9 Best Mushroom Growing Kits in 2021

Best mushroom growing kits

If you like the idea of eating freshly picked mushrooms, but you’re a little nervous about foraging for them in the wild, you will be pleased to hear that edible Mushroom Growing Kits are a real thing!

What could be more rewarding than picking and enjoying your own produce in the form of a handful of nutrient-rich mushrooms? Plus, to grow your own mushrooms, you don’t need a farm or even a big garden. Some varieties can even be grown indoors.

Mushrooms are edible fungi packed full of nutrients, including protein, potassium, B vitamins, antioxidants, selenium, and more. They offer umami flavor and meaty texture to those looking for a meat substitute, all the while being low in calories. For more information on the nutritional value of mushrooms, you can read this article here.

Interesting Fact:
Fungi spend most of their time underground in the form of mycelium – roots that penetrate organic matter using powerful enzymes. The mushrooms we pick and consume are the fruits of the fungi. They reach above the surface to release spores from their gills as part of their reproductive cycle. Mushrooms are highly valuable in an ecosystem as they break down organic matter as part of decomposition.

Contents

Which Mushrooms are the Easiest and Hardest to Grow at Home?

The easiest mushroom variety to grow at home are Oyster Mushrooms, followed by the Agaricus bisporus family (White Buttons, Cremini, and Portobello), and then Reishi. Maitakes and Shiitake are also quite doable. On the other hand, Morels and Black Truffles are rare and expensive for a reason – they are not easy to cultivate.

How to Choose Which Mushrooms to Grow

I would recommend that you ask yourself a few questions to help you decide which mushroom variety you want to grow at home:

  1. How much time do I have?
  2. How much space do I have?
  3. Will I be growing mushrooms indoors or outdoors?
  4. Am I able to control the temperature and light conditions in the place I plan to grow mushrooms?
  5. Am I going to use a bought kit or DIY mushroom growing kit?

Did you know?
Different types of mushrooms need different growing mediums to propagate, and not all mushrooms can be grown indoors.

Once you have answered these important questions and considered all your options, you can make a DIY mushroom growing kit or shop for a pre-made kit that suits your preferences. Let’s take a closer look at a few:

9 Best Mushroom Growing Kits

1. Blue Oyster Mushroom Kit

It is a well-known fact that Oyster mushrooms are the easiest mushrooms to grow at home. It is also fun to watch them grow. This is great news because, although their stems are a bit tough, the fruit is delicious and nutritious.

What to pay attention to when growing Blue Oyster Mushrooms from a kit

Oyster mushrooms need a lot of fresh air at the pinning and fruiting stages. If they don’t get enough fresh air, they grow long stems, which is not desirable. There is a lot of carbon monoxide at the base of the mushroom, so they will grow long legs if they need to stretch for fresh air. Read more about growing Blue Oyster mushrooms here.

What customers are saying

This Blue Oyster Mushroom Kit is rated 4.3 out of 5 based on 9,251 reviews.

Pros:
  • Produced a great harvest more than once
  • Easy to follow instructions
  • Grew well, even in the middle of winter
Cons:
  • Growing on bulk substrate tends to produce larger flushes and larger individual mushrooms than growing from a kit.
  • You can’t just pick three or four mushrooms. When you harvest, you must pick them all.
  • As soon as they are ready, you must pick them or they dry out.

Where to buy

You can buy a Blue Oyster Mushroom Growing Kit from Amazon, and the most reputable Mushroom Kit distributors.

Best Mushroom Growing Kit
Oyster mushroom growing kit.

2. Pink Oyster Mushroom Kit

Pink Oysters are bright pink in color and have a more ruffled appearance than their blue counterparts. Their color intensifies when they grow in good light, making them a really fun specimen to watch as they grow. The color fades when they are cooked.

Pink Oysters can replace buttons in most recipes, and they have a distinctive meaty taste, making them a perfect meat substitute in veggie-based dishes.

What to pay attention to when growing Pink Oyster Mushrooms from a kit

Oyster mushrooms need a lot of fresh air at the pinning and fruiting stages. If they don’t get enough fresh air, they grow long stems, which is not desirable, due to the presence of carbon monoxide at the base of the mushroom.

What customers are saying

This Pink Oyster Mushroom Kit is rated 4.5 out of 5 based on 656 reviews.

Pros:
  • Huge, ready-to-eat mushrooms in a week
  • Fantastic service and customer support
  • Two, even three flushes of healthy mushrooms
Cons:
  • Growing instructions for the second flush are unclear
  • The mushrooms are a bit tough compared to other Oyster varieties
  • Mold set in before the mushrooms sprouted, but the seller promptly sent a replacement

Where to buy

You can buy a Pink Oyster Mushroom Growing Kit from Amazon and the most reputable Mushroom Kit distributors.

Best Mushroom Growing Kits.
Pink Oyster Mushroom growing kit.

3. Shiitake Mushroom Growing Kit

Loaded with fiber, protein, and other valuable nutrients, Shiitake mushrooms are a healthy addition to every meal. Growing your own shiitakes is the best way to ensure you’re getting them fresh and wholesome.

