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What is a Mushroom Grow Kit?

A mushroom grow kit is usually made up of a growing medium or mushroom substrate, with mushroom mycelium growing in it.

These kits often come in the form of colonized substrate blocks, boxes or bags or inoculated logs and are a fun and uncomplicated way to grow mushrooms.

There are different types of mushroom grow kits, but the ones with ready-to-fruit colonized substrate are the easiest to use.

With these kits, a large portion of the mushroom growing process is already done for you, including sterilization, inoculation and incubation.

All that’s left is the fun part of the mushroom growing process, called fruiting.

Why Buy a Mushroom Kit?

Using a mushroom kit saves you a lot of time and hassle. It’s great for beginners or those who want to grow mushrooms but don’t have enough time for the entire growing process.

Even if you buy mushroom spawn, the most time-consuming and crucial part of growing mushrooms is preparing and inoculating the substrate.

Depending on the substrate you’re using, you’ll either need to pasteurize or sterilize it, which often involves high temperatures and takes time and energy.

Inoculation needs sterile conditions to help prevent contamination, and you’ll also need to ensure that the substrate has the correct moisture content.

Incubation is not labor intensive but can take a few weeks, during which you’ll need to monitor the fruiting blocks for any signs of contamination.

When you buy a ready-to-fruit mushroom grow kit, this work is all done for you.

Here are some of the benefits offered by mushroom grow kits:

  • You save time and will usually harvest your first mushrooms within 14 days of opening the kit
  • You save on costs as you don’t need any specialized equipment.
  • You get access to gourmet mushroom species you can’t buy in your area.
  • Safer than foraging for wild mushrooms.
  • Provides great learning opportunities for children.
  • You don’t need a sterile space for inoculation.
  • You don’t need to source and prepare substrate.

Different Types of Mushroom Grow Kits

Several types of mushroom grow kits are available that allow you to grow mushrooms indoors or outdoors.

Some kits come with spawn and prepared substrate or logs and instructions on how to inoculate them yourself.

With these kits, you save having to source mushroom spawn and substrate, but still need to go through the inoculation and incubation phases of mushroom growing.

The most popular kits, and easier for most people, are the ones that come ready to fruit with fully colonized substrate.

And, it’s not just beginners or small-scale mushroom growers who enjoy the ease of mushroom grow kits.

Many commercial mushroom growers are discovering the benefits of buying ready-to-fruit substrate blocks that they can place directly into their fruiting chambers.

Indoor Mushroom Grow Kits

When it comes to growing mushrooms indoors, you have a range of kits and mushroom species to choose from.

Most indoor mushroom grow kits come as bags, blocks or boxes of colonized ready-to-fruit substrate.

When you get your grow kit, follow the instructions for opening it, and then place it in a spot with good fruiting conditions.

With easy-to-grow mushrooms, like oyster and shiitake mushrooms, the ideal spot could be a kitchen windowsill or countertop.

Different mushroom species need different growing conditions, so pay careful attention to the instructions that come with your kit.

Outdoor Mushroom Grow Kits

You get two kinds of mushroom grow kits for growing mushrooms outdoors.

The first type is for mushrooms that you can grow in mushroom beds in your garden, and these usually come with mushroom spawn and growing instructions.

The second type is mushroom log kits. These kits usually contain inoculated logs that need to incubate for around 12 months before you get your first harvest of mushrooms.

But, you also get mushroom log kits that contain mushroom spawn plugs, ready to inoculate hardwood logs, wax and instructions for inoculating the logs yourself.

How Do Mushroom Kits Work?

Most ready-to-grow mushroom kits are low maintenance and come with easy-to-follow instructions.

Because a kit comes with all the initial phases of mushroom growing completed, the mycelium in the mushroom grow kit is ready to produce mushrooms.

All you need to do is provide fruiting conditions to trigger pinning and maintain these conditions while the mushrooms grow.

How Do You Start a Mushroom Grow Kit?

Important factors are light, airflow, temperature and humidity and for easy-to-grow mushroom species, it’s not difficult to provide these conditions.