popular type worldwide and are often used in soups, sauces, and sautés but can also be eaten raw in fresh salads.

What is the best mushroom to grow for beginners? ›

Oyster Mushrooms

If you're a beginner looking to grow mushrooms at home, oyster mushrooms are the best option for you. There are many varieties available, including pearl, king, and eye-catching pink, blue, and golden oysters.

Should mushroom kits be kept in dark? ›

All our kits are recommended to be grown in a room with enough light that you can read a book by during the day. Because mushrooms don't photosynthesis the light doesn't need to be natural, they'll get all their nutrition from the substrate block, and will just use the light to initiate growth.

How long do mushroom grow kits last? ›

While we recommend fruiting your grow kit as soon as possible, if you need to, you can store your grow kit in the refrigerator for up to 6 months! If you start to see “pinning” ,it means that your mushrooms are ready to fruit and you probably should not store them any longer.

How many times can you reuse a mushroom grow kit? ›

Yes, you can most definitely reuse mushroom grow kits! Mushroom grow kits are generally designed to give you more than one harvest depending on the species of mushroom inside your growing kit. There is enough water nutrition available in the substrate to give you multiple harvests over a period of 2-10 weeks.

What is America's favorite mushroom? ›

Giorgio is known as America's Favorite Mushroom and for good reason. We've been growing mushrooms for three generations and today Giorgio is one of the largest mushroom growers in the world.

Can mushroom grow kits go bad? ›

Most mushroom kits will store for 3-6 months in the fridge if necessary. To store your kit, keep it in the fridge. This puts the mycelium into hibernation and will prevent it escaping the box early. Don't keep it somewhere it could exceed 30 degrees Celsius.

Do mushroom grow kits keep producing? ›

Each grow kit usually lasts for about 2-3 harvests, but this will vary depending on the variety of grow kit you choose. Kits may produce more or less mushrooms in total before they expire and must be replaced.

What is the easiest mushroom to grow? ›

Pretty much every mushroom growing resource I could find says that oyster mushrooms are the easiest variety for first time-growers, as they grow fast and can easily thrive in substrates made of things like coffee grounds and straw, making them relatively low maintenance.

Do mushroom grow kits regrow? ›

Water your grow kit just like you did before, but the more water the better this second time around! The more water you give your mushrooms the bigger and faster they grow back, so don't ever be afraid of over-watering. Please note - mushrooms take longer to grow back a second time than they did the first time around.

How many times can you harvest a mushroom grow kit? ›

There is enough water nutrition available in the substrate to give you multiple harvests over a period of 2-10 weeks. Our Pink Oyster mushroom grow kits have given up to 7 harvests! It is all about giving them the right conditions to form more mushrooms. Sometimes all your kit needs is some fresh air and water!

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