It is cheaper to grow your own mushrooms at home than it is to buy them at the store. You can get eight servings of mushrooms out of a $15 kit. Depending on the kit, it may grow all year round, which would produce many more servings.
Growing mushrooms at home is much easier than it sounds, and if you love mushrooms it is worth having mushrooms that are fresh as well as cheap!
Why are some mushrooms going up in price in the stores?
Oyster mushrooms are a great example of mushrooms that you can grow cheaply at home, whose price is going up in the stores.
This is because they are starting to be considered gourmet, and people are catching onto their medicinal properties.
According to Health Line, oyster mushrooms contain antioxidants and a plethora of vitamins and minerals. They can promote heart health, blood sugar regulation, support the immune system, and be anti-inflammatory.
How much do mushroom kits cost?
A good mushroom kit will cost between $15 – $30.
If a mushroom kit is more expensive than that, it is probably a rip off.
How many mushrooms can you grow from a mushroom kit?
According to Birds and Blooms, each crop contains about three to four servings of mushrooms, and each box can grow around two crops.
That means if you get a kit that is $30, you will be paying $30 for eight servings of mushrooms. If you get a kit that is $15, you will be paying $15 for eight servings of mushrooms. Not a bad deal!
Some kits grow more than two crops and will produce all year round, making the deal even better.
Are mushroom kits worth it?
Mushroom kits are the most inexpensive and easy way to start growing mushrooms at home. They provide everything you need, including a container, substrate (the growing medium), the fungus, and directions.
The fungus comes inside the substrate. The kit comes dry and once you soak it, the fungus will wake up and grow mushrooms. This is called fruiting.
Can I grow mushrooms from store bought mushrooms?
Mushrooms grown in cultivation come from spores. When you grow mushrooms from the stems of store bought mushrooms, the process is faster.
This is because you don’t need to rely on spores and you can use the mycelium that is already on the fungi.
Spores turn into mycelium, so you are basically cloning when you regrow mushroom ends.
What kinds of mushrooms are typically grown at home?
The main mushrooms that are grown from mushroom kits are wine cup, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms.
Oyster mushrooms are the smartest ones to try on your first go because they are able to flourish in many substrates.
Shiitake mushrooms aren’t as easy and take a bit longer to grow, but they cost a lot at stores so it is worth growing them at home.
Wine cup mushrooms can be grown in your garden. Once they start, they will keep growing for years.
Can I grow mushrooms at home that I can’t find in the store?
You can absolutely grow mushrooms at home that you won’t be able to find in any store.
One mushroom you can grow at home is enoki mushrooms. They are often found in Asian cuisine and are hard to find anywhere but at Asian food markets.
Lion’s mane is a mushroom that is typically foraged and not often seen in stores.
You can grow a variety of colors of Oyster mushrooms that you can’t find in stores. Usually in stores they are just white, whereas at home you can grow yellow or even pink!
How do you make your own indoor growing kit?
Making your own kit is a cheap way to produce mushrooms year-round.
To make a kit, first open the top of a paper milk carton and then punch holes into the side. Mix a little straw, coffee grounds, and damp sawdust with substrate or spawn plugs and stuff it all into the carton.
Put it all in a plastic bag and hang it somewhere damp and cool. Make sure it stays moist and it will produce mushrooms in a few months.
What is a fruiting chamber?
A fruiting chamber is an environment that you create in order to have the perfect conditions for growing mushrooms. One example is a mini-greenhouse.
You can spray the inside walls of the greenhouse to raise the humidity, or use a humidifier.
You also need fresh air exchange because mushrooms produce carbon dioxide. They will grow leggy and long if they aren’t getting enough oxygen.
How can you grow mushrooms outdoors?
A cheap way to grow shiitake and oyster mushrooms outdoors is to grow them in cut up hardwood logs inside your garden. Make the logs roughly a meter long and drill holes in the sides.
To plant the mushrooms, you can use substrate out of a growing kit or get spawn plugs. Put them inside the drilled holes.
Wine cap mushrooms can easily be grown directly in the ground in your garden. Choose a spot that is damp, shady, and has a lot of mulch.
What are the hardest parts of growing mushrooms yourself?
One problem you can run into is figuring out the right lighting situation. If you have too much sun, your mushrooms will get dry.
Another difficulty is harvesting at the right time. Your mushrooms will often grow faster than you expect. If you don’t realize they’re ready and don’t harvest them in time, they will dry out.
The last thing to worry about is mold. When you’re growing something in a dark, wet container, mold will always be a concern. Use clean materials and check your mushrooms for mold before eating them.
How do you know when your mushrooms are ready to harvest?
Each mushroom has different cues that tell you the batch is ready to be harvested. Here are a few examples.
Oyster mushrooms are ready to be harvested when their growth slows down and right before the caps start to turn upwards. If you harvest before the caps turn up, they will have a longer shelf life.
Lion’s mane mushrooms are ready when their growth slows down and the spines have grown long.
Reishi are ready when the pale edge has stopped growing and disappeared.
Chestnut mushrooms will stay small. Clusters are ready to be harvested when they have opened up and growth has slowed down.
Hi, I’m John Stephens, chief editor and writer for Totalgardener.com. I’ve been gardening and raising animals for over 15 years starting with a small backyard plot in Northern Virginia where I grew corn, potatoes, squash, and using a high mulch technique called the Ruth Stout Method. I also raised ducks and small mammals for meat and eggs in a movable pen similar to the ones used by Joel Salatin. I later moved to Colorado where I experimented with growing greens using aquaponics inside. I eventually added a microgreens setup and home sprouting operation. I’m excited to share everything I’ve learned plus more from the other local gardening and animal raising experts I know.