The attractive little mushroom sports a brown cap with little white flecks and white gills. Shiitake mushrooms deliver 3 to 5 flushes of mushrooms when grown on a substrate like sawdust or grain. They will produce a flush of fresh mushrooms every 5 weeks for 4 to 6 years if you grow them on a log.

What to pay attention to when growing Shiitake Mushrooms from a kit

Shiitakes are a bit more difficult to grow than the Oyster varieties because their mycelium is not as aggressive and require a longer incubation time.

What customers are saying

This Shiitake Mushroom Growing Kit is rated 4 out of 5 based on 404 ratings.

Pros:
  • Can be kept in the fridge for one week but designed to begin right away
  • Produces an abundant first-flush of delicious mushrooms
  • Directions are comprehensive and easy to follow
Cons:
  • The second flush doesn’t happen as easily as the first
  • Poor feedback from the supplier regarding failed second flushes
  • Considering the shortage of a second flush makes the item pricey

Where to buy

You can buy a Shiitake Mushroom Growing Kit from Amazon, and the most reputable Mushroom Kit distributors.

Best Mushroom Growing Kits
Shiitake mushrooms growing from a kit.

4. Morel Mushroom Growing Kit

To mushroom foragers, finding a cluster of Morel mushrooms on the forest floor is like a pirate finding a hidden treasure! Their deliciously meaty flavor and scarcity make them highly sought after. This, and the fact that they only fruit in the wild in spring, is probably why it’s beneficial to grow your own.

What to pay attention to when growing Morel Mushrooms from a kit

To successfully grow Morel mushrooms at home, you will need to replicate their outdoor growing conditions. Due to the high level of difficulty, growing Morel mushrooms indoors is practiced by experts.

What customers are saying

This Morel Mushroom Kit is rated 3.6 out of 5 based on 338 ratings.

Pros:
  • Receive a coupon for 25% off your next purchase when buying this product
  • Prompt delivery
Cons:
  • Instructions are vague
  • Many people said they followed the instructions, but no mushrooms grew

Where to buy

You can buy a Morel Mushroom Growing Kit from Amazon and most reputable Mushroom Kit distributors.

Best Mushroom Growing Kits
Morel Mushroom Growing Kit.

5. Portobello – Cremini Mushroom Growing Kit

Have you ever wondered about the difference between White Buttons, Cremini, and Portobello mushrooms? They are all the same species; they’re just picked at a different stages. In the Agaricus bisporus family, Buttons are the children, Creminis are the teenagers, and Portobellos are the adults.

What to pay attention to when growing Portobello – Cremini Mushrooms from a kit

Timing is important when growing this variety of mushrooms. Should you be aiming for Cremini mushrooms but you delay picking, you will end up with a harvest of Portobellos instead. This isn’t the worst thing, though, because Portobellos are just as tasty and make a great meat substitute.

What customers are saying

This Portobello-Cremini Mushroom Kit is rated 4.2 out of 5 based on 11 ratings.

Pros:
  • Fun for the whole family
  • Product arrives and is ‘ready to go’ – delicious mushrooms in next to no time.
  • Taste better than store-bought mushrooms
Cons:
  • Instructions are lengthy

Where to buy

You can buy a Portobello-Cremini Mushroom Growing Kit from Amazon and most reputable Mushroom Kit distributors.

Best Mushroom Growing Kits
Portobello Mushrooms grown from a kit.

6. White Button Mushroom Growing Kit

Button mushrooms are the babies in the Agaricus bisporus family and one of the most cultivated and consumed mushrooms around the world. The mushrooms in the Agaricus bisporus family contain nutrients such as vitamin B and protein; they are high in fiber, low in calories and fat, and cholesterol-free.

What to pay attention to when growing Button Mushrooms from a kit

Timing is important when growing this variety of mushrooms. Should you be aiming for Button mushrooms but delay picking, you will end up with a Cremini or Portobello harvest instead. This is not disastrous as they are all just as tasty and nutritious.

What customers are saying

This Button Mushroom Kit is rated 4.3 out of 5 based on 127 ratings.

Pros:
  • Better than store-bought mushrooms
  • Produces more than one flush of mushrooms
  • Product arrives ‘ready to go’ – delicious mushrooms in next to no time
Cons:
  • It works out more expensive than buying store-bought mushrooms

Where to buy

You can buy a Button Mushroom Growing Kit from Amazon and the most reputable Mushroom Kit distributors.

Best Mushroom Growing Kit.
Button mushrooms grown from a kit.

Here’s a video by jmwnycprr on YouTube that shows how white button mushrooms grow from a mushroom kit:

YouTube video

7. Lion’s Mane Mushroom Growing Kit

This low-carb, low-sodium, edible fungus offers loads of protein as well as potassium and iron. Their unusual, almost coral-like appearance and their sweet, meaty, crab-like flavor make them a popular choice amongst home-based mushroom growers.

What to pay attention to when growing Lion’s Mane Mushrooms from a kit

They are not the easiest mushrooms to grow, but you will receive ample fruit as your reward if you can get the conditions right.  They only grow on hardwood that has been allowed to dry.

What customers are saying

This Lion’s Mane Mushroom Kit is rated 4.3 out of 5 based on 856 ratings.

Pros:
  • Excellent, fast-growing strain
  • Awesome customer service
  • Produces more than one flush of mushrooms
Cons:
  • Some of the packages contain a different variant
  • There have been a few delivery issues

Where to buy

You can buy a Lion’s Mane Mushroom Growing Kit from Amazon and most reputable Mushroom Kit distributors.

Lion’s mane mushroom kit.

8. Reishi Mushroom Growing Kit

Reishi mushrooms are fairly easy to grow. They grow slowly and require little upkeep. They are not tasty unless they are harvested very young. The mature fruit is inclined to be bitter and woody so it is used sparingly in mainly in stews or stock. However, their medicinal qualities make them ideal for broth, medicinal teas, and tinctures.

What to pay attention to when growing Reishi Mushrooms from a kit

Don’t open the bag! The inside of the bag works like a terrarium. If you are impatient or overly inquisitive, this is not the right mushroom for you to grow.

What customers are saying

This Reishi Mushroom Kit is rated 4.2 out of 5 based on 132 ratings.

Pros:
  • Clear instructions
  • Easy to grow and not time-consuming
  • One bag produces a lot of mushrooms
Cons:
  • No real clarity on when to harvest

Where to buy

You can buy a Reishi Mushroom Growing Kit from North Spore, Amazon, and most reputable Mushroom Kit distributors.

Best Mushroom Growing kits.
Reishi Mushroom growing kit.

9. Maitake Mushroom Growing Kit

Also known as Hen of the Woods or Sheepshead, Maitake mushrooms are enjoyed for their nutty flavor, crunchy texture, and medicinal properties.

What to pay attention to when growing Maitake Mushrooms from a kit

Maitake mushrooms can be grown on logs that have been sterilized to discourage potential competitors as the mushroom is slow to colonize the logs.

What customers are saying

This Maitake Mushroom Kit is rated 3.8 out of 5, based on 12 ratings.

Pros:
  • Colonizes substrate in two to four weeks; logs take much longer but yield more fruit in the long term
  • Great feedback and customer service
Cons:
  • Patience is required if you choose to grow the mushrooms on logs

Where to buy

You can buy a Maitake Mushroom Growing Kit from Field and Forest Products, Amazon, and other reputable Mushroom Kit distributors.

Best Mushroom Growing Kits.
Maitake Mushrooms Growing from a kit.

What to Know Before Growing Mushrooms at Home

Hygiene is important

Mushrooms need a sterile environment:

  • Sterilize your medium before you inoculate it with mycelium.
  • Thoroughly wash your hands and arms all the way up to your elbows before you work with your spores or spawn.
  • Use soap and water to wash all containers, and be sure to rinse them well before use.

Temperature and light-control will determine your crop’s success

Between keeping the spawn warm and dark and keeping some fruit varieties warm, and others cool, you really need to know the specific requirements for the various stages of the mushrooms you choose to grow. You cannot wing it when it comes to growing your mushrooms at home.

Conclusion and Our Favorites

Even though mushrooms grow in the wild, they grow in very specific conditions. However, if you pay attention to the specifics required for the variety you choose, you will reap a bountiful crop of delicious mushrooms as your reward.

Our favorite mushroom growing kits are:

1) Blue Oyster Mushrooms
They are fun to watch, easy to grow, and good to eat, making it the best mushroom growing kit (in our opinion).

2)  The Agaricus bisporus family
Buttons, Cremini, and Portobellos are easy to grow, popular to cook with, and forgiving if you don’t pick them at just the right time.

3) Shiitake Mushrooms
Maybe not for beginners, but if you can get them to thrive in a log, you will be picking flushes of mushrooms for years.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I use spores or spawn when I grow my own mushrooms?

Spores are like seeds and spawn like seedlings. It’s easier to start with spawn if you are inexperienced.

Where can I buy an edible mushroom growing kit?

You can buy mushroom growing kits from Amazon.com and other reputable growing kit suppliers in your region.

Can mushroom growing kits used indoors?

Yes, in most cases, it is meant to be an indoor activity.

References

https://www.justhomegardening.com/8-best-edible-mushroom-growing-kit-plus-growth-tips-for-beginners

https://www.faithful-to-nature.co.za/blog/growing-mushrooms-at-home/

https://grocycle.com/how-to-grow-shiitake-mushrooms/

https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-grow-and-care-for-morel-mushrooms-4686369#:~:text=It’s%20no%20coincidence%20that%20groups,soil%20additives%20for%20growing%20morels.

https://www.eater.com/2019/9/13/20863815/whats-the-difference-between-cremini-button-portobello-mushrooms#:~:text=THEY%20ARE%20LITERALLY%20THE%20SAME,younger%20selves%2C%20are%20the%20adults.

https://www.fieldforest.net/category/maitake-mushroom-spawn

 

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